Sunday, 16 February 2014

An early / mid 1970's Lego scene.

1970 - 1977 represented here by 8 sets.
The windmill and house were 'Weetabix' promotional sets, only available in the UK in 1976. The first style minifigures were introduced in 1975. They had no faces and no movable arms or legs. They were the precursor to the modern minifigure, which, so I'm told, will outnumber humans on Earth by 2019! 
The horse and cart taking the milled goods away for sale.
Why Lego made the horse red instead of black or white is a bit of a mystery, maybe it was the nearest color to brown they had at the time! The minifigures 'sat' by splitting their bodies in half! 
The lady of the house is ready to greet her friend arriving in the yellow car.
 The first minifigures couldn't fit in cars or trucks, they could barely fit in the buildings! Scale was something that happened to other models....
The port / airport area. The police are keeping a close eye on the latest arrivals!
The Police boat set 314 from 1976. The clear pieces have turned a yellow / orange color, a sure sign they have been left in the sun for too long!
Set 691 'Rescue helicopter' is from 1974.  It was re-released as set 480 in 1975 specifically for the North American market.
The small plane, set 609 is from 1972. Purpose made propellers weren't invented until 1974!
Set 644 'Tanker' from 1971, one of my earliest 1970's sets. 
Old white pieces are sometimes discolored from being left in the sun and the contrast with fresh pieces is quite stark!

The Level Crossing set 146 from 1976. 
Sadly missing a few pieces, like the guy who operates the barriers and a chimney from the roof of the small building.  For some reason all the early Lego railway tracks were blue!

My last little set for the 1970's is set 604 'Excavator' from 1971. 
Reissued two years later for the North American market (and called a 'Payloader')

Having taken all the pictures I realized I left out a set!  698 'Boeing 727' from 1977. It does feature in another post of mine charting the evolution of airliner models, you can see that here! Next in line is 1978, and the introduction of the modern minifigure, it's also the year I really started collecting Lego!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

A pre-1970's Lego scene.

Below I present a small scene of my entire pre-1970's Lego collection....all 3 of them!! All obtained from eBay over the past couple of years, there's only another 46 to get!
The whole of my pre - 1970 Lego collection! (The road
plates are from 1978, so they don't count. They're there to
make the scene look a little more complete!)
The individual sets consist of :
   315 - European Taxi - made between 1963 and 1970 it became the longest produced sets in the history of Lego. Made in Great Britain, in the days before the UK became too expensive to produce stuff so Lego pulled out and concentrated production in Denmark.
315 - European Taxi. The simplicity of the design is apparent in the side view.

   316 - Farm Tractor - another 1963 veteran, missing only a round black brick for it's exhaust (which I'm sure I had when I bought it...I must have a search around...) It doesn't much resemble a tractor but with the limited pieces available to the designers it's not a bad attempt!
316 - Farm Tractor. The color scheme resembles child's
attempts at construction!
   332 - Tow Truck from 1967. Lego had a few years practice at model making and had brought out a few new pieces by the time the Tow Truck hit the stores. It had a steering system controlled by a brick on top of the cab, (sadly the original brick went missing when I lent it to the local primary school for their '1960's week'.) The seeds of the modern Lego sets were sown, and the mid 1970's saw a revolution in the models and popularity of the brand. More of that another time.
332 - Tow Truck. Steerable wheels and specialized pieces
gave the late 1960's Lego more play value than they had before.
My next little (but much bigger than this one!!) Lego diorama will show my collection of sets from 1970 to 1977, with the advent of the armless and legless first wave of minifigures and the ever-more complex pieces construction methods.