by João Manuel Mimoso

In 2007, after both my parents had passed away, I emptied their house in Baixa, the old center of Lisbon. In a drawer I found a box and inside it, together with other childhood memories, were all my old LEGO sets, that I had completely forgotten. They were bought in a nearby toy store between 1958 and 1962. In 1962 I entered highschool and I started favouring more "adult" toys to play with. I used the LEGO less and less, and soonit was forgotten. Seemingly my mother thought that I would, some day, like to have it again and instead of offering the sets to charities, as she used to do with my old stuff, she kept them in storage. She never mentioned this to me.

Well, she was right! Once I retrieved the toys, the magic crept out of the small boxes and slowly set in me. In August 2008 I decided to examine the trove more closely. As a careful player, I had kept the bricks in their original boxes and everything was in good condition. There was a large set nr 308 (Fire station) and 24 supplemental boxes. I started examining the bricks and found that I could range those that looked identical in classes because of small differences. Even when there were no major differences, the mold numbers written inside could help date them individually. It dawned on me that the information could be useful to others and so I decided to put it together and make it available. Have fun!

SET # 212 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958/59)
NOTES: mold numbers- plates "4"; 1X8 brick "2"; 1X2 bricks "1", "3", "5", "6" but they may have been mixed with the contents of set 221 or 308; 1X2 round "2" and "3". Note that the "LEGO" lettering on the 1X2 bricks is lengthwise (vs04).
    SET # 214 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)

All windows are of vs05.

NOTES: The smallest (1X1) window is not there. Instead, there is a 1X1 red brick (again there is no mistake- no other of my sets has 1X1 red bricks).

    SET # 215 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958)
    NOTES: the box contained six 2X8 bricksof the second type (manufactured in 1956-57) without bottom tubes. LEGO logo on the studs. Mold numbers: "3", "4", "5", "6", and "8".
    SET # 216 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958/59)

NOTES: the box contained five 2X10 bricks. Mold numbers: "2", "7", and "8".

Box marked "8$50" (8.5 Portuguese escudos - the price of a dinner then).

    SET # 217 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)

NOTE: the box contained five corner bricks. Mold numbers: "2", "4", "5", "7".

    SET # 220 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)

NOTE: the box contains 17 2X2vs05 bricks. Mold numbers: "1" to "27".

SET # 221 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958)

NOTES: "LEGO" logo lenghtwise on the bricks (1X2vs04). Mold nrs: "1" to "16" but it is possible that there was some mixing with Set 308, presumably bought in 1958 or 59.

There were only 22 bricks in the box, but it is possible that some were lost because this box (and only this one) had a ripped top.

    SET # 224 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)

NOTE: the box contained 20 macaroni bricks. Mold numbers: "1", "2", "3".

    SET # 226 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958)


NOTES: 1X8 bricks have only two reinforcement bars inside (oldest type). Bricks have "LEGO" printed inside, in the middle section, and nowhere else. mold numbers (see figure above of a brick molded in number "7") are capital for a fine dating of the bricks and in this case are as follows:

-1X8- "5", "10" and "11"

-1X6- "3", "6", "7" and "8"

SET # 227 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958)

NOTES: Notice that each set of two round plates has aged to a different colour, meaning the material was not the same. They are of the very first type (compare the "waffle" bottom with that of the plates in set nr 212).

The plates have "LEGO" written underneath and show no warping whatsoever. The molds are not numbered but they were not unique, as shown by a comparative survey of the plates.

    SET # 230 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)

NOTES: There's no mistake because I didn't have any other set with trees - there were five trees and one bush in this set, with two repetitions.

The trees have no mold numbers. There are three shades of green used.

SET # 231 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)
    NOTE: The Esso plate must have once been white with a medium blue oval. But the yellowing of the decal turned the blue into a dark blue-green (but it is not black, as it seems to be in the image!).
    SET # 234 (bought in Lisbon circa 1958/59)
    NOTES: Marked "10$00" (ten Portuguese escudos) but the lid may not correspond to the box.
SET # 242B (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)
SET nr 308 (bought in Lisbon circa 1959)

Brick types & mold numbers:

1X1- all vs02

1X2- (all vs04) white, red, transparent - mold numbers "1" to "27";

1X6- (all vs02) white, red - mold numbers "6" to "12";

1X8- (all vs02) white and red- mold # "3" to "11" (including BRANDWEER)

2X3- (all vs04) red, both "15";

2X4- (all vs05) white, red - mold numbers "8" to "20";

All plates vs03 - mold numbers 4X8: "1", "2"; 6X8: "3".

All windows vs05

João Manuel Mimoso, 27 de Outubro de 2008
Index of pages on the early LEGO®