Today, at the Chinese International Import Expo, the LEGO group unveiled some of the most anticipated sets for the new year.
Announced at the expo, and streamed on WeChat, we saw new sets in Duplo, Monkie Kid, and also commemorating the Year of the Rabbit. I apologize for the quality of images, caputered from the live stream of the press conference.
At the end of the LEGO Move, we saw the town of Bricksburg invaded by visitors from the Planet DUPLO (And we will destroy you all…). These creatures finally appeared in DUPLO Form this year. On the eve of the official opening of the film in Australia, I built this set as a live stream using Facebook Live.
This year, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of LEGO DUPLO. Basic brick sets first appeared in 1969, but figures were not introduced until 1977. They provided a way to introduce role play into the way that children interacted with DUPLO bricks. These first figures appeared ahead of minifigures, and there were then several ways in which DUPLO figures have led the way with regard to character design compared with minifigures. In this article, I will cover the changes in shape of the basic shape of figures seen in DUPLO sets since they were first introduced. I will not cover the introduction of each colour or hair/helmet mold, but I will cover the important changes that occurred in body design, as well as touch on some of the licensed figures that have appeared over the years…but only some!
While DUPLO debuted in 1969, the first Duplo figures did not appear until 1977, a year ahead of minifigures. These figures were simple, finger puppet style figures, which would fit comfortably over 2×2 DUPLO Studs. With no moving ares or legs, they were similar in some respects to the ‘stage extra’ figures in use in the regular system sets at the time.
We love a good anniversary celebration here at the Rambling Brick, and recently, we have had plenty! Last year we saw 60 years of the Brick, 40 years of the Minifigure, 30 years of the Helicopter Transporter and 20 years of Mindstorms. This year we celebrate 40 years of Fabuland, 30 years of LEGO® Pirates and 20 years of LEGO Star Wars. And one more thing.
Today we celebrate the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first announcement of LEGO DUPLO®. The year of the Moon Landing, Woodstock and the airing of the first episode of Scooby Doo was also the the year that the LEGO Group first released the DUPLO Brick.
Aimed primarily at Toddlers, DUPLO Bricks have been the introduction to the LEGO system of play for millions of families over the last 50 years.
Not the first Big Brick, but possibly the most interesting
Earlier this year, we saw the 60th anniversary of the original patent for the LEGO Brick being filed. There have been several other LEGO Bricks released in the meantime, designed for smaller hands.:
Duplo was first released as a toy for preschool children in 1969: it will turn 50 next year, in 2019. During the LEGO Group’s experimental phase in the early 2000’s, the line was rebadged ‘explore’, returning to the traditional ‘DUPLO’ branding in 2005.
Duplo Bricks are twice as large as the standard system bricks in all dimensions: 2x2x2=8 times the volume of a standard LEGO Brick.
Also pictured above are some samples of the QUATRO Brick. Produced from 2004 to 2006, these bricks are four times the volume of a standard system brick, with a 2×4 quarto brick occupying the same volume as 4x4x4=64 system bricks! Quatro also featured a couple of vehicles, and bricks with a curved edge (like the top of an arch.)
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