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LEGO First, Last and Most Unusual....

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
With a LEGO set/part/"you name it".. image collection approaching 20,000, I thought I would post some of the miscellaneous stuff in my Virtual Attic.....  You'll find many of these in my collectors guide, and then there's some really odd stuff....

I'll start off with the oldest LEGO set... the Automatic Binding Bricks set of 1949... a 700/1 set in a wooden box.. not in the Billund Vault (unknown to them)... but there is at least one known example out there...  and with a museum quality example probably worth well over 10,000 Euros, I would hope people in Denmark start checking their attics...   :)

Here is 2 sides of a 4 sided bi-fold leaflet or catalog if you will... that came with it mentioning the 3 sets and 2 spare parts packs (2x2 and 2x4 bricks, and 3 window/1 door type)....



  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    Now when it comes to most unusual.... here's one... one of the most unusual coincidences EVER.  My German friend Lothar put this together to show how Britain's earlier Kiddicraft and the first LEGO sets (Automatic Binding Bricks, 1949-53)... how their similarities back then... was purely coincidental....  :|

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    OK.... now wouldn't it be cool if TLG made the same set in more than one set of colors?

    They've done it... in the 1962-64 era they created a basic set 700/3... and sold it with white and red bricks, and red windows/door.  Well they thought lets make it in other colors... so in Denmark the also made it in blue and yellow bricks with white windows/door.

    Was that enough?   Naw.... lets sell some in Switzerland with blue/yellow bricks and red windows/door....  so we have these 3 types.... (instructions were on the bottom of the box)....

    Well that wasn't quite enough of a variation... someone at TLG with a twisted sense of humor said... "hey... let's put different designs on the box top... since the box top has absolutely nothing to do with what you can build with the contents inside....

    700/3 type 1 box... sold in lots of countries....

    And they also made the same 700/3 set in a different box top... and sold them in the same countries as the other one... only not as many....

    Did anyone ever actually go out and buy more than one version of this set?  Well yes they did... a German collector acquaintance named Amrum... remembers going with his family on Holiday up to Denmark back in the early 1960s, to the beach... except the weather was rainy... so mom and dad took the kids to the local Danish toy store, and did what any northern European parents would do back then... and bought them each a LEGO set.  But wait... they would get the parts mixed up... and then there would be an argument and so forth!   Well the Danish retailer was savvy enough to have Amrum's parents buy one of each... so the kids would not mix the parts up.

    Great Idea!!!   :D   And Amrum still has the photographic proof of this wise move on the part of his parents and the LEGO retailer!!

    The irony here is that using different colors for the sets was brilliant!!  But dressing Amrum and his sister in the same colors?? .... not so much...  :#

  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    That is an adorable photo and a brilliant solution to keep the kids' toys separate! Would be perfect for twins, too. More companies should make separate versions like this of basic toys to improve family harmony! (Coming from a family of six children, maybe that is too many versions of the same toy, but how about three?)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    You never know what you might find in the attics of Scandinavia!!  These 3 boxes are Automatic Binding Bricks, which is early LEGO (1949-53).  However, even though these 3 boxes found in an attic in Sweden do say Automatic Binding Bricks on the box top... these sets were not made by TLG Denmark.   They were made by a plastics maker in Gislaved Sweden by the name of GEAS KONSTHARTS.  TLG licensed this company to produce Automatic Binding Bricks for the Swedish market from 1950-circa 1953.

    Ironically neither the TLG Billund Archives nor GEASPLAST (as it is known today) have any records of any licensing or cooperation in production.  However, a Swedish friend has proof beyond doubt that there was indeed cooperation between TLG and GEAS over the Automatic Binding Bricks sets.  He has some 2x2 and 2x4 slotted bricks made of Cellulose Acetate (TLG) and Bakelite Plastic (GEAS) that came from the same exact molds... which TLG shipped to GEAS once TLG started using molds with the LEGO name on the underside of the bricks.

    Even though these are "technically" not LEGO... the LEGO connection of the 2 companies, the same box top designs and the same molds... gives these GEAS sets a firm value.   At auction each of these 3 boxed sets should command at least 4000 Euros.   :o
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Oh... and in case you were wondering... here's how a TLG Denmark Automatic Binding Bricks box looks like....

    The Danish TLG set and Swedish GEAS sets are worth the same.... $$$
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    OK... I'm going to skip ahead 50 years.... to something unusual...

    Year 2000.... Knights Kingdom.... 

    TLG made this really nice looking castle (as viewed from the box)... and in North America it was set 6091 King Leo's Castle....

    From what we call "curb appeal", it looked very nice lots of towers, on a hilltop... looks very appealing!  Except for the folks who bought it..... lots of big modular pieces, not a lot else that can be built with it... and very little in the way of walls.  Also a rather fragile build... a good wind and down it would come!   :o

    OK... now the part I don't understand... why did TLG decide to create an identical set to the 6091... for Europe, Asia and Australia.... and yet number it 6098??

