Our journey through time continues with 1978
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maxifig sets released, including a nice hair salon and hospital, 1978 was to be the last year they were made: they were superceded well and truly by the minifig.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.