Basic brick is a phrase many AFOLs use to describe a classification of elements comprised mainly of simple bricks, plates and slopes. Sold usually in large boxes or plastic buckets (often in the Make and Create theme), this is what most non-AFOLs tend to think of when talking about LEGO products.
A general complaint often heard by fans at public displays is some variation of, why can't I get buckets of bricks like when I was a kid? The answer is usually distribution to vendors and the seasonal cycle of toys in retail outlets that often means buckets are available only around Christmas in local toy stores. There has also been research that shows that the perception of the imbalance between themed sets and more general building sets may be simply selective memory or singular experience sal .