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LEGO Set Box Variations for EU/UK-AUS/USA/CAN, and why some are worth more than others...

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
edited December 2014 in Collecting
This week I wrote an article (part 1 of 3) for the Brickset "front page"... about LEGO sets by region...
http://brickset.com/article/13338/lego-box-variations-by-country-part-1-1957-72

In the past year I've had 2 LEGO set collectors from UK and Canada send me a lot of images of sets from those countries, and I've been kind of surprised by this still rarely talked about subject, namely the box variations to LEGO sets sold in different parts of the world.

Today we basically have 2 types of LEGO set boxes... those sold in North America... with tri-lingual writing on the boxes (English, French, Spanish, with a set parts count), and that produced in Europe (little to no writing, and no set parts count).

But until the early 1990s, there were more different box types...

1949-60 Continental Europe (Local Language)
1960-92 Continental Europe
1961-72 USA Samsonite LEGO
1973-79 USA (TLG) with different set numbers
1962-90 Canada Samsonite LEGO
1960-92 UK/Ireland/Australia - British LEGO Ltd. sets (a Courtauld' Corp. subsidiary)

1990-Present North America
1993-Present Europe

But even this general list doesn't show the actual complexity of the box types... because even within continental Europe many boxes still came with local language writing on the boxes... and to further complicate the issue... some sets were found in groups of languages on one box... such as Danish-Swedish-Finnish, German-Dutch-French, and Italian-French-English (note a German-Dutch-French box could be sold in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Austria, Switzerland and France).

In my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide, I am working on solving some of this very complex issue of "set boxes by country". And I'll explain here how some of these boxes are worth more than those of other regions.

As an example, here's a trio of boxes that shows this... the mid 1970s London Bus Set, sold as 760 in the USA, and 384 elsewhere. This image shows the USA 760 London Bus set in English, the Canadian 384 set in English/French, and the EU 384 with no languages...

image

The EU version appears to have little writing on it, while the USA and Canada versions have writing in English and English/French. The rarest and most valuable of these 3 is the Canada 384 set, which is due mainly to the fact that the Canadian market is only a fraction of the size of the USA or Continental European,

In the next few days I'll be posting many more pics of these "regional" LEGO sets, and how some can be worth many times the value of others! Enjoy!
lego613masterhkcrazy88Johnyk668

Comments

  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515
    Cool. I like more the US ones because of the piece count writing.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    One of the more interesting variations in LEGO boxes would be the 12V Train System sets in the 1980s (gray track era). Some of the smaller sets and spare parts packs come in a global version, with 9 languages written on the box top, such as the 7866...

    image


    But the 12V train and locomotive sets of that era seem to come in 3 box top language versions....

    image

    These are 7745 High Speed City Express Passenger Train... (top) German-French-Italian (likely sold in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy), (middle) English-French-Dutch (likely sold in UK/Ireland, Australia, France, Netherlands and Belgium), (bottom) Danish-Swedish-Finnish (likely sold in Denmark, Sweden and Finland).

    The Scandinavian version of the 7745 would likely be the rarest (smaller countries) and most valuable version.


  • BombTecBombTec In the MountainsMember Posts: 92
    I picked up this one(on the left) at a small shop in Velburg, DE and the comparison of the US market on the right. My brickset app didn't have any mention of the audio tape included.

    The exclusive audio tape in german is what caught my eye and sold me on purchasing it for only 20 euro. I tossed out some clothes to make if fit in my luggage and was glad it didn't get crushed on the way home.
    6493.jpg 153.2K
    sid3windr
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited December 2014
    And then some sets are really strange. In 1964 TLG came out with a Super Wheel Toy Set... that built a blue locomotive and tender (USA/Canada only).

    The Canadian Samsonite LEGO version of this 610 Super Wheel Toy set was in a long box with English and French writing...

    image

    But in the USA this 610 Super Wheel Toy set came in a tall box with English writing only...

    image

    And USA Department Stores sold this set (mail order catalog) with a 1610 number, and a 3rd variation of Packaging... in a canister!

    image
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    BombTec said:

    I picked up this one(on the left) at a small shop in Velburg, DE and the comparison of the US market on the right. My brickset app didn't have any mention of the audio tape included.

