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  • Re: LEGO First, Last and Most Unusual....

    And now for something "most unusual"...  :)

    From 1969 until circa 1999 TLG made tall road signs as a 1 piece sign.  Here is a sampling of many of these road signs (I wish they were still in production!)....

    Now none of these are rare... they're all still fairly common....

    ... except for this one....

    This is a very interesting road sign...  and actually it is 2 sided, the back one is the mirror image of the sign.  It looks like it possibly could have appeared in a Service Station Set of the 1970s to 1990s.... but no, it has not ever been found in any set.

    It appears that this rare beauty was a Billund "in-house" road sign for employees that didn't want other people smoking in their work area.

    How about that?  A custom TLG only LEGO item that was used as a small sign to prevent getting second hand smoke!  

    You folks going on factory or company visits... keep an eye out for these!   

    Worth quite a few quid!!  :open_mouth: 

    From my collectors guide chapter on items not put into production.....

  • Re: Finding LEGO Set Anomalies...

    @Galactus .... as best as I can tell, the 3317 (German World Cup Player) and 3320 (Austrian World Cup Player) were also Shell promo's.... sold only in Germany and Austria respectively.  I see that in the 2011 version of the LEGO Collectors Guide/Sammler Catalog (from the Fantasia German publisher)... that  it mentions the 3317 were sold in Europe, North America and Asia, and 3320 were sold in Europe and Asia.   However, there are many errors in the Fantasia book, and I told the Fantasia folks not to trust the TLG Archive info as 100% accurate.  I have found in my previous research that the info in the Archives does not always reflect the info of what whas actually sold.. and where it was sold.

    Also, the number of collectors in the Brickset database that own these... don't really match that type of breakdown.  3317 is mainly owned by Germans, and 3320 is mainly owned by Austrians.  Soccer was not that popular in the USA back 20 years ago... and I don't see it as being sold there.   And, I don't see it that German and Austrian World Cup soccer players were sold in Asia.  So I just mention them in my guide as country specific polybags.

  • Finding LEGO Set Anomalies...

    OK... I'm working on finishing up my 9 volume LEGO Set Encyclopedia... and as I am going along, I am finding a lot of odd things with LEGO sets.  Finding anomalies in old LEGO sets is very common.  But I am finding a lot of undocumented items even on relatively newer sets.  So I'll be posting a few things here as I uncover "the dirt".... in case folks here are interested.

    I'm working on Promotional Sets right now... and came across some weird things with 1998 World Cup LEGO sets.

    Among the 1998 World Cup sets... there were 3 that were country specific....

    3017 Germany World Cup Set....

     The 3317 shows the German flag colors on the minifig artwork in the left corner.

    The 3320 shows the Austrian flag (wavy pattern) on the minifig artwork in the lower left.

    And then the 3318 is listed as an Engish soccer player, and shows the English (St. George's Cross) flag.  However... the 3318 set number is missing... which is very odd....

    It shows a "2" ( a Shell promo number).  Well when I did some checking, I came across something very interesting.  It may have been that the English polybag was also "repurposed" for other countries as well.  Check this out...

    It appears that this polybag 3318 set was sold within another (sealed?) polybag!  Only the outer bag listed the set number and country that the set was for.  Also included were 2 small sticker sheets, using the flag of each country.  I am now pretty sure that there is one of these with the England outer label (3318-EN ??)... and also included English flag stickers in the outer polybag.  Now I am wondering what other countries these were made for? 

    Also... online databases only mention the England version of 3318, but without stickers.  In fact... the 3317 (German) and 3320 (Austrian) versions of this set also do not show stickers in the online databases.  It makes me wonder if these other two polybags were originally sold within a clear bag like the Scotland-Netherlands-Sweden 3318 versions... and with stickers?

    Interesting.....  ;-)

  • Re: Adding early UK Sets to Brickset

    @SueButcher yes... for modern bricks that is most certainly true.  However in the 1950s plastic was still expensive... and pellet spillage was a problem for the old molding machines.   So the employees in Billund used to sweep up the pellets, and wash them.  Then they were allowed to dry, and reused as a mixed color blend for the early slotted bricks (1949-56).  There were some wonderful mixted marled colors available (some look like the surface of Jupiter!).... 

    One now retired Billund LEGO employee told me a story  that she got directly from long time LEGO President Godtfred Kirk Christiansen... that in the 1950s LEGO marbled bricks sold as factory seconds for 8 øre each (Denmark's fractional currency)... while single color factory firsts sold for 11 øre each.  Today the factory seconds are sometimes worth $100 each, if the marbling is attractive enough.

    By the late 1950s TLG found another used for the 'floor sweepings'... they used them to make LEGO hand painted trees.  This continued until the late 1960s (in Europe).  Some of these show an incredible marbling underneath the painted surfaces....

    It's mainly from the 1970s and beyond where you will find only 2 colors to the marbling.  But with the older LEGO... floor sweepings (because TLG never threw anything away) created some of the most beautiful colors in LEGO parts ever!

    Images from my LEGO Collectors Guide.

  • Re: How many "systems" are there within the LEGO brand, and how many ways can you connect two pieces?

    Jumbo are in between the (hollow stud) Duplo and Quatro....  you could almost call them 'Triplo'!
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