Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide now available for download

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Printed beams Gary Istok (istokg in the forum) is the world's authority on the history of LEGO and its products, as anyone who's read his posts in the forum will attest.

His most recent work, the second edition of Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors' Guide 1949-1990s, can now be purchased from his BrickLink store on DVD and now, by popular demand, as a download.

I do now have my copy and it's loaded onto my iPad. I've been working my way through it and when I think I've read enough to write a review I will do so. There is, however a lot to read at over 2000 pages!

To give you an idea of the content, as well as the depth of Gary's research, he has made another chapter available for free donwload exclusively for Brickset readers. This time it's chapter 48, OLD PRINTED & PAINTED LEGO ELEMENTS (1955-1986) which is an extremely specialised area and as you will see there is a stunning amout of detail and some excellent pictures of rare elements included in it.

The guide contains 73 chapters that are all as detailed and as well illustrated as this. It's an essential purchase for everyone interested in LEGO history. If you haven't already, I recommend that you go and buy a copy.

10 comments on this article

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By in Rwanda,

wow, that is absolutely fascinating - the detail and his knowledge is incredible, will have to get a copy. Awesome work! There is a unique beauty in that era of lego, esp the boxes..

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Most are in Danish actually (funnily enough), some are German.
I'm sure I'll get round to downloading this guide eventually. It looks like a work of unequalled detail. Just need to then find the time to read it!

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By in United Kingdom,

i assume slagter means slaughter? other than that, pretty good.

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By in United States,

Thanks Huw, thanks all! I've got a set of signs (including images) for every European LEGO country of that era (1950s and 1960s) when LEGO printed bricks were produced in a huge number of variations. Some signs, such as KINO and KIOSK that are multi-language. There are others, such as THEATER, THEATRE, TEATER, TEATRO, TEATERRI, GRAND THEATER that cover all the continental countries.

My favorites are those of Finland, since it is not an Indo-European language... ESSO HUOLTO, KAHVILA, HOTELLI, TEATTERI, KIOSKI, TUPAKKAA and VW MYYNTI (VW SHOWROOM). Ironically Portugal got little respect from TLG... the Swiss language (German/French) signs were shipped to Portugal, instead of unique Portuguese signs). The signs of the UK/Ireland and Austraila were all very thin lettered (compared to thick lettering for all other countries)... and were produced by British LEGO Ltd. of Wrexham Wales.

This chapter is only one of the chapters that I've spent over 6 years doing research on, a lot of it with help from the Billund Denmark Archives/Collections. Also there are many European and American collectors that have contributed many of the 6,000 historic images of sets, parts and LEGO history that are found in the DVD.

Some of my favorite images in the LEGO CD are 1) every 1949-65 set image, 2) green classic LEGO windows/doors from Norway and yellow classic LEGO windows/doors from Sweden, some rare Japanese and Italian Minitalia sets, and 4) very rare USA/Canada Department Store exclusive Samsonite LEGO sets from the 1960s and early 1970s... many only ever sold in the brown shipping box (such as the 842 Town Plan set, a 1969-70 USA Sears exclusive).

Also included is a 400 page Insurance Price Guide, for the older obscure sets of 1949-80 (not seen that often on Bricklink). Several folks have used this information to get a refund from the local postal service for collecting on postal insurance claim (most won't accept a Bricklink price guide history).

But my favorite LEGO DVD chapter is the one on wooden box sets. No online database has more than 5 wooden box sets. My chapter mentions (and pictures) over 80 such unique sets... that first were sold in Germany and Sweden in 1957 (a year before they were sold in Denmark). The last wooden box LEGO set sold was the UK #90 Super Set of the mid to late 1970s.

Also there is a chapter on LEGO TV Commercials (still being finished online) that allows you to click on an online website and view historic commercials from 1957-present (using the Youtube format). You can browse these online commercials while still in the LEGO DVD.

There are chapters in this DVD on all the LEGO sets from 1949-1990s. All the newer sets are easily viewed online in either Brickset/Peeron/Lugnet/Bricklink databases, so there's no need to add the new sets! :)

Cheers,
Gary Istok

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ It means Butcher. But yes, 'slaughter' is the cognate.

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By in Denmark,

^Confirming Slagter means butcher. Bageri means baker and Købmand means small convenience store.

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By in United States,

Gary, Gary, Gary...what would the LEGO Community do without you!? I've got to check this out! Thanks a ton!

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By in United Kingdom,

kino is german for cinema. Kino, wonder where I got that from...

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By in United Kingdom,

This is absolutely fascinating! I may well invest in a copy, though I do have a question: will it/has it ever been published as a book? I would love a hard copy, and I can just see it as one of those hard-back coffee-table books.

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By in United States,

Hi folks, thanks much for your comments! :)

@Plasmodium... there's a few problems with producing this as a book... one is seen in my Ebay store link to some of these I put up for sale there... see the 2nd and 3rd image... at 2,800 pages it would have to be 4 volumes!! (A German collector printed it out.) Even with LULU (self publishing), you are limited as to the number of pages your document can be (last check it was 740 pages).
http://www.ebay.com/itm/150819737284?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649#ht_10882wt_934

This Ebay link also shows several other chapter images (although these are from my 5 year old LEGO CD, and have been extensively updated and added to since they were included in the DVD).

Also, since Chapter 71 is TV Commercials, you cannot link to a TV commercial site with a book. This (still a work in progress) site for online TV commercials goes back to 1957. And in Chapter 73 - LEGO Sales and History By Country - there is a link to another online website by historian Jim Hughes, who really goes into the company and founding family history (whereas my DVD goes more into the LEGO sets/parts/instructions/boxes and product history).

And in Chapter 49, there are several links to a webpage listing the vast number of mold types for LEGO bricks, especially the 2x4 brick (last check over 40 mold types!).

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