    The exclusive audio tape in german is what caught my eye and sold me on purchasing it for only 20 euro. I tossed out some clothes to make if fit in my luggage and was glad it didn't get crushed on the way home.

    Thanks for the pics and story BombTec! Love to see these "exclusives" in certain countries!

    And when it comes to LEGO and traveling.... the clothes are always the first to go! ;-)
    AndorBombTecbobabricks
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Samsonite of Canada was the LEGO licensee there from 1962 until 1990. Although the LEGO licence was purchased back in 1985, it took until 1990 before the Stratford Ontario Canada Samsonite plant stopped producing LEGO... and 1990 was when all production moved to Enfield Connecticut USA. So Canada always had uniquely labeled boxes back then.

    Here's an interesting box... the very rare 1968 Space Express Set. This set was a promotional set, and is very highly prized by collectors today. The Canadian version has the usual parts count, and the English/French text, while the European version has little text...

    image
    Andor
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    One reason I like to share information with others, is that I too learn from the experience. Such as the set variation that BombTec just mentioned. I was not aware of that German variation with a cassette tape! :-)

    Other times, I learn something when I post information, that I did not know before! Just now I as I am posting about the 1967-70 080 Set, I learned something new.

    The 080 was a hybrid set... a cross between a Town and a Train System set... because it contained 4 Town buildings and also an old LEGO train.

    The 080 set was sold in continental Europe, but not Britain, Ireland and Australia. Here is that set....

    image

    This set was not sold in Canada, and in the USA it was an FAO Schwarz luxury toy store exclusive... known as the 080 Ambassador Set.

    image

    What I just learned about this set was that the first year continental European catalogs (1967) show a slightly different box top. One of the panels (next to the LEGO logo) is different. Was this a prototype (mock-up box) never released? Or was this released and shortly thereafter the box top design was changed. Don't know yet... too few of these have ever been found!

    image

    But if this did involve a midstream design change, it adds another rarity to the mix. ;-)
    BombTec
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited December 2014
    From 1961-73 USA and Canada had completely different LEGO Basic sets as did Europe and Australia.

    Here are some new images for my next collectors guide version (free to current owners)... that shows the differences between some of the basic sets between continental Europe (TLG), and British LEGO Ltd. (a Courtauld's Corp. LEGO licensee) for Britain, Ireland and Australia.

    Here are the 1965-68 Basic Sets sold in continental Europe, Britain, Ireland and Australia. These images show the sides of the boxes, where the differences are shown.

    image


    The basic sets (010-thru 080) produced for continental Europe show "LEGO System"... with "System" in yellow script.

    The basic sets (010-thru 070... 080 was not sold here) of Britain, Ireland and Australia show only "LEGO" on the logo area from 1965-66, and "LEGO The Building Toy" from 1966-68.

    image


    This makes the basic sets easy enough to differentiate.

    On the first image, we can see the words "The Building Toy" in a large font size, and in a smaller on. It has yet to be determined which size came earlier.

    Also, the 070 and 080 sets were introduced later (in 1967), and that is why their box design is so different. The 080 set was discontinued by 1970, but the 070 continued production until 1973.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    The sets following the previous 1965-68 basic sets are these from 1968-72...

    image

    These sets are from continental Europe, and with the exception of the 088 SUPER SET, come without writing. Apparently "super set" is a pretty universal term.

    I had always thought that the sets of Britain, Ireland and Australia were identical to those of continental Europe... but when I took a close look at this 1969 British LEGO ad, it says otherwise...

    image

    So the major difference between the sets of continental Europe and elsewhere is that the words "Basic Set" are printed on the sides of these sets of Britain, Ireland and Australia. Like previous sets, these were not sold in USA/Canada.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Going off on a tangent... LEGO sets were not only different by region... but also by when they were produced.

