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WhiteFang

Celebrating 40 years of the LEGO Minifigure - Old minifigures' advertisement (1985-1989)

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Dear Eurobricks Community, 

The fire for the celebration of the 40 years anniversary of the LEGO Minifigures is going strong and this time we are looking at the LEGO promotional advertisement materials from 1985 to 1989 which are provided by TLG (The LEGO Group). This is the golden age for me and the beginning of my LEGO history. When I first visited the LEGO Vault in May 2014, it was these awesome Classic Town and Classic Castle sets that shed a tear in my eyes. Pretty emotional stuff for AFOLs like us on how we can resonate the various LEGO sets through the age of time. For me, these are the sets which had first cast my love of LEGO at a very young builder when my parents were nice enough to shower me with LEGO toys as part of my childhood. :wub: 

The original super detailed high resolution images provided by TLG can be found in this Flickr Album

I have also included Brickset (excellent database for set catalogue) for links as part of my short article write up as well as my past reviewing images, where applicable. 


Some images taken in my visit at the former LEGO Ideas House and  LEGO Vault in May 2014
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Without further ado, allow me to first share the humble beginnings of some these promotional advertisements from 1985-1989. The best of my LEGO childhood. 

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These are the best time of my life. I grew up with Classic Town and played a lot of role playing and tabletop building (on the floor), with those amazing road baseplates filled with these awesome 4-stud wide vehicles. Below are some of my past Classic Town reviews done a decade ago (with poor photos before Reviewers Academy was formally established in August 2008) which I had done and I had to look back into time to see how it goes. Believe it or not, these sets are still in good condition in my collection. 

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Classic Castle
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Classic Castle are such amazing stuff. Did anyone take a closer look at those abundance of crypus tress? Those were the simple and non-complicated Castle minifigures. :wub: 

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Can you spot some of the Classic Castle sets in my display shelves?
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Classic Space
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Classic Space had also evolved to another new realm with a slightly modern space helmets which is in circulation till this date. There are space factions among the warring conflict within the deep space travel. One of the best highlights is the 6990 Monorail Transport System

Classic Pirates
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Ship ahoy. These are the next amazing new theme for the Classic Pirates when it was first introduced in 1989. These Classic Pirates are a force not to reckon with. It establish excellent pirate ships design include the timeless classic of the 6285 Black Seas Barracuda

Classic LEGO Technic
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Even these technic sets also come with similar minifigures equivalent to increase the playability too. 

I like to share some other nice images before I sign off for this short write-up. Stay tuned for more. 
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WhiteFang

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I was always more interested in the playability and features of the build than the mini-fig that came with sets, however I'm a huge fan of the small brick built characters like in this ad from this set.

More than anything though these ads make me want to seek out and build (or re-design) Blacktron, as that mini-fig torso was always the torso I used for the mini-fig piloting my stuff as a kid.

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Hi WhiteFang,

I'm loving this walk down Memory Lane.  Looking at these catalog images as well as those from your amazing collection certainly brings back memories of my own childhood (although I must admit that I predate the minifigure as we have come to know and love :blush:). This post made me break out the shoebox of old photographs for a few scans (pictured below).

Here's one from Christmas of 1977.  Although Universal Building Set 404 has just been opened, one might notice the Brick Yard which would be the start of my LEGO City.

44355689422_7e0a424248_z.jpgLEGO Memories 1977 by Western Outlaw, on Flickr

Jump forward to 1999 during a reconstruction project that would add Adventurers, Divers, and Outback to some dusty roadplates.  The Brick Yard still stands!

29468351297_bbc0c5161c_c.jpgLEGO Memories 1999 by Western Outlaw, on Flickr

Lots of memories indeed.  Looking back, we really grew up with LEGO!

 

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My brother & I didn't really get into LEGO toys until 1988 when we bought a few small sets with our allowance (The Blacktron Alienator & Forestman's Hideout), and spent the next several years expanding our collection, until we both kinda lost interest in LEGO stuff in general around 1994 or 1995 & gave away most of our stuff.  I got back into LEGO around 1997, and aside from a nine-year more or less enforced dark age due to not having space for storing LEGO on board US navy ships I was stationed on and/or financial constraints, I've been into them ever since.

One thing to note, though is that one of the people we gave some of our sets to was a good friend of mine, who lost interest about the same time I was getting back into LEGO, so he just gave all that stuff back, so I still have a fair number of sets from the 1988-1989 era, including the Sea Serpent, Castaway's Raft, Sabre Island and 2x of the Harbor Sentry.  I do wish I'd have never given away the Forestman's River Fortress (the big forestman set in the far left of the middle shelf of your display case), the Futuron Cosmic Laser Launcher & ESPECIALLY the Caribbean Clipper and my complete 7722 4.5v Cargo Train set (I'm actually working on a project to create an "updated" version of the alternate yellow & red diesel locomotive build from that set).

