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.

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Ryan Learns To Ride The Rails [7715 Push Along Steam Train]

Welcome back to Throwback Thursday and another of our Builders’ Journeys, where AFOLs recall a set that is special to them in some way, and explain why. Today we hear from Ryan E, from Melbourne. I met Ryan a few years back, where he was bringing Thomas the Tank engine and the Isle of Sodor, to life at Brickvention. Some of you might know from the third series of LEGO Masters Australia. I’d always thought of him as a train guy… it turns out I might not have been alone…

Today, Ryan is going to tell us about the set that brought him along this path.

Continue reading

Whatever happened to Classic Town? Part I: 1978-1990

This year, I am looking at how LEGO Themes developed from those early days in 1978. Castle, Town and Space all developed in their own way, and they certainly don’t look the same today as they did back then! So as we take a ramble down Memory Lane, let’s look at how things were and how they have changed: scale, elements, colours and more.

For our first theme to track through time, I am looking at the theme that set out to represent the world around us: Classic Town. Over the years, this theme has evolved, with the LEGO City theme of today looking very different, yet incorporating similar subject matter. This investigation covers material released over more than 40 years. So it might take a little while. In this post, I shall cover LEGO Town from its origins in 1978 to 1990. Next time, we shall look at the System era (1992-1999). Finally, in the future, we will examine LEGO City and see how that theme compares with those in the early days. 

Along the way, we will examine the scale, building techniques, elements and more. There will be lots of pictures, sure to provoke a degree of nostalgia. I’d love to know which sets you feel fondly about and what you enjoyed about these themes.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Simon Soars into Space with the Awkward Middle Child [924: Space Cruiser]

Welcome to Builders’ Journeys – our Throwback Thursday inspired, nostalgia-driven look back on sets that have helped to define AFOLS around the world become the builders and LEGO Fans they are today. Today, we hear from Simon (@simonspace70s on Instagram). Simon lives in Mebourne, and recently discovered the joy of exhibiting his own MOCs, during a small lull between lockdowns. Simon has a tale that began back in the 1970s, and was changed for ever when he was given Set 924: Space Cruiser (released in the USA as 487) for his 6th birthday. The Awkward Middle Child of Classic Space sets, this ship seems to be relatively rare compared to 918 (one man Space Ship) and 927 (Galaxy Explorer). And there is just something about the shape of the nose. Perhaps that’s just me. Anyway, read on for Simon’s story.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Branko Launches Us Into Space With The 6950: Mobile Rocket Transport

Welcome back to our regular Builders’ Journeys column, where we take a look at sets from years gone by, through the eyes of someone for whom that set has a special significance. Today, Branko from New South Wales, via the Netherlands brings us a tale of his childhood, with 6950: Mobile Rocket Transport. This set was released in 1982 and has 209 pieces. Tat year also saw the debut of the yellow spacemen, and this set came with two of them!

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Sue Ann and the Tea Garden Cafe

Welcome to another edition of Builders’ Journeys, where Adult FANS of LEGO present a set that was, in some way, pivotal in their development as a builder.

Today, we hear from Sue Ann Barber. Sue Ann has been around the LEGO Fan community for many years, and is one of the founders of MUGs – the Melbourne LEGO Users Group. I first met Sue Ann in January 2008, when I attended the public expo at Brickvention with my family. Her passion for the hobby was apparent, and she introduced me to the concept of being an Adult Fan of LEGO, and the concept of LEGO User Groups. As such, she is one of the people I credit with bringing me out of my Dark Ages.

Sue Ann is going to tell us about a set, released in 1974, that inspired her earliest attempts to create a MOC (My Own Creation).

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: @danishspaceprogram Takes Us To Ice Planet 2002

Thanks for joining us for another Throwback Thursday, in which we take a look into our reader’s personal Builder’s Journeys. Take that old set that is important to you for some reason, and write up a paragraph or two about why it is important to you: was it your first set, the set that brought you out of your dark ages, or something else entirely?

This week we hear from Greg M aka @danishspaceprogram over on Instagram. Greg lives in Indiana, USA, and has graciously shared his story today, where he takes us to Iceplanet2002 to revisit at 6896: Ice Sat V.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Learning To Swoosh.

Back in the mid 1970’s, I was prone to bouts of tonsillitis, and, as was the fashion back then, I went into hospital for a tonsillectomy. Apart from a spectacular bout of coughing up blood a few days later, everything was unremarkable.

But that’s not what I remember most vividly.

Certainly the diet of jelly and icecream were a highlight, but within 6 months I had forgotten them.

I remember receiving 687 Caravelle Aeroplane around this time. The wings were the first ‘non rectangular’ elements that I owned, the printed bricks were terrific as a way to represent the windows, and the wheels. They offered a special challenge.

Continue reading