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Dark Ages

legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
edited June 2011 in Collecting
Does anyone have any stories or pics of their Dark Ages?

I'm just coming out of mine now and have had my childhood collection in deep storage in my mum's attic for 20, 25 years. Discovering my stash again recently, I felt like Howard Carter stumbling on Tutankhamun's tomb! Thought you might like to see all my precious original boxed Town/City and Space from the late 1970s and 1980s waiting to be unpacked, built and adored once again. Soon... very soon...


  • StuBoyStuBoy Member Posts: 623
    My wife got me out of my Dark Ages when she bought me some LEGO for christmas about 3 years ago. I had made a comment to her after seeing some little castle sets how awesome it would be to just buy a whole bunch and create an army, so she did! Then I went through my entire childhood collection and built all my old castle sets, then started buying some online, then found Bricklink, and the rest is history! Now I'm starting on my old Pirate sets!
  • Halberd777Halberd777 Member Posts: 32
    ^ Funny that was close to the same thing for me last Christmas. My wife was complaining about what present to get for me. We were in Target and we walked by the Troll's Mountain Fortress. I pointed to that set and told her she could get that for me. She made a huge deal out of it being for kids and we went on. Little did I know she bought it for me that very night. Now I have continued the collection of castle while my kids have started with the space sets.
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    My last dark ages was probably around around 5-6 years ago. I had a monster collection and sold it all. My wife and I had a smaller house at the time and we were starting a family so we needed all the room and money we could get.

    I've avoided the Lego section in stores for years because I knew how easily it would pull me back in. We bought a new (and larger) house about 2 years ago. Right around that time I broke down and bought the Medieval Market and now 80% of my office is filled with Lego toys.
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Welcome out of the dark ages.... walk towards the light.....

    Legohair.... those boxes may make you feel like Howard Carter... but I feel like Lord Carnarvon... dying to see what's inside (ops, shouldn't have said dying... didn't he get "offed" by an insect bite...)

    My dark ages were soooooo long ago... they seemed like the dark ages... 1968=77.... back then the LEGO instructions were in hieroglyphics... ;-)
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca Member Posts: 618
    ^Would those really count as "Dark" ages, then, lstokg? The sets were especially primitive and the minifigure hadn't even been created yet. Seems like that time period for you ended just as a new golden age for Lego was beginning!
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    Actually the first golden age of LEGO was from circa 1956-65, during the Town Plan years. This was especially true for the years 1960-65. No LEGO set of the 20th century could compare with the detail and beauty of the 810 Town Plan set (see 1st image). And when it came to specialty parts the LEGO cars and accessories (especially the trees and flags) make today's LEGO parts seem absolutely primitive by comparison (see 2nd image). These were of model railroading quality.

    However, the introduction of the first LEGO wheels in 1962 and first LEGO trains in 1966 started a slide into what I would agree were the "primitive years". The first LEGO model cars/trucks/trains were not the best. Eventually they got better....

    But when you compare the trees and other accessories of the designer sets today... they provide (in some instances) another slide in to the primitive...
  • legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
    Thanks Istokg. The light is now blinding me... and I like it. I'll have my Lord Canarvon moment soon (opening, not dying!).

    I'm a town planner by profession so I'm in love with the early Town Plan stuff. I have the fragmentary remains of one of the sets - a shell petrol tanker, some (broken) flags and road signs, a couple of those tiny petrol pumps, an 'automatic' flip-up garage door kit, and some red vintage windows. Probably some bricks too. All given to me by an older boy down the street - more fool him. Precious...

    I agree it was an early golden age that we tend to forget about but, for me, the change in scale is what makes today's Town/City system so awesome. And the minifigs. I'm with Lord_Mayorca on that one. But really? You don't like the sculptural trees of today?! Not the lolipop ones, but the realistic ones built up from branches like those from Bricktivity? I guess it's a choice between a 'model' and a 'built model'. I just love the inventiveness of them.