    WHY??   It's the same set... same build... although in Europe it was called the King's Castle in the local languages.   Even the instructions are identical... with 6098/6091 on the front of the instructions.

    So why are there 2 different set numbers for the exact same set?

    Sure TLG had done this in the past with the USA sets of 1972-80 having their own set unique numbers for identical sets as sold elsewhere.  But that was because TLG litigated to get their USA license back from underperforming Samsonite... and they were worried that Canadian sets might find their way to loyal USA retailers (hence the unique numbers for USA sales).

    But this was the year 2000... and TLG at that point owned the LEGO license worldwide.  So why were there 2 different large set numbers for the same set??  

    I was updating my collectors guide with recent set images, and this one kind of stumped me!   :/

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    OK... now for another step back in time to 1955... the introduction of the Town Plan System.... the beginning of LEGO Town....

    The oldest LEGO instructions ever, belong to the first Town sets introduced in 1955.  This involved 4 tiny sets (1210 small store, and 1211, 1212 and 1213 small house sets) and the 1236 Garage Set.

    Here are the instructions for the 1236 garage set for Denmark (top) an Norway (bottom).   These basically just show you the building from the 4 sides, and also on how to attach multiple garage sets to each other....

    Here's the front and side of a Norwegian 1236 Garage Set (System i lek = System of play)...

    Here's the back and side of a Danish 1236 Garage Set (System i leg = System of play)...

  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,753
    Istokg said:
    Sure TLG had done this in the past with the USA sets of 1972-80 having their own set unique numbers for identical sets as sold elsewhere.  But that was because TLG litigated to get their USA license back from underperforming Samsonite... and they were worried that Canadian sets might find their way to loyal USA retailers (hence the unique numbers for USA sales).
    What is the explanation for Knight's Challenge, then? #1584 was released in Europe in 1988 and #6060 was released in the US in 1989.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Your guess is as good as mine.... but at least with the 6091/6098 they were released in the same year.  TLG does this from time to time, and I was wondering if anyone had a clue to their modus operandi in doing so??

    My favorite example of this is one that never actually happened...

    From 1967-72 TLG made a large set (with 2 trays stacked on top of each other).... the 070 Basic Set.  in 1967 the Europe/Australia basic sets were 010, 020, 030, 040, 050, 060, 070, 080 (080 not sold in Britain/Australia).

    Here is the 070 set/model from a Belgian LEGO catalog...

    But in 1968 TLG switched to 011, 022, 033, 044... etc... but the 070 set continued production, even though the other sets changed numbers.

    Then in 1971 something odd happened in German catalogs of 1971 and 1972.  The set number did change from 070 to 077.  The built model shown in the German catalogs was the same as the earlier model shown in all European catalogs for 070.

    here is the 077 set model from German catalogs of 1971-72...

    So in 1971-72 all European catalogs show a built model and the 070 number... but in German catalogs the image shows the same model,  but "077".

    OK... I thought that was strange... so I contacted the TLG Archives folks, and was told that in Germany only the 077 set was introduced from March 1971 until December 1972... and it was identical to the earlier 070 set.

    Now I thought that was rather odd... since Germany was LEGO's largest market at the time, and yet no 077 sets had ever been located.  I suspected that TLG got it wrong.

    Well finally my suspicions were proven when my USA collector friend got a MISB 070 set from Europe.... and he opened the outer seal to find this....

    A German 070 set with a 1972 German LEGO catalog!!

    This confirmed my suspicions that TLG was going to change the set number... but never actually did (even thought they told their archive folks that they were going to do so).

    So there never was a 077 set,  and none has ever been found.  But apparently when the Fantasia LEGO Collectors Guide was printed (using TLG provided data)... the 077 set was indeed included as an existing LEGO set... even though it has never existed!   :/

    P.S.  For those with my collectors guide... I mention this 070/077 set in Chapter 17 - LEGO Sets/Parts Never Put Into Production.  :)

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    And now for something "most unusual"...  :)

    From 1969 until circa 1999 TLG made tall road signs as a 1 piece sign.  Here is a sampling of many of these road signs (I wish they were still in production!)....

    Now none of these are rare... they're all still fairly common....

    ... except for this one....

    This is a very interesting road sign...  and actually it is 2 sided, the back one is the mirror image of the sign.  It looks like it possibly could have appeared in a Service Station Set of the 1970s to 1990s.... but no, it has not ever been found in any set.

    It appears that this rare beauty was a Billund "in-house" road sign for employees that didn't want other people smoking in their work area.

    How about that?  A custom TLG only LEGO item that was used as a small sign to prevent getting second hand smoke!  

    You folks going on factory or company visits... keep an eye out for these!   

    Worth quite a few quid!!  :open_mouth: 

    From my collectors guide chapter on items not put into production.....

