Controversial gold LEGO figure is $1,000 windfall
Individually numbered and mixed in randomly with LEGOs other collectible
minifigs, Mr. Gold is gold-chromed from top hat to toes -- except for his classy
And hes apparently worth his weight in gold to LEGO collectors. Thanks to a
flurry of interest, genuine Mr. Gold figures have sold for up to $1,000 on eBay.
Mr. Gold is part of LEGOs tenth series of collectible minfigures, all of which
ship in sealed packets so that buyers dont know which of the ranges 17 figures
theyre getting. Minifig fans have been known to buy them by the case in the
hunt for particularly sought-after figures, helping turn the line into one of
LEGOs most successful products.
We know that the LEGO minifigure has become almost as iconic as the classic 2x4
LEGO brick, Michael McNally, the Brand Relations Director of LEGO Systems Inc,
told Yahoo! Games, as its the hero via whom every child -- from the youngest
builder to the oldest collector -- can identify with and explore the LEGO worlds
You might think Mr. Golds popularity means your chances of getting your hands
on one of these elusive golden collectors items are slim, but youd be wrong.
Theyre pretty much as good as anyone elses. Plenty are out there: LEGO runs a
website where fortunate finders of Mr. Gold can register their feat, and at the
time of writing, only 409 of the 5,000 Gold minifigs have been found.
All the same, the decision hasnt been popular with some LEGO devotees, who fear
adult collectors will snap up all the Mr. Golds and shut out the toys younger
Why are LEGO doing this? asks blog GimmeLego. They must surely be aware that
the chances of any of these figures ending up in the hands of children...are
next to nil.
And Im struggling to believe that the LEGO company actually set out with the
intention of lining the pockets of eBay scalpers. Which does beg the question of
exactly what theyre trying to achieve by doing this...is it just good,
old-fashioned greed and a desire to milk the Collectible Minifigure cash-cow for
all its worth?
Maybe. But if you have the desire to milk the minifig cash-cow yourself, heres
a tip: Mr. Gold is the only figure in the range to have a top hat, and the
figures are wrapped in flexible plastic bags. Get out there and feel your way to
-end of report-
|One of the most interesting LEGO sets in recent times has been the 6661 Mobile|
TV Set of 1989. This set was sold everywhere, and would have an otherwise dull
existence if it weren't for the fact that Germany has a very interesting
variation of this set... the West Deutsche Rundfunk (WDR) version of this set.
West Deutsche Rundfunk is a northwestern Germany TV Station that appears to have
had a promotional 6661 set made with the stations letters "WDR" printed on the 2
1x4x3 blue panels that make up the truck of this set.
What has been found among German LEGO collectors is a normal 6661 set with
normal 6661 instructions... and one polybag that has a pair of "WDR" panels
instead of the normal "TV" panels found in most examples of this set.
When researching this special promotional set, I sent an image of it to the
folks at the LEGO Archives/Collections in Billund. They had never seen or heard
of it before, so they sent the image I provided to the folks at the LEGO Sales
office in Munich Germany. Again, they too had not heard of it, and wondered if
it wasn't just a normal 6661 set with stickers placed on it at a later date
after it left TLG.
Ordinarily one would think that this was not a TLG sanctioned set, and therefore
something that was created later. However, I'm aware of the existence of
several of these in MISB (Mint in Sealed Bag)... and that could not have been
done easily outside of TLG. And the 1x4x3 blue panels didn't have a sticker
covering the old image. No, it was an image that was put over the old "TV"
image on the parts.
Well that got me thinking about how this could have escaped the folks in
Billund. The only thing I can think of was that perhaps an executive at WDR in
Cologne Germany contacted an executive at TLG in Billund, and asked to have some
of the regular 6661 sets contain the WDR truck panels. If this was done as a
special project... then maybe it was produced without having documentation
produced about the existence of this special version. And if it was produced
for WDR in Cologne, then it may have been sent directly from Billund to
Cologne, thus bypassing the (then) German Sales Office in Hohenwestedt Germany.
Whatever the story really is behind this very unique set... this is a very
valuable collectible on the secondary market. Perhaps only a few hundred of
these were requested by West Deutsche Rundfunk... and distributed thru them.
