Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi folks,

when I was around 10 or so (i.e. around 1990), our father brought home a construction set other than Lego (we also had some Lego already). But for the life of me I cannot remember what it was.

I do not have any picture unfortunately, but here are the facts I remember:

1. I think we had two boxes, both of them were some kind of robots transforming to a space ship or a car or something, on hinges. They were not big though, perhaps upwards to 10-15 cm.

2. The blocks were slightly different than Legos. If I remember correctly they had a hole in each pip and the diameter of the hole was small compared to the pips (i.e. not the ratio that Duplo has for instance, with big holes in their pips). Also, the "roof tiles" had a sharper slope on them than Legos.

3. One set was blue and the other red. Not sure if 100% of the blocks were, but I think most of them were single color.

That's it. Not sure if this is enough, especially without the picture... But perhaps someone can identify this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Oliver
United States
Argyle
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Not sure if you had Kre-o or Mega Blocks, but, both are similar to Lego bricks, and have been around for a while.

Mega Blocks are their own product, similar to Lego being its own company.

Kre-o are a Hasbro toy.

Also, as a kid, about a decade earlier, I had Loc Blocs:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loc_Blocs
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TonyKR
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
We only ever had real Lego, so I'm not sure about the details of the other types. But I do remember Mega Bloks and Tyco Super Blocks as being two of the bigger ones. There's a little more info here, and it looks like a few similar questions have been asked in the Lego subreddit.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Real lego is the real deal. As kids, we would always be upset and annoyed when we bought yardsale lego and found Mega Blocs and Tyco inside. Tyco was the worst, never stuck together. I'm a real LEGO fanboy for sure

(Also, blessings on you for pluralizing 'lego' instead of 'legos' zombie
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
aaj94 wrote:
(Also, blessings on you for pluralizing 'lego' instead of 'legos' zombie

Was not 100% sure so found an explanation

And yes, Lego is the real deal of course. But would very much like to know what these two boxes were... Definitely not Kre-O or Mega Bloks I feel...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Hmm, Wikipedia has a list of several:

Major Lego-compatible brands
BanBao
Best-Lock
Cobi
Kre-O
Mega Bloks
Oxford
Tyco Super Blocks

Following some of these links, a few of them have transformers lines. The closest one I found was Kreo:

Kreo:
Kre-O Transformers is the first line of the Kre-O series. They were first shown at the New York Toy Fair 2011.[5] Transformers Kre-O figures include homages to their live action film, Timelines, Transformers: Prime and Beast Hunters sub-lines.

(Cobi and BestLock have merged, MegaBloks is now Mattel, and Oxford makes bricks for Kre-O, so even the clones are all overlapping and confusing)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Oliver
United States
Argyle
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Joeyeti wrote:
aaj94 wrote:
(Also, blessings on you for pluralizing 'lego' instead of 'legos' zombie

Was not 100% sure so found an explanation

And yes, Lego is the real deal of course. But would very much like to know what these two boxes were... Definitely not Kre-O or Mega Bloks I feel...


Yes, technically Lego is an adjective.

The company is Lego Group.
The individual building pieces are Lego Bricks.
The boxes you buy are Lego Sets.

So, fans, particularly AFOLs (Adult Fans of Lego) tend to not like the use of "legos" in sentences.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
It's become 'correct' to use the word as a collective noun, as in 'look at all this lego lying on the ground.' Even though it would technically be correct to say 'look at all these lego bricks lying on the ground,' no one actually talks that way. And 'look at all these legos lying on the ground' is wrong and a crime against humanity devil

Why yes, I am an adult fan of lego...how could you tell? blush
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew T
msg tools
mbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
aaj94 wrote:
It's become 'correct' to use the word as a collective noun, as in 'look at all this lego lying on the ground.' Even though it would technically be correct to say 'look at all these lego bricks lying on the ground,' no one actually talks that way. And 'look at all these legos lying on the ground' is wrong and a crime against humanity devil


As you said, languages evolve and 'Lego Bricks' have evolved into 'Lego' "correct" or not. So why can't the language continue to evolve to allow for the term 'Legos'? You already concede that your accepted 'Lego' term is incorrect however you justify it by saying that society has accepted a shortened version.

There are plenty of other examples of brand names becoming common vernacular and allowing for the masses to tack on pluralization without anyone getting in a panic, so why do Lego enthusiasts get all bent out of shape if they themselves are in the wrong?

Just asking for a friend...

I sure hope you don't pronounce GIF with a J sound
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
aaj94 wrote:

Kreo:
Kre-O Transformers is the first line of the Kre-O series. They were first shown at the New York Toy Fair 2011.[5] Transformers Kre-O figures include homages to their live action film, Timelines, Transformers: Prime and Beast Hunters sub-lines.

(Cobi and BestLock have merged, MegaBloks is now Mattel, and Oxford makes bricks for Kre-O, so even the clones are all overlapping and confusing)

The issue is these two boxes were bought back in 1990 whistle

Also I do not think they were "Transformers" (certainly nothing licensed), but rather "transforming robots"...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
United States
Kansas City
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
titanticore wrote:
aaj94 wrote:
It's become 'correct' to use the word as a collective noun, as in 'look at all this lego lying on the ground.' Even though it would technically be correct to say 'look at all these lego bricks lying on the ground,' no one actually talks that way. And 'look at all these legos lying on the ground' is wrong and a crime against humanity devil


As you said, languages evolve and 'Lego Bricks' have evolved into 'Lego' "correct" or not. So why can't the language continue to evolve to allow for the term 'Legos'? You already concede that your accepted 'Lego' term is incorrect however you justify it by saying that society has accepted a shortened version.

