Updating the classics

In recent years, LEGO set design has been going from strength to strength. However, as far as I am concerned, some of the sets I had as a child are really hard to beat. Build techniques have obviously moved on and new parts have been introduced, but particularly city sets from the late seventies and early eighties were design marvels. They may have been fairly simple and built using primary colours, but they also had lots of character.

We haven’t featured models by Are Heiseldal ([email protected]) very often, but in recent years he has been steadily building his own updated interpretations of some of these classic sets from his (and my) childhood, of which I am going to share a few favourites. LEGO set 675 “Snack bar” was released in 1979.

Snack Bar 1

I never actually owned the oddly-named set 6694 “Car with Camper”, but remember poring over the 1984 catalogue to work out how to build the caravan. Are’s updated version seems to offer somewhat more privacy to the occupants.

Modern 6694 13

Finally, the latest model that he has uploaded is a modern reinterpretation of set 6689 “Post Station”.

Post Office 1

These models may not be spectacular in terms of build techniques, but I love them. There is enough of the original in them to ensure that a single glance is enough to trigger nostalgia. Furthermore, like the originals, if you look closely you’ll see that they are chock full of clever features. If you too get a warm and fuzzy feeling about these, I suggest you check out Are’s flickr album with more of his updated classics.

4 comments on “Updating the classics

  1. [email protected]

    Thanks for the post and the kind words, Ralph. I appreciate it! I don’t think the project is finished quite yet, either – there’s at least a few more I know I’m going to do, and there’s lots of inspiration to find in the old sets. I’ll be bringing them all to BrickWorld Chicago in June, to show them at a US event for the first time :)

  2. Deus

    Not ot be negative or anything, because I like old set as much as the next guy and these remakes are very good MOCs. But I have noticed that people often say something has “character” when they have no objective argument for something to be good. Not that things do not actually have character, but you can basically say it about anything and nobody could say you are wrong. You catch my meaning?

  3. Ralph Post author

    @[email protected]
    You are welcome. They are very nice models and I’m sure the crowds in Chicago will appreciate them. I know the crowds at Steam did!

    @Deus
    I do catch your meaning, but I don’t think I used ‘character’ as an alternative to an ‘objective argument for something to be good’.* The sets were fairly simple, yet they captured people’s imagination, were cute, recognisable and fun and the same applies to Are’s models. I can also think of a fair few MOCs that I’ve seen over the years that were full of clever build techniques, but that left me feeling completely cold. The Enterprise that we blogged a few weeks ago was one of those, IMO. Impressive, perhaps, but no character.

    *assuming there even can be an objective argument for why something is good

  4. Andrew

    To me, “character” encompasses a certain amount of what others might consider imperfection, but in my mind adds rather than detracts from the whole. The “studliness” of Ralph’s own models is a good example of “character” in a world full of hyper-tiled, studless LEGO models built by AFOLs.

Comments are closed.