    Here we have 1960s LEGO sets 315 (Taxi), 316 (Tractor), 317 (Truck) and 318 (Windmill). These were introduced circa 1964-65 in continental Europe (and I have no idea who that kid is... not a Christiansen family member)....

    image


    Then in 1966 all of these (and other) sets were changed to a much different box in continental Europe...

    image


    The boxes for these 1960s sets were also different for Britain and USA and Canada. Here are the USA (Samsonite) "Model Maker" sets (left side) for the 315, 316 and 317 sets (the 318 was a continental Europe only set)....

    image

    The sets on the left are the mid 1960s Samsonite 315-316-317 sets with English text. On the right side are 3 late 1960s sets with a slightly different look to the boxes, with "Model Maker" in yellow.

    Here are some additional mid 1960s USA Samsonite boxes (left) with late 1960s USA Samsonite boxes (right)....

    image

    The 343 Train Ferry Set long box is not the only thing that separates this version from that sold in Europe and Britain. The USA version has some different contents (a completely different unique gray custom baseplate), and the fact that even though the box top shows white windows... the contents in the USA version had only red windows.

    This gets into a completely different can-o-worms about Samsonite LEGO sets.. they had different baseplates to many of the sets from this era, namely the 340, 341, 342 and 343 Train sets. The 347 Fire Station and 080 Train/Town set also had different baseplates from Europe.

    Also the regular parts for Samsonite sets from the late 1960s often had different parts (from older molds) than they used in Europe. Waffle bottom plates were still use here until 1972, as were the hollow bottom 1x6 and 1x8 bricks with cross-supports.

    All images... from my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.

    BombTec
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    In 1980 TLG underwent a major change in set numbers. Sets that were introduced prior to 1980 had 3 digit set numbers, and also most USA sets (since circa 1970) had different set numbers than the rest of the world (likely for reasons already mentioned). But in 1980 newly introduced set numbers had 4 digits, except for the basic and spare parts sets... those remained at 3 digits for a while longer.

    But while sets that were introduced in Europe prior to 1980 had 3 digit set numbers... if these sets were introduced to the USA in or after 1980... then the USA version had a 4 digit set number. One example of this is the YELLOW CASTLE set of 1978-84. This set is considered the start of the Castle System of sets. And it was introduced in Europe, Britain and Australia in 1978 under the 375 number. So when this set was introduced (along with the 383 Knights Tournament, and 677 Medieval Knights pack) in 1981 the USA, it was introduced under the new 4 digit 6075 number (along with 6083 and 6077 set numbers for Knights Tournament and Medieval Knights pack).

    Here we see the 1978 introduced 675 version, and the 1981 introduced 6075 (USA) version...

    image

    What is interesting about the 1980 and thereafter introduction of set numbers being 4 digits... is this.... this process was only for USA sets!! If Canadian sets were introduced in 1980 or thereafter, (and the sets were available with a 3 digit number prior to 1980) then Canada STILL followed the older European set numbers.

    Recently I received a treasure trove of scans of Canadian LEGO catalogs from 1975-90. And I was shocked to find that the Yellow Castle, Knights Tournament and Medieval Knights sets all were introduced in Canada in 1981... same year as in the USA. But the Canadian sets had the older 3 digit European set numbers upon introduction... while the USA set had the new 4 digit set numbers!!

    Here is a 1980 Canadian LEGO catalog scan... notice no Castle sets...
    http://www.youblisher.com/p/1028569-1980-Canada-LEGO-Catalog/

    And here is a 1981 Canadian LEGO catalog scan... with new Castle sets...
    http://www.youblisher.com/p/1028879-1981-Canada-LEGO-Catalog/

    So the rule that sets introduced before 1980 with 3 digit numbers (Europe) had 4 digit numbers when introduced afterwards... this rule only apparently applies to USA sets. For sets introduced in Canada... all older (European) set introductions in Canada still had the 3 digit numbers, regardless if that introduction happened before or after 1980. It's only those sets with a 4 digit number in the European set versions... that had a 4 digit number in Canada.

    Very interesting.... I didn't know this until today!!

    LEGO.... learn something new everyday.... ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Here is the 7740 Intercity Train set, one of the most popular of all 12V LEGO Trains.

