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LEGO Promotional Sets you've probably never heard of...

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
OK,  I've been working on my updates for my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide, and I've come across a lot of sets that are probably not familiar to most AFOLs, even me!  So I thought I would ask around.

I've gotten a huge number (nearly 150) Japanese promo sets, including 106 Kabaya Candy LEGO promotional sets, at least 25 Japanese Coca Cola promo sets, and lots of others sold in different parts of the world.

Recently I was researching the 4032 Holiday Jet set of 2004-2006.  This very interesting set comes in 13 versions... each different by the sticker sheet that comes with them, which is located in a clear envelope on the back of the box. 

The 13 versions are the one common LEGO version sold in all regions, and the 12 other versions (each with their own stickers on the back of the box) were different airline promotional sets.  I found this an interesting and uniquely packaged way to turn a set into a promotional set, by just adding a sticker sheet wrapped in plastic on the back of the box.

The 4032 common front of the box (for all 13 variations)...




And one of the 13 different sticker sheets on back....  This promotional box is for Iberia Airlines (with the Iberia sticker sheet).  There are sticker sheets for airlines from Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Spain, etc.  An interesting way to use the same box and parts/instructions inside, and just add the sticker sheet to the back.





While discussing this on Facebook, one collector had a 14th (unknown) set that was not in Brickset or any other online database... a Bank sticker sheet... specifically for 2 banks that TLG uses for online inter-country transfers.  One is the Dutch bank ING, and the other is Swedish bank SEB... here is the 4032 sticker sheet, as well as the carrying cardboard box this promotional version of 4032 comes in (with both bank names on it)....



On the back of the outer carrying box this is written (a bit hard to read).....



So this is an interesting 14th version of the 4032 set, that is less well known (and rarer?) than the others... and did not involve an airline.

(More info to come...)
stluxKungFuKennymadforLEGOandhepxchrisbricktuarymessy
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Comments

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    OK... now for some questions for the LEGO collector community...  I also came across by accident some 1980s LEGO sets (Town, Space, Castle, Fabuland), that were promo sets for the Nestle Company... but for a powdered milk product they sell called NESPRAY...  this powdered milk product is sold in many countries throughout the world, and apparently in Asia there were some LEGO promotional sets involved with it. 

    It appears that NESPRAY powdered milk sold in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and possibly China had LEGO promo sets.   Here's a promo flyer....



    And here is another one....



    I have a few of these sets identified via online searches, which show either just English promotional writing on top, or English and Chinese (?).













    I've been trying to get more info on these sets, but seem to have hit a brick wall, that may be a language barrier in finding more sets, or more info about these sets, and which countries they were sold in (if it was more than the 4-5 countries I mentioned). 

    These wouldn't be a big deal if they were just a polybag without writing on it... but they have the name of the promotional company on them, and are a unique version of relatively common 1980s sets.

    Does anyone have any info on these sets, or can point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!  ;-)

    stluxKungFuKennymadforLEGOThe_RancorandheMynattGothamConstructionCopxchris
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 528
    Good stuff as always.  I'm by no means in expect, but the Nespray stuff looks like it uses Traditional Chinese rather than Simplified Chinese.  Hong Kong and Taiwan use Traditional Chinese.  Mainland China, Singapore, and Malaysia use Simplified Chinese.  I believe Singapore started using simplified in the 70s and Malaysia in the 80s.

    On your first flyer the four red characters to the left of LEGO is Traditional Chinese for LEGO toys (per Google Translate).  The green characters on the first line are seen in the second flyer and the boxes on in your last photo.  Understanding what that says might be key to learning where these are from.

    If I'm correct about this being Traditional Chinese, I believe it is reasonable to focus on Hong Kong or Taiwan as being the source of these sets.



    KungFuKenny
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited June 2020
    Thanks @LusiferSam

    Even though I can speak English, French and 3 dialects of German, my understanding of Simplified versus Traditional Chinese is nonexistent!  

    The irony is that my LEGO guide is being translated into Simplified Chinese for the China market!  ;-)

    ... and maybe also into Italian!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,001
    Istokg said:
    .......I've been trying to get more info on these sets, but seem to have hit a brick wall.....

