LEGO Historian

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About LEGO Historian

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    Older than ABS

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    LEGO, History, Architecture


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  1. This would not be the first time that TLG used an old mold for images in a book (released or otherwise). In 1968 TLG introduced spoked train wheels, at first in red. In the early 1970s TLG introduced the 241 and 242 building ideas books. These books show train models with red 12 spoke train wheels (view them as you would the hour hands of a clock to easily spot that they have 12 spokes). The irony is that these were all produced from a prototype LEGO wheel mold, since all known old red train spoked wheels only have 10 spokes to them. There are no 12 spoke old train wheels known on the secondary market. This is just one example of old LEGO items that never made it to production... I have an entire chapter in my computer desktop online Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide related to old sets and parts that never made it to production. Today there are a ton of different unreleased parts that have found their way out of the LEGO company onto the secondary market.
  2. LEGO Historian

    question about lego 6441

    The inside the ship area of a moon pool has to be air tight (you need double door entry with an "airlock" between them), or else the ship will sink. It's only this airtight principle that allows a functioning moon pool. Just like the airlock (double doors with a chamber between them) on a space ship is the only way that someone can make a space walk... this same double door system with a chamber between is needed for a moon pool, but it's the concept in reverse.
  3. LEGO Historian

    Do you talk about Lego outside EB?

    Mainly here, on Brickset, Flickr (have dozens of followers and followees), and my Facebook page...
  4. Well the OP was kinda ambiguous about the question, so there are probably many right answers.
  5. LEGO Historian

    Buying Older Parts

    LOL.... I couln't have said that last sentence any better myself!
  6. I hate to even bring this up but.... what other surprises will some of you find in the distant future.... when you open what you thought were SEALED sets....
  7. LEGO Historian

    LEGO Pet Peeves

    Thank you..... The CMFs especially... Collectible? Yeah... until you realize that these are coming out of a 3 shift operating factory in China by the billions.... I wonder what year LEGO stopped becoming less of a construction toy, and more of just accessories to minifigs. I wonder what will happen by the time of the 47th series of CMFs comes out? (Besides Kjeld Kristiansen adding another 10 billion to his net worth...) Rant over...
  8. LEGO Historian

    Buying Older Parts

    It's not so much a matter of being unrealistic... it's more a matter of the fact that you will/can never get it 100% right.... LEGO mixed and matched parts so often, that it becomes virtually impossible to exactly match everything up to the same time period. Take the new light bluish gray color. Even though it was inroduced circa 2003... for years TLG mixed old light gray with the blue-ish version for years thereafter. Many 1980s sets have half of the parts with the molding pip on the studs, and half with the pip on the sides of the bricks. Bricklink makes it easy on the sellers to keep the part variations as simple as possible, by having as few part variations as possible in their database. Unfortunately that doesn't help buyers trying to replace parts for older sets. From the 1990s to the present, the major difference in plates is the "donut bottom" posts underneath, as seen on the right. Those are of more recent vintage. It's mostly sets from the 1960s and 1970s that a buyer may care about getting the right parts... and even then it was pure mayhem as old and newer parts were mixed together in many of those sets. FYI... orange parts weren't introduced until 1998... so you won't have much of a problem with that color anyway.
  9. LEGO Historian

    Those fantastically expensive 1:87 LEGO cars/trucks

    Yes the Norway 1253 Flatbed Truck.... it came with a regular blue undercarriage, and a dark blue cab... not sure why they made the cab dark, but they did. Here is an assortment of Norwegian trucks and van.... note the brass wheels on the tanker truck... very early (1955) Norwegian trucks had brass wheels.
  10. LEGO Historian

    Those fantastically expensive 1:87 LEGO cars/trucks

    Oh my..... get me some smelling salts..... Erik, you have won the "daily double" of LEGO this month!! For those who don't know the early "Town Plan" days of LEGO of 1955-70 (and I'm sure there's quite a few of ya ) .... Erik just found the equivalent of 2 Mr. Gold collectible minifigs! Yes Erik those are the VERY rare 1957-58 LEGO Opel Kapitän 1:87 cars. At first fewer than 6 were known... now folks have accounted for nearly 20. Before I say anything further, I want my early LEGO collector friends to see this.... but you found a crown jewel of early LEGO. FYI... these were not produced in Billund. They were produced by A/S NORSKE LEGIO.... of Oslo Norway. Because of toy imports in the 1950s in Norway, TLG had to get a Norwegian partner (Svein Strømberg & Co. of Oslo) to sell LEGO in Norway starting in November 1953. Norske LEGIO had problems with these cars... the single piece window glass plastic part gave these cars lots of problems. TLG Billunds decided not to produce these in 1957 when the Norway subsidiary started producing some of these. Originally we thought they were just prototypes that got out of Norske LEGO. But now we're not 100% sure. FYI... I knew they were the real deal once I saw their undercarriages. They are a unique gray plastic color shade that I have never seen before at TLG.
  11. LEGO Historian

    Set 070 with cardboard inlays?

