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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From the Archives: LEGO "Wir Bauen" Idea Book

Yesterday morning, the grandkids (my nieces and nephew) came over to play.

Being the cool uncle that I am, I excavated my box of LEGO bricks from the basement.

When I was younger, I was a LEGO fanatic, having inherited the toys my three older brothers had outgrown. Every Christmas, I would get one big set (or some smaller ones). For those box-shakers out there, rattling LEGOS have a sound unlike any other! Sure, you know there are LEGOs inside, but what kind? And what are you going to build?

My friends were Space Lego fans (Star Wars influence, circa 1980), so most of my sets are from the early years of that series. (Alpha-1 Rocket Base, Starfleet Voyager (suh-weet)...)

I have lots of the older, traditional bricks (now known as Creator), and used them to build a massive pyramid on a 50x50 base plate. That was my swan song as a child, although I did use that model as the basis of a paper on corbelling for an architectural history class at university.

So, while I was digging around the boxes, I found some older manuals. The following pictures are from a magazine-sized book which was old when I first saw it. I have no idea what the original looks like, but as a kid it was both fascinating to look at and frustrating to contemplate. Here were little dioramas, little Legoland displays I could make, but the pieces were too exotic! (Clear bricks, those rare quarter-column curved pieces, flags!)
The text is German. "Wir bauen" translates to "We build". I love the illustration style, somewhere between photo and illustration. Note that brick edges have been highlighted to help builders decipher brick placement. This document is from the early 1960s, as LEGO entered that market in 1959. Possibly 1964, when instruction manuals were first produced. The staples were lost years ago, so I have arranged the pages thematically.

Enjoy!
























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