Just the other day I wrote an article about LEGO HO Scale 1:87 Cars/Trucks of 1955-70 for the Brickset main page.http://brickset.com/article/14184/lego-ho-scale-cars#comments
(Warning: if you don't check out the above link... the rest of this thread may be a bit confusing... ;-) )
Because LEGO made such high quality plastic cars, Train collectors would often collect them as well as LEGO collectors. However, because of LEGO being extremely popular... the value of 1:87 scale LEGO cars and trucks is often higher than that of other old scale cars/trucks.
Here's an example of a (non-LEGO) train auto hauler hauling several hundred Euros worth of LEGO Beetles...
From 1955, when the first LEGO Bedford Trucks came out, until about 1960, TLG promoted the use of their Town Plan System with Märklin and other HO train sets. This was often displayed in later 1950s LEGO catalogs.
Here is a 1958 Retailer display window "slide" (lit from behind by a light bulb) image showing the combination of LEGO 1950s Town Plan boards, LEGO 1:87 trucks and HO trains.
Many of the building models shown here were actually glued display models that were sold to LEGO retailers. Several of these retailer model catalogs in my collectors guide, show these glued models. And often they find their way into LEGO Idea books as well.
The 0753 model shown in this Blue Retailer Glued Display Model catalog page, was used in 1961 as the main model for the 810 Town Plan Set of continental Europe, Britain, Australia and Japan.
The old LEGO Town Plan of the 1960s was more realistic looking (although it was cardbord, instead of Masonite for the 1950s), and there were more specialty parts available when the 1:87 vehicles were the mainstay of the Town Plan System.
With the dozens of different Town Plan accessories (21 different road signs, 16 different flags, street lamps, Esso accessories, the 1:87 vehicles fit right into a very realistic looking town scene....
Much more to come....
And yes... that elevated train station had trans-clear bricks. Of course that was a glued model, so there was no problem for stability! ;-)
Other countries sold them loose from brown boxes (under the 250-257 numbers), so you will NEVER find a 250-257 Bedford truck in a single box. Starting in 1958 Denmark, Sweden and Norway followed the rest of Europe using the 250-257 numbers... and the individual boxes for these trucks were no longer available. That's why these earlier trucks in individual boxes are so valuable.
Funny thing, this items exact picture is up for an auction :-)
TLG pointed that image out to me in a Lauritz auction, and I was going to keep the location a secret because he was contemplating bidding.... until he saw that the prices of Lauritz auctions include private shipping services where the shipping often equals the price of the auctions themselves (plus the 10% tacked on fees at the end of the auction!!
But with such a heavy train set, the price would have been phenomenal. Also the LEGO vehicles, although it appears that they have intact bumpers to the VW Beetles, they appear to be heavily played with, with missing paint on some of them.
Here's the bottom of one of the vehicles as seen in the auction, showing heavy playwear.
Ohhh sorry, thought maybe it was collector who had shared pictures in the past.
Yes a very expensive auction site, freight is ridiculous.
I'll stop being so alert, lol :-)
No dont think so, fee and freight this site makes it no fun.
Sry about post, I just thought it was a really funny coincidence.
The earlier 1271 version was introduced in late 1956 in Denmark and Norway, but may have been discontinued temporarily by 1958...
Then in mid 1961 they reappear in the catalogs of Denmark, Norway and Netherlands under the 271 number but discontinued by 1964.
The 6 parts were attached to a hard stock paper card with 5 of the 6 parts stuck thru slots in the cards. The traffic lantern was always glued to the paper card. Many sellers of these lanterns don't understand this, and think that because the bottom of the lantern has paper and glue attached, that they are "used"... when this is often not the case at all.
The 271 image is missing this paper card, but the 1271 image shows the parts attached to the card, which was placed (not glued) inside the inner sliding box.
As we can see here by comparing the contents... there are different variations to the color of the parts. The street light and traffic lantern are known in at least 3 painted variations... and the traffic police themselves have some variations to the painting at the base (with or without chaps).
