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1949-90s LEGO Sets/Parts/History Collectors Guide - January release.

IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
edited January 2012 in Marketplace
The long awaited combined LEGO CD Volumes I & II is now in its' final phase... no new additions (there's
nothing much left to add ) ... I think I have it all.... (not really, but I
like to think so!). The CDs will be going out to be pressed about Jan 12, and
shipping should start a week to 10 days later.

For those who already ordered... you'll be getting the freebies I promised, as
well as an additional group of items. Ditto for those "non-CD" patient folks
waiting to get your Bricklink orders filled (going out after Jan. 4).

Here's some additional freebies... I know the owner of the Michigan Building
in downtown Detroit... it was the site of the former 4050 seat Michigan Theatre
(also known as Michigan Palace), built in 1926 as an opulent movie house. In
1977 after a few years as a concert venue, the unthinkable happened... the French
Renaissance over the top movie palace was converted into a 3 level parking structure
within the surviving opulent interiors. I got to tour the closed off surviving
sections of the theatre...

... and I found a room in that labyrinth of closed off areas, the(former theatre managers office,
with a treasure trove of very old unused (not just the stubs) concert
tickets from 1974-77 (back in the golden years of Rock Concerts).
The building owner said I could take as many as I wanted (so I took 90% of the
best in 5 large plastic garbage bags full)... and sold them for $$ on Ebay a
few years back. Well I just came across another bag full of them in that basement
of mine that always seems to hold LEGO surprises and treasures in all the nooks,
crannies, shelves and cupboards. (I even found some rare old German wine (Auslese) that I had
stashed away 15 years ago!! :-)

So anyone who has either an order outstanding, or has or will order a CD will
be getting from 8-12 of these rare Rock Golden Era survivors... here's an
Ebay link to some of the exact ones you will be receiving...
(By the way... all of these Ebay sellers got their tickets from me!)

For those of you who have seen Eminem's "8 MILE", then you have seen the interior
of the former Michigan Theatre, since it is shown about 20 minutes into the film.
It has also been seen on several TV shows and commercials. Also, at 8 stories
high, the former Michigan Theatre is America's largest indoor "ruin".

Those of you who ordered my first "Encyclopedic" Volume 1 CD 2-4 years ago, know that
I've done my homework on finding the rarest of the rare of LEGO sets, parts, documentation,
catalogs, idea books, and some items are not even mentioned in the LEGO Archives nor seen in
their Collections in Billund!

I had help from people around the world, and also from the TLG archives, Billund Collections, and
even from old LEGO employees long retired from the company.

The CD is crammed full of over 2,500 pages (closer to 3,000 when I'm done counting)... and over 3000
images, many of things you've never seen before. Everything from the rarest LEGO items (2000-4000 Euros),
to images of sets and parts that are unknown to TLG.

I split the CD into geographic areas....

1949-55 Denmark, Norway Sweden.
1956-60 Scandinavia and central Europe
1961-90s Continental Europe, USA/Canada and Britain/Ireland/Australia.

The CD is both MAC and PC compatible, and consists of 70+ separate PDF File Chapters that are each referenced from a PDF Table of Contents.

There are separate chapters on: Automatic Binding Bricks (1949-53), LEGO Mursten Sets (1953-60), LEGO Town Plan sets (1956-65), LEGO Samsonite sets (1961-72), Train in blue track (1966-79) chapters and gray track (1980-92), Fabuland, Duplo, Technic and the gear sets that preceded it, Town in every flavor, Scala, Paradisa, Minitalia, early Architectural Sets, early middle and late Technic, Homemaker sets, printed and painted bricks, bricks, plates, baseplates LEGO windows/doors, sloped bricks, minifigs, LEGO clones, LEGO counterfeits, LEGO logos, LEGO Idea Books, LEGO 1:87 vehicles, LEGO early Space, Classic Space, all the "Trons', early castle, classic castle, forest sets, pirate sets, service packs, spare parts packs, retailer box sales, catalogs, instructions, LEGO sales by country, LEGO country specific unique parts, LEGO department store catalog sales, LEGO institutional sets, LEGO wooden box sets (80+ boxes!), LEGO prototype sets and parts not put into production, LEGO suitcase abd travelcase sets, LEGO glued display models, LEGO retailer catalogs, LEGO by country history, Modulex, Town Plan and Legoland sets, etc... over 70 chapters!

