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Advertising materials from 1955

drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,734
edited April 2012 in Ambassador
One of my fellow Ambassadors posted a link to some ancient LEGO advertising materials on the Ambassador forum. They apparently date back to 1955.

You can take a look by clicking on the link below - interesting stuff ! You can enlarge the individual images to take a closer look by clicking on them.


  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    Beautiful, the cartoons are so lively and I love the Mosaik pages!

    Would be amusing to put the instructions on pages 8/9 in front of a kid today and see what happened.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    That link is to the website of one of my LEGO acquaintances Dave Shifflett (of California). This is a Danish 1955-56 Ideas Brochure. Back then TLG produced bricks with slots in the sides for holding early classic windows/doors in place (they had "wings" on the sides, and no studs on top).

    The switch to non-slotted bricks happened in 1956, when the regular classic windows/doors were introduced (with studs on top). Then in 1958 another brick change allowed for tubes on the bottom of the bricks.

    The Mosaik sets (1300 and 1301) were a short lived unpopular 1955-56 series that were soon discontinued. Notice the HO trains... TLG promoted the use of LEGO with HO scale trains in their idea brochures and catalogs from 1955-57... but this was soon discontinued.

    In 1955 LEGO was only sold in 3 countries... Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    Wow that is timeless fun. I like the lady planning the apartment building layout best.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    One of the things that is not easily apparent in this 1955 ideas booklet is that there were 2 window/door sizes at that time. There were the tall classic windows/doors that were 4 studs high for the door & Panorama window and 3 studs high for all the other windows.... and then there were the classic windows/doors that were 3 studs high for the door & Panorama window and 2 studs high for all the other windows.

    Plus these were available in red, white, blue, and dark blue. Some very rare examples are known in yellow (Sweden) and in green (Norway).

    Here are some blue and dark blue examples in both sizes...
  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
    Those buildings actually have a pretty sweet mid-mod/Scan-mod look that might be hard to replicate with today's LEGO. I'm impressed. What a difference 60 years makes, and different is not always better.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    edited May 2012
    Two years after the 1955 Danish Ideas Book came out the next ideas book was a German one of 1957. By this time the modern classic windows/doors (1956-86) were introduced. The ones pictured in 5 shades of blue above didn't have studs on the windows, and depended on the "wings" on the sides to fit into the slotted bricks, which were discontinued in 1956.

    So in 1956 the red and white modern classic windows/doors were introduced. However the artwork in this 1957 catalog was produced by artists that didn't realize that blue windows were NOT going to be part of this new system of windows, and so we see some blue windows/doors... when actually none of these ever made it into production.

    This booklet continues the interesting architecture that was shown in the 1955 Danish book, but HO scale trains are no longer shown in any LEGO brochures or idea books. Also, the cartoon on the last page reads in German... "Mom... when's Dad going to bed?".....

    Then next major ideas book after the 1955 Danish and 1957 German booklets is the first actually numbered idea book... the1960 introduced #238 "Idea Book No.1"... (released in many European languages)... later known in Britain as "Building Ideas Book No.2" and "Building Ideas Book No.3"... both different booklets actually fall under the 238 number.

    Below are 4 of the many different covers to the 1960-63 versions of the #238 Idea Book. These are discussed (ad nauseum) in Chapter 43 of my LEGO DVD... "LEGO IDEA BOOKS/BOOKLETS 1950-73".
  • I wish I had one :D although it would be impossible :(
  • tchan5158tchan5158 Member Posts: 7
    Thanks for the link to the past :D Are these LEGOs where they haven't invented the tight locking studs yet?

    I watched
    and they mentioned the earlier ones weren't that secure, and can fall apart when you tilt them (like when the child built the rocket ship and it fell over).
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    Wow... can't believe this hasn't been aged off.... ;-)

    To answer the question.... from 1949-56 LEGO bricks had slots on the sides (to hold the early windows/doors in place).... and from 1956-58 the slots disappeared, but they were still hollow bottom, until January 1958 when the tube-bottom brick patent was introduced!

