This LEGO scene is from a 1962 Danish magazine ad that shows 2 children having fun together building the LEGO Town Plan 810 set, while their mother looks approvingly while she is knitting. LEGO as a “family affair” was a common theme used in LEGO artwork and especially advertising from 1955-65.
74.0 EARLY ADULT (AFOL) & CHILDREN LEGO IMAGES (1955-65). 74.1 Early LEGO Advertising geared towards Adult’s and Families.
When TLG came out with the Town Plan System of Play in 1955, TLG tried to interest adults and children alike into LEGO building. They tried two approaches, one was having adults play with LEGO sets along with the children, and the second approach was for adults to play with LEGO sets alone via architectural or with an HO train system. Neither approach appears to have been very successful, since after 1965 very few if any attempts were made to include adults and children together in the enjoyment of LEGO play, at least as far as LEGO boxes and advertising was concerned. _______________________________ 1
This cartoon image is from a 1957 German Ideas Booklet. It illustrates how TLG wanted LEGO sets to be identified with adults, as well as by children. The idea, although very much ahead of its time, was not very successful. It would be many decades later that LEGO sets/parts were a hobby for all ages. In this cartoon the annoyed children are asking their mother when their father is going to bed.
These two 1955 colorized images show adults building with LEGO elements. In the left image, what appears as an architect is building with LEGO bricks. In the image on the right, two model railroaders are building with LEGO parts and model HO scale railroad tracks and accessories. The mixing of HO scale railroads and LEGO constructions was only tried in advertising and brochures from 1955-57, and by 1958 no more model railroad images were ever seen again in any LEGO images. The use by architects of LEGO elements was also not successful, although TLG did give it another attempt from 1963-65 with their short lived Architecture System of sets.
The 1955-56 brochure above, shows adults as well as children and teenagers playing with the LEGO Mosaik sets. These sets were very unpopular, and most of the boxes were returned to TLG. One of the reasons for this being unpopular was that the few parts in the box could not build any of the models shown in the catalogs. TLG was hoping that customers would by extra spare parts packs to build these, an idea that never took hold with these sets. This picture (below) shows the entire family playing with LEGO bricks. Both of these models shown were used as glued retail display models.
In the 1960 magazine ad (above) dad looks on with interest as mom and the kids build with LEGO parts. In another 1960 ad (below), dad participates along with the rest of the family in building with LEGO, as the children look on approvingly.
In this 1960 Idea Book a young married couple are building the house of their dreams out of LEGO, using a building layout to get the dimensions right. This was another attempt to get adults interested in building with LEGO.
These 1960 LEGO ads show children and parents alike participating in building with LEGO.
The 1959 introduction of the LEGO Photography Department produced a lot of colorful new images of family building fun. These three 1960-65 large basic set box images are part of the family fun that TLG was trying to market to families everywhere.
In late 1962 TLG introduced a new series of Architectural sets in continental Europe. There were 3 sets with bricks and plates, and 4 different small plate spare parts packs (in 6 different colors) produced. These sets were designed for adults and older teens, but they were not popular, and were discontinued by 1965.
These are two images from a 1960 Building Ideas Book. They show architectural building by adults, as watched by children. In the lower image the builder has building diagrams and architectural instruments. After the 1965 end of the LEGO Architectural System, TLG stopped displaying adults in LEGO images, and concentrated just on the children. From 1965 until the late 1990s, all LEGO diagrams showed mainly children in LEGO images. The only exceptions are DUPLO images with a mother and child in the picture, and LEGO Educational and DACTA images.
74.2 LEGO Advertising geared towards Children.
Here are four 1962 LEGO ad images of the 810 Town Plan Set with Town Plan board. These scenes show a town set that was mainly geared towards children. On the lower right is the main building plan. The other three images show the alternate building plans. This set was sold from 1961-67.
1965 was the last year that LEGO Architectural System sets were produced. The system was not popular among architects nor teenagers who aspired towards architecture. There were many unsold Architectural System sets that sat on toy store shelves for many years throughout continental Europe. With the quick end of an attempt to interest teenagers and adults in LEGO, TLG stopped putting adults onto LEGO ads, artwork and set boxes. And for many decades (with the exception of DUPLO) only children were shown on the box tops and catalogs.
These two scenes are of the 1950s (above) and 1960s (below) Town Plan scene. Above is shown the 1950s Masonite Town Plan board, and below is show the 1960s cardboard Town Plan board. The scene above shows the 3 grandchildren of LEGO founder Ole Kirk Christiansen. These layouts were mainly for children.
The upper image is one of the first LEGO castle images ever seen, dating from the early 1960s. The lower image is a Town scene, and dates to the mid 1960s. Ironically, since most LEGO basic sets contained red and white bricks, as well as red windows/doors, the use of blue and yellow bricks in the early 1960s and white windows/doors, would require quite a few spare parts packs of those parts to build.
These 3 boxes are midsized basic set boxes, and show more Town scenes. The upper image is a 700/3A and the middle image is a 700/4, both midsized LEGO basic sets. The lower image is a small 700/5 basic sets. These are nice idyllic scenes of LEGO playing fun!
This is a nice Town scene, showing the versatility of newly introduced LEGO small plates.
This is a dollhouse scene, but of course there were no LEGO doll figures in the early 1960s. Many of these scenes show small spare parts pack boxes. TLG heavily promoted their large variety of spare parts packs from 1955-72.
This very playful scene shows a boy and a girl on the beach building a LEGO airport. Old time LEGO collector’s today would cringe at the sight of these beautiful (and valuable) LEGO basic set boxes being covered with sand! The biggest mystery in this scene is how they got the 10x20 baseplates to align properly on a sandy beach surface.