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Looks kinda neat if you know what you're looking at.
As they are such a unique shape, I've actually been surprised that their price on bricklink has not raised up, significantly past the $.20 US price for the torso.
Most likely, being on the market for only 3 years before the 1978 wave of torsos with arms creates too small of a "nostalgia" window for AFOLers. Like me, I had a few of these minifigs, but then classic space showed up, and everything was awesome!
The old style minifig was phased out about 1982/83. As the legs had regular stud rather than long ones like modern minifigs, it meant you could easily add belts in a contrasting colour by using a 2x1 plate (or same colour to add a little height - the modern legs don't allow that flexibility).
There were also a few sets where both styles were used:
Notice the statue is the old style.
There were 2 phases to early LEGO figures..... one was those related to the Homemaker sets and "Building Sets with People", and are known as Maxifigs. The first Homemaker doll house type sets were introduced in 1971. However they didn't have figures to them until 1974, when the Maxifig was introduced in the 200 LEGO Family Set.
This set 200 was sort of a watershed for future LEGO Minifigs... when this set was introduced in January 1974, sales were so strong that in Britain the entire year long allotment of these sets were sold out by May 1974.
TLG did take notice... and besides having other sets with these Maxifigs, they introduced the LEGO "Minifig Stiffs" the following year in 1975. These, as have been described already, have a single solid upper and lower torso, without arms or legs. Only the faceless head and hair/hat was compatible with later (1978 introduced) Minfigs.
One of the more interesting "Building Sets With People" had both the Maxifigs, and a single minifig (stiff) as a papoose... was the 215 Indians set of 1977...
With the introduction of the regular Minifigs in 1978, the stiffs were almost immediately retired, although that 1592 Town Square set did have that interesting statue.
And the Maxifigs were also retired, along with the Homemaker sets that introduced them. The last homemaker set was the 1982 released (USA only) Schoolroom Set. Around that same time the last of the Basic sets that had them was also discontinued.
I'm adding a new chapter to my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide desktop download... on the history of the Minifig... and my research came across the story on how the 200 Family Set was the original catalyst for the Minifig craze of today! ;-)
Also had the maxi-figures and tried to make some females anatomically correct using sloped bricks, but it didn't quite look right. Didn't make much use of them after the modern minifigs were introduced.
Both types of figures were featured in a few of the old Universal Buildings Sets, which is where many of mine came from.
Now the maxifigs had a couple interesting properties out of them to me at least. I vaguely remember set #200, but the only remnant left of maxifigs in the vintage bag is a blue cap (as in set #250), so it’s possible we had a couple sets, or they all came in a samsonite packaged building set that isn’t documented at brickset.
1. The first thing about the maxifigs I found cool as a child, is we had set #614, with a hitch. When you don’t have the corresponding ball to go with the socket, maxifig hands work well enough as a substitute.
2. One of my childhood allowance money sets, #6882 (is there another?) used maxifig arm pieces. Thankfully I left the arm intact by that point, rather than pulling it apart all the time & breaking the links.
EDIT: actually I just had to take a second look at #6573, not realizing they made an arm piece part where the other end is a technic connector. Cool!
It's also possible that since TLG bought the Samsonite of Canada LEGO license back from Kohlberg Kravitz & Roberts in 1985 (the Wall Street brokerage firm that bought and broke apart the Beatrice Corp., which owned Samsonite since 1973)... the continuation of LEGO production of Samsonite of Canada's LEGO production (in Stratford Ontario) was scheduled to end in summer 1988 anyway... possibly Samsonite of Canada may have put leftover LEGO items into some Canadian sets to get rid of them. But that's just a guess. In October 1988 the Samsonite plant in Stratford sold off all their leftover LEGO in bulk plastic bags, and production moved to Enfield CT USA (now Mexico).
FYI... Samsonite became an independent company again, and remains so today... but without LEGO.
Images from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.
And I do recall getting “funny” comments when I built houses rather than concentrating on cars and spaceships.