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Old (1970's) stickers on rare sets - can they be removed and reapplied?

MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
edited October 2011 in Building and Techniques
I'm a very lucky lady and have managed to acquire a few very nice condition 1970's sets (1589, 375, 377, 671 and some others). I'm cleaning and prepping them for sale. The vast majority of the stickers are there and intact, but a few are in the wrong places. Is it possible to remove these and re-glue them back on? There are a few lose stickers (and some still on a sheet) and they seem to have a glossy, almost protected sheen on them - are they likely to dissolve or tear do you think?

Thanks for the advice


  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    Although much newer, so I'm not sure if the sitckers are similar or the same, but here's my 2 cents worth.

    I soaked a part from 5521 (the big '28' one on the top) with a sticker on it in some Hydrogen Peroxide to reverse some severe yellowing, and figured if the sticker came off, meh, but it stuck fast even after a week of soaking. It was the 'clear' type of stickers, like the Emerald Night, or Space Shuttle.

    So, I don't think your going to get them off with ruining them. Soaking them won't work anyway.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Thanks - now you mention it. I've also done that! those there are some stickers that have already come off through the glue maybe I can gently prise them?

    Also, another big question for the experts - is it possible that 1589 would have hollow stud round bricks instead of closed (the only ones I have in grey are open - but the instructions show closed)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited October 2011
    Here's my take on the hollow stud 1x1 round bricks. I believe that by 1978 the new hollow stud bricks were introduced. But the remaining solid stud ones that were still in inventory were used in any set that they may be used in.

    The 149 Train Shell Refinery set from the mid 1970s still had gray solid stud 1x1 round bricks. But by 1978 these were replaced with the hollow stud ones in LEGO sets. As for the instructions... LEGO sets are "designed" before the set is released.

    So the instructions for the 1978 released Weetabix 1589 Town Square set may have been developed at the same time that the new hollow stud round bricks were being developed... and by the time the set was actually sold, the hollow stud bricks were the norm. I don't think that TLG would have fixed/changed the instructions for that small of a change.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Thanks @Istokg I know you're the expert on these things! I guess the set is too rare for people to be able to confirm it by opening a set. I'll have to point them out in the listing and include your explanation :) Lovely set though! shame to sell it, but I need the money!

  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,483
    I have found very old stickers not easy to remove without removing the adhesive off of the back of the paper of the sticker....The glue holds better to the plastic than the paper it was on when it is that old.. Which is a shame.
    I know of one guy making reasonable facsimiles and putting them on eBay.
    I had only two problems with these:
    1) they were not always to the scale of the originals
    2) not 'stenciled' or pre cut, meaning you had to cut them out.

    Considering these were all that were available for trains I was extremely grateful they were out there as I ;completed' many a train set in my collection with these. Plus I think he had town square too but stopped selling them before I could get a copy since I had the instructions....

    What I think would be great is if Lego just came out with a functioning Sticker encyclopedia of every sticker created by Lego since at LEAST late 70's if not earlier.. They would make a TON of money as many hard to find sets had hard to find stickers that even when they DO appear on places like BL the prices are though the charts.
    Or do one book for each Genre... I'll be more than happy to take City and Train (although I think those were the to main reasons for stickers) complete sticker collections and pay to do so if it means pre-stenciled and scale stickers....
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    ^ Not sure if current Ideas Books have them, but I've got one from the early 90's that has a sticker page at the back covering several themes. Granted, they weren't stickers to go with particular sets, just generic themed stickers.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,483
    ^ Not sure if current Ideas Books have them, but I've got one from the early 90's that has a sticker page at the back covering several themes. Granted, they weren't stickers to go with particular sets, just generic themed stickers.
    Yeah I have those books to, especially the 80's books have nice stickers, some of which are identical to ones found in sets, but not all...

    I'm talking about each sheet in a book, pre-sized/cut and just like they were in the sets they came out of.. Imagine having access to a brand new sheet of 6383 Public Works Center, or 6390 Main street, stickers? How about 1490 Bank stickers (Im sure there are a few that would agree on me there...), 375 Castle stickers?
    Id say Sticker sheet like Maersk sets from the older 80s sets but Maersk is a copyrighted logo so not sure if LEGO could do that, but it would still be sweet to get some of the old sheets... how about the 6372 vacation home, how many people are missing the awning? Same with 560...
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    ^yes!! that would be amazing wouldn't it! Even if it would devalue the sets I want to sell, I wouldn't mind, as I'd get to make the set up again and keep it! Especially the yellow castle and 1589!

    In the meantime I'll scan the sheet with the remaining 375 stickers on, it would make a useful template at least.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    Yeah it would be a great idea, especially since as has been proven over time, the bricks last a lot longer than the stickers!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,483
    ^^--- I do not think it would really devalue old sets..
    If anything it would help as they would be authentic stickers
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    Wasn't/isnt't there a site that had scans of all the old sticker sheets? I thought they were pretty much to scale that you just had to print them on the right paper. I'm not that technically novice to be able to do something like that tho and I thought the paper was kind of expensive.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,483
    ^-- that would be nice but the other part to this is that they would be original, which means same paper/plastic and more importantly they would be pre-cut (pre-sized, however you want to put it) so you would not have to cut them out....
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,625
    ^ The term you are looking for is " kiss cut" which is very easy to do if you have the equipment. It's the die that will set you back.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,483
    ^---Thanks for that.. never really knew what it was called.. Yeah I can imagine the die would be pricey, and you have to get it right...
    Which is why Id rather lobby for the company that made the sticker sheets in the first place (or has a contract with those that did) do it :-)
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