    This 12V set (introduced in 1980), like most 12V sets, came in several language boxes. There was the Danish-Swedish-Finnish, the English-French-Italian, and here we have the German-French-Dutch....

    image

    Well these triple language boxes answer one mystery about LEGO catalogs of that era. There were 3 language catalogs that matched the languages found in these 12V Train sets, and therefore it is very likely that the correct catalog was included with the matching 3 language boxes of that era.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    It appears that based on the multi-language catalogs produced in Europe in the late 1970s-1980s... that not only were Train System sets produced in 3 language box tops, but also Technic System sets were as well.

    Here are LEGO catalogs (some System specific, others regular LEGO annual catalogs) for the year 1980. All of the old catalogs in multiple languages were that way for a specific reason (besides the bilingual catalogs of Belgium, Switzerland and Finland)... and they match the trilingual box tops of System sets in that particular LEGO System...

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?catType=C&catString=355
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 5,755
    Fascinating stuff Gary, keep it coming!
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited December 2014
    Going way off on a tangent... all the way back to 1956-57 Scandinavia....

    Here is a 1956 Swedish Esso Service Station Set... this box predates the introduction of LEGO model sets with the model images on the box tops, which was introduced in 1957. This 1310 Swedish Esso Station set has a regular LEGO basic set box top of that era... but with a Swedish band going diagonally across the box, identifying it as an Esso Service Station Set. This is the only known Swedish set of this box type. Even the folks in the Billund Archives in Denmark were unfamiliar with this set...

    image


    Recently a previously unknown Norwegian set was discovered. A 1309 Esso Garage set. This set was found in 1956-57 Norwegian catalogs, but was thought to have been a misprint. Well the box proves otherwise, and this is the only Norwegian 1309 set known so far, again unknown to the Billund Archives as well. Again, this set, like the Swedish 1310 set, has a diagonal band across the top of the box, to identify it as a Norwegian 1309 set...

    image

    "System i lek" is the same text in both Swedish and Norwegian... meaning "System of Play".
    In Danish it's "System i leg".
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Here are the 1310 Esso Service Station box tops from 1957-58, which actually show a model on the box....

    image

    The Danish/Swedish (also Norwegian) version show "Esso Service". The German box version shows "Esso Wagenpflege". Only the Danish version of this box was known to the Billund Archives.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    In 1957-58 TLG switched the number boxes for the Esso Service to 310... and here we have the boxes under that number.

    The bottom box is the 1958-59 box type, the middle box is the 1959-60 box type, and the bottom box is the 1960-65 box type...

    image




    So we have 6-7 box versions for the same model... another indication of just how complex old LEGO can be! Don't ever be fooled by the fact that because these old LEGO catalogs are only on the front and back of a single sheet of paper, that collecting older sets is very easy.... it is NOT!! ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited December 2014
    One of the more interesting scenario's where the same set from a different country is truly worth more is one of the Technic sets. The 1980 introduced 8858 Auto Engine Set had a limited geographic production.

    In the USA this set was first introduced in 1980 as 8858. However, for some very strange reason, this set, which was never sold in Europe, was introduced in 1980 in Canada under the older (pre-1980) 3 digit 858 set number. This set, like all other Canadian sets of that era, was introduced with writing in both English and French...

    image

    This set defies logic. Since it was introduced in 1980, and not sold earlier in Europe, it should in fact have the 8858 number, as found in the USA. What makes this even stranger is that the 1980 and 1981 Canadian LEGO catalogs both show it as the 8858 set (not the 858)... on page 15...

    http://www.youblisher.com/p/1028569-1980-Canada-LEGO-Catalog/

    In fact the 1980 and 1981 Canadian LEGO catalog show the USA English language 8858 box in the catalogs, not a bilingual Canadian box image. And the instructions that came with the Canadian 858 set were the 8858 instructions.

    What may have happened was that this set may have been produced for Europe prior to 1980 (as a 3 digit set number), but for whatever reason TLG decided not to produce it there, and it may have been sent to Canada with bilingual labeling. Apparently many of the early Canadian Technic sets mention on the box that the contents were produced in Europe (usually Denmark and Switzerland).

    Also this very limited production 858 set was also shipped to Australia, where it is also known. What I am curious to know is if the Australian version (which likely also has the 8858 instructions), if it came with just English on the box, or if it also had a bilingual box.

