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Are you a Fabuland fan ?

bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
I am a Fabuland fan or as sometimes known a Fabufan ! I have been going through my carefully kept all these years collection, building up the sets and taking pictures so I can share them with the forum. I would love to know who else out there collected Fabuland, have you still got your collection, which was your first set, which was (is) your favourite and whatever else Fabulandy you can think of.
LEGO_Dad77snowhitie
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Comments

  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    These are the first sets I had. I got my first set for my 6th birthday, the Catherine Cat and Morty Mouse cottage. I have no actual memory of getting the set (I don't remember that birthday at all, don't even know if I had a party) and I don't know if this was a toy I had seen and asked for or whether my mum just thought I'd like it (mum can't remember either). I didn't have many of the really big sets over the years but of that first collection I did have the Hospital and the Taxi garage. I don't remember getting those either. I'm guessing I got them the following Christmas. All my other sets in that particular collection were all what I used to call 'singles' where you got one character and accessory and I had Joe Crow rubbish lorry.

    In the picture is also Bonnie Bunny and her caravan and Gabriel Gorilla and Peter Panda's window cleaning set. I actually got these years later but they are on a picture that shows the first collection you could get.
    LEGO_Dad77catwranglersnowhitie
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    The oldest figure in the picture is actually Morty Mouse. My Catherine Cat actually went missing and my mum wrote off to Lego to get a replacement. That Morty is 35 years old. Not bad for a mouse ! I have long ago lost the story/instruction book that came with it so I can't remember (and often wonder) were Morty And Catherine meant to be a married couple ? Anyone know ?
  • LEGO_Dad77LEGO_Dad77 Northeastern CaliforniaMember Posts: 218
    Fantastic! These look like a lot of fun, it'd be so cool if they had another run.

    I only just discovered in the last couple of years that these were even LEGO, what they were called, and how old they actually were. XD I remember seeing them in Montgomery Ward and Kmart when I was a little kid, and I always ALWAYS wanted them, but for whatever reason I was never allowed to have any. I think my Mom thought they were too baby-ish? Or something, no idea. I now have one little yellow car with a couple characters, but I sure would LOVE to get a sizeable collection going.
    bookmum
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    The age range used to be 3-7, then changed to 4-8. I got my last set for my 12th birthday, my mum then telling me she wouldn't be buying me anymore. Mums are rotten meanies sometimes! 
    LEGO_Dad77
  • MrShinyAndNewMrShinyAndNew Member Posts: 208
    As a kid I wanted these, but I can see now that if I'd ever gotten one I wouldn't have liked it as much as I'd thought. as an AFOL I have to admit that the sets do not interest me at all. The kits are far more juniorized than the most Junior sets Lego makes now. They look more like Duplo in terms of complexity. 

    I like the aesthetic of the theme; it's almost like a mash-up of Cloud Cuckoo Land and Chima and City. It'd be interesting if Lego threw together some retro kits. I'd like to see them release a new Fabuland kit in the same vein as Benny's Spaceship Spaceship Spaceship - a new take on some bit of childhood nostalgia, with the dials turned up to 11.
    LEGO_Dad77
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    As I was rebuilding I did think 'blimey there isn't much to some of these'! Like Lisa Lamb' s garden has 11 main pieces to build and then a few accessories. Not a lot really! 
  • LEGO_Dad77LEGO_Dad77 Northeastern CaliforniaMember Posts: 218
    edited September 2016
    I'm not an "all about the minifigures" guy like a lot of AFOL's seem to be, but when I saw these hanging on the shelf when I was a kid, I was all about the figures. I would still love to have all the individual Fabuland characters; I think it's the cartoony-ness of them, cuz I love me some cartoon character figures. =D All I have are a Pig and an Elephant, they'll hafta do for now.