    Here's an example of the 1949-56 (no LEGO on studs) and 1956-58 earliest bricks, but in a rare trans-clear color. Yes.... the buildings would fall apart easily using these bricks!
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    Also.... here's some very old UK advertising material from 1960-65 that I have dug up....

    1st a 1960-61 "Legoland" UK cartoon (there was no Legoland until 1968!).

    2nd a 1963-64 "Wanted Poster"... showing an early LEGO London Bus, and 3 buildings...

    3rd a closeup of this "Wanted Poster".... by golly that is an early PALACE THEATRE!! :-)

    4th a 1965 era Kellogg's ad for LEGO blueprints for a LEGO robot...

    All of these show the name of the company that had the UK (and also Ireland and Australia) LEGO license.... namely Courtauld's Corp. They relinquished it in 1992, whe TLG bought the license back, and LEGO production at the Wrexham Wales Courtauld plant ceased.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    "The gay film on TV shows more exciting models"
    Well I gotta see that :D

    On a more serious note... Is this the first recorded use of the name Legoland?
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    Hi Caperberry! Yes it's the earliest occurrence that I could find for the word. I wonder if someone at TLG Billund saw that British LEGO Ltd. ad...and said... "hmmm what if...." ;-)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,526
    I like the second one ... build a complete town, houses, shops, offices, petrol filling stations, highways, everything.

    Not a single mention of police and fire stations!
  • roxioroxio UKMember Posts: 1,383
    edited September 2014
    I have the lego blueprints in pretty good condition - are they rare?
  • TLGTLG Member Posts: 125
    roxio said:

    I have the lego blueprints in pretty good condition - are they rare?

    I will buy them from you...
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,359
    Talk about reopening an old thread...   :p

    The LEGO blueprints were only ever sold by British LEGO Ltd. in Britain, Ireland and Australia.

    Here's one of the LEGO blueprints from my LEGO Collectors Guide... (found in the chapter on LEGO Idea Books)... it shows how to build a windmill.

    The blue prints were found in mid 1960s British LEGO catalogs....

    And they were also available in British Kellogg's cereal ads at the time, this one was for building a spaceman...

    From British LEGO retailers the blueprints were 1 Penny each, but with British Kellogg's cereal purchases they were free.

    There were 4 available... but all I have is thumbnail images of them...

    The 4 blueprints were for building a windmill, a London bus, a spaceman, and a house.
  • LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138
    Loved reading this thread. Thanks
  • Bored_TrooperBored_Trooper Dorset UKMember Posts: 1
    Funnily enough I came across this thread while trying to research the lego blueprints! I recently acquired the full set of 4, and wanted to know more.. this thread was really useful!
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,778
    Do you have any better quality images of that Astronaut? I really like the look of him.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 549
    Oh no, the original link in the OP is broken, can anyone get another? Also, those blueprints are cool, although slightly mind numbing compared to modern color instructions. 
    Bored_Trooper said:
    Funnily enough I came across this thread while trying to research the lego blueprints! I recently acquired the full set of 4, and wanted to know more.. this thread was really useful!
    Care to share photos?
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 644
    Thanks @Istokg for sharing all these!  
  • hicksmustonhicksmuston GuildfordMember Posts: 6
    I had all four blueprints as a child - I even saved up my pocket money to get a box of blue roof bricks for the boat house.  They're a bit worn nowadays but still able to make all four - 
  • hicksmustonhicksmuston GuildfordMember Posts: 6
  • hicksmustonhicksmuston GuildfordMember Posts: 6
    boat house

  • hicksmustonhicksmuston GuildfordMember Posts: 6
    London bus

  • hicksmustonhicksmuston GuildfordMember Posts: 6

  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 549
    The windmill doesn't seem to be loading.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 745
    Awesome @hicksmuston thanks for uploading. Can you re-de the Windmill please if you have time.

    Thanks :-)
  • hicksmustonhicksmuston GuildfordMember Posts: 6

  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 549
    Just noticed you are missing the "cosmic ray regenerator". Also, does the light in the boathouse still work?
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