Plus there is one chapter that connects to an online website with LEGO commercials from the past, and another website that goes into the history of TLG and the other non-LEGO System related items sold.

For anyone interested in ordering... first orders get the best freebie concert tickets from those shown. 10+ tickets to each customer (circa $50 value).

LEGO CD is only $29.95 (compatible PC or MAC)... and is $29.95... with shipping costs of $1.85 USA/Canada, and $2.85 rest of world.

If you don't like old unused classic rock concert tickets... I can add some LEGO freebies (I have over 1/2 million parts) in their place! :-)

Gary Istok

P.S. I've been a LEGO collector since 1960... and a lot of this is from my own experiences (that don't always "jive" with LEGO catalogs). You won't find a LOT of this information in any websites database!


  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    Thanks for the update Gary, just the reminder I needed to finally remember to order a copy from your Bricklink store :-)
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    Looking forward to it Gary. We know you put a ton of love and effort into it, and it's appreciated.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    Here's an example (with wooden box sets)... of the LEGO Mayhem that is discussed in my collectors guide on CD. (images are on the CD in Chapter 10 - LEGO Wooden Box Sets)...

    The wooden box chapter has 80 images of old (mostly continental Europe) wooden box sets. But surprisingly Britain and Australia have a large and varied selection as well!
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    @sidersdd Thanks! :-)

    It's not just the pictures and the info that is included in the CD... but also the history...

    For example... see that UK box of street signs (232) above? Well I had researched those boxes for several years ago... it seems that only the UK/AUS boxes (and catalogs) had the black/white striped poles on the parts pack boxes, as well as showing in pre-1966 catalogs. But the odd thing is.... there are NO KNOWN EXAMPLES of these parts as ever being striped. To paint black stripes onto a white pole was too labor intensive for British LEGO Ltd. of Wrexham Wales, the supplier of LEGO to UK, Ireland and Australia until 1992.

    British LEGO Ltd. was a subsidiary of Courtalds, a UK chemical/textile maker, and they likely balked at the thought of hand painting all those road signs. But the catalog images and boxes continued to contain the stripes... even though no striped poles were ever found inside!

    Both Courtaulds, and Samsonite (the USA/Canada LEGO licensee) occasionally did some things that were a bit on the "shady" side when it comes to LEGO.... ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    I forgot all about the 92 freebie images that I have offered to new CD buyers in the past... 92 images (Emailed to you) of items that I could not get permission to use in the CD (they never responded), or just extras... 92 large size historic images here's the scoop...

    With some of the images seen below...

    If that last one looks familiar... it's because it's one of 6 from this series of 30 that was in THE WORLD OF LEGO TOYS book of 1986.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited January 2012
    One of the more interesting stories in my Collectors Guide is about an otherwise obscure comic book artist by the name of Joe Certa (1919-86). He created many American comic books.

    So how is he associated with LEGO?? Well the 1st image below is from a 1958 continental European Retailer Glued LEGO Model Display Catalog... a tall building. The 2nd image is of a 1963 USA Samsonite LEGO magazine ad.... and the 3rd image is a trio of the first and second images, along with the Joe Certa rejected "prototype ad" (image from his estate) for a USA magazine Samsonite LEGO ad.

    In 1963 Joe Certa used the 1958 model image for the prototype illustration... but he never just got the look and colors of LEGO quite right (Maersk blue and lime green just weren't around in 1963!). ;-) So Samsonite LEGO used a photograph image instead on the final ad. But it's interesting to see the progression from idea, to prototype, to final ad.

    Maybe Samsonite took Joe Certa up on his Samsonite Luggage ad illustration (4th image)? But we don't really know...

    By the way... Joe Certa was responsible for producing artwork for many American comic books...

    I enjoy playing LEGO detective.... or maybe LEGO Sherlock Holmes? ;-)

    Gary Istok
  • coachiecoachie Member Posts: 476
    I love that line from the advert
    "Johnny thinks he's just playing..."
    start off a thread finishing off the sentence

    ... but secretly we've hooked him into a life of collecting bricks everywhere. Paying for petrol (BP), in the news agent (CMF), on holiday in old toy shops...