    So, have you got me a spare #810 for, oh... I don't know... twenty quid?! ;-)
  • TheBigGuyTheBigGuy Member Posts: 69
    I'm guessing that by "dark ages" you guys mean having your collections in storage rather than on display?
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    no, dark ages is when a person gets away from collecting LEGO. Usually do to family, work, school or even just financial reasons. I guess some people do have their stuff stored then, but that is the technical definition.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    I came out of the 'Dark Ages' in about 98-99 after finding my brother and I's Legos in a box... Freaked out when I saw my 6377 Delivery sign sticker for the building..beat to hell.. and the magic marker I used on the 1 x 4 x 3 Police windows in that command vehicle....That was wrenching but at least the TV Antenna for the 6384 was still there intact... I still have all the parts in a bin for the the smaller town sets I still have to go through... Plus over the years I have gotten the sets I had as a child in lots I have purchase (and most of the sets I wanted as a child)
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited June 2011
    @TheBigGuy: Not sure if the above is spoken tongue-in-cheek, but in case it isn't: "Dark Ages" is the term for the gap of time in a person's life when they stop playing with LEGO before re-engaging in it (re-discovering the "light"). Typically this is during adolescence -- when we stop playing with toys in general -- and return some time later in adulthood when we realize that LEGO is much more than a toy and not strictly juvenile.
  • TheBigGuyTheBigGuy Member Posts: 69
    @pantenkind & @ racao. Thanks for that. I hadn't heard the term before so I was curious as to what you meant. Now it all makes sense.

    My Dark Ages lasted from about 12-13 until I started collecting when I was about 20, when the Star Wars Lego first came out.
  • legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
    I seem to have had such a long Dark Age! How depressing! Mine has gone from c1988 (18, left home, boxed-up away) to, well, now. 23, 24 years.

    I kept my end in by playing with the godchildren's bricks and buying the odd tiny set now and again, but LEGO left my consciousness altogether for many years (gasp). I reckon it was my trip to Billund two years ago (coincidental, was in Malmo, saw how close it was, went) that re-lit my light.

    I've missed so much!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    edited June 2011
    I would LOVE to know how many wives unwittingly brought their husbands out of their LEGO Dark Ages.... Knowing my love of Star Wars, my wife bought me the LEGO Death Star for Christmas a few years ago, which I fell in love with. It prompted an almost catastrophic (in financial terms) 'arms race' as I obsessively strove to buy up all the LEGO Star Wars sets, and that in turn lead to the aquisition of modulars, trains, Indiana Jones, classic LEGOLAND sets and the rest.

    As she surveys our house, now struggling to contain my LEGO collection, I bet she rues the day she ever bought me that Death Star....
  • StuBoyStuBoy Member Posts: 623
    ^ I think my wife feels the same! She used to just roll her eyes but now she gets quite annoyed when I buy a set. I've recently started collecting good city sets for my son when he's older. But he probably won't be interested and just want to play with my Star Wars ones like he does now.
  • bkprbkpr Member Posts: 295
    @drdavewatford — A Death Star brought me out of my 'dark age' (only weeks ago), but I didn't have one bought for me unfortunately. I was pretty excited about where Lego had got to once I started researching. I found this forum,, bricklink etc and was astounded at the quality of MOCs and how they were being built! I wrote a post about it on my website:

    Since then, I've purchased a few things, all but one of which are in the (international) mail as I type: Motorised AT-AT, Death Star, (used) UCS Star Destroyer, as well as some extra parts for Star Destroyer customisation, swivelling stand for Death Star, and finally the pieces for Larry's power loader from Aliens:[email protected]/3633300781/in/photostream

    Only the AT-AT's arrived, so I have some epic building to do in the next few weeks/months. I honestly thought it would stop at the AT-AT.

    My wife *sort of* approves of it all.
    (She's less approving of the place I've picked out to display the Star Destroyer)

