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Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

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Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:06 am

I finally made an username here after lurking for sometime. Last summer, I got my old Legos out and rebuilt my sets I got in 1988 and 1989 along with my Black Sea's Barracuda and Forbidden Island. I began to strongly desire to finish my Castle Collection. I remember Battering Ram being the elusive set I could never get because they disconnected it so I got it for my Birthday on ebay. Later on, I got King's Castle for Christmas because I was tired of the Lion Knights never having a castle. After that, they became the most powerful faction in my collection after Black Monarch's reigned supreme for 20+ years so I bought Knight's Stronghold to give the Black Falcon's a catapult and buffer up the Black Knights a bit more to balance things out. After getting a second job and getting tax returns, I've become a lego maniac and have began to collect all the original sets. I have all the connectivity relevant sets now (Guarded Inn is in transit and King's Mountain Fortress doesn't count since it doesn't really connect well). I recently got Knight's Castle, the Catapult, Siege Tower, the Armor Shop, and the Blacksmith. And out of scrap pieces in my collection I produced the Lion Knight wagon from 1984.

So, we get to what I wanted to talk about. I am very impressed with the work that went into the original set up of the theme in 1984 and the years that followed. There was a grand plan and it took about until 1990 to lose steam (and 1992 is the year I consider the last true year of classic lego, though the ultimate end wasn't until the Fright Knights). Let's look at what 1984 started with. We have two factions and there really wasn't any clear good guys or bad guys. The theme included castles, connectivity, wagons, and siege.

First, there was King's Castle. An awesome castle set that set the standard for castles to come. It would be the focal point of the theme. It had 4 horse men, 2 spearmen, 2 axemen, and 4 archers. It had the gate, the drawbridge, the towers, the dungeon and could open up. The only draw back is that just the castle alone had limited playability. You needed the other parts to have it reach it's full potential.

Then we had Knight's Castle, which was basically a smaller version of King's Castle without the gate house. I always thought that set was kinda lame but now that I own it, I really like it. It actually came with many falcon shields. I also love the fact it had green and white flags. The Lion Knights had red and yellow and in the very beginning there was vision to give the falcons their own color theme too that was quickly lost in the years to come. Knight's castle had 2 horsemen, 2 spearmen, and 2 archers and also had a dungeon and two towers and a drawbridge. As a closed castle, Knight's Castle is kinda lame but when combined with other sets I will mention later, it's a great set.

Then we had Siege Tower. It's clear that the best siege weapons came from 1984. The siege tower made a realistic castle invasion possible with both the tower and the ladder. It also came with a wall that was hinged which would serve a highly critical role in connectivity. On the inside there is a strange black object that appears to be what you tied that black horse from the Blacksmith to. The set came with only one faction. Granted, they mostly have the cross axes on their shirts and the ones in the tower might be seen as neutral with the round shield and such. Notice how the lion crest only appears on guys in King's Castle, suggesting that the cross axe guys might have originally been intended to be more neutral. I simply removed the two cross axe guys from the siege tower and stuck them in King's Castle and put the two falcons from the Sea Serpent set on their instead.

Then we have the Blacksmith. This set of course is something every medieval setting needs. The Blacksmith fits within either of the aforementioned castle's if the siege tower wall is also there to close the gap. I gave the rake to my peasant from castle mini figures 1988 that lost his original rake about 23 years ago.

Next is the Catapult. This set bolsters the Black Falcons with two men with shields and a catapult, which is highly critical in castle siege, since it allows you to kill off all the archer towers so you can later approach the tower with a much lesser threat of arrows. I think it came from technic wheels for the sake of alternate builts. But this catapult is the best lego catapult I have seen yet.

As for the rest, there is the Horse Cart with two cross axe men on it. This to me appears it could be used like a chariot with an archer on the back while the guy steering the horses can stick a sword or polearm to the side and do some damage. I don't have the supply wagon yet but it appears it's a just a peasant to round out your kingdom. And the jousting knights add more horsemen and round shields to your collection.

I don't have any of the 85 sets but those are mostly just wagons and units.

1986 is more or less phase 2. Three more sets are added to connectivity. The armor shop replaced the Blacksmith and served a similar role. But it did come with two interesting pieces in the form of the Lion flag and the black sword (which so far, for me, just sits on the hook in the back). I put the falcon shield to use.

I don't have siege cart but I assume it's supposed to be like a ballista? Maiden cart I don't have either but it appears it adds some royalty to the castle theme.

