This week I wrote an article (part 1 of 3) for the Brickset "front page"... about LEGO sets by region...http://brickset.com/article/13338/lego-box-variations-by-country-part-1-1957-72
In the past year I've had 2 LEGO set collectors from UK and Canada send me a lot of images of sets from those countries, and I've been kind of surprised by this still rarely talked about subject, namely the box variations to LEGO sets sold in different parts of the world.
Today we basically have 2 types of LEGO set boxes... those sold in North America... with tri-lingual writing on the boxes (English, French, Spanish, with a set parts count), and that produced in Europe (little to no writing, and no set parts count).
But until the early 1990s, there were more different box types...
1949-60 Continental Europe (Local Language)
1960-92 Continental Europe
1961-72 USA Samsonite LEGO
1973-79 USA (TLG) with different set numbers
1962-90 Canada Samsonite LEGO
1960-92 UK/Ireland/Australia - British LEGO Ltd. sets (a Courtauld' Corp. subsidiary)
1990-Present North America
But even this general list doesn't show the actual complexity of the box types... because even within continental Europe many boxes still came with local language writing on the boxes... and to further complicate the issue... some sets were found in groups of languages on one box... such as Danish-Swedish-Finnish, German-Dutch-French, and Italian-French-English (note a German-Dutch-French box could be sold in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria, Switzerland and France).
In my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide, I am working on solving some of this very complex issue of "set boxes by country". And I'll explain here how some of these boxes are worth more than those of other regions.
As an example, here's a trio of boxes that shows this... the mid 1970s London Bus Set, sold as 760 in the USA, and 384 elsewhere. This image shows the USA 760 London Bus set in English, the Canadian 384 set in English/French, and the EU 384 with no languages...
The EU version appears to have little writing on it, while the USA and Canada versions have writing in English and English/French. The rarest and most valuable of these 3 is the Canada 384 set, which is due mainly to the fact that the Canadian market is only a fraction of the size of the USA or Continental European,
In the next few days I'll be posting many more pics of these "regional" LEGO sets, and how some can be worth many times the value of others! Enjoy!