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Classic Space Minifigs

linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
Hi,
I'm trying collect all the original classic space Minifigs in as early moldings as possible. I've read a previous thread on here about torsos etc, so I know what I'm looking for.  I have all 5 colours in new condition (from sealed boxes). The white, red and yellow figures all have hollow torsos (no prongs) and thin chin straps. The blue and black models have small prongs and slightly thicker chin straps which is what you'd expect given the year they were released.

However, I often see the blue and black models advertised on bricklink with thin chin straps. I'm unsure if these helmets have been retrofitted. Has anyone here actually opened a sealed box of a blue or black figure that has a thin strap? Or a completely hollow torso?

I have the feeling the thin chin strap helmet may be original, but I'm doubtful there are hollow torso blue and black minifigs.

Oh and one last thing. I've seen that stickered blue and black torsoed figures have catalog entries on bricklink, but I'm doubtful of their authenticity too as the pictures shows a square sticker on the black minifig and the figures are not associated with any sets...
https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?id=64902

Thanks for any light you can help shed on this.
Owen

Comments

  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 440
    Ok I'm not much of a Classic Space expert, but I do know some about mini-figures of this time period.  Hollow or O type torsos were the first released in 1978.  This were replaced by the short rib or H type torsos a few years later.  Long rib or X type torsos came out in 1998 and are the current kind of torso.  Looking at what years the sets with Classic blue and black spacemen came out I would say these should all be H type torsos.  These would be new torsos in 1984 without any preexisting versions to used up, unlike the red, white or yellow kind.  So all should be the new type.  If you find an X type that's a modern figure and not original to the period.

    I don't know what year they transitioned to the thick chin strap, but I thought it was '86 or '87 (could easily be wrong, so please correct me).  Blue helmets predate blue spacemen and go back to '78.  The supply of thin chin strap helmets would have to be used up first.  So the thin chin straps on the blue spacemen would easily be original.  Not sure on the black.  I thought black helmets predated black spacemen, but I'm not finding any.  It goes all back to when the transition took place.

    As for the stickers, they came with an idea book (no idea which one).  I've run into parts that have weird or non set existent stickers on them.  They are nearly always idea book stickers.  Because the stickers are genuine, the parts genuine and an its an official sanctioned use, I say it's authentic. 


    datsunrobbie
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,720
    The oldest Ideas Book I have is #6000 and it is dated 1980. There are quite a bit of Classic Space within the book as well as stickers, but no Classic Space symbol stickers. There are no Classic Space stickers at all in Idea Books #200 1985 or #260 1990 at least to my knowledge, so I don't know where a Classic Space sticker would come from?
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 440
    These are the stickers.  Bricklink wasn't any help with where it came from.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 397
    Could the stickers have come from the very first space sets- maybe only the first production run? I believe most (all?) of the earliest town figures were stickered; perhaps the first (red and white) space minifigs came with stickers... and someone later used these stickers to make their own black space figure? 
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,720
    ^That's an interesting point. Yeah, the first Police, Coast Guard, Classic Castle and Fire Minifigures were all stickeed, but they were paper stickers; I wouldn't think the trans-clear stickers are from that era. 
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    These are the stickers.  Bricklink wasn't any help with where it came from.
    Great find! There was one set there in mint condition. I bought them straight away. I was coming to the conclusion that they might be transparent stickers, but I have had a hard time finding vintage stickers on bricklink.  The only ones I have are from sticker books 200 and 6000 and some red space torso stickers.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,199
    edited June 12
    From what I remember of my #590 the torso stickers for the firemen were the same shape as the torso. Those stickers look square to me, so they may not be for Minifigures.
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    edited June 12
    @LusiferSam Thanks for the long detailed reply. It looks like thick chin straps were 86 or before as I have a sealed set (6702) of classic space minifigs from 1986 which all have thick chin straps.

