“Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. LEGO, always a new toy.” OK, I don’t speak French, but that is a rough translation of the major parts of this 1975 French Canadian advertisement.
This advertisement is unique in that it was done by Samsonite. In 1972, Samsonite lost the license to produce and distribute LEGO products in the U.S. Meanwhile in Canada, Samsonite was still responsible for marketing LEGO products through 1986. They also received royalties up till 1989.
This particular advertisement features set # 182, train set with signal. It is also unique in that it shows both boys and girls enjoying LEGO trains. The little girl has her eyes fixed on her older brother’s train set, and it looks like she built a Duplo water tower to go along with it.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of the partnership between LEGO and Samsonite, LEGO fan-site BrickFetish has an excellent write-up. Click here to read it.
Here’s a unique piece of advertising from 1979. This Christmas card appeared in a 5 page LEGO advertistment, printed in the November 1979 issue of the UK magazine, Radio Times. I would have shown the ad in its entirety, but my scanner can’t accommodate it. It features LEGO Christmas cards sitting on a brick-built mantle. This card features 4.5V set 182, which was originally released in 1975. Look at all the cypress trees!
Here is a larger part of the page the image comes from, just for frame of reference.
Niels Thomsen saw we shared his 1960s Christmas card the other day and, in response, posted pictures from his collection of LEGO wooden trains! LEGO made wooden toys from 1932 through 1960, the year in which a fire ravaged the wooden toy warehouse.
LEGO made a wide variety of wooden trains, and these represent a few of them. They appear to be from the period of the 1940s and 1950s. Enjoy these images of historic wooden LEGO trains, and be sure to thank Niels for sharing. While you’re at it, check out his wonderfully diverse collection of wooden toys! (click here)
Niels even photographed the engines alongside one another. This really gives you an idea of the variety of sizes these trains came in.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
LEGO makes a Christmas card for its employees each year, and this was the example made to celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary in 1982. It is filled with vintage LEGO goodness, including loads of wooden toys, 1:43 scale Chevrolet trucks, early LEGO building toys and some 1980s LEGO sets under the Christmas tree.
If you look closely, the box of wooden toys contains a special steam engine. Those Chevrolet trucks would also look mighty nice on an O scale layout. LEGO produced wooden toys from 1932 through 1960, following a fire that destroyed the wooden toy warehouse. The plastic Chevrolet trucks were made between 1952 and 1957.
These images originally appeared in the 50 Years of Play book, a LEGO history book given to LEGO employees in 1982. The book is hard to find, but you can read the digital version online via Brickset.com.
This past weekend was crazy for myself and Glenn here at Brick Model Railroader. In short, we sold out of our first run of hopper instructions way faster than anticipated, visited a cathedral of steam, took a ride with one of the most impressive machines on rails, and got some work done on two of our future Premium Instructions. It was a crazy weekend.
Our first run of USRA Hopper Premium Instructions has sold out!