Our journey through time continues with 1978

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Castle

Castle

©1978 LEGO Group

Today I have uploaded brand new images of sets released in 1978. 1978 was perhaps the most significant year in LEGO's recent history. After 1978, LEGO sets would never be the same again. It was the year the minfig as we know and love it was born. Although there were a few maxifig sets released, including a nice hair salon and hospital, 1978 was to be the last year they were made: they were superceded well and truly by the minifig.

As you'll see from the pictures, nearly every 'LEGOLAND' set released this year featured one or more minifigs: policemen, firemen, construction workers and so on. In fact there's a surprising variety. However the problem the armless figs had largely remained: they didn't fit in many of their vehicles!

Regarded by many as the greatest set of all time was released this year: 375, the yellow castle, which of course was the first of a long line of Castle sets that continues to this day. The reason it's yellow and not grey is explained by the set's designer in BrickJournal vol. 8: basically, there was not much grey around, mostly plates, and the then owner of LEGO did not want a proliferation of grey so as to prevent tanks and other military models being made.

The first Space sets were also released, but only in the USA. The rest of the world would have to wait a year. The second year of Technical (Technic) sets brought three more classics, including the second such set I owned: 854-1, go-kart.

So, all in all, 1978 was a very significant year indeed and it was a pleasure to handle and photograph these iconic and groundbreaking sets in the LEGO company's vault.

Stay tuned for 1979, which I should be able to add tomorrow.

11 comments on this article

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By in Poland,

Thanks Huw! I see, that you changed picture of 398 USS Constellation set. :)

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By in United Kingdom,

Looks like you have been in the tardis again...How many lifts have you had of the Doctor?

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ I don't think we had one before I added this one.

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By in Germany,

YAY! :) Small problem: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=620-1 There are additional images of a BASEPLATE! :)

EDIT: Curious that the minifigs pictured in sets from 600-623 have weird-looking smiles and eyes!

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By in Canada,

Thanks Huw nice picture of the yellow castle!

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By in United States,

this is great. i remember these sets. and even have a few of these originals still. i even still have the big heads and hair from the older sets. then there is the pre minifige that was a head and none moving legs and arms, have several of these also. time flys when you are having fun.

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By in United States,

Great this really helps

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By in United States,

@alemas: Especially 606.

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice ! I have a fair few of the smaller sets from 1978, but the boxes are long gone, so it's lovely to see good quality box images here.

Looking forward to 1979 as well !

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By in United Kingdom,

Ah, i get it...the lego group has a Tardis!! Thats where they got all the sets in MISB...

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