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49 votes

Why was LEGO reluctant to use additional colours for regular bricks in former times?

The answer I've heard the most (with a source citing the official confirmation) is that green, brown and gray bricks were omitted from the LEGO palette because the company wanted to discourage kids ...
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39 votes

What did Lego set instruction manuals look like in the past?

The earliest LEGO sets did not have any kind of instruction manuals, since they were sold as sets of building blocks, without any specific models in mind. Exmaple: Set #7002, Automatic Binding Bricks ...
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26 votes

Why was LEGO reluctant to use additional colours for regular bricks in former times?

Early LEGO colors were inspired by the work of Mondriaan, which mainly consists of white, black, red, blue and yellow. These primary colors were considered to be most appealing to kids. From the book ...
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26 votes
Accepted

How old is this brick?

It looks like part of the old 9-Volt motor that was made from 1990 and 2002. The full thing's part number is listed as 2838 which I assume is the mold ID stamped on dark grey base, while 2837 is the ...
24 votes

When did LEGO decide that it was okay to put a stud into a Technic hole?

1977 When Technic was first introduced. Check out this alternative build of set 850:
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23 votes

What was the shortest-lived color?

Further to Alex's answer, from that source I found eleven colours that only lasted a year: Fabuland Orange 1983 Very Light Orange 2000 Clikits Lavender 2005 Chrome Black 2009 Chrome Green 1999 Satin ...
18 votes

What was the shortest-lived color?

According to Bricklink, Very Light Orange was only used by single part for one year only - in 2000. It was used in 2 sets (Scala and Belville) and 1 "gear". That part is this cat: Another ...
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18 votes
Accepted

Which bricks are still protected by copyright / trademark / patent law?

This is a complex topic. If you are considering designing a LEGO-compatible product, you may want to consult a lawyer who is an expert in this area. With that in mind, here's my attempt at an answer. ...
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16 votes

Why was LEGO reluctant to use additional colours for regular bricks in former times?

I have a background in precision injection moulding, although not to the extremely tight tolerances of Lego. Here's why a manufacturer would try to reduce the number of colours they used, particularly ...
15 votes
Accepted

Are there any army-related LEGO toys?

The LEGO Group does not directly create modern military sets. A LEGO representative gave the following reason: Are there any chances that Lego will ever start producing modern day warfare Lego, with ...
15 votes

Why was LEGO reluctant to use additional colours for regular bricks in former times?

A practical engineering concern could be a reason to limit the colours used for molding in ABS plastic. The colourant added to the base plastic can affect the physical properties of the molded part. ...
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14 votes
Accepted

Why was monorail offered the way it was?

Why design the core monorail hardware this way? This is hard to answer without a degree of speculation, but I assume that the core reason behind the decision to design the monorail this way likely ...
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12 votes

Why do Technic beams have an odd number of holes?

It's to make them fit with the original Technic bricks which have an even number of studs and the holes go in-between.
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12 votes
Accepted

How were these building instructions from the 1970s produced?

They would have been hand drawn. Technical illustration used to be a highly skilled job, similar but slightly different to design draughtsmanship. I can still recall the latter being used about 20 ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Was there ever cadmium in LEGO bricks?

I asked Gary Istok on your behalf in this Brickset Forum thread, who is an expert on LEGO's history. He said the following: When LEGO replaced the Cellulose Acetate bricks circa 1963 with ABS ...
10 votes

Why was monorail offered the way it was?

Not really an answer, just a small point of fact..... There were actually 4 Monorail Trains planned, a Futuron Space-Themed one, a Unitron Space-Themed one, the ever pleasant Airport Shuttle Town-...
10 votes
Accepted

Does the word Lego have anything to do with Latin verb lego?

The official story is that Ole Kirk Kristiansen didn't realise until years after naming the company what it meant in Latin (normally it's said to mean "I put together", not "I collect"), and as there ...
10 votes
Accepted

What came first? Print or sticker?

The BrickLink Catalog, which is the most comprehensive database of LEGO parts ever made, lists the first official stickers from 1971. They were used in the Homemaker sets to decorate furniture, etc. ...
9 votes

What was the first Christmas themed Lego set?

I don't know whether this quite qualifies as a set, but there is a LEGO promotional Christmas box from 1964 listed on bricklink
8 votes

How do I know if this wooden LEGO duck is real?

Every Lego wooden duck I have seen, whether in person or on the internet, is sitting on a platform with the wheels attached to the platform. This is the original version: Here is a later version: ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Most common Lego piece?

If you look at the quantity of parts in all sets, the most common is the 1x2 brick ignoring color. The most common part and color combo is the Techhnic pin with friction in black. These stats were ...
  • 34.9k
8 votes

The controversy around clone brands

Page was owner of the patent only for Great Britain, allowing LEGO to use the design worldwide. Buying a "rival" company (Kiddicraft) later on is nothing unusual in business history. Therefore, ...
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8 votes

The controversy around clone brands

This question looks more like a covered (and loaded) opinion piece, but I will bite. Although LEGO may have been inspired by the Kiddiecraft prototype, LEGO bricks are not direct copies of the ...
8 votes

How many LEGO bricks exist in total?

It does not seem as if it would ever be possible to come to a definitive assertion—or even a sufficiently precise approximation—of "how many LEGO bricks exists." For the English Wikipedia article "...
8 votes

What was or is the longest running Lego set?

I'm going to stretch your definition of "set" and say "32x32 green baseplate". You could get set 745-1 in 1978... ...then 840-1 in 1980, then 813-1 in 1986, then 626-1 in 1996: And since 2015 there'...
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8 votes

What was the first Christmas themed Lego set?

There have been Christmas-themed sets for a long time, for example set 246-2 Santa and Sleigh from 1977. Scrolling through all LEGO sets on Brickset, starting from 1949, shows that this is also the ...
  • 16.5k
8 votes

What did Lego set instruction manuals look like in the past?

Based on my experience throughout pretty much the entirety of the 90s, they didn't really look all that different back then regarding the style, what you would call the "Auto CAD" look I ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Have LEGO stickers changed materials over time?

Note. Speaking from my experience from year 1990 onward. During this time I can distinguish at least 3 periods of different experience with stickers. From 1990 till sometime before 2000 (or early ...
  • 20.5k
8 votes
Accepted

If we threw every single LEGO piece ever manufactured into a pile, how big would the pile be?

It's definitely hard to give any accurate numbers, but let's try some rough estimates. On one hand, user Grover from the EuroBricks forum points out (emphasis mine): I have around 200,000 bricks in ...
  • 4,893
7 votes
Accepted

What year did the minicon "micro BrickCon" first appear at "BrickCon"?

In the blog of Tom Aplhin he mentions regarding Microscale Steve Oakes, a long-time LEGO builder in Seattle area started a tradition 4 years ago to re-create the BrickCon Public Convention at a ...
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