There are plenty of other examples of brand names becoming common vernacular and allowing for the masses to tack on pluralization without anyone getting in a panic, so why do Lego enthusiasts get all bent out of shape if they themselves are in the wrong?

Just asking for a friend...

I sure hope you don't pronounce GIF with a J sound


No, I'm a hard G Gifer.

The reason I'll argue the LEGO point (though I agree about language evolving) is because there's already a serviceable noun for LEGO: bricks. We don't need to say legos because when you're talking about them individually they're all bricks anyways.

What there isn't an official version of is a collective noun -- so one was created. Just as the collective of fish is still fish, the collective of lego is still lego. This makes sense in the English language, and it's what everyone uses.

Then, people came up with LEGOs, which makes no sense as a collective noun. It would be like saying "the fishes of the sea." Specifically as a collective noun, it's rubbish.

Sorry, can be opinionated about these things. At the root, if you're a fan of LEGO, I'm ok with you
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew T
msg tools
mbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
http://www.marshmallowsupernova.com/2015/07/tente-roblock.ht...

Tente??


"Tente was a Spanish company that produced Lego-like building blocks during the 70s and 80s. Whilst their blocks were similar in size to Lego, they weren't compatible as they featured thicker studs with holes in the centre to allow things like spires and the feet of mini-figures to plug in. They concentrated on making military vehicles and space-themed sets. Tente was also big on hinges - very big on hinges, in fact. This led to a fantastic line in the mid to late eighties of actual transforming robot sets: Roblock."
4 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TonyKR
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
titanticore wrote:
http://www.marshmallowsupernova.com/2015/07/tente-roblock.ht...

Tente??


"Tente was a Spanish company that produced Lego-like building blocks during the 70s and 80s. Whilst their blocks were similar in size to Lego, they weren't compatible as they featured thicker studs with holes in the centre to allow things like spires and the feet of mini-figures to plug in. They concentrated on making military vehicles and space-themed sets. Tente was also big on hinges - very big on hinges, in fact. This led to a fantastic line in the mid to late eighties of actual transforming robot sets: Roblock."

I think you might be on to something here. Those do seem to fit the OP's description pretty well. Timeframe and everything.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Yeackle
United States
San Luis Obispo
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Tente was the first thing I thought of. Most of my sets (still have them somewhere) were from the naval and space series.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tente_(toy)

Thinner plastic and sharper corners compared to LEGO, so they win the caltrops award especially with the plates, as their reverse side was a mini bed of nails.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew T
msg tools
mbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
aaj94 wrote:
What there isn't an official version of is a collective noun -- so one was created. Just as the collective of fish is still fish, the collective of lego is still lego. This makes sense in the English language, and it's what everyone uses.

Then, people came up with LEGOs, which makes no sense as a collective noun. It would be like saying "the fishes of the sea." Specifically as a collective noun, it's rubbish.

Sorry, can be opinionated about these things. At the root, if you're a fan of LEGO, I'm ok with you


Fish is a noun. Lego is an adjective (by previous accusations).

Adjectives do not have plural forms.

There are acceptable usages of "fishes" in the English language for different reasons. Actually "the fishes of the sea" is very acceptable as it denotes different species of fish.

Now, I haven't made a case for Legos in this comment, but it certainly isn't as grating to say "Legos" as it is to say common words like "Dirts", "Dusts", "Mails"...

I'm shocked you're spelling LEGO with lowercase letters
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TonyKR
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Don't forget "dices."

This discussion of the usage of Lego/Legos (screw the capitalization) made me realize that while I'll use the singular for discussion, I will also (purely through habit) still refer to it as "playing with Legos." Hmmm, gonna need to work on breaking that habit.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
titanticore wrote:
http://www.marshmallowsupernova.com/2015/07/tente-roblock.ht...

Tente??


"Tente was a Spanish company that produced Lego-like building blocks during the 70s and 80s. Whilst their blocks were similar in size to Lego, they weren't compatible as they featured thicker studs with holes in the centre to allow things like spires and the feet of mini-figures to plug in. They concentrated on making military vehicles and space-themed sets. Tente was also big on hinges - very big on hinges, in fact. This led to a fantastic line in the mid to late eighties of actual transforming robot sets: Roblock."

This looks exactly like it!!!
I will search furiously
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
Voila! Andrew hit the nail on the head!!!

Found what I was searching for and it brings memories Especially memories of admiring the other sets on the back of the box.

Here's what I had:

Tente Roblock 0765 Red Panther






What my younger brother had:

Tente Roblock 0766 Vulcan







Here a Tente catalog page from somewhere and bricks for reference...


2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
TonyKR
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
Avatar
Re: Seeking to identify the Lego alternative form my youth (90s)
jyeackle wrote:
Thinner plastic and sharper corners compared to LEGO, so they win the caltrops award especially with the plates, as their reverse side was a mini bed of nails.

You weren't kidding about the caltrops thing. And a full sheet of those?!? surprisecrysurprise



2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.