    As for the simplicity of the builds, I totally agree. And it would be WAY cool to have a more intricate throwback set (or sets depending on their reception) released to capture the nostalgic feeling of this cool old theme, while giving builders something more to do. XD
    bookmumcatwranglersnowhitie
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    I loved that all my little animals had names and personalities. The instructions doubled up as stories so you would find out about them. I did change a few names (generally if I had a character more than once) and I did adapt some of the personality they were meant to have. I have been interested to learn that some characters had different names in different countries. Obviously with different languages that made sense but the elephant I know as Edward was also called Elton!! 
    LEGO_Dad77catwranglersnowhitie
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    I would be interested know if Fabuland was more popular with girls than boys. If I was aged 7 or 8 or so today I would probably be more obsessed with collecting Sylvanian Families than lego. There is something about animals and dolls house style accessories that girls go barmy over. What do you other folks think? 
  • GeordiePaulGeordiePaul Salem, MA, USAMember Posts: 317
    @bookmum Love the double decker couch! I had forgotten all about Fabuland stuff until I saw it very briefly mentioned in The Lego Movie as sets they no longer talk about. Have to ask, did that offend you or make you laugh?

    And to answer your question, I only remember girls having Fabuland stuff in the 80's, and none of my friends who were boys had Fabuland (not openly anyway - if they did I wouldn't have judged them).
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    When I watched the film and that brief flash of Fabuland my reaction was something like "FABULAND!!! DID YOU SEE IT? DID YA DID YA". 
    catwranglerstlux
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    Oh and when I watched the channel four documentary about the lego company and they interviewed a chap in the vault, he was stood in front of a pile of those green boxes and my reaction then was (imagine over excited hyperventilating voice) "look what he is standing in front of? He could TOUCH them, I wish I was him" as I touch the TV screen!! 

    catwrangler
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 1,377
    When I was a kid Fabuland was exclusively for my sister; I don't remember ever playing with it. They were also on a separate table, away from the "normal" town (City/Castle/Train mix).
    Currently our childhood Fabuland sets are being playing with by my 4 year old niece, who seems mostly interested in the minifigs. Once her interest wanes (Speed Champions and Super Heroes seem to be more her thing), I might offer them here on the Marketplace so they find a good home.
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    I think they were more popular with girls. I remember various friends who had brothers who were into lego and it was always Never The Two Must Mix! Is this how it is with the Friends vs regular lego? 
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,714
    I have only a couple fabuland pieces I got from someone else. didn't even know the vehicle base was fabuland. I think I mixed them, though those fancy looking windows definitely didn't go with everything.
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    I always loved this picture on the back of the 1986 fabuland catalogue of this girl and boy happily combining their Fabuland and Basic sets. But guessing from the few posts so far this lovely scene between a brother and sister would never have happened!! 
    catwrangler
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,893

    From my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.... FABULAND (1979-89) were first introduced in 1979 in USA/Canada and Continental Europe.  Britain, Australia and Asia started sales in 1982.


    Here's the list of sets for the first year when there were dual set numbers (USA had their own)..... 


    1979-80 LEGO Fabuland Sets – Dual Numbering System

    ___________________________________________________________________________

     

    Set                                                        Year                USA                EU/CAN

    Description                                          Intro               Sold #              Sold #

    ____________________________________________________________________________

     

    Roadster Set                                         1979                #121                #328

    Bernard Bear & Pickup Truck Set           1979                -----               #329

    Taxi Station Set                                    1979                #128                #338

    Cottage Set                                          1979                #132                #341

    Service Station Set                                1979                #134                #344

    Hospital Set                                          1979                #137                #347

    Town Hall Set                                       1979                #140                #350

    Ricky Racoon & His Scooter Set            1980/1979       #3605              #324

    Percy Pig Wheelbarrow Set                   1980/1979       #3615              #325

    _____________________________________________________________________________

     

    bookmumDoctorMcGannsnowhitie
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,893

    I was going to post them all until 1989, but Brickset say's it's too much data!  :-(



  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,893
    Here's a Fabuland mystery that has always facinated me.... this Fabuland prototype tree...  I wonder what the story is behind this....


    bookmumstluxcatwranglermak0137
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    That tree is amazing. 
    About the dates. Fabuland must of been on sale in 1981 in the UK because that is when I got my first set. I have the instruction leaflets for Bonnie bunny's set and the window cleaning set. These have a picture of what I have always assumed was the first range. The copyright date on them is 1981. 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    This is a poor picture, but this is the whole range on the 1981 instructions 