Because of the limited geographic distribution of the 1271/271 sets, these are the most valuable of the spare parts packs of that era (with the exception of the 1247 Danish Esso Accessories with the Esso 1x1 round oil drums).
In my Unofficial Collectors Guide, I show all the paint variations of these parts. They were sent out to "Heimarbeiter".... women who worked from home to paint LEGO accessories, such as trees, cyclists and these police accessories. By about 1960 these tasks were brought in-house, due to all the quality issues (different painted variations).
This is from my LEGO Collectors Guide Chapter on old LEGO Catalogs.
This retailer display item has not been found in the LEGO collections in Billund. This particular display is of German origins, with Deutschmark prices...
It's extremely rare items like these that I enjoy adding to my guide, since they are usually not cataloged elsewhere.
Retailers often had to store these brown boxes behind the counter, and customers frequently had to ask to purchase them. It was not one of TLGs better marketing processes.
My collectors guide chapter on the 1:87 vehicles is the largest of my 73 chapters. Just displaying all the items, variations, and different colors of vehicles was quite a challenge, and runs to 80 pages.
This was the last one, which sold for $3235 on Ebay (in Europe)...
Due to the extreme rarity of this auto in this color, it wouldn't surprise me to see it fetch over $5000 today!
FYI... 99% of what I show images of is NOT in my collection! :-(
This is one of two known red Opels, and this one came without glass. Several of the prototypes even came without roofs.
At 5000 Euros each, these are the priciest of all LEGO cars...
There are also VW Vans and Pickup Trucks that equal the value of these however! From my Collectors Guide Chapter on Prototypes.
Here's a composite image of all the 1:87 cars and buses from the bottom looking up. I put them together into a nice display, that includes the 1934 LEGO logo at the top....
Of course they will be of much higher resolution in my collectors guide! ;-)
Because of TLGs hesitancy to throw things away... many prototype items made it out of the factory intact!
New image I just got today....
The back 2 boxes were the 2 variations on the Danish 1955-58 Bedford truck boxes (one had ESSO on the side of the boxes, the other had other text)... then there's the middle box, which is how Norwegian Bedford truck boxes were produced. Then the 2nd from front box was the promotional Esso box (no mention of LEGO on the box)... these were given away by Danish Esso Service Stations to customers with a fillup of petrol... that leaves the one in the foreground. Never saw it before today. Likely the earliest (late 1955) Bedford Esso Truck design, before switching to the middle design by 1956.
Always something new to discover!!
Kudos to your work. We have attempted a similar feat of cataloging for Brass Model Trains, so I have some understanding of what a labor of love this is. Where do I purchase your guide?
Also, some of the early HO Lego cars, and even some of the packaging, in particular the plain cardboard dealer packs seem very similar to some of the Wiking (Viking) HO vehicles of that era. Is there something to that, or just a coincidence?
Thanks again for all your hard work.
If you want my guide (available as a desktop download with free future updates)...
Only available as a download now (1st option)... no shipping or customs!'
The 1:43 scale trucks were twice the dimensions of the 1:87 trucks and were produced by LEGO from 1952-57, but were not part of the LEGO System of Play (not what we would call a regular LEGO item)....
The 1:43 trucks were all Chevrolet models, and as I mentioned, they were not a regular part of the LEGO. I also wrote a separate collectors guide for these trucks... TLG used a large number of LEGO logos for these interesting larger scale cars...
My Dutch collector friend Jeroen has this image of the Jaguars that really gets a lot of stares....
In UK catalogs of the mid 1960s the artwork of the Jaguar makes it look almost yellow... and people are often asking if that beige colored one is a very rare one. Well unfortunately it's a white one that has just "yellowed" over the years... but it has done so evenly, and it begs the question as to why none of the others out there (in white, the most common color) have had this color change.
Here is the Vauxhall Victor Estate station wagon in the same 3 known colors...
I was just looking at my notes, and saw that the black Vauxhall Victor Estate is much rarer than I remembered. Last time I saw it at auction was 2 years ago, and it went for 1910 Euros! Yikes!! The black Jaguar can be had for "only" about 800 Euros.
