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Fredskywalker

when did Lego changed it's molds

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Hello all, this might be a tough one. As I'm trying to sort all my old bricks and figuring out which sets they are from I noticed a big difference in the bricks. The "vintage" ones are perfectly flat inside and the inside studs are not attached to the face (red brick). Some have holes inside the studs (yellow brick). When was this change occurred? Is there any way to differentiate the plates? The history of Lego doesn't tell you this lol. Thanks.

Lego1.jpg

Lego2.jpg

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I don't think there is a definite answer to this question. The reason being that LEGO generally use a mould until it wears out and even then they have leftover stock so some colours/sets change before others. For that reason two different moulds can appear at the same time and overlap by a number of years.

If you take a look at the part page: https://rebrickable.com/parts/3001/brick-2-x-4/ you will see that there have been many variations of the 2 x 4 brick.

Similarly https://rebrickable.com/parts/3010/brick-1-x-4/ details some, although not as many variations. The yellow brick on the right is the a variation: https://rebrickable.com/parts/3010a/brick-1-x-4-with-bottom-tubes-with-1-lowered-cross-support/ this was used into the late 1990's and possible even beyond 2000 although I'm not certain about that.

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for 3001 ca 1986 to today, when it comes to difference between 3001 and 3001a

 for 3010a , early to mid 1970'sh to about 1994 

but you should know that 3010a wasn't the first mold they had low support before with and without side support, like those you marked on the 3001(b)

I have found that looking at the printed part is a good way of knowing what was used while some set was produced 

it's easier to track down which set it comes from and which year it was released.

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That is good information, thanks. There is 2 things going on with my question. First I am trying to rebuilt my long forgotten sets. After 20-30+ years many pieces are lost or brutally damaged. I want to replace them with as close to original as possible. If I wanted modern new parts I would buy from Lego directly right. And as a collector point of view if I ever want to sell them I want to sell the right stuff. I'm curious to know if others feel the same and if sellers are mindful of that.

Also I have friends letting me have a look at their inventory to replace parts but it's all mixed up in bins. If I want to make a good offer I need to know where the parts are coming from. To me a vintage piece is 1975-1985 (the era I'm looking for). So I think it's safe to say that most changes occurred after that.

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I'm a bit like that though I normally don't go to that level of accuracy. I'm a classic space collector so I'm very touchy about 1x1 plates with clips or cliplights. There are 2 versions of the later and 4 of the former and I want the right ones especially for the set I used to have as a kid. For those I never had back then, it's kind of a guess based on the other sets from the same time. Anyway, as was mentioned, around the time of a mold switch, sets were often produced with both versions, sometimes both versions in the same box.

For the underside of bricks and plates, I usually only care if it shows on the finished model. For instance, the sail supports on the original pirate ships were built upside down so you would clearly see if there were holes in the rods. I would want these to be uniform.

I also care about parts that were made with either full or open studs, most notable the 1x2 plate/hinges and the mailboxes. But once again, only if it shows in the finished model.

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Here's a few links that might be useful (multi language -smile-)

http://www.leggodt.nl/items/lego/parts.php?language=en&group=4
http://brickfetish.com/index.html
http://www.vogt-com.de/steine-d.htm
http://jc-tchang.philohome.com/histoire/abb.htm#p1958

(last link, at the bottom, there's a few more links to sites that might be of interest)

 

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