Throwback Thursday: Snap!

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For today's Throwback Thursday we have a real treat for you, thanks to Joey, who has provided us with scans of a 55-year-old US LEGO club magazine called SNAP.

It was published by 'LEGO System by Samsonite' of Denver, Colorado in 1963 and it makes for fascinating reading. The way it's written is definitely from a different era.

Let's take a look at a few pages after the break...

Our club hosts are Jane and Johnny Lego who welcome us and crop up in their own comic strip later on in the magazine.

Note how Lego is not capitalised, as is insisted upon today.

Here's a fun game you can play with your bigger, stronger and cleverer dad that you'll win because you have more time to play with Lego!

Jane and Johnny go off on adventures in their own comic strip.

Today's LEGO club magazines are little more than a glorified advert. That's not the case here but new products are advertised, which in 1963 was the wheel!

There's a competition elsewhere in the magazine that encourages you to purchase them: "if your model is on wheels... you get a special jackpot prize!"

It's just five years after the brick was patented but already huge models are being built with them, as shown by this 9 foot high model of the Cruciform building in Montreal (Place Ville Marie, built in 1962).

At the back of the publication you'll find diagrams to help build zoo animals, an ostrich, deer, elephant and penguin.

With just basic bricks and slopes you need a little imagination to see the resemblance but kids had plenty of that in those days!

You can view all 24 pages of this fascinating publication in our library.

Thanks again to Joey for the scans.

Do you have old paperwork that you can scan for our library? Let us know!

21 comments on this article

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By in Germany,

That surely is a treat. Thanks for the great read. I'm a nostalgia-nerd anyway.
But what about that comment "With just basic bricks and slopes you need a little imagination to see the resemblance..."?
At least those deer, or the ostrich, are immediately recognisable. The same thing cannot be said about some of the "animals" in the 24-1 Christmas Countdown builds (even though those use "modern" pieces and building techniques). I know which ones I prefer...
;-)

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By in Netherlands,

SNAP! I didn't know that this existed.

Also, this article made me realize how weird the word Lego is.

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By in Germany,

Nice ostrich. Thanks for sharing.

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By in United Kingdom,

Do we have to wait for the next issue to find out if they got to China? And also find out how the publishers decided to depict the Chinese.

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By in United States,

They didn't capitalize Lego, but notice that they do capitalize SNAP...

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By in United Kingdom,

I love the competition prizes
"Build those muscles with the junior gym set"

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By in United States,

Heh, they use SNOT on the hot air balloon! SNOT on SNAP...

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By in United States,

Oh my, the penguin does not compare to the good ostrich, deer, or elephant designs. It looks like a robot out of a black-and-white television series...

There’re a few grammar and proofreading errors (“you’re Lego Zoo...”). On one page LEGO—I think it was the “Lego Walk” page—was correctly capitalized within the text of a paragraph. I’m really surprised that the American anomaly “Legos” didn’t make an appearance somewhere in the text.

The girl’s skirts are awkwardly short!

This magazine really tried hard to market every LEGO kit to both boys and girls. There’s never a time when it doesn’t mention boys AND girls. It’s gender-neutrality especially in a time of history when gender roles were very well-defined and expected was a surprise.

What a fun dip into LEGO history! Thanks for sharing, Joey.

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By in United Kingdom,

"It's New, It's Exciting, It Moves . . . It's Lego Wheels!!" might just be my favourite advertising slogan of all time...

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By in United States,

So it looks like we now have a retail price for LEGO Wheel Toy Set #605 at 4.95 U.S. Sorry, I had to look it up as I was initially confused as to why the 13 piece supplement would be 4.95 and the box with 180 pieces (according to database) only .75 cents, then realized it was other way around :) Also it looks like the lid could be used as a baseplate? If so that's pretty cool! Thanks for an interesting read and helping me avoid being productive at work again Brickset!

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm always tickled by advertising copy of the period, but getting to see a Lego mag is a nice bonus. :)

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By in Canada,

This early LEGO version of Place Ville-Marie is gorgeous! Too bad the actual Place Ville-Marie hosts a brick version made out of...Megabloks!

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By in United States,

Nice Article Huw. I love collecting the vintage stuff, LEGO really has come a long way!

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By in United Kingdom,

Surely the most important thing here is that the articles call it Lego not Legos!

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By in United States,

I like how personal that was. There was a lot of talking directly to the kids. It was a lot more intimate back then.

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By in Germany,

Wow, I never thought there was a LEGO club magazine THAT early. Always interesting to see how things have changed :)
Jane and Johnny Lego remind me a lot of Captain Indigo and Polka Dot. Maybe there was a relation of some sort?
Thanks for sharing!

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By in United States,

"YOU CAN WIN BIG PRIZES
Did you build a model lately of a building? Did you make a Lego house or a Lego church?"

Too bad we will never see an official Lego church, or cathedral, but back then you were rewarded for it. You can't even submit a house of worship on LEGO Ideas.

Times sure have changed. :(

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By in United States,

"You can't even submit a house of worship on LEGO Ideas."

Now, now, we don't want to offend anyone! - PR consultant
Don't shove religion down my kid's throat! - Outraged, secularist parent

/epiceyeroll

Sad indeed. So many beautiful architectural elements and models could be introduced with, for example, the church of Hagia Sophia (which could also include minarets for a post-1453 version).

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By in United States,

@shootvolio @et1 a few years back there was an "Expand the Winter Village" contest (unofficial) and one my favorite entries was a church. It seems like such an obvious omission, not having a church in a Christmas (I know, I know, "Winter") theme.

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By in United States,

THose “Chinese dolls” seem a bit insensitive...

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By in Australia,

This is terrific. Thanks to Joey and Huw for the trip into the past. I'm a little too young for that time - not by much. Also from the wrong hemisphere, but the messages are incredibly similar to what I recall from when I was a little tike in the 70's.

@yuffie, my darling wife "Legos" me whenever she wants to get a bite out of me... Works every bloody time!!!
"Oh, little Mikey is in his room, playing with his Legos...." giggles incessantly.
"Your new Legos shipment arrived." as she giggles to herself again.
and the worst one. "Come on hon, let me help. You know how good I am at Legos." The "at" bit... arghh!
:)

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