The First LEGO Sets

Let's take a trip back in history to the first LEGO sets


What were the first LEGO sets?

Once upon a time, there was no LEGO and the world was a very sad place. Thankfully, back in 1932, when Ole Kirk Christiansen was a nearly bankrupt carpenter, he decided to diversify from carpentry and start making children's toys. He started out producing wooden toys, but in 1949 his toys switched to plastic and the Automatic Binding Bricks were launched. It changed everything - buildable brick toys where the only limit was your imagination.

In 1955, LEGO launched the LEGO System of Play, with 28 sets utilising a then unique concept where pieces from one set could be used to expand and change others. But those brick moulds were flawed and the bricks would easily come apart. The design of the LEGO brick evolved over time, and on January 28, 1958, the LEGO brick we know and love today was born.

Join us as we take a look at some of the LEGO company's firsts.

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The First LEGO Set

  • set: 234
  • pieces: 69
  • minifigures: 0
  • Availability: Retired

Once the LEGO brick had been perfected in 1958, the original LEGO System of Play sets were re-released with the new brick design which makes it difficult to say exactly what the first LEGO set was, especially thanks to the differing production numbers of these re-releases, but a likely candidate is the LEGO System Garage with Automatic Door. As well as the novelty of a buildable toy, this set also adds lots of playability with a base plate that can spring the garage door open and closed. At the time LEGO also sold plastic toy cars, so the garage was the perfect place to store them.

Other sets introduced around the same time included a number of small houses with flat roofs (as sloped pieces were yet to exist), an ESSO fuel station and the only religious building LEGO has ever released - a simple church.

The First LEGO Wheel

  • set: 400
  • pieces: 12
  • minifigures: 0
  • Availability: Retired

1961 saw the introduction of the LEGO Wheel by LEGO's American distributor Samsonite. The wheels were released standalone - it was completely up to your imagination to decide how to use them! In 2021 LEGO is the largest manufacturer of tyres in the world producing 870,000 tyres a day.

The First LEGO Train Set

  • set: 80
  • pieces: 718
  • minifigures: 0
  • Availability: Retired

Released in 1967, the first LEGO Train set was surprisingly feature complete for the sets at the time. As well as the LEGO train - consisting of an engine, a truck and a carriage - and a blue railway track, the set also included four different buildings; a brick built police man and two trucks.

1967 also saw the release of the first motorised LEGO toy - another train; as well as an assortment of blue LEGO track packs.

The First LEGO Technic Sets

  • set: 850
  • pieces: 210
  • minifigures: 0
  • Availability: Retired

In 1977 LEGO added a more technical type of build to their product line - LEGO Technic. The first LEGO Technic sets included a fork lift truck, tractor, helicopter, go-kart and mobile crane. These sets had a warning on the box - 'Suggested for builders 9 years and older'.

Although these Technic sets are simple compared to the advanced cranes and cars found in today's Technic range, the same Technic pieces and principles can be seen from the very beginnings.

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The First LEGO Minifigure - The Policeman

  • set: 600
  • pieces: 23
  • minifigures: 1
  • Availability: Retired

In 1975 the precursor to the LEGO minifigure was launched - a figurine with a solid torso without movable arms and heads, and a head without any printed features. Previously, LEGO characters had been brick built so this was a big step forward, but the minifigure as we know as love today with interchangable pieces wasn't far behind.

Launching with the LEGO Police Car in 1978 was the very first LEGO Minifigure - the LEGO Police Man. The smiling police man was the first of hundreds of LEGO Minifigures given a yellow skin colour to avoid racial components. It wasn't until 2003 that minifigures with more natural skin tones were released.

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The First LEGO Theme - Space

  • set: 493
  • pieces: 189
  • minifigures: 4
  • Availability: Retired

In 1978, LEGO launched their first theme - LEGO Space. Several sets were launched to celebrate this new theme - the Mobile Rocket Launcher, Alpha-1 Rocket Base, Space Cruiser and Space Command Center. It was the first of many themes throughout the years. LEGO has sent our imaginations to worlds filled with pirates, princesses, kingdoms and numerous others over the years.

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The First LEGO Star Wars Set

  • set: 7140
  • pieces: 266
  • minifigures: 4
  • Availability: Retired

In 1999, LEGO announced it's first partnership which allowed it to create sets based on the Star Wars franchise. The first set announced was the LEGO System Star Wars X-Wing Fighter, which was quickly followed by the TIE Fighter vs Y-Wing, B-Wing, Landspeeder, Snowspeeder and Speeder Bikes before the launch of sets for The Phantom Menace shortly afterward.

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The First 10000+ Piece LEGO Set

  • set: 31203
  • pieces: 11,695
  • minifigures: 0
  • Availability: Out now

The new LEGO Art World Map is the largest individual LEGO set ever made, and the first to hit over 10,000 pieces.

Measuring at over 25.5 in. (65 cm) high and 40.5 in. (104 cm) wide, the world map can be wall mounted or displayed on a shelf.

It costs $249.99 / £229.99 / 249.99€, which means the price per part is around 2 cents/per brick making it one of the best value sets around.

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