    These Canadian and Australian 858 sets are definitely worth more than the much more common USA 8858 set!

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Here is the much more common USA (also introduced in 1980) 8858 Auto Engine Set...

    image


    And the same 8858 Instructions that were used by both the 858 and 8858 sets...

    image
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    The number of LEGO sets with different languages is far more than I had anticipated.  Before it was just Train and Technic sets with 3 languages on a box (although smaller train sets had up to 12 different languages).

    But there are even small Town System sets that come in individual or multi languages.

    The 205 (Maxifig) Wedding Set of 1978 is an example....

    I have images of it in German.... (probably for the Germany, Austria and Luxembourg market... maybe even German speaking parts (2/3) of Switzerland...




    And then there is the Dutch language version of 205... that was for the Netherlands, and possibly northern (Flanders) Belgium....



    And then there's an English language version, which was likely for Britain, Ireland and Austalia....




    But then what does one make of this version of 205.... it is in English, French, and Spanish...   




    One would think.... OK this one was made for the North American market... English French and Spanish...  Well unfortunately, that is not the case... this set was never sold in the USA, I just checked the Canadian catalogs... and it wasn't sold there either... and since it is a 1978 set... the Latin American markets weren't selling LEGO at the time.

    So this last set must be of European origin... maybe sold in France, French speaking parts of Belgium and Switzerland... and Spain.... and maybe the UK or Ireland?  Perhaps the English language only version of 205 was only meant for the Australian market?  

    So many questions... so few answers....    :/

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited March 2015
    Here's another example of different box languages, but this one does include boxes that were meant for USA and Canada... (images thanks to René Virsik)....

    Take the 1980 722 Universal Building Set (ditto for the larger 733 and 744)... here are several box language versions....







    The first box was meant for Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium.  The 2nd box was meant for Britain, Ireland, Australia, France and Spain.  The 3rd box was meant for the USA, and the 4th box was meant for Canada (English/French).




  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 251
    edited March 2015
    Quote @Istokg: and possibly northern (Flanders) Belgium....

    I suppose you mean "(Flamish) Belgium"?
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Galactus said:
    and possibly northern (Flanders) Belgium....
    I suppose you mean "(Flamish) Belgium"?
    In English "Flanders" and "Wallonia" are the words to describe the Dutch (Flemish) and French parts of Belgium.

    I used to say Flemish and Dutch, because in the 1960s TLG created 2 different Idea books and leaflets (one for northern Belgium, one for Netherlands)... but a Dutch LEGO collector said that it was all Dutch... so I stopped using the word "Flemish".... but still refer to Flanders and Wallonia....   :)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    The 238 Building Idea Book was the first numbered LEGO idea book, and came in 12 variations, and at least that many languages.

    In countries that were bilingual, such as Belgium and Switzerland, you would think that they would have all the pages in two languages, but that was not the case.  The same French language 238 Idea Book was sold in France, and French speaking parts of Switzerland and Belgium.  The same German language 238 Idea Book was sold in Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, and the German speaking part of Switzerland.

    Ironically though... the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch speaking part of northern Belgium) each had different versions of the 238 Idea Book, even though their language was about the same.

    Here is a page from the Netherlands version of 238....



    And here is the same page sold in Flanders (northern Dutch speaking Belgium)....



    So this 238 Idea Book came out in English (Britain, Ireland, Australia), German, French, Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish, as well as the above 2 versions of Dutch for the Netherlands and northern Dutch speaking Belgium.

    In USA and Canada a smaller version of this same identical 238 Idea Book (only 16 pages instead of 32) was included in the large Town Plan 725 Set and Junior Constructor (717) Set, but not sold separately.  In this instance the Canadian version of this 238 Idea Book was actually bilingual... English and French in smaller text.  So this Canadian version was the only one of these sold as a bilingual variation, as seen in the cover page here...



    Here are 4 other of the 12 variations of this same 238 Idea Book.... 



    I devote nearly an entire chapter in my collectors guide to the very complex history of this 1960-68 238 Idea Book... since there are almost 30 variations in total.  Of all of TLG's paper LEGO items... this 238 Idea Book is the most complex of all.



