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Weekly Set Review: Yellow Castle

Discussion of official LEGO Castle Theme sets and products

Weekly Set Review: Yellow Castle

Postby architect » Fri Dec 19, 2003 8:55 pm

Join the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 375/6075 Yellow Castle.

Yellow Castle, first released in Europe in 1978, was the first LEGO castle. The yellow mimics yellow plaster found on some castles. This set includes four teams of knights and soldiers each with their own coat of arms. Six soldiers also guard the castle. A variety of early accessories are included such as sticker shields and armor, light grey weapons, and plumed helmet visors.


The set review is posted early because I will be out of town for the holidays this week.
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Postby Jojo » Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:29 pm

Yes yes yes!

This is LEGO. This is a castle. You build, you play, you build something else. And you get many figures to play with and to chose your hero from. (My favourite is the Maltese Knight.) The castle itself is nice with its four different sized towers, the drawbridge and the window in the rear tower. It's somewhat weird how it opens, though. You get two rows of walls by opening the walls.

The colour is not bad, but it doesn't fit well with subsequent castles, so I guess many people separate their Yellow Castle from their other castle buildings, maybe just using the figs. For me the Yellow Castle stands for its own as the cornerstone of Legoland Castle System rather than being part of the rest of the castleworld. It's the King of every LEGO Castle collection.

Well, I never had one when I was younger. But boy! was I eager for it when I discovered my deep love for LEGO Castle a few years ago! When I finally got my hands on my first (Yellow) Castle it was one of the best days in my entire AFOL-life :-)

One peculiar thing about this set is the presence of two blue 1x1 bricks and two blue 1x2 45° slopes that are not used when building the main model. On some pics of alternative models on the box you can see the blue parts built in:
Those blue pieces really are part of the set, they aren't just parts you had to add from your parts collection.

A second remarkable thing is the blue visor that is shown in some catalogue pics instead of the grey one. I've never seen one of them in real life and I wonder if it ever was released. Most likely it was just a part produced in small quantities for the fotos. I want one of them :-)

The third thing that is noteworthy is the pic in the centerfold of the instruction booklet, respectively in the first edition of the instructions. The pic shows how to open the castle at the hinges. Odd are the dark grey helmets the mounted knights are wearing. Those dark grey (Classic Space) helmets haven't been released as well. Besides this all the stickers seen in this pic are obviously hand-drawn.
Please take a look (sorry for the bad quality):

Fourthly, there have been three slightly different sticker sheets for this set, showing a move from dark shield colours in 1978 to brighter colours in 1982 (from left to right):
In the first edition the shields were of the same soft material as the visors.


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Postby LEGOFREAK » Sat Dec 20, 2003 1:03 am

Jojo wrote:Yes yes yes!

Fourthly, there have been three slightly different sticker sheets for this set, showing a move from dark shield colours in 1978 to brighter colours in 1982 (from left to right):

hm - when the colors switched over was there a huge uproar?

And I totally agree with Jojo - this was THE CASTLE.
This was the one that started my lifelong obsession with castles. The only thing I didnt like was the color (I am not a fan of yellow) but I loved this set in spite of it. The maltese knight was my hero for years until he was stolen :evil: (but I am not bitter - nope, no way, not me)

uh - anyway This castle had it all. It had the ability to fold open, it had accesories, it had a ton of minifigs, and a ton of bricks.

Ah if only this were a legend...

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Postby wlister » Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:24 am

This was also the set that started my obsession, I received this set for Christmas way back when I was 6. I remember waking up to this set built and sitting under my stocking. Great memories... A great set as well. The only brick built castle in the line. Despite its yellow color, it was excellent. The figs and the assorted heraldry really made this an exciting set to own. Sadly, I lost most of my pieces and sold off my two remaining knights during a cash crunch. It is my second favorite set of the entire castle line. The first being 383 Knight's Tournament. I don't miss the old horses, but the old heraldry and the minifgs were my favorite... ah yes if only I had a time machine...

After a long absence, I have returned. I can't wait to start building again.
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Postby adm_matthew » Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:43 am

*gollum voice*

We wants it. My preciious

*/gollum voice*

over 10 years before my time :-\ :(
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Postby Troy T. Moore » Sat Dec 20, 2003 11:34 am

I got this set back when I was 7, after having tubes put through my tympanic membranes (eardrums) as a getting out of the hospital present. For years it remained in its original form. I used to use the men for playing pieces when I played checkers. This would be a fantastic Legend, even in yellow. :D I still build many of my castles with similar turrets on the towers. Probably the best set ever made as far as simple playability goes, no trap doors, falling axes, and no prescripted story line.... Ofcourse, think of the world the kids are growing up in now (still stewing as bit about the rainbow knights :( .)
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Postby rogue27 » Sat Dec 20, 2003 3:52 pm

Ten minifigs, believable coats of arms, well designed castle built from bricks. Yeah, this is good.

However, the brick horses are too blocky, and yellow isn't such a good color for castles. I'd prefer printed shields instead of stickers.