Black Falcon's Fortress was my first set in 1988 and is awesome. But it's full potential wasn't unlocked until now. I figured out that the combined units of both it and Knight's Castle basically equals King's Castle, giving us 4 archers, 4 horsemen, and 4 pikemen. The castles can combine and one more key set that comes up the following year leaves us with a nice Falcon Castle I might link a picture of later. Essentially, two small Castles equal King's Castle while King's castle gets a bunch of smaller add ons to match the size of the large Black Falcon Castle.

Guarded Inn is in the mail at present but it gives us another Falcon horseman and will make King's Castle bigger when I add it on. It's a very nice looking semi civilian set though that I had to wheel and deal on ebay to get it! I might edit more info later after I get it within a week.

Then in 1987, Lego rounded stuff out. Battering Ram added in another siege weapon and an important wall to complete the Black Falcon's Castle. They gave the lions two boats (I have the blue one). I also have Castle Guard coming in the mail too, but that set seems to serve as an armor bolster to me and it has that nice tent. Knight's Arsenal is another wagon set I think replaces Horse Cart.

Then the forestmen are introduced and while I don't use them much anymore (due to having all this other nice stuff now), they have a lot of playability and can rob any castle set (which is why we continued to see forestmen in the years to come).

1988 and 1989 comes (this is the year I was introduced) and it was a good year and is where lego has already got their original vision complete so they start trying new things. We get our replacement for King's Castle in the form of Black Monarch's Castle. I always thought this was a well designed Castle. It has the same unit set up as King's Castle but it has that black color. I think they did this because they wanted to do something different and new. Also, I am sure there was a demand for a dragon themed faction every since the inception of lego castle. This is where they began to drop the ball on connectivity with the walls not lining up properly. Now that I have a much larger collection, Black Monarch's often sits on the dresser while the Black Falcons and Lion Knights play.

More forestmen sets are added in these years and we also got Knight's Challenge, a good jousting set that easily fits into whatever else you have going on. The castle mini figs had two falcons to make up for the lack of new Falcon's otherwise in that time frame. Then the catapult was replaced by twin arm launcher and the Lions now finally have a catapult.

1990 is where Black Monarch's gets it's add ons (that do not line up or match well at all). We also get King's Mountain Fortress which I do not have but I have kinda built with the pieces I have and I thought the set was fairly lame. I may eventually get it and it'll serve more as a keep inside the walls of other castles. In the end, the Black Knights have the smallest castle in terms of connectivity and they have no siege, making them very underpowered. But as I said earlier, lego did it's original vision in the beginning and started trying new things later on.

But, I am impressed with what classic castle was. The original years produced a lot of good stuff that all collectively worked well together if you had them all. I think lego castle suffered from being reinvented over and over as the years went on. If Lego didn't discontinue sets and kept the original 1984-1989 sets around, it might stagnate, but they'd be armed with the best sets they ever made. These are some of the best toys ever designed!
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Medieval Guy » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:13 pm

Wow, that's a very in-depth analysis! I would love to see a picture of all this stuff connected. I really wish that Lego still made their sets compatible like that.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:05 am

Well, let's get some pictures up then! The first two are what I will dub "Black Falcon's Castle":
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/429601_592010664754_103301863_31701815_733341962_n.jpg
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/s720x720/419850_592010569944_103301863_31701809_1782013005_n.jpg

Before I got Knight's Castle, I was more focused on a singular large castle idea:
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/424255_589732570074_103301863_31691569_288791297_n.jpg
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/399860_589732560094_103301863_31691568_1919261348_n.jpg

Knight's castle only opens so far though so it's hard to include in a large set up unless you make some custom things to redirect the direction of the technic pieces.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Medieval Guy » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:43 am

Impressive!
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby mencot » Thu Mar 15, 2012 1:57 pm

Scotts897 wrote:Well, let's get some pictures up then! The first two are what I will dub "Black Falcon's Castle":
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/429601_592010664754_103301863_31701815_733341962_n.jpg
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/s720x720/419850_592010569944_103301863_31701809_1782013005_n.jpg

Before I got Knight's Castle, I was more focused on a singular large castle idea:
http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/s720x720/424255_589732570074_103301863_31691569_288791297_n.jpg
http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/s720x720/399860_589732560094_103301863_31691568_1919261348_n.jpg

Knight's castle only opens so far though so it's hard to include in a large set up unless you make some custom things to redirect the direction of the technic pieces.


