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Set 1968 Unnamed

LegorunnerLegorunner Member Posts: 35
edited May 2011 in The Database
In this according to my friend, he says this was part of McDonald's Promotional in Canada in 1980's. Could somebody confirm this if it's true or not. He also says there should be name of this set if somebody had saved a bag or box of it with the set. Thanks.


  • LegorunnerLegorunner Member Posts: 35
    Guess the edit won't work when I clicked on option to edit my topic.

    I did some research on this set. It is promotional set by McDonald's in 1980's. It took me about an hour and half to search via google to find info, I came across a picture of badly "mangled" box with sticker on it.

    It is named "Space Express" by a website that has the photo of the box. It's over at lego.wikia. site. Toobad there wasn't a full 360 pictures of the box. Just the front only. There's a sticker price tag and it says $11.88. I don't know if that is the original retail price or sale price.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,295
    The 1985 #1968 set is indeed a promotional set. But I question if it is indeed a MacDonad's set. First of all, it is relatively too large for a fast food promo set. It has 183 pieces. Most promo sets are small with fewer than 30 pieces.

    But doing some checking I agree that this is likely the "Space Express" set. And, unless someone has a copy that is not the typical English/French bilingual sets of Canada... I would say that this may likely be a "ZELLER's" promotional set. Zeller's is a Canadian discount store, similar to the USA Target Store.

    I believe that Zeller's follows the lead of the USA store Target... in that they offer exclusive items... such as LEGO sets.

    So as I said... this seems too big to be MacDonald's... and that stickerered box that you came across... has the name "Zellers" on it.

  • LegorunnerLegorunner Member Posts: 35
    @Istokg, you're correct about Zeller's. I did some checking on that. So it's equalivent as Target in a sense. Interesting.

    The website I found that listed McDonald's that contained Lego put out by McDonald's for happy meals back in those days in 1980's. I was mislead on the #1968 set.

    Thanks for clarifying it.

    Now I'd love to see a full "360" pictures (prefferably the back) of the box for this particular set.
  • clundsbergclundsberg Member Posts: 44
    as an addition, Lego sets with Happy Meals were usually bagged sets - I have a few of these bags still. 1563 - Track Blaster for instance. Just came across a bin of more Legos that were in the basement - these contain my older 70's Legos pieces and a McDonalds promo that was a very basic set (made a boat or happy face or something)
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    I got 1968 because I'm a fan of Lego Space, but I can't say it really appeals to me. It's not up to the usual standard of classic Space and has a "put together in a hurry" feel about it.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,295
    edited May 2011
    The notes on this set in Brickset say....

    "Available from Vedes and Spielzeug-Ring toy stores in Germany."

    So this may have been a promotional set put together with leftover space parts that some designer had to use only the designated "extra" parts he had available to him.

    We have to remember that TLG never threw anything away... and this "mediocre" design may have been sold as an exclusive set in Canada (Zeller's) and Germany (Vedes & Spielzeug-Ring)... and possibly elsewhere?? just to get rid of the excess parts inventory. Also, in the Brickset notes it mentions 193 parts... and "on" the Candian box it mentions 177 parts. I have also seen it mentioned as 183 parts elsewhere.

    It would be nice to find a "non-Canadian" box image...
  • LegorunnerLegorunner Member Posts: 35
    @Istokg - Really? 2 different sources: Brickset says 193 whilst the canadian box says 177. Where did you see that part that says 183 pieces?

    Does Lego ever release similar sets like this set for example as limited in certain countries like Canada ?

    Guess alternative is check peeron and count the pieces from the instruction there to find out the x total of pieces. (That is if Lego has inventory system that kept track of each set/pieces released?)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,295
    edited May 2011
    @Legorunner... my 183 piece count was a typo... I was trying to type 193... and later saw the box itself with 177.

    To answer your question about whether or not TLG releases certain sets in only a few countries, the answer is a definite yes.

    Here's some earlier examples...

    The 1965 (only) #321 Clowns Set was only sold in Denmark and Japan...
    Ironically this set was made of ALL common parts... so anyone can build it today (with the instructions)...

    Another set that had an extemely limited production was the #1 and #2 "Minitalia style" set of 1977. This was actually a LEGO set that used all LEGO parts, but also used the Minitalia windows/shutters/doors, but the windows/doors were in black (all true Minitalia LEGO sets only had white windows/doors).... this set was only sold in Italy (where all Minitalia sets were sold from 1970-75) and also Japan....
    You won't see the words "Minitalia" on either of these sets. But I believe the reason for their existence was to use up the remaining Minitalia windows/shutters/doors molds that were still available.

    There are many many other country specific sets... to many to name... but 2 USA examples are the 5235 Schoolroom Homemaker set of 1982, and the (original) 6390 Main Street set of 1980.

    Gary Istok
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Quite a few sets were 'US only', including Space, Town and Castle sets. Often I can't see why certain sets didn't get a wider release (two fantastic Forerstmen sets, for example).
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,706
    .....and then there's the phenomenon of the same set being released with a different set number depending on geography. Set 928 Galaxy Explorer, for instance.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,295
    edited May 2011
    The different set numbers for the same set was a 1973-80 phenomenom where the USA had different set numbers for basically the same sets, than the rest of the world.

    When USA Samsonite lost their LEGO licence by 1973 (due to the underperfoming of sales by Samsonite in the USA)... Samsonite of Canada did a better job of sales, and therefore kept their LEGO license, until TLG bought it back in 1985.

    Although TLG has never given an explanation for using different set numbers for USA sets during that era... it is very possible that they may have been worried about Canadian Samsonite LEGO sets (from their Stratford Ontario Samsonite plant) making their way into the USA. From 1961-65 all USA LEGO sets originated from that Stratford plant, and it was only in April 1965 that a Loveland Colorado Samsonite LEGO plant opened up that USA Samsonite LEGO was made and sold in the USA until 1972).

    One way to prevent imported LEGO set from being sold in the USA (since Samsonite had a large supply network with USA retailers)... may have been to use unique LEGO set numbers for USA sales to show TLG that the sets were indeed TLG originating sets from Brookfield Connecticut (in 1975 USA HQ moved to Enfield Connnecticut).

    There were a few exceptions where some USA and Canada sets shared the same LEGO set numbers, but usually when they weren't sold in Europe or elsewhere... such as the #190 Farm Set, the #455 Lear Jet Set, and the #575 Coast Guard Set. But otherwise Canada used the same set numbers in the 1973-80 era, as found in continental Europe, Britain and Australia.

    Of course USA sets introduced after 1980 (4 digit numbers) that were introduced earlier than 1980 (3 digit number) elsewhere... still had different LEGO set numbers... such as the 375/6075 Yellow Castle Set.

    The Canadian LEGO license was kept by Samsonite of Canada after the 1973 date that the USA license was revoked. In 1973 the entire Samsonite Corporation was purchased by Beatrice International, a multinational corporation that consisted of many companies (such as food, dry goods, etc). In 1985 Beatrice International had a hostile takeover by Wall Street Brokerage firm Kohlberg, Kravitz & Roberts. Since the sum of the parts of Beatrice were worth more than the whole... KKR spun of many companies, and Samsonite became an independent company once again in 1986. However before they did so... TLG bought the LEGO license back from KKR (more money for them)... and the names LEGO and Samsonite were no longer related.

    This is all discussed in my LEGO Collectors Guide - Chapter 57 - LEGO Sales & History by Country.
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