25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #14: The Snowy Sixties

Flickr user Niels Thomsen (aka bricklick) has a wonderful vintage LEGO collection, filled with many unique and unusual items. Thanks to him, we are able to enjoy this circa 1966 LEGO Christmas card.

The card features the train from set 114, which was first released in 1966. It has a very special non-LEGO passenger. Santa Clause appears to be typical of the figures that were produced in Japan back then. To see more cool vintage LEGO items, be sure to visit Niels’ flickr page.

A cute little engine you can build

Did you receive set 40235 (24-in-1 Holiday Countdown Set) this year? The set comes with instructions for building 24 different models (one for each day leading up to Christmas). Bill Ward has been doing each day’s build, while also making a MOC with leftover parts each day. Day 13 was this cute micro steam engine. His use of the white croissant for smoke is both well-played and deliciously adorable.

Bill has been kind enough to post instructions so you can build your own. You can access them here: page 1 and page 2.  To see what other builds he comes up, be sure to follow his blog, Bill Ward’s Brickpile!

“You’re in the Army now. You’re not behind the plow.”

Flickr user Tablizm brings us a super-detailed U.S. Army train. You may have seen this when it was blogged by the Brothers Brick, but I did not stumble upon it until today. I enjoyed looking at it so much that I wanted to share it with you. In particular, I love how the builder made such a diverse lot of cars, some of which have interior details! Click here for additional images of his train.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #13: The polar bear who ate Steven Spielberg

You may recall the post featuring Steven Spielberg (shared on December 4th). I later discovered that the UK Winter 2000 Shop-at-Home catalog had a similar holiday cover illustration…but with slightly different artwork.

The UK catalog replaces Steven Spielberg and his crewman for a football (soccer) player and polar bear. Given the popularity of football in the UK, the design change makes sense. As for the polar bear, I smell a conspiracy involving a Spielberg snack.

The UK catalog image (top) comes from BrickLink’s image library, as I do not personally own this variation myself.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #12: Steamin’ Santa

This image comes to us courtesy of Emil from the UK. Back in the 1980s, the UK LEGO Club sent its members a Christmas card each year. This is one of them! It’s a pretty colorful and well-built scene, probably built by esteemed Master Builder, David Lyall.

I’m uncertain as to what year the card was produced, though it was most likely printed sometime in the 1980s.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #11: Dinosaurs, Elephants and Bears…Oh My!

Today’s piece of advertising comes from the front cover of a 1998 preschool Shop-at-Home catalog. It features a Duplo steam engine pulling a load of classic ’90s Duplo animals, including a bear, giraffe, elephants and even a dinosaur! Due to the target market, this is not an easy catalog to track down and does not even appear in BrickLink’s catalog. Sadly, someone took some “artistic license” with the cover, drawing dashes through the title lettering, sketching over some bits of snow and drawings spots on the cat (to match the dog, of course).

The cover art for this is truly unique and fun to look at.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #10: I Spyrius Set 4525

Yesterday, we shared the cover of a 1994 holiday catalog with you. This time we’re bringing you the cover of a 1994 U.S. Shop at Home catalog. Spyrius and Islanders are back, but the style of the artwork is completely different. Set number 4525 (Road and Rail Repair) makes an appearance. It can be seen trying to free the tracks from snow (it appears to be a losing battle). Set 4525 debuted in 1994.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #9: The Islander of Misfit Toys

Freight Rail Runner (set 4564) was the new train set for 1994, and it makes an appears on the cover of this 1994 UK holiday catalog. The Islanders don’t seem to care about the cold, and it appears as though Spyrius has taken over Santa’s gig. The ice skating rink seems to be the work of two firefighters who were tied up in their work.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #8: Making a Wishlist and Checking it Twice

How many of you remember looking through LEGO catalogs as a kid, checking off all the sets you wanted Santa to deliver. If so, the cover of this 1992 U.S. Holiday Shop at Home catalog is sure to rekindle many fond memories!

The boy is looking through an earlier Shop at Home catalog, which prominently features the Metroliner and Metro Station sets on the front cover. I’ve included the cover of that catalog for you to take a closer look.

25 Days of Holiday “Trainvertising” #7: Jack Stone Nipping at your Rails

Some fun artwork from the cover of the 2001 U.S. Holiday LEGO Shop at Home catalog. Palpatine guards a steam engine from the My Own Train theme, introduced in 2001. The tree is decorated with Bionicle masks, and the Sopwith Camel chases down candy cane thief, Jack Stone. There is also a healthy dose of pirates and dinosaurs.