Thursday, August 30, 2018

Lego: 1982



I'd like to spend a rainy afternoon with all that Space Lego with cartoons blaring, I imagine that would be restorative...


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11 comments:

YesterdayIsNow said...

That's my Lego generation right there I would have killed to get that castle. I don't think I actually got anything from this page though. Had one cool Lego spaceship that I played with endlessly - maybe this one: [url]http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/497_Galaxy_Explorer[/url]

Unknown said...

I still have most of the lego space set I had as a kid even the little dude still survives today, my daughter plays with 20X more lego than I had as a kid,but that's cos I got loads as an adult collector, star wars, Batman and the odd technic too, I still love it!!- Mark J

Anonymous said...


Out of loyalty to Classic 1st Gen. Space, this pages shows the beginning of the more "flashy" Space Lego eras.

The pieces keep getting more specialized, more exotic, yet at the same time the designs look more and more gimmicky. This Anon likes fancy pieces but the designs themselves feel as if Lego somehow lost its way.

This page is the changing of the guard. The command center was a winner, likewise the surface explorer and mobile rocket launcher vehicle. But the "blue window" Space series and everything that followed always smacked of Lego's design team sitting around a table saying, "How the heck are we EVER going to top the Galaxy Explorer flagship?"

IMO, they just weren't able to do it.

Adding a lot of bits and pieces in various places or changing the window colour didn't change the fact they'd lost the spirit of Classic Space.

Now before anyone posts the typical criticisms how that's childhood nostalgia or "oh yeah, let's see you do better", there's an answer to both. One builder has equalled and in some cases even surpassed the original Classic Space designers. He knows exactly how "fancy pieces" should be used. Classic Space is very much alive and well and making full use of everything Lego has to offer.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/legoloverman/albums

Classic Town and Classic Castle are legendary series and hold their own to everything being made today.

John Addison said...

I had a couple of the space sets. LOVED THEM! I wanted that castle so bad, but too expensive for my parents to get one.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who's curious, this Anon just finished speaking to someone he knows who does, in fact, have the original classic castle. The set he bought was complete yet with a fair-condition box. It still had the original price sticker on it from Bradlees, a now long-gone store chain. Price back then (at Bradlees, anyhow) was $48.99.

To save everyone a quick trip to their fave inflation calculator, in today's money that's $126.49.

Compared to the currently available $350 Disney Castle or the $400 Hogwart's Castle, the yellow classic seems almost normal. It's been eclipsed by Lego's recognition of the ever-increasing gap between the rich and the post-middle-class.

Gamera977 said...

Cool! I had the Galaxy Explorer as a kid or something much like it since mine didn't come with the base, only the spacecraft itself. I mostly moved on the 'Expert Builder' line and had a pile of those.

Seems to me that the older style Legos were more fun. The new ones seem more designed to just build one subject like an X-Wing etc. The old ones I could build something pretty close to an X-Wing one day, then tear it apart to build something totally different the next.

Anon: I'm not sure the skyrocketing prices are an attempt to appeal to rich parents as much as to cash into the growing adult collector market.

Kevin P said...

Response to Anon about LEGO prices then and now. You completely neglected to mention the piece counts of any of these sets in your comparison. The 2 modern sets you quoted that are $350 and $400 are both 4000 plus piece sets (Hogwarts is 6000 pieces!) compared to the about 700 pieces of the Yellow Castle. A 700 piece LEGO set now is approximately $80-100 (depending on the theme) So in fact, LEGO was LESS affordable back then when doing an inflation comparison .

Seriously, the Hogwarts and Disney castles are easily 6 times the size of the Yellow Castle in both piece count AND actual size.

That original Yellow Castle wasn't affordable for most people back then. I can think of one 'rich kid' that had it and that's about all. There is no denying the charm of the older sets, though. I had 5 small Space LEGO sets and 3 Town sets in the early 80s and they entertained me endlessly.

Anonymous said...

You probably had the smaller sister ship the "Space Cruiser". There was also a somewhat rarer, single-seater called the "Space Transport". It looks like a fighter, but Lego was very hesitant about military-sounding names.

Here are the two on Lego's official site, posed with some additional Classic Space goodness.
https://www.lego.com/en-us/legohistory/space

As for pricing concerns, *sigh* yes, you're right. I know you're right. This anon tries to forget modern toys are collectibles as well and, in fact, sold specifically with just that end in mind.

The idea of toy collecting, for me at any rate, always means vintage toys, back when toys were meant to be, well, toys. Value is established by traditional market forces. If that means something like the Kenner Alien goes for crazy cash today, fair's fair.

Modern toys sold as "collectibles" with artificially created "rarity" always feels like I'm getting cheated. It's one of the main reasons I avoided "Magic: The Gathering" back in the day.

Gamera977 said...

Thanks Anon! Yeah, it was the Space Cruiser. Funny I loved it way back then but haven't thought about it in years. That's why I love this site!!!

Guess I just like looking at old toys rather than collecting them. Esp that whole thing of leaving them in the package to keep them pristine. For crying out loud it's a toy, take it out and PLAY WITH IT!!! To me it's like buying a Corvette and never taking out of the garage!

Anonymous said...

http://meanmemes.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

We're definitely on the same page, Gamera.

In terms of personal preference, the stuff I collect is almost always already loose. There was, however, one Rascal Robot where I committed the ultimate collector-sacrilege and opened an original, still-sealed package. Worse, I even wound the little guy up and let him march across my desk! I actually bought a New-Old-Stock vintage toy and played with it! Outright insanity... I know. :D

Truthfully, I can see both sides of the debate. Old, still-carded toys are uncommon and each one that gets opened up is one less forever. But if I buy an item, it belongs to -me- and I can do with it as I please. I'm not a museum curator holding the item in trust for future generations. Last time I checked, "future generations" haven't ever paid a penny for the purchase price.

Conversely, when you own an item, you have every right to decide what kind of person you'd like to sell it to. The item is yours and it remains so until the buyer hands over the cash. If you don't want his money and choose to take someone else's, that's your decision. If someone has a mint and carded (whatever) and chooses to sell only to a like-minded collector, they have every right to do so.

If you're familiar with Star Wars replica props at all, you've probably heard both sides already. It's a huge issue since die-hard fans keep buying still-functional antiques and destroying them to build screen-accurate replcias.

Camera-buffs don't want to see a Graflex 3-cell flash gun broken to make a "lightsaber" handle. Firearms collectors are horrified that anyone would take a working Mauser C96 (as in, 1896) Broomhandle pistol and trash it for a Han Solo blaster. Even the few live-firing conversions require permanent (not to mention unsightly) alterations to the original antique.

Ultimately, it's the owner of the item who has the final say, so long as the item is in their possession. That faint mechanical buzzing you might hear in the distance is my Rascal Robot pacing back and forth, waiting for the darn captcha to load.

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