Whatever the reason... it's sets like this that make my research of LEGO sets
and parts for my Collectors Guides... pure pleasure!! :)
|Well my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide (1949-90s) on|
DVD/download... will have a companion coming out in about a year... for the
years 1990s-present. This has been a work in progress for some time... and will
NOT be released early.
Also... the current (1949-90s) version is going to have new upgrades in a few
months... a few additional chapters, as well as hundreds of more photos. NOTE:
all future updates are free to current DVD/download owners as a download!!
Also... there is a "book" in the pipeline... but it will not be an all
encompassing book on LEGO... it will be more like a "companion" to my LEGO
Stay tuned for future news on this... ;)
|In lugnet.general, Matthew J. Chiles wrote:|
> Wow, I stop by Lugnet to do a little ancient research and there is life! My old
> buddies are here, Gary and Larry! And not only that, there are stories of long
> lost sets coming to light - just like the old days...
> OK, Gary, while I have your ear... do you know or can you somehow find out if
> Lego set 4305 really exists and if so where it was sold? Thanks!
> And keep of the good work on your book. I want to own a print copy of the
> multi-volume set someday...
Sorry for the long delay in response... I've been very busy...
Is that the Xcyber 4305 set you are referring to?
|In lugnet.general, David Eaton wrote:|
> Oh, and from the "Learn Something New Every Day" department, I learned from
> Abner at the recent BrickFair that apparently LEGO once took out a patent on a
> monorail *CROSS* track. Dunno what the details are, but now I'll have to make it
> a mission to find out more about it...
I heard that as well! I've sketched out a design as to what I think could
potentially work, using the 'guts' of an existing switch track, but, alas, since
I don't own a 3d printer, I won't be prototyping anytime soon...
There was those .jpgs of the patents of the monorail track and train I 'copied'
from old web pages, but there was no monorail cross track.
|In lugnet.general, David Koudys wrote:|
> But, more importantly for shows, invariably someone will throw a switch or
> two during the show. Since we usually have 5-6 monorail trains moving
> around, this has led to some spectacular derailments (as much of our
> monorail is well above the baseplate level)
Yeah, we've had that happen for both monorail and 9v rail-- never a pretty
> Having completely separate loops offers lots more flexibility and takes up
> less space.
Yeah, we debated whether or not the "world's longest monorail" should mean that
it's a single loop, or merely CONNECTED track that ought to count. So if we had
(say) 3 loops connected by some switches, should we count the switches and
separate loops as one big number? Or just count the distance that a single train
would travel? We ended up playing it safe and counting only the loop that the
BUT, I have to say the temptation to make it take up less space is huge. The
amount of square footage necessary to make a layout that's on par with
world-record sizes is daunting, unless you do things like lots of little loops
and have vertical climbs!
> I've watched many families try to figure out where a monorail train will go
> in the layout, and the kids have fun following the many trains around.
Hmmm... I hadn't thought much about that, but it sounds like a great challenge
for kids, actually. I wonder if you could set up a REALLY long loop, and then
put different color "stations" on it, and have the kids determine the order of
the stations visited. Could be rather difficult depending on how complex you
made the loop!
> In the future, I may add a switch or two back into the layout, but for now,
> I'm good that they're not there.
Yeah, it definitely makes sense. The switches are fun to fiddle with, but they
do cause a lot of issues as you point out.
Oh, and from the "Learn Something New Every Day" department, I learned from
Abner at the recent BrickFair that apparently LEGO once took out a patent on a
monorail *CROSS* track. Dunno what the details are, but now I'll have to make it
a mission to find out more about it...
|In lugnet.general, David Koudys wrote:|
> But you're thinking about this too much.
... I'm not sure I understand this concept.
> If we all agree on-
> a straight equaling 10 inches
Inaccuracy! It burnsss usssssss!
> I tried physically measuring the ramps, and seriously, the length that the
> monorail train actually traverses isn't much more than 10 inches or a
> straight piece--it's negligible.
Yeah, it's not a huge amount-- 0.8 studs is only 2.5% of the distance of a
straight, so it'd take about 40 ramps (or 20 "complete" ramps) to make up the
distance of a single straight. But with that said, I figure when we get into the
ballpark of 400 individual ramps (200 bottoms, 200 tops), it's more than 8 feet
> And if we're all agreed on the numbers above (or whatever numbers you want
> to change them to--I'm good with that as well),
Oooo! I have some numbers to switch them to! (... Some of them may not be fully
rational, in more than one sense of the word!)