  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    Istokg said:

    The oldest LEGO instructions ever, belong to the first Town sets introduced in 1955.  This involved 4 tiny sets (1210 small store, and 1211, 1212 and 1213 small house sets) and the 1236 Garage Set.

    Here are the instructions for the 1236 garage set for Denmark (top) an Norway (bottom).   These basically just show you the building from the 4 sides, and also on how to attach multiple garage sets to each other....

    Hey Gary, you made me think of an interesting question.  These may be the first instructions, but what was the first appearance of the instructions format that is commonly in use today (with numbered steps and a call-out box with the parts for that step)?  Was it with the introduction of Legoland sets in the late '70's?
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    The first instructions that give you actual step by step instructions were introduced circa 1964 in model sets.

    Here is a 1965 610 Double Wheel Toy Set (Canadian long box version) box and instructions....

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Many of the 1950s and early 1960s instructions were little more than just a view of the front of whatever you were building.

    I remember the frustration I felt as a kid when I got a 717 Junior Construction Set for Christmas in 1963.  Here is the box top....

    And the instructions were on the inside of the box top.... along with images of finish built alternate models......

    The 1... 2... 3... 4 steps at the bottom is all that you were given.   You really had little clue what the back sides of the building had in the way of windows.  So I had to guess that this was correct...

    This "guessing game" was common for a lot of sets from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    Cool, thanks!  I'd say you were born a Lego generation too early, but then we'd miss out on all this great history!
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 553
    Now sets like the Esso Filling Station 1310/310 and the Fire Station 1308/308 had better step by step instruction than the Super Wheel Toy 610 and are from early.  Did this instructions come out later or I'm mistaken?
  • thehornedratthehornedrat Member Posts: 87
    edited April 2015
    Nostalgic, yes, and I agree learning the history of LEGO is great indeed!
    I'm glad I was born 30 years ago, and reading this makes me happy that I am able to afford, and most importantly to experience the LEGO of today!
    But look at the LEGO of the time:
    Parts variety absolutely sucked.
    Colour variety totally sucked.
    As shown by the esteemed Istokg, the instructions also suck.
    But try building a Tower of Orthanc with these parts. I dare ya!
    Today's LEGO is the true golden age.
    I'd agree with the road signs though. Had some back in the day. Now those were great!
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    I was going with the first paper instructions, which dated to 1964-65.

    The instructions on the box was inside the box top in the 1957-60 era, and on the bottom of the box from 1960-65 for the Town Plan sets.

    Here is an early 1306 VW Repair Shop from Norway... (GARASJE)

    Here is an early 1307 VW Showroom from Sweden.... (FORSALJNING)

    A 309 Church Set....

    And a 310 Esso Set....

    The Church Set has minimal instructions, but the other 3 sets have either 4 or 5 step instructions.  These are pretty small and not so complicated sets, so that was enough steps to the instructions, while the 717 Junior Constructor really needed more than jut 4 steps.  Even the Church set doesn't tell you where all the windows go, since we have no perspective from the back.

    So these earlier instructions were sometimes enough, and other times not so.  It wasn't until 1964-65 that detailed instructions started coming out on printed paper.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    Nostalgic, yes, and I agree learning the history of LEGO is great indeed!
    I'm glad I was born 30 years ago, and reading this makes me happy that I am able to afford, and most importantly to experience the LEGO of today!
    But look at the LEGO of the time:
    Parts variety absolutely sucked.
    Colour variety totally sucked.
    As shown by the esteemed Istokg, the instructions also suck.
    But try building a Tower of Orthanc with these parts. I dare ya!
    Today's LEGO is the true golden age.
    I'd agree with the road signs though. Had some back in the day. Now those were great!
    @thehornedrat .... those days were not as bad as it seems on what I posted so far....  by 1960 the Town Plan system had evolved to these parts (by 1961 black bricks were added, by 1962 gray plates and 8 additional models of 1:87 vehicles were added)... so it really was a lot of fun back then.... there is a trade-off in having too many parts like we have today... and that is that the "system" part of LEGO gets greatly diluted... 

    Here (from the 1960 238 Building Idea book of 1960-62)... was what was available part wise with LEGO....  and remember this was when LEGO was designed for the HO (1:87) scale....

    These parts, many of them specialized.... were a vast improvement over the Automatic Binding Bricks and LEGO Mursten bricks of 1949-56.  And even though you did not have a large selection of colors... you could still, (with a very inexpensive (only $1.50 back then) Town Plan board.... build a very nice streetscape...

    The problem with have thousands of parts today is that it requires quite a bit of planning on how to get around the fact that there is no longer a "system"... back then all the windows and slopes matched, and you could order spare parts packs of what you needed to build within the system.  

    Today we are thankful for Bricklink for getting what we need, but even that is not enough.... if you wanted to build a house with say a sloped roof.... you are very limited in what colors that can be... because all the parts you need (a system) for a complex roof are only available in a limited number of colors, even though there may be slopes in over 30 colors.... just not always the right ones in the right colors that you would like.

