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The LEGO and MAERSK relationship...

IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
This is one of the LEGO stories (about the beginning of LEGOs relationship with the Maersk shipping folks). So many of the old time LEGO employees are long ago retired deceased... so a lot of the early history of the company was lost. I'm trying to find and record this lost history, and make it fun reading, in a new chapter in my LEGO Collectors Guide. This is an abbreviated part of that story....

The founding of the Maersk Corporation, originally known as A. P. Møller, is a long and complex story. A.P. Møller was founded over a hundred years ago, and is today the world’s largest shipping company, with many of the largest ships on the planet.

Besides the Kristiansen family that owns LEGO A/S, the Møller-Maersk family is the only other billionaire Danish family on the Fortune 500 list. So the social ties between the two families go back several generations.

From a LEGO perspective, the connection between LEGO and Maersk goes back to 1959, when TLG provided a glued display model named the REGINA MAERSK, for sale to LEGO retailers in continental Europe. This model was found in the 1959-60 Retailer Display Catalog, and also found in the 238 Building Idea Book 1 of 1960-64. Unfortunately, no examples of this particular glued display model are known to exist (yet). In the 1959-60 catalog it had the 0751 catalog number. This model was produced in blue bricks, since Maersk blue bricks were not introduced until 1974.

This first Regina Maersk ship model was based on a real life ship of that name... which was built in the Odense Denmark shipyards in 1954, and launched in 1955. The real ship was the first Maersk blue hulled container ship that was produced.



  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
  • TheBrokenPlateTheBrokenPlate Member Posts: 28
    Thanks for the info Istokg! Nice to have some background on the Lego/Maersk relationship. That Regina looks really nice.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    edited August 2014
    Thanks BrokenPlate!! About 3 years ago I made an updated version of the original 0751 Regina Maersk ship, using Maersk blue parts (as well as inverted slopes for the front of the ship). I sold these for about $100 each... just the parts, and the 4 associated documents seen in this image, one of which was the multipage building instructions. They all sold out quickly.

    Also attached is a comparison between the Regina Maersk, and the next of the LEGO Maersk ships.... the MAERSK LINE CONTAINER SHIP... the famous 1650...

    Well I think I'm going to include these (now dormant) building instructions and other documents along with sales of my collectors guide.... thanks for reminding me! :-)
  • thehornedratthehornedrat Member Posts: 87
    Istokg, I'm looking forward to your book so very much. Make sure to let Huw and the Brickset admins know so they can publicize it on the main frontpage when its published!
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362

    Istokg, I'm looking forward to your book so very much. Make sure to let Huw and the Brickset admins know so they can publicize it on the main frontpage when its published!

    Oh... for those of you waiting on that... you really don't need to! All current owners of my 2800 page Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide... get the next update (about 3200 pages) as a freebie.... just a new download. Plus I'm offering some freebies right now... my 70 page LEGO 1:43 Chevrolet Trucks/Wagons Collectors Guide (1952-57) ... a $7.95 value... and another freebie that I just now thought about was the 4 documents from my last post.... that show the parts and instructions for building the really cool REGINA MAERSK ship... an awesome display model!!

    Here's the entire "First Maersk LEGO Ships" part of the historic stories chapter...

    This includes images of what came with the very cool 1650 Maersk Line Container ship of 1974... which is (IMHO)... the crown jewel of LEGO promotional sets...

    LEGO Architectural series designer Adam Reed Tucker spent 6 hours on my LEGO collectors guide.... doing nothing but turning the pages and only glancing without reading anything.... So if that took 6 hours to glance at... it'll take hundreds of hours to read... ;-) About 75% of the chapters of the current collectors guide download are not changing... but 25% are changing... Amazingly with new and expanded images. And then there's the 10 new chapters coming out....
  • plasmodiumplasmodium Member Posts: 1,956
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, your dedication to finding out the history of TLC is awesome.