I was actually thinking I might make a quickie web calculator that did the messy
calculation for me-- the "easy-to-remember" numbers are all in stud lengths,
which are really bizarre in inches/feet/etc, and too long in metric for me to
remember. So I always do calculations by converting track sections to studs to
metric to feet (guh).
> As it is, DaveE's (et al) record is pretty much not going to be touched by
> Though I may be convinced to try.
Yeah, this latest one's pretty big. It could definitely get beaten with the
right participants, but it won't be easy. We certainly aren't looking to try
again in the near future. I'm still working on the final numbers (going through
photos to see what we ACTUALLY did versus what we PLANNED on doing). Should be
in the 1900 foot ballpark, if our 'rough' counts were correct.
|In lugnet.general, David Koudys wrote:|
> Dave K
Talking about monorail for shows and such (since we were, indeed talking about
that ;) )....
Ever since the big 12.5 x 12.5 layout we did back in 2009 (I think), I've tried
to avoid putting switches into my show layouts. First, as we all know here,
switches get old, and with that age, become 'less functional'.
But, more importantly for shows, invariably someone will throw a switch or two
during the show. Since we usually have 5-6 monorail trains moving around, this
has led to some spectacular derailments (as much of our monorail is well above
the baseplate level)
This isn't saying that we don't experience monorails falling off tracks now--we
still do, but it isn't 'purposely caused'.
I do find that TD'ing a layout without switches is easier, and the separate
loops are more fun. Having completely separate loops offers lots more
flexibility and takes up less space. As well, all length of track will have a
monorail train traversing them at some point (which sometimes doesn't happen
when you add a bunch of switches, unless those switches are only for
turn-arounds). I've watched many families try to figure out where a monorail
train will go in the layout, and the kids have fun following the many trains
In the future, I may add a switch or two back into the layout, but for now, I'm
good that they're not there. I'll save em for something important *cough* beat
|In lugnet.general, David Eaton wrote:|
> In lugnet.general, Todd Lehman wrote:
> > Did you ever convert the final stud length measurements into inches or
> > centimeters?
> I've just assumed that LEGO's accuracy with stud-to-metric measurements is neigh
> on perfect (or, too close for me to accurately measure discrepancies). So, I've
> just assumed an interstud spacing of 8mm per stud.
> > I'm curious what accuracy is needed (in terms of significant digits) in order
> > to accurately (within, say, 1/10 inch) state the track length of a layout on
> > the order of 2,000 feet. Is that level of accuracy possible?
> I guess it depends on what the composition of the layout was. I'm pretty
> confident in the "lengths" established for long straights, short straights,
> start/stops, curves, half-curves, and switches (when straight). Ramps and
> switches (when curved) are another matter.
> So, in our recent record, the switches (when curved) are probably pretty
> irrelevant, because we used so few of them (we tried to use them all pointed
> straight, to maximize distance).
> The ramps are (of course) another matter. There were something like 200+ ramps
> used in our layout, which means for 1/10 inch accuracy, I'd have to be accurate
> to within (roughly) +/-0.0008 studs for my ramp measurement, and I'd doubt I'm
> that accurate.
> I wonder if the patent office has any more accurate descriptions of the elements
> that we could use...
I know I'm speaking to two of the most 'detail oriented' people I've ever had
the fun of working with...
But you're thinking about this too much.
If we all agree on-
a straight equaling 10 inches
a quarter straight equaling 2.5 inches
a curve equaling 15 inches
ramps equaling 10 inches
a reverse switch equaling 5 inches
a switch--17.5 inches (I actually added the straight and the half curve)
a half curve equaling 7.5 inches
If we all agree on these parameters, then we can ascertain 'who has the biggest'
I tried physically measuring the ramps, and seriously, the length that the
monorail train actually traverses isn't much more than 10 inches or a straight
piece--it's negligible. And if we're all agreed on the numbers above (or
whatever numbers you want to change them to--I'm good with that as well), then
that should be good 'nuff
As it is, DaveE's (et al) record is pretty much not going to be touched by me.
Though I may be convinced to try.