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    ^ You are going to have an epic few weeks as these great sets start to arrive - enjoy !
  • andheandhe Member Posts: 3,914
    That's a great blog article (is there a proper term? Blogicle?) I'm sure it describes a lot of AFOL's rediscovering of their love of Lego. For me it started when I saw a small Castle Dwarf set...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    I mercifully have a GF who allows me my Lego obsession.. I knew when she looked at my 'Lego room' (formerly a dining room) and did not go..."ohh...' I knew I was ok :-)
    Although since the room only looks slightly less like a Lego truck exploded in there I'm not sure if she feels the same way.. I think she has the wanting need to organize it all but I already told her no.. there is a method to my madness, and organizing it all would throw that out of
  • bkprbkpr Member Posts: 295
    @andhe Thanks! I was really excited as I was writing! Also, Blarticle?
  • llanowarsoldierllanowarsoldier Member Posts: 357
    I came out of my dark ages back in 2009 after a loooooooong hiatus. The last set I had bought was in 1999. What got me back into Lego's was the Creator Beach House. So basically I ended up missing some cooler sets that came out like a year before. Also at the time Cafe Corner was still available but I didn't know that sets got "retired". So I passed on it for the Town Plan and GG. Of course 1 month later CC was no longer available...still kick myself for that. But since then I have dropped a MASSIVE amount on Lego's in the last 2.5 years.

    Unfortunately with a lack of a job at this time and unless LEgo "wows" us with some cool stuff next year for city I will more than likely cut back big time or go on hiatus again until i am more financially stable.
  • dimefielddimefield Member Posts: 314
    My dark age ended when my parents moved to a smaller home and shipped my lego to me to save space. Rebuilding my old formula one car and some of the classic space sets really took me back. I couldnt wait to buy my children Lego (and help build it of course) but they lost interest and it was all shoved into a few large rubber totes. Two summers ago when they were off visiting their Mother i spent the summer digging out the old instruction books and searching for parts. Once i had finished that project I started buying myself new sets, collecting, sorting, of the story seems to be far from unusual!
  • ThisIsMyCupThisIsMyCup Member Posts: 156
    My dark ages started with the time cruisers theme. i remember getting a set and thinking they just used parts of every theme to make a really crappy set/vehicle, apparently lego had ran out of ideas. I didnt buy any lego until Speeder Bikes 7128.... and then nothing else until 7781 two face's escape. i bought that on clearance and never had the chance to get any of the other batman sets, which im still extremely disappointed about. My next purchase was 7641 City Corner and i have collected almost every city set released since...although i was i had found out about the modular buildings much sooner.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    edited June 2011
    I came out of my dark ages back in 2009 after a loooooooong hiatus. The last set I had bought was in 1999. What got me back into Lego's was the Creator Beach House. So basically I ended up missing some cooler sets that came out like a year before. Also at the time Cafe Corner was still available but I didn't know that sets got "retired". So I passed on it for the Town Plan and GG. Of course 1 month later CC was no longer available...still kick myself for that. But since then I have dropped a MASSIVE amount on Lego's in the last 2.5 years.

    Unfortunately with a lack of a job at this time and unless LEgo "wows" us with some cool stuff next year for city I will more than likely cut back big time or go on hiatus again until i am more financially stable.
    I feel your pain.. I was out of work round 99-2000 and had to sell a lot of my 1st year Star Wars Legos to make some cash while I was out of work... That was before I realized that Lego would eventually redo most of those sets.

  • ToymakerToymaker Member Posts: 19
    It was 10199 Winter Toy Shop that brought me out of my Dark Ages in 2009 after 20 years. Another wife-bought present on Christmas Day 2009. By New Year's Day I was up my parents' loft digging out my childhood collection from 1980-89. By the end of January the Ebay sets were coming through thick and fast and this continues to this day. I've focussed on "completing" the classic town collection I had as a kid, with a few additions from the modern City range, although I find the modern sets, although better designed, do not really suit (in terms of scale) the original Town Lego from the 1980s.

    It has also been helpful to have young children also now at the right age for Lego - ages 5 and 3. I can always claim it's an investment for their future ;-)

    It must be said that Brickset has been instrumental in stoking this madness !
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,362
    There's several types of "coming out of the Dark Ages".... one is the kind where your parents gave away all your childhood LEGO... the better kind is where they simply stored it away.

    Probably the most poignant coming out of the Dark Ages happened to Portuguese LEGO acquaintance Joao Mimosa. His story is very touching, and what I love best about it is that it give us one of those rare "time capsule" moments of LEGO sold in a particular country... in this case Portugal.