    HAH
    KungFuKenny560Heliportandhegmonkey76pxchrisMinifigInSpace
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 528
    Language is not my forte.  I have enough trouble with English as is (dyslexia).  Most of what I know of Chinese comes from having to spend time in Japan for work.  Japanese uses Traditional Chinese characters in addition to two other primary syllabaries with some limit use of Latin letters.  I can't speak or read of these, but I can recognize them.  Traditional Chinese is more ornate and simplified is less ornate, if that means sense. 


    IstokgDeMontescody6268andhe
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,313
    That bank plane is probably just some standard big business thing, but the box jargon makes me imagine planes laden with cash zipping over the alps to avoid detection. 
    560HeliportKungFuKennygmonkey76Astrobricksbricktuary
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 2,279
    Like #1687... 
    KungFuKennyandhegmonkey76Astrobricks
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255

    More interesting LEGO airliner promotional sets...

    The #2928 Airline Promotional Set was introduced in 2006.  This set had a generic box front and back.  And it had the North American box type, with a parts count, and text in English, French, and Spanish...



    Back of box...



    The #2928 Airline Promotional Set was made in a special limited edition of 4000 for ANA Japanese Airline.  Here is a promo ad for that set, showing the 4000 number...







    The front of the ANA version of #2928 had the same box front as the regular Airline version of the set, but this set dates to 2008.




    The back of the ANA version of the #2928 box is covered by a large ANA sticker sheet within a clear plastic sleeve attached to the back of the box.  In this sticker sheet it mentions which numbered set of the 4000 it is.   Here it mentions that it is 0796/4000.





    Another similar limited number ANA set is #7893 - Passenger Plane, which comes as a regular airplane set, and also as a promotional ANA version.  Here is the promo ad for the ANA #7893 showing that there are a limited edition of 1000, with the sticker sheet posted on the front of the box....








    And another similar limited number ANA set is #7894 - Airport Set, which comes as a regular airport set (2006), and also as a promotional ANA version (2007).  Here is the promo ad for the ANA #7894 showing that there are a limited edition of 1000, with the sticker sheet posted on the front of the box....







    So it appears that most Airline promotional sets have the same box design as the non-promotional set version, but have a sticker sheet attached to the outside of the box, either on the front side or the back side of the box.

    560HeliportFizyxstluxbricktuarybpk2300Mr_CrosspxchrisKungFuKennymadforLEGO
  • bricktuarybricktuary Krakozhia (temporarily stuck in London)Member Posts: 609
    edited September 2020
    I love these posts! Wonderful stuff, in fact feels more like it should be front page content than being hidden away in the forums. 
    IstokgMr_CrosspxchrisThe_Rancor560Heliportgmonkey76madforLEGO
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,588
    I really like the "We Love LEGO" sticker on the extra sheet for #2928
    560Heliport
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    Thanks @bricktuary .... Huw has posted some of my stuff on the front page in the past... I should talk to him about it again. :-)

    I have re-thought my comments above about the 7893 and 7894 sets.  It doesn't make sense to put the ANA sticker sheet onto the front of the box, and hide the model image.  I noticed that the 7894 sticker sheet is just "standing" in front of the box, and not attached.

    I think that the stickers are usually attached to the back of the sealed box, such as the 14 different sticker versions of the 4032 Holiday Jet discussed at the beginning of this thread.

    Also, I noticed that the ANA stickers of the 2928, 7893 and 7894 ANA versions of those sets... the ANA related stickers are put over parts that may already have a generic airline design, as found here...

    The 2928 generic set has no printed airplane parts, and so the generic 2928 and ANA 2928 both have stickers that go over the tail and sides of the airplane...

    https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=54094pb01&idColor=7#T=C&C=7

    The 7893 and 7894 generic sets already have generic jet tail and side elements that are preprinted... no stickers needed for the jet body of the generic version, and stickers will overlay the generic design on the jet body of the ANA versions...

    https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=54094pb01&idColor=7#T=C&C=7

    https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=54094pb01&idColor=5#T=C&C=5