  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited March 2015
    While researching LEGO sets sold in Asia, one of my favorites is the "Minitalia" clone sets #1 and #2, which were sold as LEGO sets in Italy in 1977.  Here is the #2 set (produced in Denmark), with all Italian writing on it....



    For some odd reason that has never been explained, this circa 1977 Italian set was also sold in Japan for a much longer period of time... from 1977-81.

    Also, although the number "2" was prominently displayed on the side of the box (as in the Italian version)... the label on the box top lists it as set "1902"....



    Why were these sets sold only in Italy and Japan and nowhere else?  I don't think we'll ever find out....

    Here's the smaller "1" set from Italy.   This set was only sold in Italy, never elsewhere.  Also shown are the contents... the unique Minitalia style door/windows in black, which were unique to these two sets.  Interestingly enough these windows were made of the same cheaper dull plastic (not ABS) that the early 1970s Minitalia sets were produced from for Italy, and the 1x4x5 door and smaller (1x4x3 shuttered) window were likely prototypes for the 1978 introduced modern LEGO door (1x4x5 4 lights) and modern LEGO window (1x4x3 with shutter clips)....



    The mystery of Minitalia and also Japanese LEGO and its' twin "OLO" are slowly coming to light, and have less to do with toy import restrictions.... rather than toy import "barriers", and poor LEGO sales in those countries.

    The next computer desktop download version of my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide (free to current owners)... goes into and uncovers some of the mysteries of why both Italian Minitalia and the Japanese OLO were likely produced, and how the "appearance" of local production is not necessarily the case.   :o

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited March 2015
    Gotta love those Minitalia style windows and doors, the prototypes of a modern LEGO window and door, but different.

    During the Minitalia years (1970-75) they were always white... but when the unique sets 1 and 2 came out in the 1977-81 era (only in Italy and Japan)... these were produced in black.  Nice items to have in your collection... (or MOC!).... (images from my Japanese LEGO friend Yodoba)....


  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited March 2015
    Well another series of sets just this week are now compete for my next collectors guide update.... the 1306/306 VW Repair Shop set of 1957-64.   This is the 1957-60 version.   It came out as set 1306 in 1957 in Denmark Norway and Sweden with a local language box top (and matching printed brick inside).

    Then by 1958 TLG decided this would not do with the introduction of this set to a dozen other countries in Europe... so they changed the set number to 306, and put the Generic "VW LEGO" on the box top, but with the local language printed brick inside.



    Boxes... 1957-58 1306 set boxes... Sweden (upper left), Norwy (upper right), Denmark (lower left).  Box for 1958-60 EU set (lower right) had generic VW LEGO on the outside, but local language printed brick on the inside.

    Side box variations.....




    Printed brick contents of the different countries.... the triple VW bricks were likely for bilingual Belgium and Switzerland.

    The very rare brick for Finland....



    And this brick... although shown on the box top for the 306 set, is a mystery.  It may have been used for a Portugal 306 set, but has not yet been confirmed.  No Portuguese language bricks exist, so this is a possibility.



    (Images in my next collectors guide, credits: Lothar, Arild, Lasse, Helen, Rohnny.)
  • tsitsi Member Posts: 32
    edited May 15


    Istokg said: (...) 



    This gets into a completely different can-o-worms about Samsonite LEGO sets.. they had different baseplates to many of the sets from this era, namely the 340, 341, 342 and 343 Train sets. The 347 Fire Station and 080 Train/Town set also had different baseplates from Europe.




    I haven't found any pictures of these different Samsonite baseplates, except 343.
    What are the differences of the Samsonite baseplates compared to the European versions?

    Can someone provide pictures?

    Thanks
    ThomaS
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    @tsi  .... that's easy... the 340, 341 and 342 Samsonite LEGO sets had full stud baseplates.... no flat smooth spots like those sets sold outside of North America.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Here's an interesting comparison of Canadian sets versus others.  From 1973-79 TLG made 11 spare parts packs that were sold everywhere but the USA.  These were packs 931-941.

    Here's a 937 pack as sold in Europe, Asia and Australia....



    Here's the same pack as sold in Canada.  That is not a sticker over  European box, but a different box without a cellophane round window....


