Menu

23 December 2019

Fabuland Lives On: Exquisite but Exclusive

Welcome to the fourth article in our Fabuland Lives On series, celebrating the 40th anniversary of this unique LEGO® theme from yesteryear.  So far we have looked at Fabuland's introduction of new colours, Fabuland elements that continue to this day and Fabuland's 'hidden side' when elements popped up into other themes. Now, this article focusses on some of the Fabuland elements that were exclusive to, and retired with, this much-loved theme.


For those Fabuland experts out there, I will say that this is not a list of ALL the elements that were exclusive to Fabuland. I picked a selection that I felt were a little special in terms of their attractive or detailed appearance but there are plenty more if you care to look.

Carpet beater

The Carpet Beater (BrickLink ID Fabei7) is a beautiful element that was only in two Fabuland sets released in 1982.  3704 Marjorie Mouse consisted of the busy little rodent housewife, along with her vacuum cleaner and carpet beater accessories!


It was only ever released in Light Orange Brown/ Earth Orange. The handle is 3.18mm along its entire length with the beater portion about 2 studs by 3 1/2 studs in size.

Vacuum Cleaner

The Vacuum Cleaner in Bright Red (Fabei6) was another wonderfully detailed element.  It only ever came in Bright Red/ Red and appeared in three sets, as an accessory for Bonnie Bunny, Majorie Mouse and Paulette Poodle. Those Fabuland ladies were a house-proud lot!


By the way, I used this element (and the base of the Fabuland Telephone in Bright Red) in a build quite a few years back. I created a greebled Union Jack as a gift from my LUG to the AFOL Engagement Team at LEGO. 


There were lots of nods to the UK's heritage and culture in the build, plus a bit of mapping to highlight certain parts of the UK. The central umbrella represented our dodgy weather and those Fabuland elements represented British inventions. If you are interested there's many more to find, and I summarised the build on Flickr

Paint Brush

The Fabuland Paint Brush (Fabek4) appeared in both White and Light Orange Brown. One of each colour was in 3637 Gertrude Goat's Painter's Truck from 1982, and the Light Orange Brown version appeared on its own in 3678 The Fabuland House in 1983.


The handle is a 3.18mm bar and the paint brush has an anti-stud on the end making this a great element to integrate into any System build.  It could be an nice architectural feature perhaps?

Camera and Tuba

You will have to forgive me but both of the next two elements actually also came in the Mickey Mouse theme (a.k.a. 'the Fabuland Revival'!) in 2000.  I should really have included them in my previous article Fabuland: the hidden side which discussed Fabuland elements that popped up in other themes, but I would be sad not to include them at all, so please indulge me...



The Fabuland Camera (4334) was a beautifully detailed (well, on the front at least) element and also rather comedic in size, with two handles for the Fabuland figures to hold.  It had a fun paparazzi-style flash, a little winder, button and nice lens shaping, plus the viewer was an actual hole. It appeared in two Fabuland sets in 1982 and then popped up in 4167 Mickey's Mansion in 2000.


The odd thing about the camera was its appearance from the rear - it was more like a movie prop with a hollow back.



Similarly, the Fabuland Tuba (4434) also appeared in two Fabuland sets in the early 1980s before appearing in a 2000 Mickey Mouse set; 4165 Minnie's Birthday Party. The rather grandly named 3631 Orchestra showcased the music of Pierre Pig on the tuba accompanied by Gabriel Monkey on the drums. In fact the tuba was played by Pierre Pig in both Fabuland sets.



Much like the camera, the tuba is hollowed-out with the details only on one side, making this another facade-like element. The 'orchestra' must be miming as there is no way Pierre Pig is getting notes out of this tuba.

Lawnmower


The Fabuland Lawnmower (Fabad2) was exclusive to one set released in 1983.  3787 Hannah Hippopotamus contained the lawnmower to allow Fabuland's head gardener to keep all that grass tidy. I have used Clara Cow instead in the photo above and added a few modern leaves to keep her busy.



The lawnmower is actually made up of three individual elements although it was supplied pre-assembled within the original packaging

The Bright Yellow/ Yellow handle is 3.18mm throughout (other than the flat crossbar of course) which would make it a potentially useful element for MOCs. There is also the Grey/ Light Gray wheel element with a 3.18mm bar between each wheel, blades in the central area and the Bright Red  lawnmower casing which has corresponding clips to hold the wheels and the handle, a bar across the back and two studs on the top.  I have never seen these elements separated and used individually within a MOC but please let me know if you have!