    What differentiates the ANA Japanese Airline version of these sets versus the generic versions is that only the ANA version has the finished jet models with airline specific (here it's ANA) designs.  The generic versions (sold by British Airways, Lufthansa, et al) all have the same identical generic jet appearance.  So there was no way to differentiate a British Airways promo LEGO jet model from a Lufthansa promo model.  That is what makes the ANA version more desirable than the generic version given away (or sold) by other airlines.
    AstrobricksSumoLego560HeliportFizyxpxchrismadforLEGO
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,805
    I'm always very happy, in fact eager, to publish stuff like this, Gary!
    IstokgSumoLego560Heliportpxchrisdatsunrobbiegmonkey76stluxmadforLEGOMinifigInSpace
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited September 2020
    @Huw Thanks Huw.... I will take you up on that offer... ;-)

    One question for everyone.  I came across some models of LEGO airplanes that use "custom" stickers.  I assume these are not knock-offs of real LEGO stickers, because I cannot find Airline Promotional sets that have these?  Anyone who can confirm this?





    Chinese Ebay store that sells these... and other sticker sheets for Quantas, Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, etc...
    https://www.ebay.com/str/GOvisions

    It looks to me as though these do not exist as real LEGO stickers, since a Google search doesn't locate any of these, besides in this Chinese online Ebay store.

    madforLEGO
  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL The NetherlandsMember Posts: 600
    Weird LH-737 with those rear-mounted engines ;)

    Great info, thanks Gary!
    IstokgAstrobricks
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,951
    eMJeeNL said:
    Weird LH-737 with those rear-mounted engines ;)

    Great info, thanks Gary!
    That’s what I was thinking. Obviously the seller has no idea what a 737 looks like.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,805
    Interesting, I've added it to the database.
    AstrobricksIstokgFizyxCyberdragon
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1222768

    That bucket was recently posted on the BL forum, slightly less cropped image there.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited September 2020
    CCC said:
    https://www.bricklink.com/message.asp?ID=1222768

    That bucket was recently posted on the BL forum, slightly less cropped image there.
    And also on Facebook a few days before that, where someone PMed me about it...  I do like the nicer image...
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited September 2020
    Ramen Noodle LEGO sets?  ;-)

    The nearly 130 Japanese promotional LEGO sets that make up the largest group of LEGO promotional sets... known as Kabaya Sweets.  All but 4 of these promotional LEGO sets always came in a box with a polybag set inside, along with candy. 

    Probably the strangest looking of these Kabaya sets were three 2004 dinosaur sets that were packaged in a ramen noodle type packaging (with the polybag and candy inside).  My Japanese LEGO friend Yoshihito, sent along this interesting group of unusually packaged 2004 LEGO promo sets....

    7209 Pteranodon Set...




    7210 Apatosaurus Set...





    7219 Dinosaur Set...




    The Kabaya Sweets LEGO promotional sets... 1998-2004.

    New additions to my collectors guide... noodles not included!
    stluxbricktuaryKungFuKennyMynattmadforLEGOAstrobrickspxchris
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    Since I'm on the topic of round promotional sets....

    The first LEGO bucket set was introduced in Canada in 1984.  That was promotional set #9903 was an odd choice for a set number... since the numbers of that range were mostly Mindstorm sets in the later 1990s.

    This #9903 set was likely a Canadian department store or toy store promotional set, but the exact store is still a mystery.  This set was the first LEGO bucket set, and was round.  The same bucket was reused 2 years later by other countries.



    In 1986 TLG reused this same bucket for special set #1619 in Italy, as a 25th Anniversary set for LEGO Italy introduced in 1961.  Note:  TLG had a tendency to celebrate the anniversary of when they opened a sales office (1961 in Italy), rather than the year LEGO sales actually started (1958 in Italy under a licensee).  (Image: Andrea)...




    Just last week I was informed that LEGO Australia also used this same bucket #1619 set as a promotional set for some Australian department or toy store in 1986, the origins of which are still unknown.  This is the same identical bucket that was used in Canada and Italy.  (Image: Greg)...



    These were the last of the round bucket sets (unless someone knows of another promo set elsewhere?).  Starting in 1987 bucket sets came in the squared off buckets that we know of today, available in several sizes, as well as in tubs.

    madforLEGOThe_RancorPeteMstlux
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 13,715
    Wonder if you could get a five gallon bucket of LEGO Red paint in one of those things...
    Fizyx
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    SumoLego said:
    Wonder if you could get a five gallon bucket of LEGO Red paint in one of those things...
    I think that 3rd bucket is on a glass shelf well above the minifigures, so this looks like an optical illusion to make the bucket larger than it really is.  ;-)
    SumoLego
  • scottdd2scottdd2 ADELAIDEMember Posts: 86
    Istokg said:
    @Huw Thanks Huw.... I will take you up on that offer... ;-)

    One question for everyone.  I came across some models of LEGO airplanes that use "custom" stickers.  I assume these are not knock-offs of real LEGO stickers, because I cannot find Airline Promotional sets that have these?  Anyone who can confirm this?