    For me the figure is only authentic if the sticker was intended for use on that minifig. So the girl with the red spotted torso from idea book 6000 is authentic, but the same stickers used on a space figure would not be authentic. Looking at the usage of the transparent planet sticker it seems they have only been applied to blue and black minifigs, so I'm guessing this was their intended usage. As @560Heliport suggested these may have been used in very early production runs, when the printed torso was not yet available. I'd guess in the case of the yellow spaceman the torsos were always available as there are no stickered versions - unless anyone has seen one? Now I have the stickers, I could always create one, just for symmetry! XD
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    edited June 12
    Pitfall69 said:
    ^That's an interesting point. Yeah, the first Police, Coast Guard, Classic Castle and Fire Minifigures were all stickeed, but they were paper stickers; I wouldn't think the trans-clear stickers are from that era. 
    Thanks for your comments Pitfall.  What I'd give to get hold of one of those coast guard figures in new condition! They are only available in that one set and no new ones ever come up. Even if one did come up, I probably couldn't bring myself to open the sealed package just for a minifig. Stickered torsos from the early mini figures are very high on my wants list. The problem is nearly all of them have tatty stickers on them.
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    If anyone can point me to early (1986 or earlier), very good or mint condition torso stickers, I'd be most appreciative. Stickers could be on torsos, in sets or separate. 
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,072
    Ah, but has your white space dude got smooth or seamed legs?  Obviously not mint condition here, but then we did give him a lot of use...


    FowlerBricksmak0137GothamConstructionCoMr_CrossFizyxcatwrangler
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    Smooth :) I was just searching for the thread that discussed that so I could loop in the guy who is researching this stuff.
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
  • LittleLoriLittleLori CanadaMember Posts: 87
    Fascinating discussion both here and on the other links-thank you
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 138
    The CS stickers were issued by TLG customer service when buyers complained of the gold rubbing off too easily. This was only for the early red/white minifigs and only in the US

    Since the blue/black CS minifigs are somewhat rarer, but blank torsos not, I guess someone just used the stickers for those as well
    madforLEGOBrickByBrick
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 138
    I'm not entirely sure were I picked up that piece of info, so take it with a pinch of salt

    There's also this sticker :


    And this discussion :


    Cheers,

    Ole


    madforLEGO
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    Oh cool, thanks for the insider knowledge.  How do you know this? Do you work for Lego?
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 138
    edited June 12
    Also, looking at all the minifigs from 1978 I can only find a few that might not be stickered (like the train dude from set 166/167 and the policeman). From 1979 on onwards, printed torsos became the norm
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 138
    Lugnet :


    So, please disregard my first comment as it seems to be rather unfounded

  • buildalotbuildalot Pennsylvania, USAMember Posts: 31
    Looks like we're talking stickers now, but if you need more data points here are some photos from set #6891: 







    Helmet has a thick chin strap with dimples. The set is from 1985. 

    (I happened upon a stash of 70's and 80's unopened bags a couple of years ago. Had a blast figuring out which bags belonged to which set.) 
    Mr_CrossFizyxbandit778mak0137FowlerBricks
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    Useful to know. That set is one year earlier (1985) than the one I had, so it could be thick chin straps were introduced earlier than we thought.
    buildalot
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,054
    Been busy.... but I agree with the Lugnet comments.  many early space sets had stickered minifigs.

    But don't try to determine exact years for when things changed over... that's the problem with TLG... even when things changed (stickered vs. printed), as long as there was old inventory left over... it was used up.... remember TLG never threw anything away!!  So both types of minifigs could have been sold together at the same time... in the same set numbers.

    The same thing with the chin straps.  Even when new thicker straps were first produced... all the old inventory thin chin straps were used up.  So some sets could contain the old type, while others could contain the new thicker type at the same time.

    Another weird one is the 383/6083 Knight's Tournament set.  When the first 383 sets were introduced in 1979 (outside of the USA)... the red 383 tournament flags were printed.  By the time the same set was introduced as 6083 in the USA in 1981, only flags with a sticker sheet were used.  Eventually the 383 sets (outside of the USA) switched over to the stickered flags... but that could have been earlier than 1981, when they were introduced only with stickers in the USA.