I'll be posting some of the really rare stuff in the next day or two... ;-)
The text on box in front is Norwegian, if some don't recognize. :-)
First of all here are two of the 670 Jaguars as they were sold (1963-65) in the small clear garages, with a paper banderole around them in the common white color....
In 1965 the plastic garages were slowly being phased out, and the new vehicles in cardboard boxes were introduced in continental Europe (with the same cars, but switching from set numbers 261-268 to 661-668 in the cardboard boxes).
At that time there was a consideration of introducing the Jaguar E Type in continental Europe under the new 601 number. This idea must have been shortlived, since there are fewer than 10 Jaguars in these cardboard boxes known.... (beware of fake boxes!!)
Ounce for ounce these boxes have to be the most valuable piece of LEGO cardboard in existence!! For obvious reasons most collectors who get this rare boxed set, will likely switch a common white Jaguar for the much rarer red or black one, so that it can drive the value even higher.
Here are an assortment of the 1965-67 LEGO cars in cardboard boxes. One earlier car in a plastic garage... the 263 Ford Taunus was discontinued in 1964, since it was a 1950s model. But the 268 Ford 17M was continued in a cardboard box under the number 668...
These 1:87 autos in cardboard boxes were sometimes sold from a display stand that held 9 of the autos and buses. These stands are very rare today...
They were produced in Denmark for the (1955-57) 1247 Esso Service Parts Packs (3 drums) and the 1251 Esso Barrel Truck (2 drums). They are known in 4 flavors...
For 1x1 early style round bricks... at up to 100 Euros each (depending on condition)... these are nice gems!
TLG also made Esso oil drums for the larger 1:43 trucks. Those were made out of wood, painted silver, and then the sticker applied. Here's an image from my Unofficial LEGO 1:43 Chevrolet Trucks/Wagons Collectors Guide (free for folks who buy my regular guide!)... showing the larger Esso drums....
The Billund Archives state that the Esso oil barrels may have been produced by A/S Norske LEGIO for the Norwegian market, but I have not yet found any in the smaller 1:87 (1x1 brick) size, but I can confirm that they were NOT produced for the larger 1:43 Chevrolet Truck size.
Not more than 2 days ago my Norwegian LEGO collector friend Arild came across an entire early (1956) assortment of all the Bedford 1:87 trucks, but with brass wheels instead of the normal chrome colored ones. And included in that lot of all 8 different Bedford trucks were these interesting barrels....
These may indeed have been produced by the Norwegian LEGO licensee (toy imports to Norway were forbidden in the 1950s, so LEGO molds were shipped there to produce locally made LEGO). But if they were made by A/S Norske LEGIO, and included with some of the 1:87 vehicles... this was done so without the consent or knowledge of LEGO Denmark.
These drums are 1.5cm tall with a circumference of 0.9cm. The do appear to be made of Cellulose Acetate.
More LEGO mayhem getting added to my collectors guide! ;-)
Here is an example of new fakes for the old Esso Oil Drums, as well as fake printing on the sides of the Norwegian version of the 1250 Bedford Tanker Truck...
NOTE: photo imaging on Brickset is down for the moment due to repairs...
However some fakes cannot be easily spotted in an auction... until you get the item home... such as these fake 1955-58 Bedford Truck boxes (#1250-#1257). You wouldn't know that the taped up box is not really taped, etc... None of these boxes are real, but you would notice that when you got them in the mail...
My LEGO collectors guide has an entire chapter devoted to fakes (old and new), and this is one of the most disturbing images... because with the exception of the upper left box... these all look old.
But here's one of the warnings in my collectors guide chapter on Fake LEGO items... where real LEGO parts are taken apart and reassembled into what would seem as rare color combinations, that haven't yet been found. Fortunately 1:87 collectors (that have either my collectors guide, or Richard Haussman's pricey book on 1:87s), know which color combinations are not original (even thought all the parts are genuine LEGO).