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I miss looking at those old catalogs. It makes me miss my youth. The simplicity of the figure :wub:. Today's minifigure with the extra detail are impressive to look at, but they will never win for me. My nostalgia is too strong.

But it is interesting looking at the scan with the Forestmen hide-out. In the background is a Black Knight army, and one of the Black Knights is holding a BK shield, but on a Crusader barding. I find that strange that they mixed it like that. Lions and dragons on the same side? Peculiar to say the least.

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This era excites me the most and this is the era where I personally can relate most with my childhood. I could imagine flipping the catalog and wishing for certain sets. Not everything came true and at the very least, I had Classic Town accompany me. When I grew up, I started to buy more of the older built sets in relatively good condition for the Classic Castle. Those are the ones which I had missed a lots. 

13 hours ago, WesternOutlaw said:

Hi WhiteFang,

I'm loving this walk down Memory Lane.  Looking at these catalog images as well as those from your amazing collection certainly brings back memories of my own childhood (although I must admit that I predate the minifigure as we have come to know and love :blush:). This post made me break out the shoebox of old photographs for a few scans (pictured below).

Here's one from Christmas of 1977.  Although Universal Building Set 404 has just been opened, one might notice the Brick Yard which would be the start of my LEGO City.

Awesome Brickster! I am glad you had enjoyed this walk down memory lane and more importantly, making you look at your own childhood achievement too. I need to locate that tabletop photos too in actual 3R format. Damn it. I missed those days when we are doing the Classic Town reviews. This bring back lots of good memories in EB as well as reminding my childhood. Thanks for sharing these vintage and yet so meaningful photos. :sweet: 

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These topics bring back so many good memories!  :grin_wub:

I don't know if I noticed at the time, but looking back now I really like how they slip in the occasional Classic Space minifig through at least the Futuron-era ads.

I miss the simple ad photography where they have various sets laid out in mid-play - that was always so inspiring to me as a kid (along with the classic Idea Books)!  :classic:

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And this was the reason many fell in love with castle. :wub_drool:

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This is a little layout I did, which was inspired by those old advertisements:

DSCN3977

Steve

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Lego set 6395 Victory Lap (pictured above) was my all-time favorite set when I was a kid. I've considered purchasing it again via eBay or something even though I still may have most of the pieces around. I spent countless hours playing with that set. I even had that airport set #6392. At the time that was a huge set. It's pretty amazing how far Lego has come.

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I am younger than these sets, but my older brother had some of them. I can remember just staring for hours and hours at the catalogues and drinking everything in. These pictures bring back such good memories. I love this period, especially Classic Castle so much, which is why I made a lot of these sets for the "Official LEGO Sets in LDraw" topic. Most of these I never owned or had the chance to play with, but building them in LDraw was in some small way like living an experience that I wished I had as a kid. Definitely, late 80s to early 90s was TLG's Golden Age.

PS: So sorry if I'm bumping this topic. I don't often look at the home page, because it tends to take a while to load, but when I saw this topic, I couldn't not comment on it. Thank you so much for posting, WhiteFang!

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On 9/5/2018 at 1:24 AM, Athos said:

This is a little layout I did, which was inspired by those old advertisements:

Love the layout and it is not little as you had claimed. :wink: 

On 9/6/2018 at 11:55 AM, 22kane said:

Lego set 6395 Victory Lap (pictured above) was my all-time favorite set when I was a kid. I've considered purchasing it again via eBay or something even though I still may have most of the pieces around. I spent countless hours playing with that set. I even had that airport set #6392. At the time that was a huge set. It's pretty amazing how far Lego has come.

Indeed. I had the 6381 Motor Speedway and it is the smaller cousin of 6395. I had lots of fun playing with that set when I was a child too. 

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3 hours ago, Palathadric said:

I am younger than these sets, but my older brother had some of them. I can remember just staring for hours and hours at the catalogues and drinking everything in. These pictures bring back such good memories. I love this period, especially Classic Castle so much, which is why I made a lot of these sets for the "Official LEGO Sets in LDraw" topic. Most of these I never owned or had the chance to play with, but building them in LDraw was in some small way like living an experience that I wished I had as a kid. Definitely, late 80s to early 90s was TLG's Golden Age.

PS: So sorry if I'm bumping this topic. I don't often look at the home page, because it tends to take a while to load, but when I saw this topic, I couldn't not comment on it. Thank you so much for posting, WhiteFang!

No apologies needed. I am glad you had enjoyed a walk back down memory lane like I do. 

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As I start to collect in Decrmber 2014, I have never had old lego sets. Now days I feel like the importance to get randomly first minifigures and some classic town sets which look more impressive than new ones.

And thank you for neat pics. They're very useful

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On ‎9‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 9:31 AM, WhiteFang said:

Love the layout and it is not little as you had claimed. :wink: 

Thanks. It is little compared to the Egypt one in the background which is also mine.

Steve

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