    Then the obligatory Mwahahaa...

    Thanks for sharing that. Will be ordering a CD soon.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    Thanks Mark!

    Among all the stuff in the LEGO CD are a lot of useful charts and comparison images.

    Here are 2 that were given to me to use by 2 German LEGO collectors... Jan Katanek and Reinhardt Beneke.

    Jan loves everything "promotional"... and the 70s/80s promotional Scandinavian Ferry/Cruise ship sets had some unique ferry windows.

    And when LEGO trains were introduced in 1966, they came out with several different couplings... before the 1969 introduction of red/blue magnets for coupling.

    Gary Istok
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Excellent. I can't wait!
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    What do these old LEGO 1:87 scale Town Plan era cars all have in common? They're worth over 1000 Euro's each.... as found in my LEGO Collectors Guide.... "Chapter 13 LEGO Sets/Parts Never Put Into Production"

    Actually that first one (the Opel) is especially valuable... sold for $4000 2 years ago... only 7 known to exist.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    And then there's Chapter 12... LEGO promotional items... a picture says a 1000 words...

    With over 5000 historic LEGO images in my 50 years of collecting... you won't find many of these elsewhere... ;-)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,755
    Did that lovely Weetabix set come in a box ?
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    edited January 2012
    The weetabix set did come in a box, apparently someone found one in their loft about 6 months ago. I think there was a thread on it...yep, here we go:
    Pretty damn rare.
    If you want one unboxed, I have a lovely one for sale ;-) Really is an adorable set. I plan to make the black and white with parts someday (but I'd rather put the money towards a GG or something)

    Gary I'm really enjoying all your posts - please keep them coming :)
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited January 2012
    @drdavewatford... here's a pic of that 1589 Weetabix box, as well as the previous 3 Weetabix promotional boxes.... Again from Chapter 12 - LEGO Promotional Items.

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited January 2012
    The 1592 Town Square Set of 1980-83 was a somewhat odd set. Although it was introduced in 1980 as a UK Weetabix cereal promotion... TLG must have had a lot of leftover sets. In 1981-82 a German toy magazine ad mentions that the (UK version) 1592 set was available thru the SPIELZEUG-RING... the German association of small toy store owners in Germany... and with the UK box, instructions, UK flag and English stickers.

    Then in 1983 another 1592 Town Square set was introduced as a Dutch UNILEVER set for UNOX soup. This set contained a Dutch flag and Dutch language stickers.

    However, one Dutch collector, Jeroen Van Dorst, mentioned that he had 2 brothers... so his parents usually bought things in groups of 3... including the UNOX soup promotional LEGO set 1592. Well the unique thing about this was that when the 3 1592 sets arrived from Dutch LEGO... there were 2 Dutch 1592 and 1 English 1592 in the shipping box. So it appears that leftover UK 1592's.... sets that weren't sold in England in 1980, and later weren't sold in Germany in 1981-82... found their way to the Netherlands... mixed in with the Dutch 1592's in 1983.

    One nice thing about the LEGO CD (in this case Chapter 12 - Promotional Sets) is that it gives you these little set and parts historic anecdotes that just aren't available elsewhere...

    Thanks Savage_Steel!

    Gary Istok
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    I've never known someone to be as much of a walking encyclopedia for a subject as you are for LEGO. It blows my mind. I love reading the random facts you bust out with.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited January 2012
    One promotional set that seems to be a mystery is the 1966 Auto Repair Shop of 1985.

    Mystery solved... :-)

    This set was sold as a 1985 Unilever promotional set for UNOX SOUP of the Netherlands, similar as the Netherlands version of 1592 Town Square. And its' name in the ad is "Garage with Auto Transport".

    Since this set has supposedly had some German roots as well... my guess is that leftover sets from the Netherlands promotion may have ended up as a SPIELZEUG-RING set (German association of small toy stores)... available thru German magazine ads. This same scenario was why some 1592 Town Square Sets were available in Germany in the early 1980s.