    LEGO sales started in Portugal in the last half of 1957 (many years before it came to Spain in 1965)... and Joao gives us a snapshot of what LEGO parts packs were like that were sold in Portugal. Back in the late 1950s many countries had LEGO parts packs in the local language. Portugal was not one of them. They started with the universal "LEGO System" (possibly the first to do so). And interestingly enough, some of the spare parts packs sold in Portugal, had Swiss language (bilingual German-French) boxes.

    Check it out... a Dark Ages spaning nearly 50 years....
  • legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
    Poignant indeed, that his mother would remember his passion for the toy and have the secret foresight to keep it for him... Lovely story bringing a bit of LEGO history to life.
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu Member Posts: 368
    edited June 2011
    ...What got me back into Lego's was the Creator Beach House. So basically I ended up missing some cooler sets that came out like a year before. Also at the time Cafe Corner was still available but I didn't know that sets got "retired". So I passed on it for the Town Plan and GG. Of course 1 month later CC was no longer available...still kick myself for that...
    It could be worse! Having sold all my (and my brother's) childhood LEGO to fund some late teenage need. [Oh boy, I keep seeing 60s and 70s sets on here that I used to own, but is another story!] I was also brought out of my Dark Ages by the Creator Beach House, it just appealed to my architectural interests and looked very playable for future children so I bought it and put it away. However I didn't grab Town Plan or any of the modulars thinking I'd pick them up in a few years when I had some more free cash [D'oh!]. Now the child has arrived so a lot of my purchases are really for him and I'm otherwise being fairly selective and just picking up items that I know I'll kick myself for later if I don't get them now.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    I got back into LEGO late last year thanks to the son of a friend of mine. I was so happy that I had held on to my LEGO, so it was waiting for me.
  • GalidorneveragainGalidorneveragain Member Posts: 89
    I have a lego 'pile' which consists of some quite old lego passed down to me.But I really never bought a lego set until 2005. I had the orignal ARC-170 Starfighter,Clone Scout Walker and one of the Dino sets,ofcourse I lost the pieces it wasnt until I was blessed with the Clone Turbo Tank(in 2006) which finally got me interested into lego Star Wars. I then started collecting lego Star Wars massively in 2007.But then in 2008 and 2009(especially)I experienced a slight dark age where I got less sets,coincidentally the Clone Wars sets came out, hmm slight correlation there.In 2010 I started to become more interested in Star Wars again .2011 has noted the biggest change in my lego buying habits as I have made the decision to quit Star Wars and branch across to other themes such as Pharoahs Quest,Pirates of the Caribbean and maybe Castle.I will still buy the odd Star Wars set but not as much.
  • dimefielddimefield Member Posts: 314
    Just bought a 35 lb bin of loose lego from a 21 year old that said it was time to get rid of his lego... welcome to your dark age i said
  • legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
    ^ Ha! Oh how he'll regret that... His rennaissance will come. :P
  • NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
    Although there were a couple years in the mid 90's during which I did not do a lot with or add much to my collection, I'd say never really had a dark age. My Lego bricks were the only toys from childhood that I never sold, and I have at least one set released from every year from 1975 to present. Now that I have kids I don't expect this streak to ever be broken and look forward to turning them into Lego fans.
  • streekerstreeker Member Posts: 299
    If the Dark Ages refers to that interum dust period between collecting Lego, I didn't have a Dark Ages either. Historically speaking, it was more like Chaos, before the universe formed from bits of stardust. We didn't have much money growing up, so although I loved lego, coveted lego, begged for lego, I knew the light wasn't going to come from my parents' wallet. My first set was in 2007, Holiday Train because 1) my family had just started, and 2) true to my roots, it was half off.
  • That_LEGO_GuyThat_LEGO_Guy Member Posts: 3
    I own 187 sets (177 different) and the my sets page has piece counts for 156 of them, I own 27656 pieces! and retail prices for 160 of them with a total retail value of US$3667.
    So I don't wan't to go into a Dark age, can someone help?
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    Id highly recommend having a dark age and filling it with girls, 24h partys and the like. When it gets boring, come back to lego
  • war44lockwar44lock Member Posts: 75
    ^My word that is like the best advice I've ever seen given to any one at any time, and all in just a line and a half. Brilliant :p
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva Member Posts: 542
    I had a few castle sets and a few space sets as a child. We also had little money and my Lego interest conflicted with my SW obsession. Then my older brother sold all his Lego at a garage sale, and so I sold mine too...except for the castle stuff, which just went in a box downstairs. A small Dark Age, then I worked for Target, in Toys, in high school and bought a few things, then Star Wars Legos arrived, and I bought all the OT stuff in 1999. Another poor grad student Dark Age ensued. And now that I have two boys and the oldest has given a whiff of Lego interest and my wife is mildly interested too, we jumped in with both feet just this year. Too bad we are a couple of years late on the modulars.
    ...I sold my Kenner SW collection just before Phantom Menace came out and paid for a 1/2 year of private college with it, but I still just couldn't part with the Legos.
  • HuskerDontHuskerDont Member Posts: 32
    Mine started around the late 90's, and I've just started coming out of them. I mostly collected the Town series and the sets just didn't seem all that desirable anymore. What I have now is a shell of its former self, most pieces lost to the vacuum cleaner, moving, theft (nothing big, just former friends who would make off with stuff), and other means. It really kills me knowing the sets I used to have and seeing how much it would be to replace those.