Fabuland Tree

Yes it is a large Fabuland Tree in Dark Green/ Green (fabea1), an element that is almost 2D in its design but is very much a symbol of Fabuland, in my mind at least. Those circular holes are an odd size - the closest item I can find to fit is the top of the bucket (95343) element.


The original Fabuland Tree was in ten sets, all released in the first year of the theme, 1979.  The Fabuland Tree then ceased to exist in sets until the variant Fabuland Tree with printed Red Apples (fabea2) appeared in four sets in 1987 and 1988.

Swing


There is something endearing about this Fabuland swing consisting of Fabuland Swing Base in Bright Yellow (2044) and Fabuland Swing Seat in Bright Red (2045). It came in two sets, 3659 Play Ground and 3676 Catherine Cat's Fun Park released in 1987 and 1989 respectively.


Lionel Lion shows that the Fabuland figures were actually a rather tight fit and it took a bit of care to get them into the swing. Also their oversized heads did not fit between the swing seat bars.

Rounded Fence


The Rounded Fabuland Fence (2040) is an attractive element that is two studs high and six studs long.  It came in White, Bright Red, Bright Yellow and Brick Red/ Fabuland Brown within seven sets between 1987 and 1989.  Interestingly there is also a Light Orange Brown/ Fabuland Orange version on BrickLink (not shown in the image) but, as far as I can tell, these were never released in any Fabuland set.

Fabuland Hammer

The Fabuland Hammer (Fabed4) only ever came in Grey and appeared in three sets in 1983 and 1984.  3709 Henry Horse, the carpenter, used both the Fabuland Hammer and Fabuland Saw while Peter Panda's maintenance vehicle had one in 3670 Service Station.


The end of the handle is a 3.18mm bar and the hammer head has an anti-stud at the flat end.

Fabuland Bench

The Fabuland Bench (2041) came in both White and Bright Red versions and appeared in 10 different Fabuland sets between 1987 and 1989. 




 The bench was one complete element and could comfortably fit a pair of Fabuland figures next to each other. It is interesting that the legs do not connect via studs but rather the gap between studs.  This thinner base and type of connection did make the element prone to stress marks and eventual breakage.

READ MORE: Our other articles celebrating the 40th anniversary of this beloved theme:
  1. Fabuland Lives On - the colours 
  2. Fabuland Lives On - the elements (that are still present in sets today)
  3. Fabuland Lives On - the hidden side (favourite elements that popped up in later themes over the years but sadly are no longer in production)

Help New Elementary keep publishing articles like this. Become a Patron!

Thanks to our 'Vibrant Coral' patrons: Iain Adams, Ryan Welles, Chris Cook, London AFOLs, Gerald Lasser, Big B Bricks, Dave Schefcik, David and Breda Fennell, Huw Millington, Neil Crosby, Antonio Serra, Beyond the Brick, Sue Ann Barber & Trevor Clark, and Kevin Gascoigne. You're all awesome!

You can also help us by doing what you perhaps do already - buying from Amazon. Amazon USA: Amazon.com Canada: Amazon.ca UK: Amazon.co.uk Deutschland: Amazon.de

Search New Elementary


Products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group. All text and images are © New Elementary unless otherwise attributed.

6 comments:

  1. Excellent article. I enjoy reading these. Thanks for the info!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know it's just my imagination, but something in the back of my mind makes me think there absolutely should be a way to attach apples to the holes in that tree. The general look of it reminds me so much of a tree, possibly from a game, that I once ran across in a bin of toys in early elementary school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. I think the game you're thinking of might be Hi Ho! Cherry-O. It reminded me a bit of that, too.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was thinking it would be something that has trees that stand upright like this, but after looking through some images I think I even found the variant I encountered. It has a yellow playing surface with holes in it where the four bushels are nestled. The cherries have long, thin stems with a pronounced hook at the end. I still can't recall where I ran across it. I'm nearly 100% certain it was not in pre-school, kindergarten, or elementary school. Maybe it was a day-care, or a waiting room somewhere. I don't remember actually playing the game, which makes it even weirder that it's stuck with me all these years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I immediately thought of this as well when I saw the trees again.. those holes seem to be made to hang apples! I (in Belgium) had the game you presumably talk about as a kid, but I can't remember the name or brand unfortunately, and Google is not helping either. There were 4 trees standing up, and a bunch of red apples with hooks on them to hang them in the tree. You won the game when the tree was full, (or empty?)...

      Delete