Formendacil wrote:If memory serves, the cypress tree mould was one of those, like the original pitchfork mould, that LEGO lost or wore out (or both) a long time ago.
Pretty much-- LEGO stopped making these after a while for reasons unknown-- possibly because they were too expensive, or they were unhappy with their durability. But they remained coveted by fans. Then, in 2001, mostly as a favor to the hobbyist community, LEGO re-released them in an accessory pack of 5 trees, and there was much rejoicing.
The only problem was that there wasn't much life left in the mold-- so after making the initial production run, the mold ran out and they stopped making them. Unfortunately, the production run sold out pretty quickly (about 8 months after release), and fans were quite disappointed to see that it was sold out. They quickly asked what the problem was, and were told more of the story. Many AFOLs were upset, because they didn't act quickly enough, and didn't buy them via S@H when they had the chance.
LEGO made a "mental note" at that point to try and let fans know if something were going to be a limited release in the future. However, that ended up getting them in trouble again (for the OPPOSITE reason) when they told fans that the Maersk Sealand was going to be a limited set, and ended up getting budgeted for a second (and now a third!) production run.
Athos wrote:I've found they bend easily. Of the two I have, one has a very unsightly curve in it.
I think LEGO changed the plastic used for trees somewhere along the line. The "large" pine trees that I have from the 1970's are a much harder plastic than the ones I received later on, and I would guess that the cypress trees are the same. I'm not sure when this change was made, though-- presumably in the late 70's or maybe 1980's?
Anyway, the hard plastic trees maintain their shape VERY well, whereas the softer plastic trees seem to warp a bit more. Many of my cypress trees have a slight bend somewhere in the trunk.