    TLG never made things easy to figure out!   ........LEGO Mayhem!
    madforLEGOoldtodd33The_Rancor
  • ANDYK48ANDYK48 CYPRUSMember Posts: 3

    Classic Space minifigures with square translucent stickers on the torso do exist. Take for example set 6980 that came out on 1983 and contained 5 minifigures. 2 White, 2 Yellow and one Red. The white ones had a translucent square sticker on the torso.

  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 440
    I've been looking into the helmet issue.  Black classic helmet aren't real common, they were only sold for for 4 years in 12 sets (if I counted correct and the inventories are correct).  Only light gray helmets are rarer.  So the fact that both thick and thin chin straps are readily available in the secondary market means both saw a regular released in sets. They weren't a prototype that leaked or otherwise magically appear in say Germany.

    This means sets that were produced earlier would have had the thin chin straps and sets that were produced later would have had thick chin straps.  Now I'm talking about when they were produced, not the original release dates.  Remember sets were sold for a couple of years in the 80s, so there would be a multiply production runs of all these sets.  That means one set could have one type of helmet in one run and other in the next run.  As Istokg said Lego never threw anything away.

    In the end this is a super long winded way of saying it doesn't matter with any of the Classic Spacemen (red, white, yellow, blue or black) as to what kind of helmet they have, thick or thin chin strap, as long as it is a classic helmet and not a modern type.  It's more likely that mini-figures from early sets would have thin chin straps and mini-figures from later sets would have thick chin straps.

  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    Thanks @LusiferSam @Istokg
    I agree it doesn't matter which exact year a part changed.  The only reason I want to know is so that I have a better chance of getting the part I am looking for if I buy a sealed set.  This is because I'm collecting the figure, not the set. It's sacrilege I know, but I do collect sets too. It's just nice to have a pristine collection of the earliest minifigures ever produced.


  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    @ANDYK48 That's very interesting to hear! I'm still undecided as to what I'm going to do with my transparent stickers yet. Maybe I'll leave them on the sheet as they are in perfect condition and there are already lots of stickered spacemen around.
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    1974 said:
    Also, looking at all the minifigs from 1978 I can only find a few that might not be stickered (like the train dude from set 166/167 and the policeman). From 1979 on onwards, printed torsos became the norm
    @1974
    Yes, they're mainly from 1978, apart from the classic spacemen which have now be reclassified as released in 1979 according to bricklink.  There are 20 stickered minifigs from 78-79 as far as I can tell.
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
     I've just managed to aquire an on-the-sheet sticker for the coast guard. Only 11 more figures to go!
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,151
    ANDYK48 said:

    Classic Space minifigures with square translucent stickers on the torso do exist. Take for example set 6980 that came out on 1983 and contained 5 minifigures. 2 White, 2 Yellow and one Red. The white ones had a translucent square sticker on the torso.

       No, they didn't according to BL inventories. I would like to see proof of your comment please. 
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 440
    Bricklink (or Peeron or Brickset) inventories are not the gospel truth.  People make mistakes.  Sometimes the mistakes get noticed right away and are corrected.  Sometimes they don't.  I think most people make a good faith effort in making a accurate inventories, but some are remarkable poor at it.

    Inventories after 1999 tend to be the most accurate and are the ones I trust the most.  1978-1999 are generally good, but alternative and substituted parts are often missed. Sometimes the wrong sub-type of parts are used. 1972-1978 are less accurate and often have wrong sub-types.  1962-1972 I largely don't trust.  1956-1962 is even worse and anything early than 1956 is totally meaningless.  These are oversights rather than malice. 

    Proof, either way, is always best.

    mithridate
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,151
    ^ I still say they didn't come from the factory with transparent stickers. I have at least one hundred of the classic space figures (probably upwards of two hundred) and have never seen a transparent sticker before. 
  • ANDYK48ANDYK48 CYPRUSMember Posts: 3
    oldtodd33 said:
    ANDYK48 said:

    Classic Space minifigures with square translucent stickers on the torso do exist. Take for example set 6980 that came out on 1983 and contained 5 minifigures. 2 White, 2 Yellow and one Red. The white ones had a translucent square sticker on the torso.

       No, they didn't according to BL inventories. I would like to see proof of your comment please. 

