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1962 - First Australian LEGO Catalog

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
edited May 2011 in Shopping Elsewhere
When the British Textile manufacturer Courtaulds obtained the LEGO license for Britain and Ireland in 1959, they also got the franchise for Australia starting in 1962.

1962 was also the first year that the Wrexham Wales LEGO plant opened up, under the name British LEGO Ltd. Sets previously imported from Denmark started being produced in Wrexham, but specialty parts (1:87 vehicles, trees/bushes, etc) were still produced in Denmark, and shipped over to Britain. Danish content parts pack boxes had "Made in Denmark" stamped on the sides of the boxes. Those parts pack boxes with parts produced in Britain had "Made in Great Britain" stamped on the sides.

These parts packs, the basic sets (700/0 thru 700/5) and the model sets were then shipped throughout Britain, Ireland and Australia.

Attached is the first Australian catalog of 1962. What is often confusing for old time European collectors is the fact that black LEGO parts were introduced into 1961 continental catalogs, and wheels followed in the 1962 catalog. However, British LEGO Ltd. didn't introduced black parts until 1963... so that would explain the confusion of why the Australian 1962 catalog shows wheels. Since the UK 1962 catalog was introduced at the beginning of the year (while the Australian one came a bit later)... the UK 1962 catalog shows neither black bricks nor LEGO wheels. But LEGO wheels were introduced most everywhere in mid 1962.

Enjoy the catalog!

P.S. Gotta love those "pre-dollar" prices.... ;-)
Gary Istok


  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    Is this not all mentioned on your CD? ;-)
    You might as well forget that idea and just post it all here!

    (Interesting info, I never knew LEGO used to be made in Wales)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited May 2011
    Post 3,000 pages of data on here?? 1/3 million words? (Shooting self in head emoticom)

    But seriously.... that would take forever....

    Here's a few tidbits from the CD....

    1) 1st image below... the 080 AMBASSADOR Set. Yes there was an ambassador set... but it was a USA FAO Schwarz luxury toy store exclusive in the late 1960s. It was basically the same 080 Basic Set of 1968-71 sold in Continental Europe (but not Britain, Australia or Canada). But the box was different (with the "Ambassador" name one it), and some contents were also different... Samsonite unpainted flat Pine Trees and unpainted flat bushes, instead the the painted ones found in Europe), and baseplates don't match those sold in Europe.

    2) the 1962-65 Britain/Ireland/Australia #232 Road Signs Parts Packs (2nd image). The side of the sliding inner box shows (as do the catalogs of those years) road signs with black/white stripes. However, while the Britain/Ireland/Australia road signs of that era are different than those of all other countries (and thus makes them rare and collectible)... these have NEVER been known to exist in this striped pattern. All known road signs of that era have a pure white pole.

    3) All UK/Ireland/Australia left driving Town Plan boards (1962-67)... see 3rd image... were made by a British board game maker by the name of "Waddington's". These boards were subcontracted by British LEGO Ltd. (a Courtaulds subsidiary) of Wrexham Wales to the Waddington's company. LEGO got the British LEGO Ltd. LEGO license back from Courtaulds in 1992 (and the Wrexham Wales production of LEGO reverted to Billund), and Waddington's was purchased by Hasbro in 1994.

    My LEGO CDs are different from the Fantasia LEGO Collectors Guide... their guide gives years, image and a rarity designation (1-6 bricks). I give a history of the sets and the parts, and include tables and other images explaining anomalies.
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