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.
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.
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.
Today’s catalog comes to you straight from 2000. The cover art of this U.S. holiday catalog prominently features the engine from “Freight and Crane Railway” (set 4565), originally released in 1996. This time, Santa takes charge of the controls and ditches Rudolph in favor of everyone’s favorite little astromech droid, R2-D2.
A lot of memorable characters are here, including Johnny Thunder (aka: Joe Freeman & Sam Grant). Emperor Palpatine uses force lightning to shake a package, while Darth Maul is left with nothing but coal to sort through. The Sith may be causing trouble, but Steven Spielberg is calling all the shots.
Our second post comes straight to you from 2001. The winter was cold, and LEGO’s financial situation wasn’t so hot either. In a partnership that will probably never happen again, LEGO teamed up with Department 56 to release ceramic holiday miniatures. These depicted portions of Santa’s workshop involved in the manufacture of….LEGO toys!
I know, I know….You’re probably asking yourself, “where are all the trains?” While there aren’t any trains per se, the Department 56 buildings and figures often wind up in holiday train layouts. Therein lies the train connection….Hey, I have to fill 25 days, people!
On an unrelated note, I think we can all agree that is some nice brick-built scenery.
P.S.: I promise Monday’s image will contain actual LEGO trains. 🙂