    The information on it is written in English, French and Spanish (which makes you think North American market?). My other catalogues are for 1983 & 1986. They are in English, French and German and have England, France and Belgium post addresses. I'm now quite curious to when it was officially launched in the UK. Oh though have just noticed the English on the 81 one has English spelling rather than American(colourful not colorful). Hmm all interesting. 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    Actually I think it is Dutch not German. 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    Even more interesting the Roadster (328) and Bernard bears pick up truck (329) are not in the 1981 picture. There is a slightly different Bernard bear but no roadster at all. I have no memory of ever seeing the roadster. I'm getting more and more curious (and excited) now. I will not be sleeping tonight. 
  • evenightfallevenightfall AustriaMember Posts: 3
    Is someone of you interested in some Fabulandhouses with figures? I am visting a second hand shop in my city every second week and it has some sets (without package) there. I am not interested  because we have so many Duplo and my daughter is now starting with Lego princess that Fabuland won't fit. But if someone would want them I could get them for you and send them.

    (I know it is weird to write this as a first posting but I started in 3 Lego forums in the last months and I had not enough time to write everywhere. But I had some postings on EB, so you can see that am no "fake or troll"
  • evenightfallevenightfall AustriaMember Posts: 3


    Here is a pic what the shop had (there were some sets indside, too). I don't know what is still availible. I think the big house was about 30€ and the smaller ones about 15€. But I need to ask again.

  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 684
    Only Fabuland set I remember having was a Paddy Wagon with a bulldog and a crocodile. That Crocodile became the the first 'official' ALF in my collection and ended up getting his arse kicked from one end of the house to the other by my blue and black 'Special Forces' CS Spacemen. The requirement for the safe transport and holding of this reptilian overlord required modded 'holding cells' to be fitted to both 6927 & 6980.  The vehicle base for the Paddy Wagon became the 'go to' element for most of my minifigs vehicle MOC's... I remember my dad was annoyed that they made the copper a dog. 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    @evenightfall as much as I would love to buy everything in that shop, I do have to resist collecting secondhand sets because I would get carried away and spend far too much money. It is a good thing that shop isn't anywhere near me!!! 
    @MAGNINOMINISUMBRA all the emergency services chaps were bulldogs, the police and the firemen. I always wondered if it was because in real life bulldogs look tough and scary (although usually soppy creatures that just want to lick you). Surely the fabuland police should of been pigs! 
  • evenightfallevenightfall AustriaMember Posts: 3
    @bookmum: I know that feeling ;-) I try to resist but was also lucky to find some rare sets for normal prices in that shop.
    I was thinking for a long time, if I need that Fabuland houses. They are really cute but this time I tried not to start another collection. 
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    @evenightfall from that small photo though that shop looks amazing. I can just see a playmobil set in the corner.  I never was into playmobil (had one set), my daughter has a few bits but isn't massively into it, but is secretly on my wish I had every set list! 
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,558
    I'm always hoping to run across it in charity shops; we have a bunch of figures and a few accessories from my partner's/his brothers' childhood collection but I'd love to have a full set as the overall look of the whole theme is so charming.
    bookmum
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 966
    My sisters had a few sets, such as #3635 Bonnie Bunny's Camper but, no, I was never a fan and still am not, I'm afraid.
    My daughters went straight from MB (ahem... I was in my DA then and someone gave them a large basic brick set, which they loved as toddlers) to LEGO Juniors and thence to Disney Princess / Friends / City etc. They never showed any interest in the parts and figures that we found in the large box of LEGO at my parents' house either and went straight for the standard LEGO.
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    A while ago I got a 2nd hand wooden dolls house. I planned to paint it but never got round to it, so my husband has done it for me - in Fabuland colours! 
    Doesn't it look great! 
    catwranglersnowhitieLEGO_Dad77stlux
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 1,891
    I really liked Fabuland. I had some of the sets when I was a kid. I liked the ferris wheel and the other fairground ones. I'm not allowed to get my old Lego for my parents house (don't know why) but I just got all my stuff from the attic (diaries, stones, keychains,... you can imagine) but there were also some Fabuland figs! Whoohoo and part of the #8480 Techinc space shuttle (my favourite set of all time). So I did manage to get some of it ;)

    I'll take some pictures in the next couple of days and share. I like your doll-house, I actually got all my Precious Places things too - did you ever play with them? I love those and collected all the keys :)
    catwrangler
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    Precious places- I don't know them. Can't you just sneak your lego out their house when they aren't looking! Send them on a cruise or something and swoop in.. 