    Chinese Ebay store that sells these... and other sticker sheets for Quantas, Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, etc...
    https://www.ebay.com/str/GOvisions

    It looks to me as though these do not exist as real LEGO stickers, since a Google search doesn't locate any of these, besides in this Chinese online Ebay store.

    Just a quick note QANTAS doesn't have a U as it started as an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services
    Astrobricks
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    scottdd2 said:

    Just a quick note QANTAS doesn't have a U as it started as an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services

    Well that's good to know.  I assume it is pronounced the same way we pronounce Qatar... 'QAHN-TAS' ? 
  • vanvonfullvanvonfull washingtonMember Posts: 169
    Clear as mud... I’m not sure I will be helpful, but it’s interesting anyway:

    I grew up saying “cuh-TAR” based on a fifa game, but the news in the US sounds like “cutter”. Qatari people would disagree with both since both syllables are not phonetically in English (more of a guttural sound I can’t type out since I’m not a linguist.) 

    so I definitely don’t know how to say “QANTAS”. 
    Bumblepants
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 3,951
    I have a good idea how Australians pronounce it if their flight is late ;-)
    vanvonfullIstokgscottdd2MinifigInSpaceKungFuKenny
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,003
    Personally I've always called it Qu-an-tas.

    And Ka-tar
    Istokg
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited October 2020
    In the early 1960s LEGO airplanes were first introduced.  In 1960 an airplane ideas brochure was one of several different brochures showing themes of LEGO ideas.  This brochure predates LEGO wheels (introduced spring 1962)... and was sold by LEGO retailers for 1 penny/pfennig/øre...



    These were sold by LEGO retailers in a small countertop display stand, each one folded...



    The first LEGO airplane set was the 312, sold only in continental Europe starting in 1961, and made only of bricks, slopes and white plates...



    In 1964 a 303 Airplane Set was introduced... sold only in Britain, Ireland and Australia...





    In 1965 the very first LEGO airline promotional set was introduced on SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) sets, as a giveaway...




    On the inside of the set there were small boxes, each one containing only LEGO bricks.  On the inside cover there was a simple map of the SAS world routes...



    This small boxed set also came in 2 other versions, one a Christmas theme promo, and the other a Billund LEGO brick sample promo.
    560HeliportAstrobricksbricktuaryvizzitorpxchrisShropshire
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited November 2020
    A promotional set that folks are familiar with is the very rare Canadian #106 UNICEF Truck Set...



    From what has been publicized about this set, these were only limited to either 300 or 350 (depending on the source) were available only to select members of the LEGO Club of Canada.

    These were produced by Samsonite of Canada, via their Stratford Ontario plant.  However the limited production of such a small set count would have been very expensive to make boxes and unique pieces in such small numbers.  So I had always wondered if that was really the total set count produced.

    Looking at some old notes... it seems that Samsonite of Canada made way more than just 300 of these sets, and they were sold as a limited item at Toys R Us of Canada for CAD $6.97.  Now I just need to find a stickered #106 set to confirm this.  ;-)
    AstrobricksmadforLEGOflightrisk
  • Blockwork_OrangeBlockwork_Orange ON, CanadaMember Posts: 108
    I agree that there were a lot more produced than the 300 or so.  While rare, they do show up on Ebay with reasonable regularity,  In fact there are 2 of them listed right now!  Plus I have another 2 in my collection :) 
    Istokg
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    I agree that there were a lot more produced than the 300 or so.  While rare, they do show up on Ebay with reasonable regularity,  In fact there are 2 of them listed right now!  Plus I have another 2 in my collection :) 
    Thanks for the feedback @Blockwork_Orange !!  I had noticed that there were 4 also for sale on Bricklink (only 1 with box, but all with the rare blue UNICEF panels).  I think that the prices found everywhere are based on the misconception that there were only 300 produced.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited November 2020
    Another interesting promotional set was the 325 (+3) Basic Set introduced in 1990.  This set came as a regular (rather boring) basic set for younger children...