None of these LEGO 258/668 VW Vans or 607 Samba Buses were originally sold that way, and had parts interchanged and perhaps advertised as "rare colors" or "rare color combinations" on an online auction...
The one saving grace to earlier (pre-1963) Cellulose Acetate LEGO 1:87 buses/vans... is that they generally all warp... and the warped parts from different buses/vans do not connect properly. So those rare color combinations are generally legitimate.
Fortunately, it is mainly the VW Samba Bus, VW Van and VW Pickups that have this 2 color (separate parts) scenario. Other LEGO 1:87 items do not have this problem.... although spray painting a 1:87 auto a very rare color could be a problem.
The 1:87 cars/truck history gets very complex for the VW buses/vans/pickups. This image (in my next update to the collectors guide)... shows all the variations to the 3 VW types.
The larger vehicles in back (without glass) are the 1952-61 VW Buses in 1:80 scale. These predated the LEGO Town Plan system that started in 1955. The ones with the impression of windows all around date to 1952-circa 1958. The later ones look more like a van, with only windows towards the front. These 2 types are not as attractive as the later 1;87 (smaller) types shown in the foreground... but they are very valuable as well. These were sold in fancy retailer boxes of 24 in Denmark and Norway.. but came in brown boxes of 5 in other countries, and sold out of the plain retailer box. These larger buses were NEVER sold individually in a box. They were sold under the #275 number in Denmark/Norway/Sweden until 1958, and then switched to the #258 number after that. Starting in 1956 in Germany these same trucks were sold under the #258 number, and under that same number in all other countries as they were coming online to LEGO after that.
Then in 1961 these buses/vans were shrunk down to 1:87 size (to match the other LEGO cars/trucks) and started having glass in the front and far back windows. Even though they were now a different model, TLG decided to keep the #258 number for these... more mayhem.
Then in 1962 TLG started producing the VW Pickup trucks as #259, as seen on the right of the below image. So these 2 versions (258 vans and 259 pickups) were sold individually from brown plain retailer boxes of 5 until 1965... when their numbers changed to #658 and #659... and they were now sold in individual colorful brown boxes. That year TLG also introduced the VW Samba Bus (center of image)... with glass windows all around and skylights in the roof...
One of the minor variations to these buses is what is called "indicators".... or as they are known in the USA... turn signals. You can see the ones in front as bumps just above the headlights... while the "side indicators" are along the side of the vehicles and are more difficult to see. Some 1:87 LEGO collectors go and try to collect those with front and side indicators, since some versions are rarer in some colors.
For example this pair.. the one on the left is the standard 1961-67 yellow blue version... while the one on the right is a "maize and navy blue" version that is probably an early example (1961 prototype that made it to production), that could easily sell for 800 Euros at auction....
These 6 VW Vans and Pickups were sold at auction by the comany a number of years back. I would value the entire unique group at 30,000 Euros. :o
Texaco, Gulf, BP, STP and 2 others.... perhaps they are unique... but there's a very good chance you will never find these at auction again!
The thought of these sitting around forgotten and collecting decades of dust in some villages of Nigeria... while they could fetch 1000 Euros each.... makes me want to cry!! :/
Some of the 1:87 vehicles do have stickers... such as the KOLEVOGN (Refrigeration Truck) on the roof top, but that doesn't affect its' value, since it's also a rare all white van.
And other promotional trucks have the water slide decals, which are nearly invisible. One very rare example of these is unique because an automotive company in Austria, called STEYR DIESEL, ordered 30 of the green/white regular LEGO VW Vans, and they themselves found water slide decals to attach to their promotional trucks. Ordinarily such a procedure renders it not worth collecting. But since we know this was done in the 1960s, know the company, and know how many they did this to outside of TLG... it makes these "hybrid" trucks just as valuable as if they had been done inhouse at TLG...
There's a whole series of these rare trucks and vans in my collectors guide, and some have either stickers, or decals. Most are worth over 1000 Euros in good condition, while some really unique ones can be worth up to 5000 Euros.