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LEGO Historian

Town Plan discussion

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LEGO bricks were actually introduced in 1949 (only 2x2, 2x4, 3 window types and 1 door)... but 1955 was the introduction of the LEGO System of Play.... (the Town Plan)... and 1958 was the introduction of the patented tube bottom bricks. Earlier LEGO bricks had a completely hollow bottom. German retailers complained about that when LEGO came online there starting in 1956... and so in 1958 TLG answered their complaints with what we still have today... the tube bottom bricks... which also made for the introduction of the first sloped bricks in late 1958.

Here's a 1960 LEGO Town Scene at the Billund Denmark LEGO HQ...

6789939557_0392f7be0c_b.jpg

Here's a scene of the 810 Town Plan set (at 7 Pounds 9s 6d)... introduced in 1961. This was the ultimate LEGO set back in the early years...

5541045260_71aca96ca2_b.jpg

Edited by Fugazi
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Nice view of that town plan from 1960, but one observation. It is a bit of a short runway for that plane to take off and miss the railway line immediately in its path isn't it?

Have you got a clearer picture only I cannot quite make out if the railway wagons have round wheels or if they are brick built?

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I did notice that the base boards were the same thick card covered by paper construction as board games boards. There's a fold in the middle.

I'm just too young to have seen 'THE BUILDING TOY' on packaging. 1970/1971 would have been when I was first introduced to Lego. With 650: Car with trailer and racing car from 1972 being the first actual set I can recall. I don't think I actually owned a set until 615: Forklift in 1975.

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Nice view of that town plan from 1960, but one observation. It is a bit of a short runway for that plane to take off and miss the railway line immediately in its path isn't it?

Have you got a clearer picture only I cannot quite make out if the railway wagons have round wheels or if they are brick built?

LOL... very perceptive!! :wink: The very first LEGO wheels were introduced in March 1962... so this 1960 diorama would only be using bricks! And as for runways.... yes... TLG was always a little short in the runway department.... :look:

http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemPic.asp?S=6392-1

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If you go back to the previous post about the Town Plan boards... the 3 images of the 2 kids playing with LEGO?? The boy in all 3 images is LEGO principal owner Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen... the girls are just models.

The interesting thing about the images is that the middle (Swedish board) image was taken in 1959 (when Kjeld was 12).

The first image was taken a year later in 1960 (Kjeld was 13)... what they did was get Kjeld and the girl and bring them to the LEGO Photography department and retake their image (the hands/bricks are not positioned the same) wearing the same outfits.

In 2008 Kjeld had his image taken as a 63 year old for the remake of the Town Plan set 10184... again wearing a similar shirt and had his hands positioned similarly.

And the bottom picture was taken in 1961 (Kjeld was 14).

So we see 3 images of Kjeld having some serious growth spurts.

Edited by LEGO Historian

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I have moved the posts above out of this thread as I felt they belonged to a different discussion. Please try to stay on topic. Now carry on!

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The 810 Town Plan set (1961-67) came in 2 box variations... but generally had the same parts. Some of the specialty parts were different, such as Esso, road sign and street light accessores. And later (1964-67) sets had Mercedes trucks instead of Bedford, and hollow bottom trees/bushes instead of earlier flat bottom varieties.

According to the LEGO Archives in Billund, the 810 Town Plan set was sold in 12 countries.

The box image on the left is the continental Europe style 810 set... and was sold in Denmark, Norway, Finland, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan. Strange as it may seem... no 810 sets were ever sold in Germany, Austria, Netherlands or Sweden.

The box image on the right is the British style 810 set... and was sold in Britain, Ireland and Australia.

Now here's the really strange part... the continental European 810 version is at least 20 times rarer than the British version! Not really sure why that is, apart from the quantity produced was likely much less in continental Europe. But the continental 810 did have a tendency to show up in continental European catalogs as little more that "810 Town Plan" with no image of the set or layout. At least in Britain/Ireland/Australia... the set shows an image in LEGO catalogs. So the continental 810 is very very rare. I know of 2 examples of the continental 810 in private hands... while I know of dozens of examples of the British version. Even the Vault in Denmark is missing a continental 810 set.

8426424289_81cf8205db_b.jpg

Each of these sets came with a 200 Town Plan board that matches the box top image, and box image layout. The boards that came in the Japanese 810 sets came with a left driving board. Since Sweden didn't sell the 810, there was no continental 810 set in Europe with a left driving board.

Edited by LEGO Historian

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Ironically both the continental and British versions of the 810 Town Plan set had the same instructions... (along with 2 secondary building instructions). And neither box top exactly matches the instructions (although the British version is closer).

Yes... this WAS the instructions... no layer by layer steps like we're used to today... but this was all you got to work with for building instructions back in the 1960s....

8427592492_82db28b3d1_b.jpg

Images from Chapter 3 - Town Plan Sets and Boards... from my 2,800 page LEGO DVD/download collectors guide.

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What a great topic! The town plan ( or "byplade" as I called it in my childhood in DK) was the centerpiece of my Lego action many years go. I just picked a UK left hand drive version, in good shape, on E-bay.

post-137410-0-09254100-1431126573_thumb.jpg

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Welcome to the group 802LegoFan!! There are some old time collectors on this forum, such as Lasse, and others.

Check out my FLICKR page for old LEGO items from the Town Plan era....

https://www.flickr.com/photos/istokg/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/82930629@N08/

I see that your British Town Plan board has the 257/1257 Bedford Delivery Truck...

This truck is known in many variations....

17422437205_8a51a0ec78_b.jpg

Here are some truly rare ones. Those of Norway have no writing at all on the sides...

17292425040_215a50fdb1_o.jpg

Images from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.... :classic:

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802LegoFan,

Your UK left driving board ironically has the same 7 blocks as the other boards of the 1960s... just in a different arrangement.

Here's your UK board layout....

200_british.jpg

Sweden also had a left driving board layout, but one that matches the countries of the rest of continental Europe.... the white traffic stop lines are on the left...

200_continental_europe_60s_2.jpg

The right driving board for the rest of Europe is the same, just the traffic stop lines are on the right side....

200_continental_europe_60s.jpg

And the board of USA/Canada has the same layout as most of continental Europe, just with a different front and back cover....

246_usa_samsonite.jpg

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