    This plastic top tote box #325 set was introduced in 1990, the year that Godtfred Kirk Christiansen (then LEGO owner) turned 70 years old.  They had a big birthday bash for him in July 1990, and all the guests got a special version of the #325 set with GKCs image on the front, the only time that GKC ever had his image on the front of a LEGO box...



    As it turns out, this rare version of the #325 set was not just for people who attended GKCs 70th Birthday party, but also every TLG employee in Billund also received one, making it less rare than first anticipated.

    And that was not all.  When they made a production run of this set, they made enough for the 70th Birthday party AND all Billund LEGO employees... and there were still some left over.  Those extra copies were sold at the LEGOLAND Billund LEGO store.

    Since discovering all of this I found out one additional thing... that there was no special box made up for this Birthday set.  All that was done was a large sticker was added to the front of the regular #325 set, and those were the special sets with GKCs image and Danish birthday greeting on the front.

    Learn something new every day... ;-)

    P.S.  GKC passed away in July 1995, at age 75... just a week after his 75th Birthday.  He left the still privately owned TLG to his son Kjeld, and daughter Gunhild.  In 2007 Gunhild sold her share of TLG to her brother Kjeld for reputedly $1 billion.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    One of the largest stores in Scandinavia, Denmark's BR Legetoj (with subsidiaries in other northern European countries) had a 2013 50th Toy Store Anniversary minifig exclusive.  The minifig is of the BR Mascot, and the set is #5001121




    Well in 1988 that toy store had a 25th Anniversary exclusive.  Here is the ad page to that...




    Here are the BR mascots, but not as minifigs in 1988, but as LEGO built sets...






    And here is the unique printed 2x4 red LEGO brick only ever found in that set...




    Danish images: Soren.
    CymbelineFizyxAstrobricksBumblepantsKungFuKennybricktuarymessyjason1976
  • scottdd2scottdd2 ADELAIDEMember Posts: 86
    edited November 2020
    Istokg said:
    scottdd2 said:

    Just a quick note QANTAS doesn't have a U as it started as an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services

    Well that's good to know.  I assume it is pronounced the same way we pronounce Qatar... 'QAHN-TAS' ? 

    Phonetically KWON (as in won-ton)TUHS

    https://youglish.com/pronounce/qantas/english/aus


  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited November 2020
    @scottdd2 Thank you, I got up to speed the first time you mentioned it (via Youtube)....

    Getting back to LEGO....
  • Blockwork_OrangeBlockwork_Orange ON, CanadaMember Posts: 108
    Saw this picture on an ebay listing that confirms that #106 appears to have been sold at Toys R Us
    560HeliportIstokgKungFuKennypxchris
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    Thanks @Blockwork_Orange...

    A very nice set... regardless of its' pedigree... ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    I bet these sellers will be bummed that it's not as rare as they think... 

    https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=106-1#T=S&O={"iconly":0}
    gmonkey76KungFuKenny
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    Well, I found another rare variation on a regular LEGO set....  thanks to visiting the ACOL Community Italian Facebook page...

    The 2002 Racers set Williams F1 Team Racer Set 8461came in a normal edition....




    Apparently this set had a special edition for BMW Dealers... the BMW Williams F1 FW25 Team Racer Set, which appears to have come with a key chain and carrying bag (as well as a smaller item), all of which are shown on the lower right of the box top.  This version of 8461 also came with a different sticker sheet....




    Here is the contents of the special edition, which appears to have a plastic bag with straps for the carrying bag.... 




    Possibly the purchaser of a BMW vehicle obtained this 8461 special set.
    stluxKungFuKennypxchrisMarshallmario
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    Just got some more information on the special BMW version of 4861...

    "This edition of the set was packaged with a pin badge of the BMW Williams F1 Team Logo, a metal keyring featuring the steering wheel of the car and a ticket holder on a branded lanyard (fabric rope), and the rear wing stickers of the model was white with 'INVENT' on it, instead of blue with 'HP' on it."


