LEGO Historian

LEGO Printed Bricks...

42 posts in this topic

I posted something similar on General Discussions... but this is probably even more appropriate for the Town folks...

I've seen some really awesome MOCs... from MAPLEVILLE... to the Miami Beach Deco COCOA HOTEL confection, and some of the entries in the SERVO competition...

Back in the early years of Town... from 1955 when the first Town Plan accessories were introduced by TLG until 1975 when the minifig stiffs first came out (that would turn in to true minfigs in 1978)... TLG produced an almost endless number of printed 1x6 and 1x8 white bricks with printing in local languages, and sometimes international words... such as GARAGE, KIOSK, HOTEL, RESTAURANT and ESSO SERVICE.

These printed bricks came in an endless assortment of colors in the late 1950s, and came with a more streamlined printing in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of these bricks came in a parts pack of 7 bricks numbered 226 and sold in all countries from 1956-66.

Here are some sample printed bricks.. or named beams as they are also called... these are food related... either Baker (in German and Danish) or Butcher (in Danish)...

5470584615_d22546d1cc_b.jpg

Here is chapter 48 of my 2800 page Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide on DVD/Download... the chapter on LEGO Printed and Painted Parts... hundreds of printed bricks are shown here in Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German, Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian, French, English (UK, Ireland and Australia), and American English (USA/'Canada)....

http://www.youblisher.com/p/603214-LEGO-DVD-Download-Chapter-48-LEGO-Printed-and-Painted-Parts-Stickers/

It's too bad that spare parts packs of some printed bricks weren't available today...

Enjoy!

Gary Istok

P.S. My Collectors Guide as an instant computer desktop download (688MB) is available in Eurobricks Bazaar...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very nice job!!! Amazing that LEGO did so many varieties. Reuse... no... Slagter is Danish I think? (Metzgerei in German, or Slager in Dutch)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I checked my printed bricks collection:

prbr1_th.jpg

Check the brick with in red "Automatiek"! That perhaps is rare,

since I can't find it anywhere not even in the BL catalog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all my Dutch collector friends!! :classic:

Interestingly enough... TLG produced the most number of different printed bricks for Denmark (obviously).. at about 17 or 18...

Next highest number were Dutch and German... at about 14 different each.

One of my favorite Dutch is GRAND THEATER... which was not sold elsewhere.... even though it is more universal in name. Another interesting Dutch one is "KOEK' BANKETT".

The SLAGTER was produce as SLAKTER in Norway... but I've never seen a METZGEREI or SLAGER brick. I have seen "Würstchen" in Germany though...

The really rare ones are those from Finland... the Esso brick comes in 3 known varieties... ESSO WAGENPFLEGE for Germany, Austria and Luxembourg.... ESSO SERVICE for international use... and ESSO HUOLTO for Finland.

Among the most valuable ones are the ones with "1762"... since these only came in the 1957-62 307/1307 Church Set. This is known in 3 variations... "1762", "ANNO 1762" and "1762 AD". These can go for over $50... especially when in rare blue or red text. And the Finland printed bricks can go for even more!! :wink:

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some very nice VW named beams... these were sold in European 306/1306 VW Service Garage Set and 307/1307 VW Showroom Sets (note: the 4 digit set numbers were used in Denmark, Norway, Sweden only from 1957-58, before switching to 3 digit numbers).

Here are the different printed bricks for VW...

For the VW Service Garage... the VW GARAGE and VW SERVICE were used in many European countries, and UK, Ireland and Australia. The VW SERVICIO was for Italy, the VW GARASJE was for Norway.

For the VW Showroom... the VW SALG was for Denmark and Norway, VW VERKAUF for Germany, Austria and Luxemburg, the VW FORSALJNING for Sweden, VW MYYNTI for Finland, VW DEALER for UK/Ireland/Australia and some continental countries, such as the Netherlands. The VW VW VW was for other miscellaneous countries in Europe, such as Belgium.

The serif style printing on these bricks was for 1958-60 sets, and the more modern san serif style printing was for 1961-64 sets.

7856362154_2a196136a0_b.jpg

Here are the VW Service Garage Set (lower left) and VW Showroom Set (lower right), along with the 308/1308 Fire Station Set (upper left) and 309/1309 Church set (upper right). These last 2 sets is where the Fire Station viariations and 1762 brick variations originated from (although the Fire Station type bricks were also found in 226 spare parts packs).

4928192719_f51a418111_b.jpg

These set box images are of the 1957-59 type... new boxes were introduced in 1960. These boxes are VERY desirable... a near mint box of any of these 4, with all the inlays (the parts are held in place by inlays)... can fetch $1000 on Ebay easy! :sick:

Also... for the 307/1307 VW Showroom sets... there was a large strange looking plastic showroom window...with a size of 3x8x3 that was sold in a separate spare parts pack (so you wouldn't have to buy the 307/1307 set in order to build the model. This was the 261 Showroom parts pack... which contained a 1:87 VW Beetle, a large plastic showroom window a 4x8 white plate, and a 1x8 VW printed brick with the language of the country in which it was sold. In this image below (all these images are from my friend Jeroen of the Netherlands)... these parts are held together only by a Banderole in the language of that particular country (no box). These 2 examples are Dutch (left) and Danish (right)... (as seen in my LEGO DVD/download chapter on Parts Packs)... Note: the showroom window front is facing up...

