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LEGO Sets that are unbelievably complex....

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  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    edited August 2014
    OK taking this discussion back full circle to the 700/1 thru 700/6 basic sets of the 1950s... each of these sets could build a different sized house or other models. Although in the previous post I show a bi-fold 1960s cardboard Town Plan board... back in the later 1950s TLG produced a rollup plastic type board... and also a hard Masonite (Hartfasser in German) board.

    My collectors guide has a chapter on LEGO TV commercial (the desktop online guide chapter 71 lets you link to online LEGO Commercials in Youtube and elsewhere).

    Here is the earliest LEGO TV commercial from 1958 from Germany showing the 700/1 thru 700/6 basic sets, and also the LEGO Masonite Town Plan board...

    Andor
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    One thing you may have noticed at the end of the 1958 German LEGO TV commercial were the HO Trains. Back from 1955-58 TLG promoted the fact that the new Town Plan system was 1:87 scale... the same scale as HO trains! So TLG promoted this fact in LEGO catalogs, idea books, and even on TV... here is an image of German Märklin HO Train layout with LEGO...

    And also a 1956 Danish catalog image showing a train layout...

    And finally a very rare 1958 German LEGO retailer window display item... a large LEGO "slide"... for being backlit for a night time window display... also showing a Märlin HO Train as part of a LEGO Town Plan scene...
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,839
    Wow, that commercial is cool, That was like the first ever Artifex Creations. :P
    Andor
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    Hehehe.... thanks bobabricks!! That's one of the nice things about having a computer desktop LEGO Collectors Guide.... I link to other websites (in the LEGO brick chapter), and online LEGO commercials in Chapter 71. Here's another commercial... the oldest known USA Samsonite LEGO commercial... from 1962... not 1955 as mentioned in the Youtube video title...

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    Some LEGO sets are very simple.... and yet still complex. From the 1963-72 era, many LEGO sets underwent multiple box designs... such as the 315 Taxi Set of 1963-68. This 48 piece set came in 6 different box designs.... 2 for continental Europe, 1 for USA/Canada, and 3 different ones for UK/Ireland/Australia. The contents pretty much remained the same, but the boxes changed frequently!

    From Chapter 8 of my Collectors Guide.... LEGO Model Sets (1955-72).
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 494
    So going back to the 700 series sets, how firm is the rule about the dates on the blue lettering vs. the yellow lettering? I got a couple a of System continental 700 sets. 700/4 has blue lettering and the others have yellow.

    Because no site or database catalogs or list any of these sets additively, I have my own spreed sheet for 50's sets. I've tried to list the date a accurately as possible. I realize how difficult a task (or impossible a task) this is given the large time period these were available, the numerous changes and variations each of these have and the age these sets.
  • TLGTLG Member Posts: 125

    So going back to the 700 series sets, how firm is the rule about the dates on the blue lettering vs. the yellow lettering? I got a couple a of System continental 700 sets. 700/4 has blue lettering and the others have yellow.

    Because no site or database catalogs or list any of these sets additively, I have my own spreed sheet for 50's sets. I've tried to list the date a accurately as possible. I realize how difficult a task (or impossible a task) this is given the large time period these were available, the numerous changes and variations each of these have and the age these sets.

    Can I have a copy of the spreadsheet?
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 494
    I guess if you really want it. All it is are sets that I own with what I consist to be the most accurate info about them and some of my notes about them. It doesn't have anywhere close to all of the 50s sets on it. The format is basically the Brickset format when you export you set list as a CSV. Again if you really want it I'm happy to share what I'm doing.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    edited September 2014
    OK.... here's how I came to the blue being the earlier years, versus yellow being the later years for 700/x set numbers.... because it was a mystery to me and many other old time collectors as well....

    #1 the blue set numbered boxes are rarer than the yellow.

    #2 below is a copy of part of a page from a 1961 Austrian (in German) retailer information sheet. It shows the new (to Austria) box type coming out in Austria that year (note most countries had 1960 introduction of these sets, but Austria and Portugal, and possibly others, had a 1961 introduction of these set box types). The box number on this 700/5 set is in blue.

    #3 The 1961 front of the France LEGO catalog shows the 700 sets in the upper left corner. You cannot even tell that there are box numbers (hinting that the boxes have dark blue numbers).

    #4 The 1963 front of the Denmark LEGO catalog shows the 700 sets in the upper left corner. Although you cannot read the numbers, you can make out that there are numbers listed on the sides of the boxes... and yellow is easier to spot than blue.

    #5 I have an image from a German collector (can't locate it at the moment) and in 1965 he and his sister got a pair of 700/1 and 700/3 LEGO sets while on vacation in Denmark. The side of the box of his 700/1 shows yellow numbering.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    edited September 2014
    Also, there was an additional reason for me figuring out that the yellow numbered sets were later than the blue numbered ones. In Britain/Ireland/Australia the British LEGO Ltd. style set boxes, which as was shown earlier in this thread... these unique box types were produced from 1962 (when the Wrexham Wales plant came online) until 1965... and all the UK box types have the yellow set numbering.