    Another tidbit from my Chapter 12 - LEGO Promotional Sets, of my new LEGO CD..

    Gary Istok
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    @Odindusk Thank you very much. LEGO longevity and a very large collection helps! ;-)

    I got my first LEGO set as a wee lad in 1960, so I'm now in my 52nd year of being a LEGO nut!

    Also it doesn't hurt to have connections at the LEGO Archives/Collections/Vault. But even there, I often disagree with their archival information. Sometimes info was put into the archives before actual production of some LEGO sets began. And occasionally (for whatever reason)... a change of direction was made by TLG... after the catalogs and archive records were produced.

    When the German Fantasia folks produced their LEGO guide (a very different product than my CD, which is more inclusive)... I was asked to give them backup information for them arguing the case with TLG that the LEGO Archives had some errors.

    Also, the LEGO Archives are kind of "sparse" about LEGO in the 50s and 60s. And they are missing a lot of information about USA/Canada Samsonite sets (Samsonite didn't often bother telling TLG what they were up to)... and also there is little information available in the archives about 1950s LEGO in Norway and Sweden... much of which was produced by A/S Norske LEGO (later name changed to A/S Norske LEGIO) of Oslo Norway, an independent licensee of LEGO products back when there were toy import restrictions in parts of Scandinavia.

    Here's some Norway/Sweden items that TLG has no records of....
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited January 2012
    @drdavewatford You asked and eventually I found it in my historic LEGO image archive.... the box that the 1589 Weetabix set came in! :-)

    Outer shipping box and the MISB set box... (Chapter 12 - LEGO Promotional Items of the LEGO CD).
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,755
    @drdavewatford You asked and eventually I found it in my historic LEGO image archive.... the box that the 1589 Weetabix set came in! :-)
    Good work, Gary ! Now all I need to do is find the set..... boxed I'm afraid, Sav, but thanks for the offer !

  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    Glad to be of assistance Dr. Dave! If there's anyone ever wants an image of boxed or otherwise... I'm sure I have it! Just ask! :-)

    I've even got pics of items that they don't have at the TLG Archives. No fault of their own... it's just that many companies when they're still new, don't keep products or records on hand. This is not unique to TLG at all. After talking to several collectibles book authors... it seems common that many companies go outside the company to get historic information that they don't seem to have much record keeping on...
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    edited January 2012
    One of my all time favorite TLG stories that involves LEGO principal owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen is the 1960s Town Plan boards.

    The first boards were produced in September 1959 (the first LEGO item with the new 1960's "LEGO System" with system in yellow script). These first boards were sold as right driving boards in all of continental Europe, and as a left driving board in Sweden and the UK.

    Then within a year TLG came out with the same identical board(s), but with KKK on the cover just a little older. The board design is 99% identical... but when you look at the details... you see little things that are so very subtle... such as the fact that KKK's hair is different (he has a front curl in the earlier type, he (and the other girl in the image) look a little bit older... their hand positioning of holding LEGO does not exactly match, and the newer board is a cardboard board with a seam in the middle, while the older board is a seamless Masonite version.

    No one ever noticed this until I asked the question of TLG a few years back. And there's no indication from them that this was done. But the picture is the proof. The LEGO photography department (established 1959) called KKK and the blond girl back about nearly a year later... asked them to wear the same shirt/dress and comb their hair the same in order to take the nearly identical image.

    Well the 1959-61 board is rare (low mintage), and the later 1960-68 board is much more common, and was the one used in the continental 810 Town Plan set, as well as sold separately.

    And then there is the much different (town street layout, as well as board top)... UK/Australia board of 1962-67.

    So below is (from right to left)....
    1) the 1959-61 early continental board with young KKK. (Available as right driving EU board, and left driving Swedish/British board).
    2) the 1960-68 later continental board with older KKK (Available as right driving EU board, and left driving Swedish/Japanese board).
    3) the 1961-67 UK/AUS continental board with and even older KKK. (Only available as left driving board).

    Old LEGO... much more complicated than most people realize!

    Gary Istok

    P.S. Images from Chapter 3 LEGO CD - Town Plan Sets & Boards (1955-70.
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