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I am a student researching Lego for an essay. I was looking at when the first pink bricks were released. I have researched and found that they were initially released between 1949 and 1956 and were discontinued and then reinstated around 1978, but other sources have said they were released in 1994.

I would like clarity of what actually happened.

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There are two shades of light-pink in LEGO's history that were included in official sets. (Please note that there are other, rare shades of pink that never made it into mass production but were used as test colors or for special projects.) The older light-pink is simply called "pink" in the BrickLink Color Guide, and also often referred to as "Paradisa Pink", as it was in the LEGO Paradisa line where the color was most prominent. It is a softer, lighter shade, and was produced between 1991-2006.

The current light-pink is referred to as "bright-pink" in the BrickLink Color Guide. It was introduced in 2003 and is produced to this day. It is a much brighter and bolder color.

Besides these two light-pink colors there are also darker pinks: the older medium-dark-pink (1992-1996), the current dark-pink (1994-), and also current magenta (2000-).

You can find detailed information on them in the BrickLink Color Guide, and you can see sample parts in each color here: BrickLink Color Guide with Images.

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Paradisa Pink (17 Rose) was the first in 1991. BUT, Lego used Medium Dark Pink (16 Pink) in Modulex parts as early as 1983!

There is also 9 Light Reddish Violet, which replaced 17 Rose in 1994, before being replaced in turn by Bright Pink (222 Light Purple) in 2004. This middle pink was close to Paradisa Pink, but less yellow.

There are officially two versions of Dark Pink: 22 Medium Reddish Violet and, after 2004, 221 Bright Purple. These are almost identical.

Clikits used 295 Flamingo Pink for a few parts in 2006. It's too bad that they didn't make more parts, it's really a nice color!

I have a fleshy-pinkish Automatic Binding Brick from the early 50s, but this was before Lego started giving their colors names and numbers.

Barring transparent or more purplish/reddish colors, that's all the pinks I know of. I'm curious about your sources for the 1949 and 1978 dates. I've been trying to compile all color information here: http://ryanhowerter.net/colors

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