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The first LEGO Idea Book...
From the chapter of my collectors guide on LEGO Building Idea Books... the 238... most complex of all LEGO idea books.... 12 versions, and in total about 20 versions when you add local languages...
The first LEGO Idea books were an unnumbered book found for Denmark (only) of 1955-56, and a 1957-58 unnumbered idea book for Germany/Austria.
But the first truly universal LEGO idea book was the "Building Idea Book 1'... which was found under the 238 number.
This idea book was (depending on location) found with anywhere from 16-36 pages. And at first it came in a large number of languages... being sold as a "language specific", as opposed to "country specific" booklet in Europe.
Here are the earlier (1960-64) booklet covers... (left column top to bottom, then right column)...
1) 1960-61 European booklet (w/o LEGO wheels or black bricks)... sold in English, German, French, Dutch, Flemish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, and Italian. The German booklet was sold in Germany, Austria, Luxemburg, and German speaking parts of Switzerland. The French booklet was sold in France, and French speaking parts of Belgium and Switzerland. The English booklet was sold in the UK and Ireland.
2) 1961-62 USA/Canada Samsonite version... not sold separately, but only found in 717 Junior Constructor and 725 Town Plan sets. The Canadian version is bilingual (English/French), only one of these individual booklets in more than 1 language.
3) 1962-63 Continental Europe (with LEGO Wheels and black bricks)... so far I have only ever found this version in German and Dutch.
4) 1961-62 UK/Ireland.... This version is called Building Ideas Book No. 2., and still has no wheels.
5) 1962-63 UK/Ireland/Australia... This version (now with "True Building" on the cover) was the updated version of the Building Ideas Book No. 2. There are now wheels included, but (unlike continental Europe), black bricks were not yet introduced.
6) 1963-64 Continental Europe and USA/Canada. This version had no writing in it at all, so it was international. Shows the introduction of black bricks, wheels and small plates.
.... coming up... the other 6 versions of the 238... completely different....
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