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1958 set - 232 Road Signs

JRLJRL Member Posts: 86
Dear Brickset, may I seek your advice on a recent purchase. I picked this up at a vintage shop in Bournemouth (UK) today for £13.50. Some initial research suggests it’s incomplete, and I don’t think the traffic light is Lego, but the box is in great condition and I thought it was interesting given it’s 60 years old next year. I’ve attached some pictures. I have a few questions you might be able to help with please?

1. Are the card signs original and Lego?
2. What bits are missing?
3. Is there any interesting history attached to it?
4. I’ve not seen the box art with the sailor in any of the pictures online nor in the database, was it UK specific perhaps?
5. It’s my first ever vintage purchase, is it worth having?

Thank you!


  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,683
    Here is the inventory list from Bricklink.
  • stluxstlux Member Posts: 2,450
    Paging @Istokg! :)
  • JRLJRL Member Posts: 86
    Oh wow, ok, thanks @oldtodd33 that would suggest the card signs are not in fact Lego. Nor does the Esso sign belong!
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    edited December 2017
    OK.... sure... the side of the box of most interest to me is not showing.... ;-)

    Does the black inner drawer ends of the box look like this?

    This is the UK/Ireland/Australia box sides... and it tells us that there should originally be 8 road signs in the box. There were 8 signs in the box in those countries... and 16 road signs in continental Europe.  The color of the square around the set number was important to LEGO retailers.... a black square means a "single parts pack price".  If the square around the 232 set were yellow... then that would be a "double parts pack price"... with 16 road signs in the box.

    Here is part of a document from British LEGO Ltd. for LEGO retailers in determining parts pack prices.....

    And here is a 232 box for continental Europe... with 16 road signs, and with a yellow square... thus denoting twice the price.....

    Now... getting back to the UK box type... those road signs with the black/white stripes on the sides were actually NEVER produced.  From 1960-62 the road signs in the UK were of the same type as continental Europe... just a white pole and gray base.

    But in 1962, as the Wrexham Wales LEGO plant (a Courtauld's Company plant) was coming online... British LEGO switched to new LEGO signs... but not the striped ones that they continued to show on the sides of the UK 232 boxes until 1966... but these new all white style.  The UK style LEGO road signs that were sold in Britain, Ireland and Australia from 1962-72 were of this type... and always only 8 road signs to a box....

    However... the British LEGO Ltd. 232 boxes continued to have those striped pole road signs on the side of the box... even though none of that style were ever produced (LEGO Mayhem!).

    It wasn't until 1966 (til 1972), that the new set number (432) and box design for the correct British LEGO Ltd. style road signs was found on the box.....

    All images from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.
  • JRLJRL Member Posts: 86
    Thanks so much @Istokg that’s really fascinating. You’re correct in your guess, black side with a white square:

    So looks like I’m missing two signs and one grey base from the set, happier with that than with missing another 12!

    I’m assuming the card signs are nothing to do with Lego? Seems an odd question but I don’t know whether they are the 50s equivalent of a sticker sheet?

    Thanks for going to the time and trouble of coming back on this, I really appreciate it.
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