  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 1,891
    ;) Well, I'm the oldest and they say my brothers played with it too and they want it for the grandkids (note: there is only one, my son, although that could change of course). I even suggested to sort it out all (it's mostly mixed up in bags), but even that isn't allowed.

    I don't know, they are funny, they didn't want the precious places. They do think Lego isn't really as suitable hobby for an adult maybe that's part of it. Oh well, it's okay, I've got plenty of Lego now, but some of the old stuff was cool too ;)

    This is precious places:



    this was my favourite: http://www.thisoldtoy.com/L_FP_Set/toy-pages/5000s/5166-magickeymansion.html
    catwrangler
  • LEGO_Dad77LEGO_Dad77 Northeastern CaliforniaMember Posts: 218
    Your parents have angered me....
    bookmumLegogram
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    @snowhitie I am afraid to say that precious pieces have passed me by. I don't remember them at all. Maybe they weren't available in the UK. Other than fabuland my favourite toys were mostly my little pony, care bears and sindy dolls. Would of liked sylvanian families but age wise they didn't start coming out until I was about 12 ("too old"). 
    @LEGO_Dad77 yes parents are annoying. See the "too old" quote above. 
    catwranglerLEGO_Dad77
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 1,891
    edited November 2016
    Here are the pics I promised, figs are in pretty good condition, except for the missing arm ;) also got two chairs!
    bookmumcatwranglerLEGO_Dad77brickventures
  • LegogramLegogram PA USAMember Posts: 302
    @snowhitie  
    Please can you tell me the name of the one wearing the yellow hat?
    I recently purchased an older lego storage box with odds and ends of lego (no full sets).  I was totally surprised when some of the pieces had lego on them.
    I have that fig with the yellow hat, but I have yet to find out his name.  I keep missing him as I go through the pictures.
    Thanks to some of the more recent discussions on this forum, I recognized that some of the minifigs were from Paradise (sp).  Fabuland was a total surprise with this little guy, and I am still trying to determine what some other pieces would have been in.
    If you can help me find the poor little guy's name, I would really appreciate it.

  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    I think he is Freddy Fox. I never had him but that is who he looks like. 
  • LegogramLegogram PA USAMember Posts: 302
    @bookmum  
    Thank you so much.  I appreciate your help.
    I couldn't believe it when I saw him in @snowwhitie's post.
    I am still trying to sort all of the lego from that purchase, but thanks to you, one of my questions has been answered.
    bookmumLEGO_Dad77
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    @Legogram I have noticed a few fabuland pieces appearing in newer sets. In the build your own minifigs stand at the lego shop the other day one of the accessories was a fabuland cooking pot. I assume it must come with a newer, but size wise it is a bit big for a minifig unless he is going to take a bath in it. 
    MattDawsonsnowhitiecatwrangler
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 1,891
    @legogram good you know now! There is a thread (here) where you can post some pictures as well and other Bricseters will be willing to help you out too.

    @bookmum was so quick to reply, so glad you know now who he is, you can find him in the database here.

    bookmum
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,257
    Fabuland was before my time, so as a kid I mostly knew it as the source of certain unusual parts (like the cauldron from Fright Knights, which for years still had the "Fabuland" logo on the bottom). I did have a childhood experience with a Fabuland-style figure because my grandparents had this set at their house (probably one of my uncle's childhood toys), but not with actual Fabuland sets or figures.

    On the whole, Fabuland is very cute and charming, but I've always been struck with the discrepancy between how AFOLs talk about Fabuland versus how they talk about other preschool themes like Jack Stone/4 Juniors. Obviously they had very different aesthetics (Jack Stone was rugged and action-oriented, while Fabuland was quaint and bucolic), but in terms of building level and target age range they were about equal. In fact, #121 has the exact same piece count as #4600, and #3682 had only slightly more pieces than #4657. And neither theme was particularly realistic.