Going with this, I should actually inventory my collection again. As it was
inventoried 3 years ago, I have 276 feet of monorail track in my personal
collection. Dunno if that number's changed.
The latest OBB space layout has 146 feet of monorail track.
I can e-mail you guys the excel spreadsheet that I use to figure all this stuff
|In lugnet.general, Todd Lehman wrote:|
> Did you ever convert the final stud length measurements into inches or
I've just assumed that LEGO's accuracy with stud-to-metric measurements is neigh
on perfect (or, too close for me to accurately measure discrepancies). So, I've
just assumed an interstud spacing of 8mm per stud.
> I'm curious what accuracy is needed (in terms of significant digits) in order
> to accurately (within, say, 1/10 inch) state the track length of a layout on
> the order of 2,000 feet. Is that level of accuracy possible?
I guess it depends on what the composition of the layout was. I'm pretty
confident in the "lengths" established for long straights, short straights,
start/stops, curves, half-curves, and switches (when straight). Ramps and
switches (when curved) are another matter.
So, in our recent record, the switches (when curved) are probably pretty
irrelevant, because we used so few of them (we tried to use them all pointed
straight, to maximize distance).
The ramps are (of course) another matter. There were something like 200+ ramps
used in our layout, which means for 1/10 inch accuracy, I'd have to be accurate
to within (roughly) +/-0.0008 studs for my ramp measurement, and I'd doubt I'm
I wonder if the patent office has any more accurate descriptions of the elements
that we could use...
|In lugnet.general, David Eaton wrote:|
> How long is a length of monorail straight track? Easy-- 32 studs. But how long
> is a length of CURVED monorail track? And (the kicker), how long is a length of
> monorail RAMP?
This reminds me of "How Long Is the Coastline of Britain?" ;-)
Dave... Saw your followups... Awesome work! Did you ever convert the final
stud length measurements into inches or centimeters? I'm curious what accuracy
is needed (in terms of significant digits) in order to accurately (within, say,
1/10 inch) state the track length of a layout on the order of 2,000 feet. Is
that level of accuracy possible?
|Arburg installs hundreds of presses for LEGO in Mexico
Date: March 14, 2013
By Stephen Downer
MEXICO CITY Arburg GmbH & Co. KG has completed the installation of several
hundred injection molding machines at the Mexico plant of toy-brick maker LEGO
We installed the last 100 machines in February, Guillermo Fasterling,
manager of Arburg SA de CV in Naucalpan, Mexico, said in a March 13 interview.
The predominant clamping forces of the presses are 80 and 90 tons. Fasterling
declined, however, to be precise about the number of presses sold to LEGO,
citing competitive reasons.
The plant, in Ciénega de Flores near Monterrey, is run by LEGO Operaciones de
México SA de CV. LEGO of Billund, Denmark, opened the site in 2009, and it is
believed to be one of LEGO biggest plants.
According to Fasterling, LEGO is Arburgs biggest customer in the country, where
it also has 20 major clients in the automotive industry.
Fasterling said family-owned Arburg of Lossburg, Germany, will open a technical
center in Mexico, complete with showroom, spare parts depositary and training
area, in June.
Without the LEGO business, which was negotiated outside Mexico, Arburg has about
5 percent of the Mexican injection molding machinery market, he said.
The Mexican subsidiary was established in 2008 and Fasterling is optimistic
about the future largely, he said, because of the projected growth of the
automotive industrys expansion in Mexico, but also because of the packaging
Fasterling believes that being family-owned has given Arburg an advantage over
many of its rivals. We have a clear strategy and trust between management and
employees. In the economic crisis several years ago, a lot of our competitors
had to let staff go. Arburg lost not one employee, meaning that we kept all that
experience. It was a family decision.
Arburg employs 12 in Mexico and plans to expand to 15 in the next couple of
months, according to Fasterling.
Website link: Arburg.com
-end of report-
|LEGO Elects Blackstone Partner Jan Nielsen for Board
LEGO A/S, Europes biggest toymaker, said it has elected Jan Nielsen, a partner
at Blackstone Group LP (BX), for its board.
LEGO picked Nielsen, 38, due to his experience with doing business in Asia,
where the toymaker seeks to boost sales, the Billund, Denmark-based company said
today in a statement on its website. Nielsen will replace Torben Ballegaard
Soerensen, who didnt run for re-election, LEGO said.