6989451522_8f05311f2b_b.jpg

Enjoy! :wink:

Gary Istok

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that this is going off on a tangent... but the 1957-63 flat box sets shown above are very highly prized among LEGO collectors. Within these flat box sets, the parts are very nicely held in place by inlays.

Here's an example of a 50s/60s inlay...

8185860665_f3028257c6.jpg

... this is the 236 Garage Set... and there's a GARAGE 1x8 printed brick on the upper right side...

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The earliest LEGO spare parts packs with printed bricks was introduced in 1955. It was 1224 (sold in Denmark, Norway and Sweden). This particular pack is of Danish origin.... although 4 of these bricks are not Danish... Grand Theater is Dutch, BRANDSTATION is Swedish, KOLONIAL is Norwegian, and Theater is German. This style box was used from 1955-57.

These early 1x6 and 1x8 bricks did not have the LEGO logo on the studs... but printed underneath. These early 1x6 and 1x8 bricks are different than later (1958-64) hollow bottom beams. These have both sizes with 3 partitions on the underside. Starting in 1958 the 1x8 brick had 4 partitions (3 cross supports) on the underside... and in 1964 both sizes started having the posts that we are familiar with today.

6334312353_2efe62ba14_b.jpg

Also... the "AUTO" brick shown on the box?? No engraved AUTO brick has ever been found in any collection.

Gary

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 309/1309 Church set of 1957-62 has the very rare 1762 printed brick. This is known in 3 variations... 1762, ANNO 1762, and AD 1762. These bricks are highly prized, and cost $50+ each.

Another old printed brick is the Train Station brick. It is known in German as BAHNHOF... and French as GARE. There are a few other train station signs, but there is not 1 for each language.

5470605335_d596c9eb3a_b.jpg

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are really neat. They have a charm to them that you don’t see very often anymore. I wonder what fonts they used?

I can see someone doing a modern Lego Rosetta Stone…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny how back 50 years or more ago printed bricks was no problem......now days it's the DSS. :wink:

Thanks for the images 'LEGO Historian' and Brick On ! :classic:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes... it's ironic that 50 years ago making printed bricks was so easy... and now... it seems to be a lost art...

As for the fonts on these bricks... there are so many different fonts that it would be hard to come up with them specifically. I do wonder if they chose them by font... or if the engraving machine has specific fonts as an option??

Here is a close up of some of the LEGO model sets with printed bricks (as shown on the box tops earlier in this thread). These flat box sets from 1956-65 are very highly sought after by old time LEGO collectors. Some of these boxed sets with inserts can easily command $500-$1000, depending on condition and contents. Here are a few from the collection of my Dutch LEGO friend Jeroen.

These images can also be found in my LEGO DVD/download Chapter 7 - Early LEGO Town Model Sets...

5097023954_29f45a6339_b.jpg

5097023608_f6582ef975_b.jpg

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that's a delightful and beautiful selection of classic sets there 'LEGO Historian'.....you could say.....'Ah, the good old days'. :sweet:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The earliest LEGO spare parts packs with printed bricks was introduced in 1955. It was 1224 (sold in Denmark, Norway and Sweden). This particular pack is of Danish origin.... although 4 of these bricks are not Danish... Grand Theater is Dutch, BRANDSTATION is Swedish, KOLONIAL is Norwegian, and Theater is German. This style box was used from 1955-57.

These early 1x6 and 1x8 bricks did not have the LEGO logo on the studs... but printed underneath. These early 1x6 and 1x8 bricks are different than later (1958-64) hollow bottom beams. These have both sizes with 3 partitions on the underside. Starting in 1958 the 1x8 brick had 4 partitions (3 cross supports) on the underside... and in 1964 both sizes started having the posts that we are familiar with today.

Also... the "AUTO" brick shown on the box?? No engraved AUTO brick has ever been found in any collection.

Gary

The AUTO brick is probably one of the few ideas that never left that paper. It would be interesting to here if there were more engraved brick ideas that did not make it in to a box.

Edited by Boxerlego

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The AUTO brick is probably one of the few ideas that never left that paper. It would be interesting to here if there were more engraved brick ideas that did not make it in to a box.

Actually the "LEGO" 1x8 brick that is shown on all the set boxtops was not produced either (although in the later 1960s it was produced in other sizes). This LEGO brick was only produced for the box top image... and was a substitute for the local language bricks in each country.

One of the most interesting bricks was the 308 Fire Station brick used in Belgium... it was the only known double sided printed brick (as shown in my LEGO DVD chapter link above)... and had POMPIERS (French) and BRANDWEER (Flemish) on the 2 sides. I imagine that there may have been a similar brick for Switzerland in French/German (POMPIERS/FEUERWEHR), but none has yet been located.

Here are TAXI bricks... as found throughout Europe....