    I think that the most  unsatisfactory part of LEGO building today is the very limited window assortment available.   I look at the classic windows (9 different) and how well the can work together... even the Modulex windows were an awesome group found in the same colors.  Today... we have the 1x2x2, 1x2x3 and 1x4x3 that match each other... and then an assortment of miscellaneous mixed windows the have limited combinations (1x4x5 and 1x4x6 3 Pane).  Getting them with the right color window frames, let alone the tint to the trans glass is a challenge that was not a problem in the 1960s.  Sure you only had red or white windows... but at least you didn't have to use the back of headlight bricks to make a window, like they did in the Ole Kirk Christiansen house model.

    Maybe it was just that things were simpler then... that made it so easy, whereas today we're almost spoiled for choice!  :|

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    In 1963 there were about 150 different spare parts packs available from your LEGO retailer.... today we have Shop At Home, PAB, EBAY and Bricklink.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    And since I'm on a tangent about the golden era of LEGO spare parts packs (1958-65)...  these little boxes had a sliding inner black drawer, and an outer sleeve.

    The color surrounding the pack number on the side of the drawer was based on a hierarchy of varying prices for parts packs within each country.... cheapest to most expensive... Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Green.  Some of these are very rare for specific colors.  In this example of the 245 Lighting Brick Set....

    ... one of these is worth 20 Euros, the other is worth 100 Euros!!  

    Even the outer sleeve has rarity/value.... of the 11 sleeve images (with a stud and brick back side)... 10 are common, but an 11th one is only found in some packs in the Netherlands and Germany, and adds another 50 Euros to the value of the pack!!

    And then when you add the variations to the contents, the changes in parts counts... I have estimated that there are about 5000 different parts pack combinations that can be collected from the early 1960s, which is why my collectors guide chapter on early spare parts packs is the largest one in my guide, at over 60 pages!

    Of course many of these packs are really very reasonably priced, and cost little more than many of the CMFs.... when purchased new.

    I've always wondered why the 6098's I was auctioning on eBay over a decade went for such TOTALLY crazy money (and always to US/UK buyers)
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 937
    Reading through this reminded me of and . The sets aren't identical, but definitely very similar, just in a different color...1991 vs 1996
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    @Sethro3  you must be psychic!!   :p

    One of my new chapters of my collectors guide (as though 80 chapters and 3700 pages weren't enough).... is a short chapter that talks about sets that are "close" but different.

    Over the decades TLG has done just that time and time again....

    During the 1971-80 era TLG used different set numbers for the USA than for the rest of the world.  The reason has never been explained by TLG, but it had something to do with the early 1970s litigation by TLG against USA Samsonite (the LEGO license), which had been underperforming LEGO sales.  So the license came back to TLG after 1972, but TLG decided to use different set numbers for the USA until 1980.  (I give several reasons in my collectors guide.)

    So one set that follows this pattern of being different, but yet the same was the 1978 Fire Station set.   In the USA this was set 590 - Engine Company No. 9....

    In Canada (Samsonite of Canada), Britain, Ireland & Australia (British LEGO Ltd.) and continental Europe (TLG), the same set was designed in yellow instead as Fire Station 374...

    Interestingly enough, besides following the red vs. yellow general color schemes of the 2150 and 4554 Train Stations (with other parts in different colors).... the 2 sets had different sticker sheets (one of which had the USA flag, the other the generic LEGO flag).

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Another set from that era did this same thing... but in an even more interesting way.  That was the 369/575 Coast Guard Station Set.

    The 369 Coast Guard Station Set was introduced in Britain, Ireland, Australia (British LEGO Ltd.) and continental Europe (TLG).   That was 2 years before the introduction of Minifigs... so this set had the (1975-77) Minifig "stiffs", and a rather generic nautical sticker sheet....

    This set was not introduced in the USA or Canada until 1978.  And since that was the year that regular minifigs were introduced, the USA set did come with a different set number (again due to the earlier litigation reasons)... but the set was basically the same colors, but some different colors for items such as the windows/door, fences, and the boats/helecopter... and also minifigs instead of the earlier minifig stiffs)... and of course a different sticker sheet.  Also a pair of American flag stickers were included...

    Well since Canada did not have the 369 set introduced in 1976 (as it should have had it followed the process of using the same set numbers as the rest of the world, outside of the USA)... so in 1978 Canada came out with the same exact set number as the USA (very unusual, since Samsonite of Canada still had the LEGO license their), with the same exact parts, including minifigs.  Where Canada varied from the USA was the sticker sheet....

    This very unusual Canadian 575 set is by far the most desirable and rarest of the 3 versions of the Coast Guard sets.  And one big reason is the sticker sheet.  Most of the stickers follow the 369 European nautical stickers, but this set is the only known source for Canadian flag stickers.  The USA stickered flag came out in several other sets, as well as the 939 Parts pack of 1973-79, but the Canadian stickered flag is only found in this one set, thus making it a much more sought after and valuable set!

