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1968 "Unknown"

StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
edited May 2012 in Collecting
I built this old space set today. It looks like the first attempt at 6891 which wasn't considered good enough. They even used the same numbers (re-arranged) when they did put this one out.

By the way, can anyone think of a name for it? I'd feel silly calling it "unknown".


  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 534
    The name may have been 'Space Express' or 'Spacecraft.' I think it was only sold in Germany. This likely accounts of the problems with the name.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Expensive they are now as well.
  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    It does indeed look like something built from the same parts as 6891, so why not call it something inspired by that?

    The 6891 didn't have a "sexy" name like Gamma V Laser Craft here in Denmark, it was simply called "two-piece spacecraft with robot", so I guess that the 1968 could have been called "one-piece spacecraft with robot" ... man, that sounds like a boring toy :)
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    6891 was called "Dark Star" here in the UK. So perhaps something similar to that.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,294
    edited May 2012
    I just checked Chapter 30 - Classic LEGO Space, of my LEGO DVD, and the 1985 released 1968 "Space Express" set appears to have only been sold in Germany and Canada... a rather strange combination of countries.

    Sometimes TLG released leftover special sets of one country in another (this is sometimes true for special and promotional sets). So it's possible that leftovers from Germany were sent to Canada, a smaller market.

    A similar scenario happened with the 1980 Weetabix Promotional #1592 Town Square Set (the UK box/sticker version). Leftovers of that Weetabix promotion of 1980 were sold in Germany circa 1981-82 by the "Spielzeugring"... a German association of small toy store retailers.

    But anyway... "Space Express" appears to be the TLG Billund Archive name for the #1968 space set.
  • JpegJpeg Member Posts: 22
    I own one of these sets and it's a Canadian version - packaged by Samsonite so unlikely to be a leftover as Gary suggests. However, Brickshelf has a French version that may be a "leftover"?
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,294
    edited May 2012
    Yes, after I typed that, I realized that 1985 was the last year for Samsonite of Canada. Kohlberg Kravitz & Roberts, the Wall Street Investment Firm was in the process of hostile taking over the multinational Beatrice Corp., owner of Samsonite. After that year Samsonite was spun off as an independent entity again, minus LEGO of Canada, which reverted to TLG, after TLG bought back the license from KK&R prior to the breakup of Beatrice. So post 1985 Canadian LEGO sets no longer had a unique look to them (with the Samsonite ID)... and although spare parts packs were still unique, the LEGO sets of Canada now looked like those of the rest of the world... although some uniquely Canadian sets were still produced (sans the Samsonite ID).

    Also, the production of Canadian sets from the Stratford Ontario Samsonite plant ended at that point, and a lot of Canada's sets were products of either Denmark or Enfield Connecticut.

    But thanks for the proverbial "French connection"... that does look like the regular set (sold in Germany) with a French partly transparent label applied. The "lets take the leftovers and sell them somewhere else" scenario happened a lot with LEGO sets.
  • joeejoee Member Posts: 42
    This was actually my first lego set! I own two copies of it now (the 2nd was part of a bulk sale). I think it's neat it's a Gemarn/Canadian only set. Compared to 6891 I find 1968 is a more uniform wit the front and back sections linking up nicely. Whereas 6891 has a great front ship section with a long shaft linking up to the back that makes it look like they added the whole back section as an afterthought.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    I own two 6891s and two 1968s. We'll have to agree to differ here as I much prefer the sleek 6891.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    How about ... "Gamma IV Laser Craft"?

    By the way, can anyone think of a name for it?
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    "North Star"?
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