    Due to the much smaller market of Canada... Canadian sets should command premium prices... but not enough colletors know about the unique bilingual Canadian sets of 1965-88.
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 724
    edited May 18


    Istokg said:



    Printed brick contents of the different countries.... the triple VW bricks were likely for bilingual Belgium and Switzerland.





    Silly Lego then, as it's Garage both in French and Dutch...



    Of note though, Belgium is tri-lingual (but in German Garage is a correct word too, as far as I know).
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited May 19
    @sid3windr .... you bring up an additional question that some old time commectors have been arguing over....  whether or not this 1960 LEGO catalog (2 page)... is for Luxembourg... or for the German minority in Belgium??  The Luxembourg Franc was based on the Belgian Franc in value... so you cannot tell that way... and Belgium was the HQ for LEGO in Luxembourg....

    1960 Front of catalog in German language (in Francs)....



    Back of catalog....



    And here is the 1960 Belgian French/Dutch catalog.... front...


    Back of catalog.....



    I've been arguing that the first catalog is Luxembourg... because there are 2 things that differentiate them... the Luxembourg catalog has the wooden box (lower right of front) in a "with contents" and "empty variety.......... and the Belgian catalog only mentions a "with contents" one.  

    The 2nd difference is that on the back side the Luxembourg catalog mentions windows and doors as individual parts sales, while the Belgian one mentions them as the single price box (one of each).   Some continental European countries sell the 214 windows/door pack as one box of each, and others sell them from a retailer box where you can pick individual windows and doors to buy.

    And a 3rd difference... the Belgian catalog mentions both the 1950 Town Plan board (200M) Masonite... and the new 1960s board (cardboard).   The other catalog only mentions the older 200M Masonite board (although the wrong one is showing in the diagram.

    This debate on whether it is a Luxembourg or Belgian German region catalog has been going on for 3 years!    ;-)
    catwranglerstlux
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 724
    Haha, that does seem to be an interesting challenge. Indeed Lux' Franc and Belgian Franc were synced up.

    In my youth (80s) I'm fairly sure there were separate catalogues for Dutch (Flemish, yes it's Dutch, yet it isn't) and French (which is Walloon, which is French yet it isn't). Never saw a German language one, but the German speaking part is really small and far away ;)

    Reading your "history" threads is awesomely informative!
    catwranglerIstokg
  • mh3490mh3490 Hiding from wife under a pile of legoMember Posts: 164
    I found this at my local Wal-Mart it was different then the others it had a matte finish instead of a glossy one and I was wondering if anyone had any insight as to why some of these sets were glossy while others were in a matte finish
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the WestMember Posts: 1,878
    The printers ran out of glossy stock cardboard?
  • mh3490mh3490 Hiding from wife under a pile of legoMember Posts: 164
    Ya I was just wondering if that might make it rarer or worth more 
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    edited June 12
    Sometimes TLG did stuff for no obvious reason... we are left to speculate....

    In the mid 1970s this humorous image was found in a USA Toy Trade publication....



    Now look on the far right side... the 190 Farm Set (USA/Canada only).  The first one has brownish backgrounds... but the 2 sets next to it have bluish backgrounds.  That's odd, I thought....

    Until I looked online... and found the set was found with a blue background box....


    Or a brown background box....


    Is one more valuable than the other?   Don't know anything about the production info on either set to make that call....
    catwrangler
  • SeanTheCollectorSeanTheCollector BirminghamMember Posts: 442
    Well personally speaking, I prefer to stick to european boxes when i'm collecting a theme. So I will rarely even buy a US variation box unless it's impossible to get an EU variation one. Maybe I'm just a bit more picky nowadays given the already excessive size of my collection! :)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,868
    Well personally speaking, I prefer to stick to european boxes when i'm collecting a theme. So I will rarely even buy a US variation box unless it's impossible to get an EU variation one. Maybe I'm just a bit more picky nowadays given the already excessive size of my collection! :)
    With the price of postal rates across oceans going thru the roof... I imagine people will more often get the set box variations that are on their side of the big ponds.  Shipping larger sets across oceans can be very costly.
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