Builders’ Journeys: Russell Tows Us To LEGO® Town.

Welcome back to our Throwback Thursday column, where we look at LEGO Sets that were influential in setting people on the path to becoming the LEGO Fan that they are today. Today, we hear from Russell C, who lives in California. He submitted his entry as part of our recent Jumper Plate Minifigure giveaway and would like to talk to us about a town set. This time, it is one from 1980: 6363 Auto Repair Shop.

Continue reading

Builders’ Journeys: Lisa Hits The Road With 6590 Car And Caravan.

Welcome Back to Builders’ Journeys, where we listen to stories from other AFOLs about a set that inspired them at some time in their life.

Before we start, today, I would like to thank everyone who submitted an entry in our prize draw for the Jumper Plate Minifigures. I really appreciate the stories that people shared, and we will have some great stories to share over the next few months. The winner was drawn randomly from a bowlful of entry numbers, and I would like to congratulate Lisa D from Ireland on winning the prize draw. The minifigures are on their way, and hopefully, the reduced international travel between Australia and the rest of the world does not slow down the delivery too much.

Today Lisa is going to take us back to 1988 when she first opened up 6590 Car and Caravan.

Continue reading

Jumper Plate Minifigures: Classic Town Collection [Hands On Review]

When Jay from Jumper Plate software reached out to offer me a set of his Nostalgic Monochromatic Minifigures to give away, I bought another set for my own use. Proceeds from the sale of these figures go to help Jumper Plate to further develop their software which is designed to support the administrative needs for people running LEGO User Groups.

But, there is a market for monochromatic minifigures, and when these figures come with a nicely printed nostalgic torso, harking back to the 90s, I suspect that market might be expanded. I don’t run a LUG, but I know plenty of people who do, and I am happy to help support anything that might make their job a little easier. So, I put my order in (this was pre release) and after a few local postal delays – international air travel is still a bit slow for packages – they arrived yesterday. So did my set to give away. you can read more about that here.

Continue reading

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

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.

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

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

Whatever Happened To Classic LEGO® Themes? Part I: Prelude

The last time I was having a chat to adult visitors at a public exhibition (remember those?), something came up on more than one occasion: LEGO® Themes these days are not what they used to be. It used to be pretty simple – you’d build the set (and it was probably Town, Space or Castle. Unless you were a bit younger – then it may well have been a Pirates set) – and you’d pull it apart and build something else. It might be one of the alternate builds on the back of the box, it might be something completely different. It may not have even been related to the original theme.

These days, many sets thrive on 3rd party IP, and the majority of the in-house, story-driven themes are tied in with either an animated series or an overly complicated app.

For those of us yearning for a simpler time, in a world where things have become increasingly complicated, things are looking bleak! Unless you want to go straight to the 4+ sets.

Continue reading

Losing Our Sense of Proportion… 6590 Vacation Camper vs 60182 Pickup and Caravan [Reviews, comparison and speculation]/Covert Celebrations IV

Dreaming of a summer caravanning holiday, our comparison of LEGO TOWN and LEGO City continues. Has there been an ongoing covert celebration, with Town sets from twenty, thirty and forty years ago being reimagined in 2018?   Comparing 1988’s Car and Caravan with 2018’s Pickup and Caravan, we also ask “Why, after 30 years, does a family vehicle towing a caravan still seat only one minifigure?” We also discover where LEGO Children come from…and wonder where other characters have gone…

IMG_2675

This year, we have considered parallels between LEGO City 2018 and LEGO Town 1988, along with other sets from 20 and 40 years ago.

We have asked the question “Is this a covert celebration of the 40th anniversary of the minifigure, and LEGO town?” An official answer has not been forthcoming. But this won’t stop me from ongoing speculation, with no grounding in reality.

Today I would like to look at another set with a parallel set from thirty years ago: Pickup and Caravan 60182  – from the 2018 LEGO City Great Vehicles sub theme; and Vacation Camper 9590 from LEGO Town in 1988.  So what do these sets have in common? Two adults, a caravan and a vehicle to tow it behind. The vehicle in question has only one seat, in both instances. The differences are far greater…

Let’s take a closer look at both sets: Continue reading

Conspiracy or Coincidence III: Helicopters- from Red Cross to the Star of Life [626/6626 vs 60179]

In which I look at a couple of helicopters, with 40 years between their release dates, consider what happens when a humanitarian organisation reclaims its trade mark and contemplate the special place that helicopters have in the world of LEGO® Vehicles…IMG_9819As has been previously discussed, this is a year for celebrations at the LEGO Group. We have seen sixty years of the LEGO Brick, forty years of the minifigure (celebrated with the release of the series 18 Collectable Minifigures), and twenty years of Mindstorms.

Great vehicles:

While we have the recurrent police theme (even with the new mountain setting), some , miners, as well as last year’s fantastic jungle theme still on the shelves, we also have the ‘Great Vehicles’ sub theme. Now, I recognise that there is a limit to just how many different vehicles might be presented in LEGO Set form over the years. This year however, we seem to have a number of sets that give more than a passing nod to sets that were released twenty, thirty and forty years ago.

IMG_1069IMG_0338Here at the Rambling Brick, we would far rather believe in a conspiracy than a coincidence, and so I would like to believe that these might be a covert celebration of sets celebrating their decennial anniversaries this year. In recent months we have discussed the JetCar and the Helicopter Transport Truck. Today, I would like to compare some  helicopters- specifically the Red Cross Helicopter from 1978 and this year’s Emergency Helicopter. While the Helicopter from 1978 may not be as obvious counterpart to today’s set, compared to the the helicopter carrier and speed record car, there are a number of interesting comparisons between then and now that I would like to make today.

First, let us start with the change in the markings used… Continue reading