I was browsing through Flickr and found this very interesting set of pictures posted by Ryolf Per aka perryolf. They are slides that his father-in-law took of LEGOLAND Billund when it opened in 1968.
I had seen a few images before, but these so clearly show what some of the models looked like. In his set of photos you see ostriches, zebras, giraffes, polar bears and penguins along with a few images of Miniland as it once was.
In comparison to today’s models they are primitive, when you think of the complex and well sculpted animals and buildings that are now being made. They are blocky and simple in design with very little in the way of the sculpted curves and variations in color that are seen today.
They do however evoke the same childlike innocence and wonder of contemporary models. Before the park was built in Billund, there was no such thing as a Master Model Builder. Heck, even the LEGO brick was still a fairly new concept back then.
To think that in the 41 years since that first park has opened how much has been achieved with just “simple” plastic bricks it astounds me to think of its rise from humble origins to now being much more than just a child’s toy.