    The 070 set (with 2 trays) was produced from 1967 until the end of 1972. It was sold in continental Europe, Britain and Australia. Earlier sets had either paper or plastic white individual trays. In the late 1960s and early 1970s TLG switched over to large 1 piece partitioned gray plastic trays. Even these came in more than one variety. The version you show is an earlier version with more partitions. The later ones have fewer partitions (see image below). Now for the 077 set.... In 1971 and 1972 German catalogs the 070 was replaced by the 077 set.... or so the catalogs say. Shown below is an image of a 1972 Belgian catalog listing the 070 set, and also a 1972 German catalog with the same model, but listing it as 077. However... no 077 has ever been found in Germany or elsewhere. A few years ago, when I started working on my computer desktop Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide, I asked the folks in the Billund Archives about the 077 set that was supposedly sold in Germany, and yet no one in Europe's largest LEGO market has a copy of it (no copy exists in the Billund Vault either). The Archive folks told me that their records show the 077 version of that same 070 set was sold from March 31, 1971 until December 31, 1972. But where are they? No one has a copy! The mystery was finally solved a few years ago when a USA collector got a MISB 070 set from a German seller. When he got the set, he broke the outside seal.... only to find 2 shrinkwrapped inner trays.... AND........ a 1972 German LEGO Catalog (as seen below right)..... So it appears that the production folks at TLG told the Archive folks that they were producing an 077 set for Germany (to match the set numbers for all the other sets).... so in Germany 011, 022, 033, 044, 055, 066, 077 and 088 would have been produced there. However someone made the decision to NOT change the set number on the box... and the different basic set numbers on the basic set boxes matched that of the rest of Europe..... 011, 022, 033, 044, 055, 066, 070, 088. But no one ever notified the BIllund Archives (nor the LEGO Catalog folks) that the 077 set was never produced for Germany.... but the 070 was kept in production. Another case of what I call "LEGO Mayhem".... which is very common in early LEGO. Like I tell people... if TLG didn't make so many of these little unexpected changes to their parts and product line... my 2800 page collectors guide would only have 1/2 the pages!!
  12. LEGO Historian

    Early LEGO in Central Europe

    @legologo Contact me at Without images I cannot give you an assessment.
  13. LEGO Historian

    'Milky' window

    You can get old 7026 (Bricklink number) 2x2 windows in their frames by the thousands in very used condition... for only 3 cents each. They were made from 1956-2003 and there are over 20 thousand available in red alone in used condition at various prices.
  14. LEGO Historian

    Why did Lego never sell 12v trains in United States

    Good points all!! But there is one point that I wanted to add.... when the LEGO System was introduced to USA/Canada in 1961/62, there were spare parts packs included in the LEGO selection (just as there were elsewhere in the world). But after 1972 (when TLG got the LEGO license back from USA Samsonite), there were NO spare parts packs available for sale in USA toy stores. This has continued to the present day. If you wanted spare LEGO parts packs or even the service packs... you had to use Shop-At-Home. I remember in the 1970s and 1980s visiting toy stores all over the USA, and never finding any spare parts packs of any kind. I was very shocked in 1983 when I visited a toy store in Somerville New Jersey (called Skylar's), and seeing the (1980 introduced) 830-839 spare parts packs... the only time I had ever encountered them at an actual toy store in the USA... although they were available at mail order Shop-At-Home. So in order to have a 12V train system in the USA, they needed to include the entire 12V track parts pack system, as well as many of the 1101-1270 Service packs (55xx range starting in 1986). USA retailers would have likely not committed shelf space to the spare or service pack sets. So the logistics to selling 12V trains in the USA was handicapped by the fact that American toy stores just never carried the full range of LEGO products that were available in Europe... during the 12V era. And this is also true for Canada, but to a lesser extent, since they did at least sell a few spare parts packs. I just don't think that beyond a few independent toy stores... that many of the chain toy stores would have cooperated in selling a full line of LEGO trains. And so the 12V system was never introduced in North America.
  15. LEGO Historian

    Why did Lego never sell 12v trains in United States

    Lionel ("O" scale) trains and "HO" scale trains are the most popular in the USA... and they run between 10V and 16V. I don't see any reason why LEGO trains would not be considered safe for the USA market. I would be curious to find any documentation of that, but I have never seen any. In 1970 TLG marketed a 110V train transformer as #742, (the 220V transformer was #741)... but I know of no country that sold 12V trains that used 110V current... only the 220V (pretty much the standard in Europe). Perhaps the #742 was used for folks who wanted to special order the 12V trains to Japan, North America or the half of South America that used 110V. TLG has on occasion allowed LEGO special orders to countries that they did not sell a product to. But I know of no reason why electric LEGO trains were prevented from sales in North America. I think that TLG just preferred to sell them in Europe.