    This stuff is fascinating! Maybe you should write a book...oh, wait a minute ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    @polasmodium a belated thank you!!  :)

    I shall miss the old Maersk Blue color, which appears to be slowly retiring since it's last appearance in the 10219 Maersk Container Train set of 2011.

    Here in a Washington DC area LEGO show, this beautiful model was built entirely of Maersk blue bricks.... 

    Now the newest Maersk product, the 10241 Maersk Line Triple-E Set contains the new Medium Azure color... which is a nice color as well.... but there was something special about having a color that can only be used in one type of set... the Maersk sets.  They have been a long line of legendary and valuable sets.

    As I mentioned in the above link to one of my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide subchapters on the origins of the Maersk-LEGO connections... the first of the Maersk ships with a Maersk blue hull was the 1954 built, 1955 commissioned REGINA MAERSK ships (the first of 3 ships under that name).

    It became the model for a 1959-62 LEGO glued display model... none of which has yet been found in any collection or museum, sadly.

    But even though it was made of regular blue bricks, it was a nice model... although nicer if built in a Maersk blue color... (with modern stickers and parts)...

    Like I said... I'm gonna miss the Maersk blue parts....  :'(
    Love the 1960 SNOT buoy in the 238 Ideas book.
  • natro220natro220 Member Posts: 545
    I didn't know Maersk blue went away, that sucks!  No doubt the sets that have that color will go up in value as the bricks get harder and harder to get.  Thanks for all the info!  And that building looks AWESOME in Maersk blue, if only I had enough bricks in that color to build something like that...
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    @natro220... I'm not saying that the bricks are going away... but so far only the Maersk models had that color... I would assume that it is their Trademark'ed color... and that no other LEGO models (not related to Maersk) would be allowed to use that color.  So maybe model shop excess inventory may end up on Bricklink, since I see many parts there not every used in any set (such as the 1x1 round bricks, 2x6 bricks and 2x10 bricks, among many others).
  • natro220natro220 Member Posts: 545
    Still, I loved that they had their own distinct color, and love the 2011 train.  It's just not the same to do a Maersk set in a color available in non-Maersk sets, it gave the sets something that made them stand out, in my opinion.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    @natro220 I agree with you 100%, it makes the newer Maersk sets seem less special.  The color "medium azure", that replaced Maersk blue, was introduced in 2012, and the 2x4 brick from that set is already found in 9 sets (including the Maersk Line Triple-E set).

    You mentioned the 2011 train... the 10219 Maersk Container Train....  The irony in that the last of the Maersk blue Maersk sets is that it clobbered the secondary market price for the Maersk blue Minifig construction helmet (3833).  It was selling for hundreds of dollars before that train came out.  But in the new Maersk train, 3 of them were included.

    The price on those helmets plummeted.   The new ones now sell for around $1.   Although there is a way to differentiate the old ones... the remaining old ones still only command about $75-$80.

    That Maersk helmets was one of the first LEGO items to be counterfeited.  I mention it still in my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide chapter on LEGO counterfeits, although it is now no longer an issue.

    The counterfeiters never got the color right... and it was more of a turquoise color, rather than Maersk blue (Image: Ash Nickel)....

  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    Looking at that picture it seems as though the colour of "True Maersk Blue" is noticeably lighter than the blue colour used by Maersk and that the "NOT Maersk Blue" is closer:
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    @mountebank I agree, the lighting was not optimal when that image was taken....

    One other interesting point is that I'm not sure if Maersk blue has changed over the years... or if the color has just yellowed.

    Here's my REGINA MAERSK semi-MOC (using modern Maersk parts) next to an original 1650 Maersk Line Container Ship of 1974.....

  • white_chevwhite_chev Member Posts: 2
    Great post- really happy to learn more about the Lego/Maersk relationship. 

    I have been trying to find a high resolution scan of the image that appears at the top of the instruction sheets for the Maersk 1650 set.  The image depicts the model in its standard container ship configuration.  If anyone has a high resolution scan of this image that they are willing to share or has access to the instruction booklet and are willing and able to make a scan I would sincerely appreciate hearing from you.  

    This is the image I am looking for:

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