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Jetflap

Check out my 7777 Idea Book layout!

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This past weekend I pulled out my 7777 idea book builds and got to work. A friend of mine filmed this video of the layout which also features a brief review of my complete 12v/4.5v collection plus 9v and other trains. Hope you all enjoy!

 

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Whoa... amazing layout and collection! One of every boxed 12v train set is an impressive feat indeed, do they all have inner boxes as well?

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1 hour ago, Reker1000000 said:

Whoa... amazing layout and collection! One of every boxed 12v train set is an impressive feat indeed, do they all have inner boxes as well?

Thank you! Yes, all are in excellent condition with complete inserts, plastic lids and trays, etc. I even have an unused sticker sheet for each one. I feel very fortunate to have been able to find all of these over the last 15 years or so. A while back I did another collaboration video showing my entire 80's/90's collection on their storage shelves. I posted in the general forum, but here it is again if anyone is interested.

 

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I didn't see this video until now! Oh MAN... 7750 with complete inner boxes and the lid, plus everything else and with new sticker sheets! This is the kind of collection that I want to have one day. Do you run the trains or keep them in boxes?

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Thanks for the comments all. @Reker1000000 The sets have all certainly been built and ran as part of their induction into my collection, but normally I have duplicates of ones I like to run (like 7740 in the layout) and my boxed collection is 'retired.' I would love to have a massive layout with all the Town sets, but it would be a huge undertaking and then there's the space issue, and the dust issue, and the little kid issue...

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@Jetflap thanks for showing us so many nice sets and builds from #7777. I see the US (?) version of the #7824 train station box's It seems to come with a sticker on the front overwriting the European languages. Is this right? And do the sides of the box show non English texts? I am very curious about that box variant because it's less wide then the box used in Europe back then. I wish I could add this variant to my complete box collection some day.

Are you aware of other box variants especially for accessory elements? A bunch of new box designs with different dimensions were used late in the Grey Era showing a ©1989 on the bottom side of the box.

Holger

 

Edited by HoMa

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@HoMaMy knowledge of box variations is limited, but I’ll try to provide what information I have. I suspect none of this is new information to you, but there is a chance, and some of this might be of interest to others.

7824 Train Station- Yes, this is a European box with stickers. There is a second white sticker also on the bottom edge. The box size is the same as 7822, 7866, and 7823 only a little longer. I have had this particular box since new (Childhood) and it was probably purchased from shop-at-home around 1990. I base this on photos of my childhood town layouts.

PXL_20220806_133743097

 

PXL_20220806_133803363PXL_20220806_133812516

Accessories- Here are all the US variants I have. All are European boxes with US stickers. They all have 2 separate stickers usually on the front, but sometimes on the bottom edge or even split one on the top edge and one on the bottom edge like the pictured large box 7852. The stickers I assume were to comply with US requirements at the time, for example displaying the part count for toys.

PXL_20220806_135048753

These were the only accessory sets released in the US except for 7857 electric crossing. 7853 was discontinued early I suspect because it was fragile and prone to breaking. I do not have an example of a 7857 box with stickers, however none of mine are still plastic wrapped and it’s possible the stickers were on the plastic. The pictured 7853 however has the stickers on the box under the plastic.

I had two 7857s as a child and along with the electric rails that came with 7823 and 7839, until the internet was invented and Bricklink came along I had no idea 12v trains existed. No photos appeared in US catalogs, magazines, etc. I remember as a child thinking that the electric rails were for a power system Lego decided not to make, never suspecting that my European counterparts were running them in all their glory!

Other notes of interest- The aforementioned 7823 and 7839 which I had since childhood are European boxes but have no US stickers. Were they on the plastic wrap perhaps? My 7822 (Also from around 1990) on the other hand has US markings on the cover that is not a sticker, but still has European printing on the side.

PXL_20220806_150808894

 

Let me know if there is any other information you might need and feel free to us PM if desired!

 

Edited by Jetflap

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@Jetflap thanks for providing these extra pictures and information about box variants and information how stuff was sold in the US. I didn't know of the extra sticker on the "European" boxes. And interesting to see the power rails showing up in 7823 and 7839 (and 7857). I can imagine that these extra rails caused some headache for you not being able to go online and see what kind of LEGO sets were available in other markets.

Was 7777 officially available in the US by mail order? I suppose not, cause it features 12 V on most pages.

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@HoMaThat is correct 7777 was not available in the US. LEGO obviously went to some effort to make sure images of 12v sets, except for the previously mention ones with power rails, did not make it into any US available publication. It must have worked, because as a child I would never have even considered that Lego produced sets that weren't available in the huge S@H catalog!

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In the early 80's my local department store (in the US) had a large lego train display of first gen gray era in their auditorium that included 12v trains. They sold a selection of imported 4.5v trains (7720, 7818, most track packs, and maybe the station or level crossing). These sets included the train catalog that showed the 12v trains. The agony of knowing about but not having 12v trains

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@zephyr1934 that's even more confusing. Showing the 12 V stuff and then only selling the few 4.5 V sets. Or was it to test the US market to see how well the 12 V system is received? 

Other way round. My dad brought me the Exxon fuel pumper 554 from a business trip to the US back to Germany. So I had the first contact with US-only sets as a child. A bid frustrating till today that he did not bring 6901 mobile lab from Classic Space which was shown in the little inbox catalog of 554. That catalog for me was the only evidence that there were different sets in other markets for a long time before the internet was born (or became a resource for LEGO fans).

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I think they showed the 12v trains because swapping C-cell batteries would have been prohibitively expensive. I don't remember much, but I think the first time they did it they did not even sell any train sets (which is why I came up with 4-wide monorail track- no curves- for my town, I NEEDED trains), and it was only a later display where they had the 4.5v sets. As a kid I did not notice (or maybe didn't care) that the display trains were track powered and the sets were battery powered. It was already clear that the display was way beyond anything I would ever do (NMRA has since proved that wrong, but that would be decades into the future).

At any rate, the 4.5v sets on sale there were standard European sets, I believe with stickers on the box for different warnings/guidance. As such, the contents were intended for Europe so the catalogs inside were from the wrong region. It was seeing those and learning that somewhere in the world someone could get a lego track powered train set, that was when my mind exploded. I wrote to the lego customer support in the US and got them to send me the large train catalog of the day, probably this one:

1

Oh the hours I spent looking through that.

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