    I have the set I originally bought as a child and the white spacemen came with square translucent stickers for the torso. I do not know what BL inventories say, but my set which as I said I originally bought came with stickers.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,151
    edited June 14
    ANDYK48 said:
    oldtodd33 said:
    ANDYK48 said:

    Classic Space minifigures with square translucent stickers on the torso do exist. Take for example set 6980 that came out on 1983 and contained 5 minifigures. 2 White, 2 Yellow and one Red. The white ones had a translucent square sticker on the torso.

       No, they didn't according to BL inventories. I would like to see proof of your comment please. 

    I have the set I originally bought as a child and the white spacemen came with square translucent stickers for the torso. I do not know what BL inventories say, but my set which as I said I originally bought came with stickers.
        Pictures please. How old were you when you got it? And what year?
  • workshybumworkshybum UKMember Posts: 64
    edited June 14
    Hi folks,

    Sorry to slightly threadjack, but it’s kind of on topic.

    I just found a bag of dusty old Lego in a charity shop around the corner. It looked like it had some classic space in it so I thought I’d buy it and see what was there. 

    There’s quite a mishmash of pieces and I’ve yet to identify any complete sets, but I did find these two guys:



    The red guy is obviously of the stickered variety, he has an O type torso, seemless legs, solid stud head and thin chin strap helmet. I’m thinking he’s all genuine from 1979, but the helmet doesn’t have the Lego logo stamped inside. Is that normal from this era?

    The yellow guy is a bit different. The black hips are obviously not supposed to be there. The torso is very crisp with no fading of the logo and the helmet is the bigger modern type with the more rounded back (see picture).



    The crisps torso and modern helmet point towards him being the newer sp007new from 2009 (https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?M=sp007new) except he has a solid stud head (could have been swapped) and the torso is the older H type which I thought was phased out in the late 90s in favour of today’s X type.  

    I guess my question is, do we think this guy is a well
    looked after 80s figure with a new helmet, or a 2009 figure with an old head? Did the 2009 reissue figures have the H or X type torso?

    Thanks
    mithridate
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,151
    The 2009 torso had the x type. The figure you have is 80's with the wrong helmet and legs. Nice torso though. 
    madforLEGOworkshybumgmonkey76
  • ANDYK48ANDYK48 CYPRUSMember Posts: 3
    oldtodd33 said:
    ANDYK48 said:
    oldtodd33 said:
    ANDYK48 said:

    Classic Space minifigures with square translucent stickers on the torso do exist. Take for example set 6980 that came out on 1983 and contained 5 minifigures. 2 White, 2 Yellow and one Red. The white ones had a translucent square sticker on the torso.

       No, they didn't according to BL inventories. I would like to see proof of your comment please. 

    I have the set I originally bought as a child and the white spacemen came with square translucent stickers for the torso. I do not know what BL inventories say, but my set which as I said I originally bought came with stickers.
        Pictures please. How old were you when you got it? And what year?
    I was 10 years old when I got the set in 1983 if I can recall :) and I live in Cyprus.

    Here are the photos. I was mistaken. The yellow ones came with the sticker not the white ones. It's been a long time since I last revisited the set :)



    omniumoldtodd33LittleLorigmonkey76dmcc0Fizyxbuildalotmithridatecatwrangler
  • linzellolinzello LondonMember Posts: 22
    That makes much more sense, since the white ones came with white torso shaped stickers.  It looks like the transparent stickers didn't come out until the 80s and were used for early production runs of the later yellow, blue and black figures. This answers the question I had earlier when I suggested some yellow figures might have transparent stickers even though they aren't on bricklink.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,469
    A couple of the yellow figures on BL also note that they have a sticker ...


  • Tom79Tom79 Member Posts: 7
    So that's why we had that yellow spaceman with sticker! Came in #6826 Crater Crawler, and he was the only one in our entire collection with the space logo on a transparent sticker.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 9,960
    And we complain about stickers now... imagine if there were non-printed Spacemen released in 2018.  Mayham!  There'd be mayham!
    gmonkey76davetheoxygenmanMynattFizyx
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