Recommended Posts

The first LEGO roadway plates that most people are familiar with are the ones that were introduced between 1978-80... which include the (9 stud) "T", "I" and curved plates of 1978, and the "+" plate introduced in 1980.

However there was a very unique large 50x50 stud roadway plate introduced by Samsonite (USA only) in 1970. This looks like a large question mark.

The 078 road plate was sold by USA Samsonite LEGO from 1970-71. It was however never found in a USA customer LEGO catalog... only in the 1970 Samsonite LEGO Retailer Catalog... as seen here...

8719982790_978e129877_b.jpg

Interestingly enough... this retailer catalog image was incorrectly shown in the catalog as a mirror image. The actual plate was a reverse image. These plates are very scarce, and often can command $50 or more on BL (when available).

This baseplate was sold separately as a 078 baseplate, and is also listed in online LEGO databases as having been in only one LEGO set... the 367 (USA only) Samsonite Airport Set...

8718860855_54cc2604d7.jpg

This interesting set was never actually sold all together in one box. It came in 2 parts... a box for all the bricks, and a 078 baseplate that was included as a separate item. This was the recollection of a Connecticut USA gentleman who purchased one of these back in 1970 when he was young.

Also, although all online databases only list this large baseplate as only coming separately, or with the 367 set... there are 2 other unknown sets that also had this same baseplate.

These 2 other sets were both USA Kraft Foods Velveeta Cheese mail order sets. Kraft Foods sponsored many Samsonite LEGO promotional mail order sets in the 1967-71 era. And these 2 sets date to 1970-71.

One of these sets is a #4 House with Mini-Wheel Cars & Baseplate Set....

8718858543_09a2e3f815_z.jpg

And the other set (found on the same Velveeta Cheese brochure... showed the #5 Airport Set. This Velveeta promotional set was identical to the 367 Airport Set....

8718859099_519092fc23_b.jpg

These 2 mail order sets would have been shipped in brown shipping boxes. These 2 particular Velveeta sets have not been identified before.

These sets are found in my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide DVD/download... the chapter on LEGO promotional Sets.

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=73780

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love your post! Always intresting and entertaining. Your book was worth every cent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sad that this plate is so rare, it is nice.

I only knew the airport set (seen in Bricklink some time ago), I didn't know the plate was included with another set.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love your post! Always intresting and entertaining. Your book was worth every cent.

Good to hear from you my Norwegian LEGO friend (aus Österreich)!! Glad you like the LEGO DVD/download!! The good news about that is that in a few months there will be a new upgrade out...(free to all current owners!)... with some new chapters and over 100 new (old) images including very rare classic LEGO windows/doors in orange from Sweden (!!) Also, the #4 and #5 Velveeta sets shown above will be in the new upgraded version... I just discovered those 2 sets last week.

Also included in the new version is a new chapter on "OLO"... rare Japanese LEGO (1970-78) from Japan. Here is a sneak preview of this (still not 100% complete) new chapter...

http://www.youblishe...Chapter-34-OLO/

Also.. I finally found an image of the factory building of Svein Strømberg & Co., the Oslo Norway plastics maker of LEGO in the 1950s.... and that will be in Chapter 73... LEGO Sales by Country chapter. :wink:

So the nice thing about having a digital copy of my collectors guide, instead of a hardcopy book... is that it will continually be updated with new discoveries!! :sweet: And all future versions will be free to current owners!

Also... Plauge, I love your Avatar image of you and your child... VERY NICE!! :classic:

Edited by LEGO Historian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually have one of these, it's on my son's LEGO table. Didn't realize how valuable it is. It's a little cracked along one edge, so that might hurt its value a bit.

I had several of the old Samsonite sets/pieces as a kid (but I don't remember the ones above, the baseplate was probably a separate purchase). They are still at my mother's house, along with my Classic Space sets and pieces from one of the earliest motorized trains. It's on my list of things to do to go through them and sort them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying Ace... verify that it is indeed true damage.... Samsonite was the worst LEGO producer of any licensee in the world. They often used LEGO molds way beyond their normal life expectancy... and may even have gotten a lot of TLG worn molds, and retooled them... since many Samsonite LEGO bricks can have 2 different LEGO logos on the studs.... not always pointing in the same direction!!

Sometimes what may appear as damage... is often just mold fatigue! :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha - I guess that the old saying "they don't make them like they used to" is not always a bad thing. I do remember seeing a lot of faded LEGO emblems on the studs, I thought it was just wear - which it might have been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to hear from you my Norwegian LEGO friend (aus Österreich)!! Glad you like the LEGO DVD/download!! The good news about that is that in a few months there will be a new upgrade out...(free to all current owners!)... with some new chapters and over 100 new (old) images including very rare classic LEGO windows/doors in orange from Sweden (!!) Also, the #4 and #5 Velveeta sets shown above will be in the new upgraded version... I just discovered those 2 sets last week.

Also included in the new version is a new chapter on "OLO"... rare Japanese LEGO (1970-78) from Japan. Here is a sneak preview of this (still not 100% complete) new chapter...

http://www.youblishe...Chapter-34-OLO/

Also.. I finally found an image of the factory building of Svein Strømberg & Co., the Oslo Norway plastics maker of LEGO in the 1950s.... and that will be in Chapter 73... LEGO Sales by Country chapter. :wink:

So the nice thing about having a digital copy of my collectors guide, instead of a hardcopy book... is that it will continually be updated with new discoveries!! :sweet: And all future versions will be free to current owners!

Also... Plauge, I love your Avatar image of you and your child... VERY NICE!! :classic:

Hehe, danke :blush:

Really looking forward to the new chapters and images.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying Ace... more than likely all the faded LEGO logos you saw were mold wear and/or shoddy retooling of the studs. Samsonite LEGO was pretty much the only LEGO in the olden days that was of poor quality... even for new bricks. It's no wonder that TLG revoked the USA Samsonite LEGO license in the early 1970s and started production themselves in Connecticut in 1973.

I had a 725 Town Plan set with most of the parts in near new condition.. but if you looked at the parts... they appeared shiny, but with what looks like heavy playwear... which was actually heavy mold wear.

Here are 2 images (the bottom 2)... of LEGO bricks with retooled molds. This shows the "open o" Samsonite LEGO mold.. which many but not all Samsonite LEGO bricks had back then. Some Samsonite LEGO bricks had 2 different logos on them... the open "o" Samsonite mold, and the modern LEGO mold (an early variation of it)....

http://www.vogt-com.de/knopf-lo.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

totally want these base plates! I mean what else are you gonna substitute them with

and plus I know id get my money back if I sold them :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

totally want these base plates! I mean what else are you gonna substitute them with

and plus I know id get my money back if I sold them :D

I hear you... they would make a very nice addition to any Townscape!!

The only drawback would be if you wanted to use these in addition to the standard 32x32 stud roadplates. These are 50x50 studs... and not the 48x48 stud... wihich is more compatible with the 32x32 (four 48x48 = nine 32x32... in a road layout).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or a few 16x16 / 16x32 can also equilibrate the differences between 32x32 and 48x48.

I also have an old gray 50x50 baseplate, same problem (well anyway there is a space problem before: I do not know where I would put all these baseplates to build something huge on them :laugh: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Samsonite was the worst LEGO producer of any licensee in the world.

Really!? And all this time, I thought Flextronics did a hideous job. I've gotten many pieces from the Pick-A-Brick wall in Bellevue during the Flextronics days, and the plates, when stacked, say 180-high, would probably spiral 90 degrees. That's when I found out how bad it was. I've sold most of the offending plates on BL, with the issue noted in the item description.

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.