    So I would date the blue numbered sets to 1960-61, and the yellow numbered sets to 1962-65. But as we always know with LEGO... there are always date overlaps.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    edited September 2014
    And then there's those 700/x sets that come in a different color bricks and/or windows in certain countries during certain years.... as the bottom of box instructions show.... ;-)

    Those I talk about in my collectors guide chapter on LEGO sets that dominate with blue and yellow parts.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 494
    So I was reading through the Beautiful LEGO Model Sets of the Town Plan Era thread when I noticed something funny about this image (crop it and the red line is mine).

    I've never heard talk or mention of a 600/1 set or a 600/x series.  It looks to be like a late 700/1 set but with blue and yellow bricks rather than red and white one, white windows and doors rather than red and a white base plate.  Thoughts, comments, etc?
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    edited May 2015
    Yes, that is the UK/Ireland/Australia only 600/1 set (see Chapter 4 of my Collectors Guide)....

    This is a very interesting set that used up the blue and yellow LEGO bricks, since most sets had only red and white ones.  It was the same box size and basically the same contents as the 700/1 set sold in all of continental Europe (but with red/white bricks and red windows).   Also the box top accent color was green (although the image was the same), instead of blue for regular LEGO Basic Sets of that era.   This set was sold from 1962 (when the Wrexham Wales factory started LEGO production) until 1965.  A very desirable set British LEGO Ltd. only set





    In continental Europe they too produced a set that contained this color combination... but that was only in Denmark and Switzerland (where the windows were red instead of white)... that was the 700/3 midsized basic set....

    Here is the bottom of the box (instructions) of those countries....



  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    From 1949 when LEGO basic sets first came out, until 1955, they were produced in 4 different color bricks in one set (5 different in the early GEAS sets).  Then in 1955 TLG switched to mainly red and white bricks with red doors.  This continued until 1965, when the 700/1 thru 700/6 series of sets packed in checkerboard fashion in boxes ended.

    Here is a nice 1954 700/1 set that was produced before the switch to just red and white... although there were 2 accent bricks in red (instead of the usually trans-clear).  Of course these early 1950s sets used slotted bricks until 1956.






  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 494
    I feel slightly foolish for having not noticed this in your Guide before.  Chapter 4 is one of those I've only looked once before.  I must have skipped most of the info in there and gone straight to Junior Constructor set section.  I tend to focus more on the sections and chapters that either interest me or that I have sets from.

    I really like the way that 700/1 set looks with the white in addition to the yellow and blue.  I find certain color combinations to be really striking and others to be so-so.  I'm not sure I'd call this striking, but it's very pleasing to my eye.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,104
    edited May 2015
    @LusiferSam Thanks.... "pleasing to the eye" were the exact words that others gave to the contents of this set, once I helped the owner restore it to some semblence of how it looked when it was originally shrink wrapped into place.  This set is owned by my Dutch friend Richard, who had purchased my collectors guide.   I showed him how to put this together... but it took a while, because most folks don't understand how these sets were originally packed.  And once restored to their original state... they do appear stunning!!

    Here was what Richard originally got when he bought the set, which dates to early-to-mid 1954.  He had no clue if anything was missing....



    Since the original cardboard inserts were included... I told him I could help him restore it.... but 2 of the 3 inserts would have to be inverted.   I also mentioned a checkerboard pattern for the bricks.   This was his first attempt.....



    I told him.... nope... everything has to be checkerboarded... and the middle partition will always house the baseplate and windows/doors.  This was his next attempt....



    Since he didn't fully comprehend a multi-brick color checkerboarding, I had to use Microsoft Paint and make a diagram of how it should look.... although the red parts (usually the extra accent pieces are trans-clear, but in this case they were red) should be in a corner location.  So this was his final look, and all of his friends LOVED the look... a few even offered to buy the set from him at this point... but he said "no deal"....




    Getting a set to its' original appearance (made much easier by the inserts being present)... can add hundreds of dollars of value to a set that might be put up for auction.  98% of all old LEGO sets in auctions are incorrectly repackaged, and that's understandable, since they didn't know what it looked like when it was new.

    I've been lucky to get several retailer guide images from the Billund Archives and Collections, as well as the images of still sealed sets from some collectors... so I have a good eye for restoring old sets.

    I even offered a LEGO service (for not a lot of money) to help people restore old LEGO sets... but no one seems interested, so I only help owners of my collectors guide... since this can at times be a time consuming process.  

    Although now I know that the best way to tell folks is to map it out for them... saves me a lot of time.... and the set owners are always very pleased with the results!!   o:)

    P.S.  My Unofficial LEGO Set/Parts Collectors Guide is going to have a section on old set restoration... to help folks understand the process.... and these images will be a part of it!
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