-end of report-
|The Little Gym® Builds New Partnership With LEGO Systems
Exclusive LEGO® DUPLO® Activities Coming to The Little Gym
SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwired - Apr 30, 2013) - Building healthy bodies and minds
is already a part of The Little Gym® experience. Soon, The Little Gym members
can also enjoy the creative, constructive, developmental fun of building with
LEGO® DUPLO® preschool building toys, thanks to a multi-year partnership between
The Little Gym International, the worlds premier experiential learning and
physical development center for kids, and LEGO Systems, Inc., the North American
division of the worlds leading construction toy brand.
Through the agreement, The Little Gym is an exclusive category partner and will
begin integrating products from the LEGO DUPLO line of building toys into
special programs for children ages 19 months through 4 years old. The
activities, created by The Little Gym International team of educational
specialists and play consultants from The LEGO Group, will help children
creatively build their problem solving, imagination and socialization skills.
Special DUPLO experiences will be available to The Little Gym parents and
WonderKids Club™: each session of The Little Gyms structured enrichment
program will incorporate a 20-minute DUPLO building activity that corresponds
with the Learning Unit and Lesson Plan theme for the week.
Lets Build, Lets Play: parents of The Little Gyms Beast and Super Beast
members (19 months to 3 years old) may participate together in new monthly,
complimentary DUPLO building experiences where parents and children can bond and
creatively play together.
Awesome Birthday Bash: special DUPLO experiences have been integrated into
all parties for children celebrating their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays
Our curriculum is continually evolving to best reflect our key tenets of
Three-Dimensional Learning, said Bob Bingham, President and CEO, The Little Gym
International. This exciting DUPLO integration will help us to further infuse
creativity and imagination into programs while allowing children to further
develop their problem-solving and fine-motor skills.
LEGO DUPLO preschool building toys are specially designed for the small hands
and big imaginations of children ages 1 1/2 to 5. DUPLO bricks are twice the
size of classic LEGO bricks, making them easier to manipulate and a perfect tool
for developing a youngsters motor skills. The product collection fosters
everything from creative, open-ended building to model creation, role play and
LEGO DUPLO bricks are designed to offer children so many ways to play and
learn through creative building and exploration, said Keith Last, brand
manager, LEGO Systems. We especially love when a childs building moments
become fully immersive experiences, which is why were thrilled to partner with
The Little Gym to create new activities and inspire families to consider how the
hands-on, minds-on fun of DUPLO building can be a perfect complement to physical
activity as their children develop.
DUPLO programs and activities are now available at select The Little Gym
locations and will be coming to a gym near you soon. To find the nearest
location of The Little Gym, please visit www.TheLittleGym.com.
About The Little Gym
The Little Gym is the worlds premier experiential learning and physical
development center for kids ages four months through 12 years. To parents, The
Little Gym is an internationally recognized child development program, proven to
teach social and physical skills appropriate to each stage of childhood by
creating opportunities to experience achievement and build
self‐confidence. The Little Gym has locations in 28 countries and is
represented by 210 locations in the U.S. and 300 total worldwide. For more
information, visit The Little Gym at www.TheLittleGym.com.
About LEGO Systems Inc
LEGO Systems, Inc. is the North American division of The LEGO Group, a
privately-held, family-owned company based in Billund, Denmark, one of the
worlds leading manufacturers of creatively educational play materials for
children. The company is committed to the development of childrens creative and
imaginative abilities, and its employees are guided by the motto adopted in the
1930s by founder Ole Kirk Christiansen: Only the best is good enough. Visit
LEGO, DUPLO, their logos, the brick and knob configuration and the Minifigure
are trademarks of the LEGO Group. ©2013 The LEGO Group.
-end of report-
|LEGO Lays Cornerstone of 200 mln Expansion in Hungary
Date: April 22, 2013,
MTI - Econews
Danish toymaker LEGO on Friday laid the cornerstone of a 200 million expansion
of its production capacity in Nyíregyháza. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán
participated at the ceremony. Annual capacity in Nyiregyhaza will rise from 20
million boxes of LEGO to 30-40 million when production starts at the new plant,
said Jesper Hassellund Mikkelsen, who heads LEGOs Hungarian unit. The number of
blocks produced will double to 15 billion-20 billion, he added.
