Anniversary Alert: 50 Years of LEGO® DUPLO® Bricks

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

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Minifigure 40: LEGO® Town [Advertisement Archive]

Untitled 7Forty years ago, we saw the change in LEGO® sets: the arrival of the minifigure.  Now we had articulated figures to bring our models to life: no need to remove the torso for our figures to sit down. As part of #minfigure40 I received access to a large number of media assets: today, I would like to look at some of the features of the advertisements in the LEGO Town/City series, one of the few themes to have been continuously available in some form or another for forty years!  The majority of these advertisements were placed in comics, or magazines featuring comic strip anthologies, and puzzles and kid’s news. They have been published in multiple markets – ands languages.  I have attempted to translate them as well as an online translation engine will allow.

The art style is typically similar to that seen in contemporary catalogs: certainly I suspect the early advertisements were shot at a similar time to the catalogs for that year.

1978: The Minifigure Arrives in Classic Town

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#Minifigure40 Part 1: The Road To Release [Minifigure Prototypes]

Minifigure prototypes from min. 1975-1978

This week, we celebrate the anniversary of the submission of the minifigure design to the Danish Patent office. It was in the following year, 1978,  that we got our first glimpse of the LEGO® Minifigure. However, development of an appropriately sized, articulated figure began sometime beforehand…

The LEGO Group have recently released some new picture, showing historically significant developments in the the life of the Minifigures. Many of the items shown here are on display in the LEGO House, in Billund, but some may not be at this time.  Continue reading

Little Figures: Big Story – 40 years of the LEGO® Minifigure. [patent documents]

IMG_1159This year, we have been celebrating forty years since the arrival of the minifigure.  Here at the Rambling Brick, we have dedicated a number of articles, including a look at the changes in the basic structure of the minifigure; special minifigure features introduced in Harry Potter sets, as well as a look at the 40th Anniversary Costume Party Collectable Minifigures. Not to mention the Covert Anniversary celebrations that we have seen in LEGO® City sets this year.

Today we celebrate the submission of the patent for the original minifigure design, in Denmark in 1977. So…41 years ago, in order to have things ready to roll in 1978!

To commemorate this event, the LEGO Group has released a collection of images of historical interest, including copies of the original patent documents, images of prototype minifigures, moulds, minifigure design sheets and historical advertising material, as well as a timeline of significant  minifigure events.

LEGOminifigure40_infographic

Over the next few posts, we will explore some of these materials, but first, let’s run the covering press release, and take a glance at the patent applications: Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Minifigure Innovations

With new Harry Potter LEGO Sets and Collectable Minifigures occupying the Zeitgeist, I look back on ways in which our minifigures have been innovated through their use in this theme over the years.title

When we recently looked at the new Harry Potter Collectable Minifigures, we had a look at the new leg elements – the ‘miniskirt’ and mid length legs. These new elements are a great inclusion during this, the fortieth anniversary of LEGO Minifigures.  I found myself wondering ‘What other innovations in figure design have we first seen in Harry Potter?’  We have seen so many different characters and creatures since the series first appeared in 2001: house elf, giants, goblins and trolls, as well as humans. To adequately depict these characters as minifigures form, a number of modifications to the standard form were introduced. Some of these we now take for granted.

The First (Second and Third) Double Sided Head Print

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