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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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LEGO® Super Mario 64™ ‘?’ Block to hit LEGO® Super Mario™ Universe

We knew something was coming when the LEGO Group teased a large cube like model last night, but I dont think anyone expected anything quite like this.

Its a ‘?’ cube, as featured in Super Mario 64 (celebrating 25 years this year), and from different panels, we have different microscale versions of lands from that classic game! With 2064 pieces, and priced at $289AUD/ $USD169.99/ £159.99 the set will be released through LEGO Branded stores on October 1, and in other retailers in 2022.

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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.

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Builders’ Journeys: Inez Begins with Botanicals [79002 – Attack of the Wargs]

Welcome once again to Throwback Thursday, and our regular Builders’ Journeys. In this column, AFOLs write about a set that had a profound influence on them, and the LEGO® builder they were to later become. Today, we hear from Inez, known as @iv_lego, on Instagram.

Inez lives in the Philippines and has become renowned for crafting MOCs based on real-world flowers, particularly those native to her part of the world. But it turns out that there was one set that showed her the way towards using LEGO bricks as a medium to create these flowers and trees…

When I started with LEGO sets in 2012, I knew immediately that I wanted to build plants and landscapes. At that time, the landscapes included in LEGO sets were still rather drab, and their trees were still very blocky. My first MOCs were trees, but they weren’t all that great. Probably because I didn’t know what I was doing. 

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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).

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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.

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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.

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