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    The Canadian flag is one of the rarest of all LEGO flags.  The wavy Canadian flag (1969-75) would command up to $100 in excellent condition.

    It was only ever sold in a very obscure Canadian spare parts pack called the 442 Decorator Set...

    This Canada only set was unusual for several reasons.  One was that this sealed set had a Canadian and LEGO flags... both ridged pole variety.

    The other reason is that this set had an odd mixture of LEGO plants.  It had the 1961-66 style Samsonite LEGO unpainted flat base green plastic bushes... and the 1970-74 type granulated trees, all mixed in the same set.  But then again Canada was known for having an odd mixture of different LEGO parts.

    Getting back to the Canadian flag... about 1/2 of the value of this set is that one flag!

    When LEGO country flags were introduced in 1957... they came in this mix of countries....

    Although the Australian and Japanese flags were not introduced here, at least they were introduced in 1966 with new flag parts packs.  But the Canadian LEGO flag got no respect until the late 1960s... and even from 1973-80 when the 939 and 940 Flag and Antenna packs came out... the Canadian flag sticker was still not present... even thought the Japanese, Australian and even Irish flag stickers were introduced.

    So any Canadian flag is very rare and sought after!!

    My Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide goes into detail about the very odd and unusual 441-449 Canadian Spare parts packs, that were sold nowhere else, and had strange part mixtures.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    That very rare Canadian wavy flag.... came with a ridged pole.  

    Interestingly enough in the late 1960s TLG redesigned the LEGO flags to a ridged pole variety wavy style flag. But the only known ones are the Canadian, the German, the Dutch and the LEGO flag.  Apparently TLG still had enough of the other country flags in the round pole variety in their inventory, and other countries were not produced, until the non-waving stickered flags were introduced in 1973 (also with ridged pole).

    It really is a shame that TLG discontinued LEGO flags... in favor of all the not-very-useful miscellaneous non-country decorated flags they have today.   :/

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    And speaking of stickered flags... back in 1973-80 TLG made a series of spare parts packs that were sold in Britain/Ireland/Australia (British LEGO Ltd.) and continental Europe (TLG), and only for 3 years in Canada (1976-78) Samsonite of Canada)... but NOT in the USA (TLG).   (More LEGO Mayhem)

    The parts packs were the 931-941 packs.   The 939 and 940 parts packs were flag-trees-road signs packs... that differed in only 1 thing... of the 2 flag sticker sheets... the 940 set (only sold in Scandinavia) had a set of Scandinavian flag stickers, while the 939 pack (rest of continental Europe, Britain, Ireland, Australia and (for a short time) Canada did not.

    Here is the 939 box (again the rarer 940 box differs only by the box number and 1 different flag sticker sheet inside).  Both sets came with 6 white flags for 12 pairs of stickers (yeah more stickers than available flags)....

    Now here is where it gets complex....

    The 940 set was only sold in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland... and had the sticker sheets on the right.

    The 939 set was sold in the rest of continental Europe and (for a short time) in Canada with the 2 large sticker sheets on the left.  The 939 set of Britain, Ireland and Australia was sold with the 2 large and 1 small (Australia and Ireland) sticker sheets on the left.  So once again Canada got screwed because there probably should have been a little sticker sheet with some Canadian stickers like British LEGO Ltd. did for Britain, Ireland and Australia.... but NO... they did not.  No Canadian stickered flag (besides the one in the Canadian version of the 575 Coast Guard Set).

    Now if all this starting to get a bit complex already.... hehehe... it gets worse....   :o

    That 442 Decorator set in Canada from a few posts back... was sold in Canada until 1976, even though the 939 set of EU/AUS was already sold starting in 1973.  So from 1973 until 1975 the Canadian version of that 442 Decorator set... it not only still had a Canadian and LEGO wavy (non-stickered) flag.... but it also had a pair of sticker sheets for 2 included non-wavy plain white flags.  And the 2 sticker sheets that were included with this later version of the Canadian 442 set?   Why the 940 Scandinavian Sticker sheets!   :s

    Apparently when TLG was making those 939/940 sticker sheets... there were too many of the 940 sticker sheets made (after all, all of Scandinavia has a much smaller population than the rest of Europe).  Sooooo... the excess stickers went to Canada.  And to make matters worse... these later Canadian 442 sets no longer had those granulated trees... they were discontinued in 1974 (likely a choking hazard for kids.. when the granules were chewed off)...  So what did Canada use instead to go along with those plain 1960s flat bottom unpainted green bushes?   Why the leftover Billund inventory of PAINTED hollow bottom trees sold in Europe from 1965-69... see here...

    The Canadian 442 later packing variation... 1961-66 Samsonite unpainted bushes... 1965-69 European Painted trees with hollow bottoms.  1969-72 Wavy flags with tapered poles... and 1973-79 Scandinavian 940 set sticker sheets....