Very cool :D and as Medieval guy also stated great analys of the Lego sets from the Golden era :tasty:
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:43 am

So, I have Guarded Inn now and have had it for several days now. It's awesome. When I find my cord to my camera I'll get more pics up. But to connect King's Castle, Guarded Inn, Siege Tower (wall), Blacksmith, and the Armor Shop together in a way that looks nice and is manageable, I connected it in a way where one of the wings on the back of King's Castle is far more elongated than the other. From there I have the armor shop, then I use the siege tower wall to turn it towards the other wing an along the way there, you meet the Blacksmith and Guarded Inn. All the lion sets combined compared to all the falcon sets combined seems to give you a pretty even force. I have both of those combined Castles behind me and the King's Castle set up seems very civilian and the nice Inn was the touch it needed. While the Falcon's Castle looks like a group of warmongers. Then I have Black Monarchs with Knight's Stronghold and Black Monarch's Ghost. It's seriously the Black Sheep of the bunch.

I also got Castle Guard from 1987 to boost my falcon numbers. It seems the 1987 small sets (the two boats, knight's arsenal) were sets that didn't add all that much but made good army builders and what not. All the beginning sets covered everything and as time went on, we left the essentials and started just getting sets to spice things up and after enough years, we were lead to fantasy like the Dragon Masters and whatnot.

I have more pics but I gotta find the cord to my camera, I'll get them up sooner or later.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:17 am

This is my whole lego album if you are interested: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.562161492734.2050493.103301863&type=3

Anyhow, time to share some epic photos I just uploaded:

Ultimately, this made the best Crusader Castle: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/383533_596081841084_103301863_31720852_451977574_n.jpg

The other version I didn't like as much due to how much it crammed many of those sets together: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/532599_596081721324_103301863_31720843_342258763_n.jpg

And here is all the main castle factions together with 3 castles using all the connectivity possible: http://sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/530153_596082789184_103301863_31720855_1743209923_n.jpg

Once again, the Black Knight's don't have much in the way of siege, making them a fairly weak faction as this point in my collection. I had my armies ready to go to war for the main two factions.

Guarded Inn is missing here but otherwise, this is close to the maximum extent of connectivity with a giant lego super castle! (and I had to build some custom parts to make it possible to make Knight' Castle fit well): http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 2281_n.jpg

Alright, I hope you enjoy the pics! Maybe this will get some discussion going.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby smitty9999 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:28 am

I went through your facebook album. I'm thoroughly impressed and extremely jealous.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:47 am

I cannot for the life of me get any discussion going here. I think I am too thorough that I cover everything. Anyhow, I now own all the 1987 sets. Besides Battering Ram and Camouflaged Outpost, the small sets are adding next to nothing but extra units to my set. The boats have very little practical use. The tent to Castle Guard just kinda sits around doing nothing. Knight's Arsenal is no Horse Cart. Horse Cart had an archer in the back and front man could use an axe or sword and chop heads off. While Knight's Arsenal is more of a cargo thing. I might as well stick the farmer from the 1988 castle mini figs on that set and use the knight elsewhere. I do have supply wagon from 1984 coming in the mail soon so we'll see how that does.

Sets I want to get: Jousting Knights. Mostly I get just two more cavalry and two more round shields. Also, I want the 1985 sets. The Black Knight's Treasure gives the Falcon's a wagon while the prisoner convey is just a gigantic wagon that probably has many uses. Still not into siege cart and maiden cart that much though.

So, I can that the 84-86 sets mostly completed the theme. Battering ram from 1987 was important too. Forestmen and Black Knights were added for diversity but they gave the Black Knights no siege. And knowing that lego basically expected us to start our collection with BASIC legos, I wonder if we were supposed to use them to create civilian buildings and possibly furnish our castles?

And to the person above: I used to be jealous of people that owned all these old school legos, but then I turned my jealousy into purchases. After 20 years of wanting many of these sets, I found that you can get them on ebay used.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby AK_Brickster » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:45 pm

I guess I'm left wondering what you'd like to discuss, haha. I think you pretty much have everything covered. Glad to see you have been able to get back into the hobby. Once you've collected all of the classic sets, what are your plans? Are you going to start building your own original creations? (MOCs) or move on to collecting more recent sets? Do you plan to just keep these classic sets assembled and on display, or do your kids play with them?

Welcome to the CC forum, by the way. We're glad to have you.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby krzyzak » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:47 pm

Very impressive collection. Here's a question: which classic set would you recommend? I need something to buff up my collection. Sadly, I don't get too many chances to get classic sets.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:34 pm

I plan to keep mine together for long as I can. I really don't want to mix my childhood pieces with the sets I just bought. My original sets were from when I lived in NYC as a child and I think it's interesting that my Black Monarchs and Black Falcons were once in Manhattan the moving truck may have brought them by the twin tower site. Then later to have those two castles follow me everywhere my family moved too (such as in the redwoods and what not).