    But anyway, time to start anew. I anticipate spending a lot more than I should on too many sets out there now and look forward to what's next!
  • legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK you're a terrible influence to the sweet and innocent. Just *see* how you've affected @war44lock! Punishment? Get back in your Dark Ages. No, wait... er... :P
  • war44lockwar44lock Member Posts: 75
    ^Sweet and innocent? Haha I've never been called that before!
  • PerryMakesPerryMakes Member Posts: 73
    I can't wait for this year to be over, so I can relax into my newly re-acquainted love. Did any of you feel stressed during that initial period out of the dark? Where you feel like you need to hurry up and purchase EVERY single set ... especially the ones that look like they're going away very soon? If you know what I'm talking about, could you please offer some advise that could help me divert focus back to things like rent and utility bills?? :)

    Cheers ~ Perry
  • streekerstreeker Member Posts: 299
    ^Lego is hard to chew, yields little heat to keep you warm at night (there are better substitutes), and won't lift a finger when the landlord comes a-calling.

    Most importantly, when you read brickset or other Lego sites, keep your credit card far, far away. When discussing new sets, I find it hard not to engage in a group shop-a-thon. And don't get me started on long retired $et$. I blame brickset entirely for popping my blissful ignorance. Must resist.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    edited July 2011
    Since ive already got a rep for being a bad influence, perhaps I could point out that if you buy every single set you want then that solves your problem. :)
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    ^ Here's another one to be banned...

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,076
    What an excellent resource, I've not come across it before.

  • legohairlegohair Member Posts: 41
    @PerryMakes, I'm so with you. I started this thread to release some pressure from my 'gotta catch em all' gland (wrong toy, bykwim) which is just pumping constantly at the moment. Had a minor debit card frenzy last weekend because, yes, I *do* feel I have to buy every set now! I think, tho, it will pass. I hope it will pass. I need it to pass! But, just remember @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK 's advice - if you do buy em all, you could build your own place and never pay rent again! My next Just Out Of Dark Ages purchase has to be MMV...
  • bellybutton290bellybutton290 Member Posts: 453
    @perrymakes I felt exactly the same as you at first, unfortunatly I have no real advice for you. What Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK said is the approach I took and I can now relax and just buy the odd sets that come out every 6 months or so. I have however limited myself to city and SW sets and also sets below a certain size/price. SW is slim pickings now it seems so that helps! Also I keep to small sets so the wife doesn't clock the big boxes, though I understand TLG might be reducing the air in their boxes to reduce shipping costs going forward.
  • pendypendy Member Posts: 2
    im not sure if i ever had a "dark ages" technically, my lego was on display in my house for years, although i never really bought any sets. my last set before i went on a hiatus was in 2004, after which i became interested in other things and my money went towards those interests. i did always keep an eye on new sets though, i never lost interest, i just never had the money for everything.

    last year however, i found my a half finished lego crane set under my bed and on completing it i remember how much i missed it! it wasn't till the end of the year though that i bought some new sets, which were the fire brigade and the imperial flagship. my collection has just about doubled since then.

    while i was on hiatus however, i visited legoland in california and missed out on the first modular buildings, which is something will never forgive myself for.
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