    And from 1976-78 when the 939 set WAS sold in Canada... it had the 939 sticker sheets NOT the 940 sticker sheets that it had from 1973-75!  Only at this point there were no Canadian flag at all....

    Pure LEGO Mayhem!!   :(

    If it weren't for this type of "midstream" set changes that TLG did so often over the last 60 years... my 2800 page collectors guide would only be 500 pages long....

    And now I have to take some aspirin....  ;)

  • thehornedratthehornedrat Member Posts: 87

    @Sethro3  you must be psychic!!   :p

    One of my new chapters of my collectors guide (as though 80 chapters and 3700 pages weren't enough).... is a short chapter that talks about sets that are "close" but different.

    Yeah, certainly a different era. I'm coming round to your point of view, spolit for choice, but better? Hmmmm, I can't say, having not experienced the 60s-70s - I wasn't around to compare!!

    Will the chapter include 6914 Prehistoric Hunters and 10250 Year of the snake? Or do we have to wait 30 years to be included, once they become vintage? :P

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    No... sets from yesterday and the day before will not be included....  :)
    All new sets have all their info readily available in the major online databases.

    I'll be sticking to the stuff that includes all of the 20th century LEGO sets (items that are part of the LEGO System of Play... no keychains or anything that can't be built)... and newer recent items that have additional information that go above and beyond what you can find online.... such as these sets...  (Autodesk, Dong, Ramboll, Ebay LEGO Sets)...

    But generally I won't have regular sets that were produced in the last decade.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    I guess my point was... what is the use of me including what is already being talked about in several publications and over a dozen online sites!   :|
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    Eventually you're going to have to write about them.

    20 years from now, they'll be "classic" in the eyes of today's youth.

    40 years from now, they'll be considered "vintage"!
  • ProfessorBrickkeeperProfessorBrickkeeper Member Posts: 26
    Eventually you're going to have to write about them.

    20 years from now, they'll be "classic" in the eyes of today's youth.

    40 years from now, they'll be considered "vintage"!
    However old they may get, I don't see that as a reason for manufacturing history about them if there is nothing interesting to be said of them in the first place. (It's the same reason @Istokg doesn't talk about some random, generic, Classic Suplemental pack, like #282, which has no peculiar or particularly interesting history surrounding it.)(Though I suspect he'll suddenly pop up and correct me! :-P)
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 553
    I need to be a bit careful reading this thread.  I'd love to have one of early 700/1 in a wooden box.  But that's clearly a pipe dream, as there's noway I can afford a set anywhere near that rare.  I'll just have to be happy with the 700 series sets from the 60s that I've managed to pick up.  I'd also like to get one of 700 series set in blue and yellow.  Those just look cool next to all those red and white sets.  

    This thread also reminds me that I should be consider expanding my 60s and early 70s collection to include some European sets.  Nearly all of what I have from that era is Samsonite.  But are a lot great sets from around the world at that point as well.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326

    Actually, I have a whole collectors guide chapter devoted to sloped bricks, and another that deals with just parts packs (some of which contain sloped bricks.

    52.0  EARLY LEGO SLOPED BRICKS (1958-2000).

    52.1   LEGO 45 Degree Sloped Bricks (1958-79).

    52.2   LEGO 33 Degree Low Sloped Bricks (1971-86).

    52.3   LEGO 75 Degree Steep Sloped Bricks (1978-86).

    52.4   LEGO Inverted Sloped Bricks (1976-86).

    52.5   Modern LEGO Sloped Bricks (1986-2000).

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    Here's the breakdown of the 280-283 sets as found in a table in my collectors guide.

    In the chapter on spare parts packs I have a much longer list (I get error messages trying to load it here)... that lists all the spare parts packs by box type, color, and parts count by country/region.

    Set/Parts          Set/Parts                                             Years              Where

    Number           Description                                          Sold                Sold


    #280                 2x4 Roof Bricks                                  1958-65           EU

    #282                 2x2 Roof Bricks                                  1958-65           EU

    #281                 1x3, 2x3 Roof Bricks                          1960-65           EU

    #283                 Angle, Valley & Peak Bricks                 1960-65           EU

    #280                 2x4 Roof Bricks                                  1960-65           UK

    #281                 1x3, 2x3 Roof Bricks                          1960-65           UK

    #282                 2x2 Roof Bricks                                  1960-65           UK

    #283                 Angle, Valley & Peak Bricks                1960-65            UK

    #280/3              Various Roof Bricks                           1961-66            USA

    #280/3              Various Roof Bricks                           1962-66            CAN

    #280                 2x4 Roof Bricks                                  1962-65            AUS

    #281                 1x3, 2x3 Roof Bricks                          1962-65            AUS

    #282                 2x2 Roof Bricks                                  1962-65            AUS

    #283                 Angle Valley & Peak Bricks                  1962-65            AUS

    So yes... I do go into quite a lot of details on even the most mundane sets, mostly because they vary by country to country

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2015
    I found the exact dates for the introduction of sloped bricks in a German LEGO retailer catalog....  and use them in Chapter 37 of my collectors guide discussing the evolution of the introduction of sloped bricks....

