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Around 1992 (possibly, coinciding with the switch from Legoland to Lego System labeling on boxes?), Lego instructions started featuring a triangular marking in the corner of a page. On one side, that marking would show some graphical cue to the theme or subtheme, e.g.:

logo corners from four exemplary instructions

These exemplary markings are from the instructions of:

In the beginning, the other side of those markings contained what appears to be a points count (the larger the set, the more points it would contain):

points indicator

Note how this side also contains the set number and the year - based on the instructions I'm looking at right now, I cannot tell whether it is the original release year of the set, or the year this particular instruction sheet was printed.

Oddly enough, TLC discontinued this "points" labeling not long after it had been introduced, but otherwise, the corner marking remained:

no points indicator

What, if any, was the purpose of those "points"? Once the points were gone, was there still any purpose to the triangular corner marking, or was it merely "traditional"/decorative by then?

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There doesn't appear to be much information left on this. I've only really found this eurobricks thread, that attempts to answer the same question.

In summary, it appears to have been a marketing experiment that was abandoned before it really took off (it only lasted for about 2 years between 1992 and 1994). The idea was (as far as I can gather) that these points could be redeemed for rewards and/or discounts (similar to the current VIP points system).

These points were printed in the instructions for several themes worldwide, with more points allocated to bigger sets. The biggest sets yielded hundreds of points, eg. 600 points for 6086 Black Knight's Castle :

6086 Black Knight's Castle (600 points)

However, I've only found mention of actually being able to use them in the US, and in a very limited fashion at that. This post by star1138 in the same eurobricks thread includes an example of how the points could be redeemed (found in a US Town Mini Catalog from 1993) :

1993 Town Mini Catalog (US)

Transcription :

HURRY! Offer Expires March 1, 1994

Collect Maniac Model Points for FREE Gifts!

You can get a FREE half-year subscription to the LEGO Builders Club Magazine for only 50 Points
Or get both a FREE Police 4x4 Model and the FREE half-year subscription for 150 Points!

Here's How To Do It...
Purchase any of the awesome sets shown to the left. Collect the required amount of Maniac Model Points from the building instructions of these sets. (They'll look like the ones pictured here!)

To get your FREE gift, clip the Maniac Model Points you've collected and mail them with the order form below.
It's really easy ... and fun!

I haven't found any other examples (trawling through all kinds of instructions and catalogs from different regions in that time period), so all credit goes to star1138 for finding the above one !

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    Ooh, good find. I am based in Germany, and back in the day (for lack of internet etc.), if something wasn't explained right in the instructions, or in the main catalogue, it remained an unsolvable mystery to me. Had the promo been available in my place, I would probably have redeemed 20 of the free police cars; had all of the depicted sets with points plus many many others (including big ones, like the mentioned Black Knights Castle) from the era with instruction points ;) Will probably accept after waiting for a bit, just in case even more info turns up. Commented Dec 10, 2022 at 9:54

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