First LEGO Wheels

 

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The first LEGO wheels were introduced in the summer of 1962, and they now number in the hundreds of varieties. Check out their origins...

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first lego wheels introduced in 1962 in mid 1962 the first lego wheels were introduced into production worldwide since the first 1962 lego catalogs were released at or before the beginning of that year lego wheels did not show up in 1962 catalogs except for countries that had a re-release of their 1962 catalog in usa and canada lego wheels did not show up until the 1963 samsonite catalogs in australia which started lego sales in mid 1962 the first australian catalog already showed the new #400 wheel set parts pack by 1963 there were two additional spare parts packs for lego wheels the #401 large wheel spare parts pack and the #402 turntables spare parts pack these later two were not released in usa/canada until a few years later the first lego wheel set was the #314 wheel set in continental europe britian ireland australia and asia in usa/canada samsonite released the #605 wheel toy set and #610 double wheel toy set instead the first lego wheels had 2x4 white axel bricks with a red bottom by 1964 or 1965 the bottom of the white axle bricks had a clear bottom which showed the red or black tubes inside for holding the wheel axles in place in continental europe lego retailers had a special brochure for distribution to customers that showed the new axle brick these special bricks were trans-clear and were never actually sold in lego sets the lego wheels had 2x2 stud sides made of red abs plastic the axles themselves appear to be made of brass by 1968 tlg also produced special wheels with beveled axles for inserting them into lego motors this provided wheel traction these were sold separately from lego wheels for just regular non-motor vehicles the first lego tires introduced in 1962 were white this was the natural color of real rubber however within a year tlg switched to gray tires a dye inserted into the rubber by 1968 tlg switched to black synthetic rubber tires and the gray tires were retired when the inventory ran out some sets such as the #329 antique car set are known with either gray or black tires in 1966 lego train system wheels were introduced which were very similar to the regular lego wheels the train locomotive wheels had rubber bands for the wheels to improve traction in 1969 additional tires smaller mini-vehicle tires were introduced and many more have been introduced since the 1970s today there are well over 100 different lego tire variations that have been produced by tlg which is now the largest count wise tire producer in the world starting in the early 1970s the white axle bricks used throughout the 1960s were replaced by black 2x4 axle bricks also small 2x2 bricks and 2x2 plates were used as axle bricks for smaller wheels and by the mid 1970s there were many other wheel variations introduced into lego 1

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p. 2

top image is of a yellow leaflet sold by tlg from the late 1950s until the early 1960s this page shows different train models all without any wheels which had not yet been introduced in the late 1950s the image below shows other train models with the new 1962 introduced lego wheels from a 1963 #238 building ideas book which shows some models with tires others without 2

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p. 3

when the first tire set the #400 spare parts pack was introduced in 1962 tlg also released this small brochure to retailers to show their customers how the lego wheel system actually works these trans-clear wheel axle bricks are rare today early axle bricks are sometimes found in other colors besides white and later black the #400 #401 and #402 spare parts packs were introduced between 1962-63 and also contained a 4x8 white baseplate the #401 and #402 set also included a nylon tow bar in 1968 these spare parts packs switched from gray to black tires also in 1968 a #404 motor wheels spare parts pack was introduced with beveled axles 3

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p. 4

this unusual #057 large wheels spare parts pack left was sold only in the usa under that number in the mid 1960s this #314 wheel set was sold in continental europe britain ireland australia and asia it came with an instruction sheet the box top showed the mechanisms for how the wheels performed 4

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in usa/canada samsonite lego produced these first lego wheel sets in 1963 the upper left tall box set is the nd usa/canada #605 wheel toy set the 2 upper left is the mail order catalog version of the usa/canada wheel toy nd set as #1605 in a canister the 2 upper right is a usa #610 super wheel toy set the upper right is a usa/canada mail order catalog version of the usa/canada super wheel toy set as #1610 in a canister and the lower image is a canada #610 super wheel toy set which is oddly found in a long box 5

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