    Dec. 1958... after the intro of tube bottom bricks in Jan. 1958... sloped bricks were now possible....  and although the entire 13 piece "System" was invented at the same time.... only 2 of the 4 parts packs (280 2x4 slopes/peaks & 282 2x2 slopes/peaks) were introduced in Dec. 1958....

    Then in June 1959 the other 9 slopes were introduced... in parts packs 281 & 283....

    So by summer 1958, all 13 different slopes were introduced... 

    But all of these slopes were only available in red until 1960, when blue was introduced.  But what is interesting about that is this early 1959 leaflet shows blue bricks already.... for only the 280 and 282 packs... although the introduction of blue bricks happened in all 4 parts packs (13 different bricks) at the same time... 

    Also... in 1972 1 of these 13 bricks... the 2x2 double convex/double concave peak slope was retired.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Well since I'm still out to prove that there's a of info and history available, even on such mundane items as sloped bricks (even the lowly 282 parts pack slopes)... here's another pair of retailer images relating to these in my collectors guide....

    This first image hows even sloped bricks can be substituted for regular bricks.  In this example, the 2x2 slopes in red could be reversed and used as regular bricks in this example image... and to always be on the look-out for the LEGO logo....

    This previous image dates to about January 1959, and makes a comment at the bottom about where to find the LEGO exhibits in the Toy Exhibition in Nuremburg (Nürnberg) in February 1959.

    This last image shows the new 281 and 283 sloped bricks parts packs... and their delayed introduction in fall 1959.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    One of the most unusual LEGO sets was a 1960-67 British LEGO wooden box set... the 700K.  This woodoen box set was sold to the public in retail stores, and also directly from British LEGO Ltd. to schools and institutions.  It was produced in 5 major variations.  

    Here are the 1960 and 1961 box types (imported from Denmark).....

    And here is what the inside of the box looked like....

    Then in 1962 when the Wrexham Wales British LEGO Ltd. plant opened up... here are the new box designs....

    The upper 700K box was made of wood and sold in Britain/Ireland from 1962-65.   The lower 700K box was made of cardboard and sold from 1965-66.

    The 1962-64 versions of the wooden box 700K made in Wrexham also had wooden inserts, like earlier Danish imported versions.

    Then in 1964 British LEGO Ltd. changed the Wrexham Wales produced 700K wooden box set to have plastic inserts.

    And finally in 1965 the 700K wooden box set was converted to a cardboard box set, but with the same plastic inserts as the previous wooden box version.

    British LEGO Ltd. (a Courtauld's Textile/Chemical Company subsidiary and licensee for LEGO in Britain/Ireland and Australia from 1960-92) did the same thing that LEGO produced elsewhere had done.... produced LEGO Mayhem!!  :)

    My Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide shows nearly 90 LEGO wooden box sets.... 80 more than any online database... and yes even 80 more than are found in the Billund Vault!!   :o

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    The UK/Ireland 700K wooden or cardboard box sets were always old alone in a cardboard outer box....

    And those sets intended for schools and institutions were shipped directly from the Wrexham Wales LEGO plant to the school with this side label (not found in sets sold in stores)....

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited May 2015
    Well it's only been 2 weeks since I started this thread... and already a major change has taken place with the first image posted in this thread.

    When LEGO started out the plastic bricks were called Automatic Binding Bricks until 1953.  An there were too many boxes to make sense of the early years.   So that first wooden box in this thread was not a regular LEGO set, it turns out.

    Here are all the box types for the first LEGO (Automatic Binding Bricks) sets....

    The 1950-52 Swedish set was a licencee by GEAS KONSTHARTS of Gislaved Sweden.

    I came across this in the Official LEGO Timeline from .... and this is what it stated for the year 1950....


    Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, son of the founder, Ole Kirk Kristiansen, is appointed Junior Vice President the day he turns 30.

    Selected Product News 1950
    Three sets containing plastic bricks aimed at Kindergartens


    I missed that comment about 3 Kindergarten sets coming out in 1950.

    So if Kindergarten LEGO sets of the 1970s looked like this in a wooden box....

    And wooden box Kindergarten (TERAPI) sets of the 1960s came out like this....

    Then in the early 1950s... this would have been a wooden box Kindergarten set as well....  :)

    So this wooden box with a sliding top was a  very rare (and unknown) 1950 LEGO Kindergarten Set!!    :p

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited May 2015
    Well since this topic heading includes "most unusual'.... this set would definitely fit the bill.

    From 1970-71 USA Samsonite LEGO created a Sears Department Store exclusive set called the "Four Car Auto Transport Set".

