Whatever Happened to Classic Town? Part 2: 1992-2000

Welcome back to our occasional series examining ‘Whatever Happened to Classic LEGO Themes?’ Previously, we took a look at the Classic town sets from 1978-1990.

We examined the way that the theme was defined by certain colours, shapes, and how a gradually expanding parts palette resulted in an evolution in the design of sets during this period. In 1978, when the LEGOLAND branded sets were first released, along with LEGO Minifigure, this was the theme set in the present, the real world, containing subject matter that kids could relate to: LEGO Town was set in the contemporary world, bringing kids experiences they could understand.

In this article, we shall trace the development of these ’Real World’ LEGO sets during the ‘System Era.’ The ‘System’ label, with the red 2×4 in place of the arm on the letter ‘T,’ was used to distinguish the other brick systems used in LEGO construction toys at this time: DUPLO and TECHNIC. The mark appeared in the upper left corner of the front of LEGO Boxes, to the right of the LEGO logo. This label appeared on LEGO Sets released from 1992 to 1999.

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The Faces of LEGO 2021: Setting A Baseline For Gender Representation In Marketing ‘Hero Shots’

Earlier this week, the LEGO Group celebrated the UN’s International day of the Girl by releasing new research revealing that girls are ready to break free from traditional gender stereotypes, while the rest of society perpetuates these stereotypes. I shall post the press release at the end of this article.

Essentially, girls are ready to take on most of the activities in society, but there are societal stereotypes that result in both parents and their male peers potentially holding them back. This can potentially influence the career paths that they may embark on as they grow up.

Following up from this information, The LEGO Group have committed to making LEGO Play more inclusive, and ensuring that children’s creative ambitions are not limited by gender stereotypes:

“We know there is work to do which is why from 2021 we will work closely with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and UNICEF to ensure LEGO products and marketing are accessible to all and free of gender bias and harmful stereotypes.”

“We acknowledge our responsibility in having contributed to gender stereotypes over the years, which is why we’re actively addressing the challenges that gender biases create and we’re committed more than ever to do our bit to put it right. “

In this article, I will aim to look at the current gender biases present in the Hero Shots as depicted on LEGO.com in October 2021.

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Share Your Builder’s Journey, For Your Chance To Win A Set Of Nostalgia Filled Minifigures

It looks like people have been enjoying the Builder’s Journeys column – our Throwback Thursday feature where we ask AFOLs to name a set that has a special meaning to them.

So far we have heard about sets from the last 50 years, from the LEGOLAND Bakery from 1973, through to the Hobbit. You can find all of the previous articles here.

If you have been thinking about making a contribution – there is no better time than the present. All submissions received by the 23rd of October will go into a draw for a great nostalgia laden prize from Jumper Plate.

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“Boat does not float in water” 10294 Titanic Officially Revealed

In April 2022, we will remember the 110th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Stuck by an iceberg on its fateful maiden voyage from England to America, over 1500 lives were lost in one of the greatest maritime tragedies ever.

Today, the LEGO Group has revealed one of the largest LEGO Sets ever released. Certainly the longest! Due for release on the 8th of November, the 10294 Titanic is a huge model: well over 160 studs long, or 135cm x 16cm x 44cm (95,040 cm^3). With 9090 elements, this set contains 54 more elements than the 10276 Colosseum, released last year[9036 elements, 82,836cm^3].

The set will be available for Preorder on 1st of November, and in store on the 8th. It will be priced at €629.99 / $USD629.99 / £569.99/ 999.99 AUD/799.99 CAD.

Read on for more details and pictures.

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Setting the Scene With (A different) Jay

Sorry we missed out on a column last week: Research for a presentation at BrickCon overtook all else. You will get to read about it heat in a month or two. In the mean time:

Welcome back to Builders’ Journeys, where AFOLs share a set that was influencial in them becoming the LEGO Fans that they are today. If you would like to share your story, send a note to ramblingbrick@gmail.com

Today, we hear from Jay, an AFOL from Wellington, New Zealand. Jay has been involved in the local community for some time now. As a child growing up in the 1990s, the seeds would be sown for his large town display ‘Brickton.’ But I should let him tell that story…

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LEGO® Stuntz Demolition Bike: Much More Fun Than I Expected.

Stuntz, the latest subtheme of LEGO® City was officially released on 1st of October. This theme brings flywheel powered motorbikes to a world of monster trucks and jumps. At this point, we have limited availability on shop shelves. However, I was able to pick up 60927 Demolition Stunt Bike. This set has only 12 pieces, including a minifigure and a motorcycle only. Let’s take a quick look at this set, and see what it has to offer.

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LEGO House Shows off Lockdown Projects of The LEGO Group Employees (and not just the designers)

At the LEGO House Fan Day on Thursday 23rd September 2013, a number of new exhibits in the Masterpiece Gallery were unveiled. These exhibits are traditionally sourced from members of the fan community around the world. The pandemic has made it challenging to continue this tradition this year, and as such, the team have had to think outside the box for some exciting new displays.

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Builder’s Journeys: Take A Deep Dive with Jay [6559 Deep Sea Bounty]

Welcome to another of our Builder’s Journeys, where members of the AFOL community present a set that has been influencial in them becoming the LEGO fan they are today. Today, Jay from Jay’s Brick Blog brings us the story of a special present from his childhood. Jay is also my co-host on the Extra Pieces podcast – He is a little younger than I am, growing up with a different era of sets to myself. As such, I love to hear his perspective on this sort of material.

Don’t forget, If you would like to share a story of a set that is special to you, drop me a line, or reach out on Facebook or Instagram.

But now, over to Jay…

One of the most influential LEGO sets I’ve owned as a child was 6559 Deep Sea Bounty – a classic Town set from 1997 that was part of the Divers sub-theme. 

Unlike some of the more classic and Vintage-era LEGO sets featured in previous Builder’s Journey entries, mine is particularly “young” but still very special for a boy that was 8 or 9 years old.

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Fan Day in LEGO® House With New Fan Exhibition and Live Presentation

After the pandemic put a hole in everyone’s plans last year, the Skaerbaek Fan Weekend is back in 2021. The Thursday before the weekend has, for 3 of the last 4 years anyway, been associated with a trip to the LEGO House for an AFOL Day. Last year, in the absence of the true physical event, an online event took place.

This weekend, LEGO Fans from around the world – well, the parts that can travel to Denmark, anyway, are heading back to Skaerbaek. And once again, there will be an AFOL Day at the LEGO House. As well as unveilling new exhibits in the Masterpiece gallery, there will also be a number of presentations from Vice President for Design, Matthew Ashton, the Ninjago Team, as well as an update on the LEGO Groups Sustainability developments. Perhaps this is more like what AFOLs were expecting from LEGO Con, held earlier this year.

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Rebuild the World 2021

Cast your mind back to 2019, and you might remember the launch of the LEGO Group’s first ‘Rebuild the World’ advertisement: a somewhat surreal epic in which a hunter seeks out a rabbit, in a world surrounded by references to LEGO themes, past and present. While the actual premise of Rebuild the World may sometimes feel vague, this year the campaign focuses on children being the masters of creative problem solving.

Scroll down to see the new campaign movie, where a knight is trying to cross the river, to catch up with his friend, the bear. As the ad progresses, the townsfolk set out to help our knight to cross the river, as we see many representatives from different LEGO themes, including collectable minifigures, space ( a green spaceman? Where is the rest of the LEGO Ideas Exosuit?) and more. Ultimately the problem is solved, but not before the children building the bridge and playing with their LEGO Bricks are revealed. While the target audience is going to be parents, and their children, there are plenty of references that an AFOL will appreciate.

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