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Old Lego Catalogues

natro220natro220 Member Posts: 545
edited August 2018 in Everything else LEGO
Growing up in the ‘80’s, before the internet and Brickset and Lego stores, the only historical record of older Lego sets were the catalogues that came with each set. The bigger sets had the full range of available sets in a 15-20 page book along with beautiful dioramas. Often, sets in those books were no longer in stores. The fact that these sets were now unattainable made them even more attractive and desirable to 10 year old me.

The most memorable of those sets to me was Big Rig Truck Stop. It just seemed like a really cool set so different from the police and fire sets so prevalent. Does any one else remember a set they could never get due to being too old?


  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Member Posts: 4,270
    I was never too old to get a set.
  • bookmumbookmum Member Posts: 1,512
    I got my last Fabuland set for my 12th birthday (age on box 4 - 8 years). To quote my mum "I won't be buying you any more now as you are getting a bit old". The range that year had a very cool Fire Station with a slide for the firemen and there was a Fun Fair set. And that Bonnie Bunny house. I wanted them. I didn't get them. I still want them. 
    To old? Never. 
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Member Posts: 7,729
    I think he means have you gotten a set with promotional material inside it for a set no longer available to be purchased. 
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda Member Posts: 1,295
    edited August 2018
    Wow, I left this page open for far too long. Disregard the now deleted comment.
  • LuLegoLuLego Member Posts: 1,010
    The catalogues! Those were amazing and I certainly have fond memories of looking at those.

    Playmobil still include a mini pamphlet in their sets (I have a 5 year old boy) and I still love looking at these booklets.

    Agreed with comments above - I still get goosebumps looking at them!
  • natro220natro220 Member Posts: 545
    I think some of you above misunderstood my original comment. I meant that the set I really wanted was too old and no longer in stores, therefore it felt unattainable forever (before eBay and Bricklink made buying anything Lego possible). I wasn’t talking about entering my dark ages.
  • PeteMPeteM Member Posts: 447
    Not so much the catalogues for me, but the dioramas on the back of the instructions, especially the 12v trains sets, were always teasing sets that were no longer around. My first set was #7710 and I was in awe of the selection of sets on the back but I could never find them in Argos catalogues at the time... Little did I know that they were all well out of production by then and one (#7750) was never even sold in the UK to start with!
  • natro220natro220 Member Posts: 545
    @eanair That town racing diorama really brings back good memories. I remember trying to recreate that one even though I didn’t have most of the background sets. Also loved the pirates ones from the inaugural release.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Member Posts: 4,257
    How about the reverse problem, i.e. "Available August 1st, 19xx"? I bought #6077 Forestmen's River Fortress early January, 1989 on my way to the airport for a flight to South Korea while in the US Army. It had the 1989 catalog which had the Pirate sets... which would not be available until later that year! I brought a 3-gallon canister that had held popcorn (cleaned thoroughly) full of LEGO with me- including #6085 Black Monarch's Castle. The year and a half in South Korea was the longest I've ever gone without buying LEGO.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 574
    I loved pouring over old catalogs and pining over sets I wanted.  My favorite part of the year was waiting for new catalogs to come out and to see what the new sets for the coming year were going to be.  I have a massive stack of old catalogs.  Mostly from 1988-2003. I have a few that are order, but not many.  I was really disappointed in 1995 when they stopped printing the names of sets in the catalogs and when the stopped printing the catalogs all together.  I know why both of this things happened and agree with both reasons, but still it's a disappointment.

    Really the only set that I really wanted and didn't get was #6074.  Most other older sets I didn't really know about it or want.  #6074 was one of the few that I knew about and wanted, but never got as a kid.  I would pick one up in late 1999.

    The other fun thing about old Lego catalog was getting sets from S@H.  The first few sets I got from S@H came with European catalogs rather than US ones.  These were similar, but not identical.  And the names of sets were different.  #6074 was known as Black Falcon's Fortress in the US, but Castle Draco and the Black Knight in the EU/UK. 
  • catwranglercatwrangler Member Posts: 1,895
    Nice thread! I've always loved the range leaflets that come with toys. Smart of Lego to put them on the back of the instructions, so the parents won't throw it away...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,836
    Any sets I wish I had in my youth I have had as an adult now. Pretty much any larger set, as they were some pricey for the economy back then: Big Rig Truck Stop, Fire Station, Cargo Center, Galaxy Explorer, Beta-1 Command base, etc...
  • glosminifigfanglosminifigfan Member Posts: 97
    The dioramas / scenes in the catalogues were absolutely enchanting, I would look at them for ages when a new catalogue came out.

    Does anyone know anything about who put these scenes together, any 'behind the scenes' information out there? What an amazing job!
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