    This set involved building a car hauler, and including 4 of the 1:87 LEGO cars of the 1960s.  This set comes either in a brown box (for Mail-Order deliveries), or a colorful box (for in-store sales).

    One of the reasons for this set was to use up the remaining inventory of the 261-268 LEGO 1:87 cars.  It did this quite well.... actually a bit too well because the leftover supply of the old LEGO 1:87 cars ran out.

    This made for a dilemma for Samsonite, which had a sales agreement with Sears to provide these until 1971.  So what did Samsonite do?   They replaced the LEGO 1:87 cars with those of another model car maker... in this case MINIX Cars of the United Kingdom.  These plastic cars replaced the LEGO cars in later versions of the set, although the boxes themselve never changed.

    And when the cars were still LEGO cars, it was not unusual to find 4 cars of the same model and color in this #157 Set.  However, once the LEGO cars ran out, the Minix cars that replaced them appear to always be of 4 colors.... red, yellow, green and blue.  These could be the same exact models, or the Minix models on occasion could vary for one or more of the cars.

    Here is the #157 box front, showing LEGO 1:87 vehicles on the box....

    Here is the back of the #157 box....

    Here is the built model with the Minix cars.....

    Unfortunately.... the earlier set with the LEGO 1:87 cars are much more valuable, since a mint LEGO 1:87 car is worth over $100 each, while a mini Minix car is only worth about $5-$10 each.  But in this instance the box is the more desirable colorful box variety.

    All 4 variations (cardboard vs. colorful box and LEGO vs. Minix cars) are shown in my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide chapter on Department Store Exclusive sets.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Previously in talking about the 4 different set variations to the 1970-71 USA #157 4 Car Auto Transport Set... there was another unusual set being sold across the big pond in continental Europe (not Britain/Ireland or Australia).

    That set was the #990 Trees/Signs/Flag/Antenna Parts Pack.  And like the USA #157 set, one of the uses of this #990 set was to get rid of old LEGO inventory... namely LEGO wavy country flags, and the hollow bottom trees/bushes.

    TLG was slowly getting rid of the old wavy LEGO country flags, so that the new printed straight flags would be introduced in 1973.

    TLG was also getting rid of their supply of the old hollow bottom trees and bushes, to replace them with the new (1970) granulated trees and bushes.

    So from 1969-70 the #990 Trees/Signs/Flag/Antenna Parts Pack came in a rectangular box with all the parts held in place by a styrofoam insert...

    There were actually 4 printed bricks (a 2nd brick behind the hotel brick).  Most of the sets of the different continental European countries had whatever flags were left in inventory in the Billund LEGO inventory.  Most countries ended up having the smooth pole LEGO wavy flag, although some countries still had their own flags included.

    Since the same instructions were used for the 994 Fence Parts pack, both sets of parts were shown in the instructions.  The flags shown in the instructions were the Danish and German flag, although the actual flag in the set could vary.

    In 1990 the new granulated trees and bushes were introduced, and the remaining hollow bottom flat trees/bushes were used up in these older type 990 sets (although some extras were shipped to Canada for their 442 Decorator Set parts pack).

    However TLG started running out of the round pole wavy flags, and they ended up having to create more flags... of the ridged pole variety (that was also found as Canadian and LEGO flags in that 442 Decorator Set of Canada).  So TLG made wavy ridged pole flags for Germany, the Netherlands, and LEGO flags.  Ironically no other country flags are known of this type, so it appears that the ridged pole LEGO flag was used in the 990 sets of other countries in continental Europe.

    Then by 1971 the inventory of old flat hollow bottom trees and bushes was exhausted from the Billund inventory, and TLG had to redesign the #990 box to allow for the thicker (more 3 dimensional) granulated trees and bushes.  So TLG switched from a long flat rectangular box, to a more square (loose parts) #990 box to include the new granulated trees/bushes along with the ridged pole flags, the 4 printed bricks, and the single antenna.

    In 1973 TLG introduced a whole new series of spare parts box (reducing the total count from 66 to 11... and the 939/940 parts packs (already mentioned in this thread)... were introduced.

    But these 2 completely different #990 trees/bushes/printed bricks/flag/antenna parts pack make for an interesting collectible.  And the total number of diffferent flag combinations that were produced for these sets is still a mystery.

    (Images from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide chapters on 1966-79 Spare Parts Packs, and LEGO Town Accessories.)

  • SueButcherSueButcher AustraliaMember Posts: 23
    Fantastic thread! I'm a fan of the modernist "System" era, before the Planpacks got out of control and Lego became mostly snap-together kits full of odd adhoc parts. Sticking to standard bricks forced builders to use their imagination, and the results were often very artistic and amusing. That's the essence of Lego for me. 
  • alaskaguyalaskaguy Member Posts: 335
    Interesting read.  Thank you for posting.
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