Minifigure 40: Classic Castle [Advertising Archive]

In recent weeks we have celebrated the 40th Birthday of the LEGO® Minifigure by looking at the ways in which print advertisements evolved over the years for City, trains and Space.  City had us building what we knew, Space let us look towards an optimistic future, and today, I would like to look at Castle. The knights of the LEGO Castle theme took us back in time. These were stories we already knew: King Arthur, Robin Hood, the Crusades, and now LEGO brought us a way in which to explore and reenact these stories our selves, in the comfort of our own home.

Once again, we visit advertising material from a number of different sources, predominantly European comics. I have had a bit more help with the translations here, as some of the concepts were too much for a simple machine translation engine… Read on and enjoy…

In the beginning:

Ad 1978_64
Build your own Knight’s Castle. Populate the Legoland castle with small funny colorful figures Just like at King Arthur’s time when Prince Valiant passed the Camelot drawbridge on his adventures.

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Minifigure 40: LEGOLAND® Space [Advertising Archive]

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, LEGO® Space is one of the great evergreen themes of the Minifigure era. One of the terrific aspects of the theme was the way that the overall design would periodically evolve, introducing new colour schemes and minifigure designs.

Ad 1979_64The theme arrived as we saw a resurgence in science fiction and space fantasy entertainment on the screen: led by films such as Star Wars, and on the smaller screen by Doctor Who, Blakes Seven and Battlestar Galactica, our imaginations were primed for journeys beyond the stars. The Space Shuttle Enterprise had been undergoing test flights from the back of a 747 Jet, and a we were excited for a new era of space exploration commencing, with the Space Shuttle Columbia ultimately launching in 1981.

These early series focussed on exploration, mining and the perils of space travel itself. It took 8 years before an enemy faction arrived, providing an outlet for dramatic conflict within the stories that were told.

Join us, as we set about exploring the print advertisements for LEGOLAND Space, and continue through the classic space era. Most of these advertisements are from Europe in a variety of languages.  I have endeavoured to provide translations of these.

In the Beginning

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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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