  • eMJeeNLeMJeeNL The NetherlandsMember Posts: 600
    I can see Kenny going ab-so-lu-te-ly mental right now... ;)
    560HeliportandheFizyxjmeninnoKungFuKenny
  • MarshallmarioMarshallmario Madison WIMember Posts: 102
         So I take it retired molds means thrown away molds, correct? Why does Lego do this? Are they worn out  and no longer usable or the sets are no longer being made. Seems like a very expensive item to toss. I try to keep everything in case I have a use for it down the road.
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 1,624
         So I take it retired molds means thrown away molds, correct? Why does Lego do this? Are they worn out  and no longer usable or the sets are no longer being made. Seems like a very expensive item to toss. I try to keep everything in case I have a use for it down the road.
    It’s more to do with the intellectual property - TLG don’t want the moulds to be able to be used by anyone else in the future when they’ve decided they no longer want them. The moulds do wear away over time too, so the moulding becomes less accurate and clean.
    IstokgMarshallmarioOldfan
  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 1,082
         So I take it retired molds means thrown away molds, correct? Why does Lego do this? Are they worn out  and no longer usable or the sets are no longer being made. Seems like a very expensive item to toss. I try to keep everything in case I have a use for it down the road.

    Retired really means destroyed.  Either literally, or (as @Istokg mentioned) making them physically irretrievable.  For most molds of common pieces, it's because they are worn out and will no longer make pieces inside of the specifications that LEGO demands.  However, that doesn't mean that those same molds wouldn't be exceptionally valuable in the hands of someone else with  not scruples, aka Lepin et. all.  There also may be proprietary trade secrets built into the molds that LEGO doesn't want competitors finding out about.  (How the mold is cooled as the plastic is injected for instance, can have a huge difference in how quickly you can make pieces.  The faster you can cool a piece after it has been injected, the sooner you can remove it from the mold and make another one.)  It's much safer to destroy the molds outright than to keep an old, worn mold just sitting around.

    As for molds for pieces that are not currently being made, most of them will likely get kept for some time until LEGO decides that they for sure won't be using them again, at which point the same logic as above takes over.  However, molds can actually degrade over time, and if they aren't taken care of that degradation can happen surprisingly quickly. They also take a lot (A LOT) of space to store.  So all the care and space that it takes to store unused molds is going to cause non-negligible costs all by themselves that are going to play into those choices.  While you're right about the upfront cost of a mold (probably somewhere in the range of $20,000 for an average LEGO mold), the cost of storage and care can overwhelm that surprisingly quickly.
    IstokgAstrobricksCymbelineMarshallmarioBumblepantsKungFuKennycatwrangleriwybs
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,255
    edited February 25
    TLG only ever made promotional LEGO sets for one World's Fair... the 1964-65 New York World's Fair.

    Here is the Danish Pavilion at the fair, where 2 special LEGO sets were sold.




    The 2 unique LEGO sets (with a handle for easy carrying around the fair) were...

    The small #395 Set...




    And the large #396 Set...




    Based on the models on the box, the small #395 set contained the contents of a medium 700/3 LEGO Basic Set, and the large #396 set contained the contents of a large 700/1 Basic LEGO Set (both of which were sold in all countries, except USA and Canada.

    Most of the few known #395 and #396 sets are in very rough shape.

    @Huw, feel free to add these images to the Brickset database. ;-)
    KungFuKennypxchrismadforLEGOcatwranglerstluxbricktuary
  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,748
    edited February 25
    Istokg said:
    Here's something I didn't want to start a whole new thread for... but an interesting fact about the 1979-89 Fabuland sets.  I believe that when Fabuland (which was a wonderful LEGO System for young children) ended in 1989 TLG decided not to discard (cement into TLG building foundations and walls) some of the Fabuland LEGO moulds.  Instead they kept them around for over a decade.  Some were used in Belville and Scala II sets in the 1990s and early 2000s. 

    The New Elementary did a series of articles (nicely written by @DeMontes ) on Fabuland elements, including some that live on today...
    https://www.newelementary.com/2019/12/fabuland-old-rare-lego-parts.html?m=1

    https://www.newelementary.com/2019/08/fabuland-lives-on-elements.html?m=1

    https://www.newelementary.com/2019/10/fabuland-lives-on-hidden-side.html?m=1
    veyniacIstokgpxchrisDeMontesmadforLEGOcatwranglerSumoLego
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