5471202142_698da988a2_b.jpg

5470607191_9b95c3fc74_b.jpg

There are so many printed bricks from the 1950s and 1960s, that I started a dual thread on this topic... other images are found in General Discussion thread on 1x6/1x8 Printed Bricks...

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=81467

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The AUTO brick is probably one of the few ideas that never left that paper. It would be interesting to here if there were more engraved brick ideas that did not make it in to a box.

Indeed. I'd actually like to see a modern-day custom engraving using that design. That's one of the advantages we have in the modern age: the ability to take some of these ideas that never saw the light of day and make them real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the "LEGO" 1x8 brick that is shown on all the set boxtops was not produced either (although in the later 1960s it was produced in other sizes). This LEGO brick was only produced for the box top image... and was a substitute for the local language bricks in each country.

WOW! That "LEGO" 1x8 brick Is on all the boxes and for it not to be produced is unbelievable. I saw the "AUTO" 1x8 brick now. It appears the 1x6 brick was smaller than the design. I never imagine that LEGO sold cars especially fire trucks with their bricks.

Indeed. I'd actually like to see a modern-day custom engraving using that design. That's one of the advantages we have in the modern age: the ability to take some of these ideas that never saw the light of day and make them real.

Interesting. Imagine if most of the LEGO bricks made had a engraved visual overlay and building was like a puzzle.

Edited by Boxerlego

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. I'd actually like to see a modern-day custom engraving using that design. That's one of the advantages we have in the modern age: the ability to take some of these ideas that never saw the light of day and make them real.

That would make for an interesting brick... never actually released... except as a "restrike".. :classic:

Thanks for the replies folks... usually I leave people so stunned at LEGO items that they've not seen before that they're too numb to reply! :wink:

Here's some specific country bricks... upper left France (1960s), upper right Italy (1960s), middle left Germany (1950s), middle right Germany (1960s), and bottom Denmark (1960s)...

5466619478_f8158feb69_b.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These images are super interesting. The text almost looks like it was hand lettered, which is a bit mind boggling. Was it common for Lego to create multiple printed bricks with different lettering for the same text? For instance the Taxi bricks above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LegoGenre, yes it was very common for TLG to have different printing and different colors for the same country's text. The variations seem to be much more prevalent during the 1950s than the 1960s.

I agree that these bricks appear to often be hand lettered. However, these were machine produced... but the lettering was not alwasy aligned correctly. Here are some factory seconds (mixed in with some worn factory firsts) that show the bricks were not always aligned properly, and the text is not centered correctly. The factory seconds were sold cheaply to employees to take home to their children. These seconds can be found at flea markets around Billund... and would command a good price as a novelty...

5495072771_c44931d2f4_z.jpg

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a small 1960-62 era promotional set from Germany. This is the small 210 Store Set. This set was sold in continental Europe, Britain/Ireland and Australia, and had a printed brick with local writing on it (such as KIOSK). In Germany it was known with TOBAK (tobacco), Würstchen (sausages) and Bäcker (bakery), but the side of the box did not show what writing was in the box, except as a hand marked notation in the white space underneath the set number.

But around circa 1962 this set was used as a promotional set for the large German Department Store "KARSTADT". This set also had a unique printed side of the box showing the KARSTADT 1x8 printed brick. This box with printed brick is a very rare promotional set, and would command hundreds of Euros in mint condition.

8670015119_6a900fd587_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Printing LEGO bricks is easy, LEGO just doesn't bother with it because it's incredibly wasteful (You can't use the extra pieces in a new set, so they get dumped) and expensive.

That said I think it would be really cool if LEGO made a service like PaB for printing your own pieces. These pieces are really cool looking, neat fonts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some brick engravers that go to LEGO shows to print custom engraved bricks. Tommy Armstrong is one USA vendor of these.

Here are the the printed bricks in a USA/Canada Samsonite LEGO #226 spare parts pack of 1961-66. Although the spare parts packs contained 10 printed bricks, there were only 7 different bricks for USA/Canada. So there wrere always duplicates included, as is seen here. Unfortunately the vast amount of different prints and colors of bricks did not include Samsonite LEGO.

8669973741_493ca63113_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Printing LEGO bricks is easy, LEGO just doesn't bother with it because it's incredibly wasteful (You can't use the extra pieces in a new set, so they get dumped) and expensive.

Wasteful? Where are all these people throwing their bricks away because they're printed so I can walk behind them with a bag to catch them lol. Haven't they ever heard of simply flipping the brick around? :tongue:

But yeah, it'd be great to have a brick printing service (minifigs mostly, but no reason it can't do letters too) that didn't want $10 per piece. We'll probably be dead by the time it's easy and affordable to make quality custom printed figures and bricks.

All you engineers and scientists out there, stop working on medicines and free renewable energy non-sense, we need a solution for cheap printed bricks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone have information on how many different languages the tabak/tabac/etc brick was released in and which variants were used in which countries?

Was it ever released in English?

Interesting to think that back then it was acceptable )at least in some countries) to put something mentioning smoking/tobacco in a toy for kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.