Production at the new plant is expected to start in Q1 2014. LEGO Group COO Bali
Padda said the company was building production capacity in Hungary for the long
term. The new facility will be a plant of the future, one that meets all
environmental requirements, he added.
LEGO investment director Martin Svejda said the decision to build the factory
was not a question of labour costs, but of market proximity. He stressed the
importance of the plant being close to the European markets it supplies, but
noted the it also delivers LEGO Duplo building blocks globally. The new plant
will be three times the size of LEGO existing one in the citys industrial park.
It will have 768 injection moulding machines and a warehouse for 80,000 pallets
The expansion will create 250 jobs, bringing headcount at the companys base in
the city to about 1,500 by next year. Danish companies have invested more than
1 billion in Hungary, creating close to 13,000-14,000 jobs, said Danish
ambassador to Hungary Tom Norring.
-end of report-
|THE BRICKS OF EDUCATION
ARTICLE: APRIL 26, 2013
By Tess De La Mare
Education that revolves around play may sound like every kids dream, and for
some children in Billund, Denmark, it is about to become a reality at a new
school founded by LEGO.
The International School of Billund is the idea of Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the
third-gen former head of LEGO. He is aiming to turn his hometown into a capital
The Kristiansen familys LEGO Foundation will fund the project. The foundation,
with a 25% stake in LEGO Group, conducts and sponsors research into teaching and
Despite being Denmarks richest man, Kristiansen has remained resolutely loyal
to Billund, which has a population of just 6,000, with 26,000 in the surrounding
The new school is one of several projects funded by the Kristiansen family,
including the local airport, a church, a theatre and LEGO labs for all local
LEGO said in a statement: The ambition is to create a kindergarten and a school
of international top standards which can inspire both expatriate and Danish
It is due to open its doors in August to three to seven-year-olds. The
curriculum will be based on enquiry-based learning - combining the standard
Danish syllabus with sessions in elaborate playgrounds, and of course, plenty of
-end of report-
|LEGO Breaking Bad - The Video Game parody
Created by Brian Anderson
YT Channel: BrianKAnimation
The real TV show Breaking Bad is an American television drama series created and
produced by Vince Gilligan. Seen on AMC.
|Wow, I stop by Lugnet to do a little ancient research and there is life! My old|
buddies are here, Gary and Larry! And not only that, there are stories of long
lost sets coming to light - just like the old days...
OK, Gary, while I have your ear... do you know or can you somehow find out if
Lego set 4305 really exists and if so where it was sold? Thanks!
And keep of the good work on your book. I want to own a print copy of the
multi-volume set someday...
|For my LEGO DVD, I broke the early basic sets chapter into 2 halves, both of|
which are much bigger than on my early CD.
The Automatic Binding Bricks of 1949-54 are just a few sets and 2 parts packs...
but they are among the most complex and least understood of all LEGO sets.
Here's a link to an online version of my earliest LEGO DVD chapter on ABB, very
mysterious early LEGO sets... which the TLG archives have very little info on...
TLG started sales in 1949. Then in 1950 they licensed a company in Sweden
called Geas Konstharts (of Gislaved Sweden)... to produce some Automatic Binding
Bricks sets in Southern Sweden. Those were not at all popular, so by 1951 Geas
ended the license to produce LEGO there. Neither TLG nor Geas (still a plastics
maker today)... have any info on those early Swedish sets.
The next foreign foray was November 1953... when Svein Stromberg & Co. of Oslo
Norway started production there of Automatic Binding Bricks sets. Norway had a
toy import restriction (until 1961), so parts had to be made there (Oslo) via a
subsidiary called A/S Norske LEGO... the production continued...
Then in 1954 A/S Norske LEGO produced sets under the "PRIMA" name for sale once
again in Sweden... these were LEGO type parts (with identical sets)... but they
were made of Styrene instead of Cellulose Acetate. By 1955 TLG established LEGO
sales in Sweden, so regular "LEGO Mursten" sets were produced there. These
short lived PRIMA sets use the same LEGO molds, just without the word LEGO on
P.S. Downloads (with free updates in 6 months) are available for 8 hours or less
delivery for 688MB of data to your desktop. See Marketplace for details.