Sometimes I think I should start another collection, such as perhaps expanding my lego space or pirate but I'm not completely into that yet.

I don't have kids but I do let me niece play with my sets (under my supervision due to her father breaking many shields and parts back in the day).

Sometimes I want to MOC though.

As for what classic set do I recommend, I would have to say King's Castle and/or Knight's Castle. I got King's Castle for $98 (plus shipping) and Knight's Castle for $67 (plus shipping). This gets your collection rolling. Once you have the big sets, it isn't that hard to add the siege sets and the connectivity sets to your collection. The 1984 sets and the 1986 sets are the best in my opinion and for the most part complete the theme. I know have enough sets to make a fairly balanced war between the Falcons and the Crusaders.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby joee » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:34 pm

Scotts897 wrote:I cannot for the life of me get any discussion going here. I think I am too thorough that I cover everything. Anyhow, I now own all the 1987 sets. Besides Battering Ram and Camouflaged Outpost, the small sets are adding next to nothing but extra units to my set. The boats have very little practical use. The tent to Castle Guard just kinda sits around doing nothing. Knight's Arsenal is no Horse Cart. Horse Cart had an archer in the back and front man could use an axe or sword and chop heads off. While Knight's Arsenal is more of a cargo thing. I might as well stick the farmer from the 1988 castle mini figs on that set and use the knight elsewhere. I do have supply wagon from 1984 coming in the mail soon so we'll see how that does.

Sets I want to get: Jousting Knights. Mostly I get just two more cavalry and two more round shields. Also, I want the 1985 sets. The Black Knight's Treasure gives the Falcon's a wagon while the prisoner convey is just a gigantic wagon that probably has many uses. Still not into siege cart and maiden cart that much though.

So, I can that the 84-86 sets mostly completed the theme. Battering ram from 1987 was important too. Forestmen and Black Knights were added for diversity but they gave the Black Knights no siege. And knowing that lego basically expected us to start our collection with BASIC legos, I wonder if we were supposed to use them to create civilian buildings and possibly furnish our castles?

And to the person above: I used to be jealous of people that owned all these old school legos, but then I turned my jealousy into purchases. After 20 years of wanting many of these sets, I found that you can get them on ebay used.


I'm in the same boat I got into castle lego in 1990 and missed just about all the great 80s sets, and I've been hunting down all the sets I'm missing. I'm still debating on getting the two boats, and would like the carts but I have no space for them all. 6021 is a great set. I took me awhile to get it but I was please with it. I loved the unique knights in the set and they are generally the "champions" of each faction. I have done the same thing keeping my classic bricks apart from the castle sets. If you're interested in making civil sets you should check out peeron for idea book 200 (from 1985) it has some great instructions for another wall set and a bunch of pictures to make a castle town. Idea book 250 is great too. If you need need the camouflaged outpost I have a spare one I picked up in a lot and would sell it to you, just pm me.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby Scotts897 » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:57 am

joee wrote:
I'm in the same boat I got into castle lego in 1990 and missed just about all the great 80s sets, and I've been hunting down all the sets I'm missing. I'm still debating on getting the two boats, and would like the carts but I have no space for them all. 6021 is a great set. I took me awhile to get it but I was please with it. I loved the unique knights in the set and they are generally the "champions" of each faction. I have done the same thing keeping my classic bricks apart from the castle sets. If you're interested in making civil sets you should check out peeron for idea book 200 (from 1985) it has some great instructions for another wall set and a bunch of pictures to make a castle town. Idea book 250 is great too. If you need need the camouflaged outpost I have a spare one I picked up in a lot and would sell it to you, just pm me.


I have camouflaged outpost (along with forestman's hideout) but I only have four forest men left (or I only have 2 hats left for them, I do have a few extra guys that lack them). I just bought the Jousting Knights in the middle of making this post. Two unique colored knights for the factions in question and two round shields. And I just received Supply Wagon today. Not sure what to say about the supply wagon yet, but I might ally him with the Falcons for the sake of balance. Also my brother said that he could just be a trader between the factions.

As for the boats, they don't add much and should probably be a lower priority in a collection. Siege vehicles, castles, wall, shops, wagons, and inns go much further in improving your collection. And I'll have the to check out the 1985 idea book because that's the only one I do not own.
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Re: Trends in Classic Castle from 1984 to 1990

Postby krzyzak » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:19 pm

Man, you better be careful, or you'll be broke soon. How can you get all those sets so fast?! :shock:
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