I think it would be great if LEGO would release something similar in grey. That new Leo castle is a complete junk design compared to the yellow Castle. The coats of arms on the rainbow knights look stupid to anybody who has learned about heraldry. One would think that the current designers at LEGO don't even know what a castle actually looks like anymore with their erratic open designs.
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Postby brian » Sat Dec 20, 2003 7:13 pm

This is the holy grail for all lego castle lovers! It is the set that launched a thousand battles and still does in my collection. I look at how far castle lego has come over the years (not all positive) :wink: and I remember seeing this castle for the first time as a kid and running to my mom and saying I WANT THIS FOR CHRISTMAS!!! I still use the old original visors to be the elite guardsmen for my ever expanding castle world. The color was the only thing that I don't like now but I remember thinking it was great back then. So here's to Yellow Castle, the reason we all are on this site and spending our bank accounts on upgrading our realms and kingdoms!! Brian
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Postby Dragon Master » Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:48 am

This castle is great. I love the name, CASTLE. The 10 minifigs are nice. I like how each knight has there own personal squire and they all are working for the "crown" faction. The block horses are "iffy" compared to the One piece ones, and the ones Footsteps made, but I like how they had the built in barding.

That being said I don't think this would make a good legend. If it were relased again there would be several problems. One would be that it would loose all the nostalgia around it. Seeing these mass produced and widly available again would make them "less special" in a sense. And the sticker vs printed on sheilds would be a problem too. Not to mention the "armor" thing or whatever it is the knights wear. It is also a little dissapointing that there were no archers. This is a problem with KK II!!! And if it is a legend, the horses would be a problem. Would lego put the brick horses out again? That would totally screw up everyone's army. Having the once piece and brick horses on the same battle field would be quite silly. If you choose not to buid the brick horses, than you would have many knights sans their mounts. Lastly I dobut TLC would produce the old school visors (Even though they have created numerous pieces that have only appeared in one set *Cough* trool, Tigurah, ewoks, baby dragon, etc *cough*

That being said, this set should never be reproduced. Becuase of certain part problems, and just because this set is "too legendary" to be a legend, if you catch my drift.

But there is a lot TLC can learn from this, their first castle. The castle being buitl without lare premolded pieces is great. Not to mention the flat baseplate. Many castles or houses and other things can be built with these pieces. Take the new LEO castle. How many different things can be built with those pieces/plates. Not many. A similar castle, maybe a grey one would be an ideal. A castle with four walls, a good amount of knights, and maybe a few accessories is what we need.

Why has KKI and KKII drifted so far off the path that began with "CASTLE" *sigh*

I still think that Black Knight's Castle would be a better legend. TLC should re-release every big set from each line. Maybe then it would be a banner year.

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"I have looked for you. Now you have come to me. And I thank you." -Pope John Paul II
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Postby timber_wolf899 » Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:23 am

ok i've seen the troll. not sure i like him

but baby dragon????????????? i wants!

and agreed on the set design. lego needs to go to school on this yellow castle to learn how to design! You know i never was impressed but the more i look at the yellow castle the more i appreciate how truely great it is.
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Postby Sir_Marcellus » Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:52 pm

Well, I wish I had this castle. What more is there to say? It is wonderful, and I think that I'll find the instructions and buiild this one in grey. However, yellow is a realistic color for a few castles: maybe not that realistic, but as close as LEGO could get at the time. Some castles do look yellowish.
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Postby Jedipawn » Tue Dec 30, 2003 8:48 am

WISH I HAD IT, and wish I could find it to buy!!! will pay almost anything.... I just cant find it. I do remember one of my friends having it when I was growing up. I even wanted it then.

Long, long ago. In a galaxy far, far away... THERE WERE CASTLES!!!!!
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Postby Loneranger » Tue Dec 30, 2003 10:44 pm

We all wish we had this set, but to look at it, and wonder (will they bring it back?) maybe, maybe not. I for one never had this set. but there are other castle sets that remind me of when i was a kid (now a Teenager) i must have made over 100 castles with what i had. The joy of playing with my two brothers. I think he tried to make the yellow castle one time. even though i never had this set, just reading what you guys have been saying about how it reminds to of being a kid again. Thank you all. you have reminded me of my past. *Wishs his two brothers still liked Lago*

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Postby architect » Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:07 am

I should comment on this set which I have owned.

I like the shape of the castle with two gates, drawbridge, and towers. The way the castle opens is nice. I also like a castle made of so many bricks and plates. The figures, armor and accessories are great.

I slightly dislike the brick horses and yellow castle color. Overall, this is a great set. I hope that LEGO will make it as a legend in the future.

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Postby Formendacil » Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:37 pm

I'm amazed that this set hasn't been dug up yet...

THE Castle set, in my opinion. LOTS of figs, a bunch of different factions, and a good design. Were LEGO to release this set today (assuming that it had never been done before), it would be almost perfect for release as it is. The only think I would probably change would be the horses, and even those have their charm.

Admittedly, the yellow clashes with the rest of the Castles, but since I would never take this apart, that's not an issue here... Personally, I like the idea of a yellow-stone castle. I wish that TLC would release sets like this again. The yellow gave it a warm, playful quality never quite captured by the more pretentious grey ones.

I WISH I had this...

Parts: 8/10
Playability: 9/10
Figs/Accessories: 9.5/10
Design (then): 10/10
Design (now): 9.5/10
Nostalgia: 8/10

Overall Score: 9/10
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