    As an adult I learned more about Fabuland, including that it was one of the LEGO Group's first real forays into a story-driven IP. Years before Bionicle got chapter books and direct-to-DVD movies, Fabuland had picture books and animated stories on videocassette. Pretty impressive considering how many years it would be before LEGO would create another theme so story-driven.

    During a visit to the LEGO Idea House in Billund I learned that Fabuland was fairly successful in Europe (hence its roughly 10-year lifespan) but never really caught on in the United States, which is probably part of why most of my exposure to it was online and most lots of used LEGO my parents picked up (even from that era) didn't contain Fabuland parts.
    catwranglersnowhitie
  • bookmumbookmum londonMember Posts: 938
    Usually I do find the only adults my age (40s) who remember and/or played with fabuland, and who aren't British (like me) happen to be German. Was it big in Germany? 
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,558
    @Aanchir I suppose the discrepancy in how Fabuland's viewed compared to stuff like Jack Stone is that we perceived Jack Stone as replacing Town/City stuff with inferior equivalents, whereas when Fabuland was released (I can't claim to have been around for the start of it) it was more like an extra step between the basic free-build boxes, and the Town theme.

    When you look at 2001, the Jack Stone theme's first year, there's police, fire and construction sets, all of which are pretty hideous and over-simplified. There were no City releases that year, and only three Town ones, of which two were airline promos and the other was a re-releases garage.

    Of course, there'd been heaps of City sets released the year before, and the trend for over-simplifed, somewhat ugly builds was already present (I think it's the first time I bought sets grudgingly - should've saved my money for a few years and bought all the Farm stuff, but past!me couldn't see the future...), but I think the extreme cobbled-together look of the Jack Stone sets, plus, perhaps, the fact that the character design seemed to be trying so hard to be cool, turned adults off (and perhaps also children, since the 2002 was the theme's last year)... 
     
    snowhitiestluxBumblepants
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,558
    @bookmum Can't speak for Germany, but my partner who introduced me to it is Dutch, and I have the impression it was big over there...
    snowhitie
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 1,891
    It was definitely big in Belgium...
    catwrangler
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,395
    Aanchir said:
    Fabuland was before my time, so as a kid I mostly knew it as the source of certain unusual parts (like the cauldron from Fright Knights, which for years still had the "Fabuland" logo on the bottom). I did have a childhood experience with a Fabuland-style figure because my grandparents had this set at their house (probably one of my uncle's childhood toys), but not with actual Fabuland sets or figures.

    On the whole, Fabuland is very cute and charming, but I've always been struck with the discrepancy between how AFOLs talk about Fabuland versus how they talk about other preschool themes like Jack Stone/4 Juniors. Obviously they had very different aesthetics (Jack Stone was rugged and action-oriented, while Fabuland was quaint and bucolic), but in terms of building level and target age range they were about equal. In fact, #121 has the exact same piece count as #4600, and #3682 had only slightly more pieces than #4657. And neither theme was particularly realistic.

    As an adult I learned more about Fabuland, including that it was one of the LEGO Group's first real forays into a story-driven IP. Years before Bionicle got chapter books and direct-to-DVD movies, Fabuland had picture books and animated stories on videocassette. Pretty impressive considering how many years it would be before LEGO would create another theme so story-driven.

    During a visit to the LEGO Idea House in Billund I learned that Fabuland was fairly successful in Europe (hence its roughly 10-year lifespan) but never really caught on in the United States, which is probably part of why most of my exposure to it was online and most lots of used LEGO my parents picked up (even from that era) didn't contain Fabuland parts.
    I think the loathing for Jack Stone comes from the lack of building involved. For example, you can assemble a medium-sized Fabuland set any way you want- it was made of bricks. But take a look at the Jack Stone large white plane (forget the name...), and how many ways do the parts reasonable go together?

    I read one of those Fabuland instruction/picture books once (translated from German). It hardly seemed like a children's book.

    I think it vaguely had the themes of lazy husband, nagging wife, split up, get back together, yada yada yada...
    catwrangler
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