One of my favorite magazine ads was a magazine ad proof that was rejected for use. In the triple image below, the image in the middle was the proof. It was part of an estate collection of illustrations by comic book illustrator Joe Certa (1913-1984) who created the "Martian Manhunter" comic book character in the 1950s, and illustrated "Dark Shadows" comic books in the 1960s, among many other comic book works.
It was investigating the history of this ad that makes me enjoy playing LEGO Sherlock Holmes.... Mr. Certa was approached by USA Samsonite Corp. in 1963 to try making an ad for one of their LEGO advertisements. Although the artwork is first class, and the realism of the boy in the picture is top notch, Mr. Certa failed in a couple of areas.... 1) he didn't know the proper way to hold a LEGO brick.... 2) his window/door dimensions were not close to the real classic era LEGO parts, and 3) his use of Lime green, and what appears to be Maersk blue were decades ahead of their time. So instead Samsonite LEGO decided to go with the photograph used in the ad in the right image. But that building that Mr. Certa attempted to build looked like I had seen it before... which I did... it was from a 1958 continental European Retailer Glued Display Model Catalog (left). Mr. Certa apparently was given this image to work from, but the end result was not up to the requirements of LEGO images.
It was fun to put the historic pieces of this puzzle together and come up with all the parts!
This 1961 UK ad shows one of the earliest castle images ever seen in LEGO....
This 1972 USA Samsonite LEGO ad looks like a regular ad. But this image shows secrets that it's hiding from the public... 1) the USA Samsonite LEGO license would be revoked within a few months (by 1973), 2) Samsonite is trying to get rid of all the remaining LEGO parts in its' inventory before the (already determined end of sales) end date arrives, and sold the last of their inventory in huge boxes of 500-900 parts at cheap prices, 3) yellow elements and red windows/doors were already depleted from their inventory, so only red, white and blue parts, with white windows/doors were still in inventory by the end of 1972 (other images of 1972 confirm this). Some 1971-72 Samsonite ads even fib about the impending loss of the LEGO license by saying that due to improved manufacturing processes, the number of parts in LEGO sets has been greatly increased, without increasing the price.
This is a 1960 Dutch magazine ad that shows that in the late 1950s and early 1960s red and white were by far the dominant colors in LEGO basic sets. Blue and yellow were only available in spare parts packs, and a few model sets. Only a few clear parts were found in basic sets of that era, and black parts wouldn't be introduced until late 1961.
This Belgian (Flemish) 1968 magazine ad mentions some of the new parts of the 1966 introduced LEGO Train System. What was new in 1968 was the train buildings (station, tower, warehouse), and the new magnet couplings.
There are dozens of magazine ads in this chapter of my LEGO DVD/download... in the future dozens more will be added (future downloads are free to current owners). There is also an entire chapter on LEGO Department Store Mail Order Catalog LEGO images, another chapter on LEGO Retailer Display items (and models), a chapter on the over 40 LEGO logos used since 1934, a chapter on how LEGO instructions have evolved over the last 60 years, and a chapter on LEGO box artwork, and how it evolved from painted images to photographic images (especially after the introduction of the LEGO Photography Department in 1959). These are all things you won't find in any online database....
Edited by LEGO Historian, 19 November 2012 - 07:17 AM.