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The Idea Book 6000 Experience: Completing the Dream

Mar 25, 2014 4:22 pm
by Joe Meno
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Article and Photography by Brian and Sue Ann Carpignano
Additional Photos from Idea Book 6000

The LEGO Idea Book (#6000) depicts the story of two mini-figures, Mary and Bill, as they venture through three major LEGO themes of town, space and castle from the 1980s. My wife and I created and displayed the town scenes at the 2012 Bricks by the Bay show, a LEGO convention in Santa Clara, California. We reconstructed each of the eleven major town scenes from this Idea Book interconnecting them with road baseplates and creating rolling green mountains made out of LEGO bricks in the background. You can read more in our first article, The Idea Book Experience: Building a Childhood Dream in the June 2013 (Issue 24) issue of BrickJournal. In the last scene of our display, Mary and Bill were watching a classic space movie, suggesting that their adventures would continue in outer space. Our building adventure also continued.

In order to complete Mary and Bill’s story, we built four more major scenes from the Idea Book. This included a classic space scene, an alien planet scene, a castle scene, and a final scene where they tell all their town friends of their adventures. We were able to finish building the models and extra landscaping in time for the 2013 Bricks by the Bay show in Santa Clara, California. We again created four more of Mary’s diary entries so that the public could read and walk around our display. In the next few days, follow our story and again read about our LEGO building discoveries as we had a blast in retelling Mary and Bill’s space and castle adventures.

Idea Book

The page spread from the Idea Book and...

bill and mary layout

our built layout.

Right after Mary and Bill concluded watching the movie, they befriended a classic white spaceman who loaned them a spaceship so that they could take a cruise to the moon. The spaceship they used was actually the LEGO Space Cruiser set (#924 in Europe and #487 in USA). We wanted to have stars and a sandy landscape as was shown in the Idea Book picture and used LEGO bricks to create this. We learned of a very cool trick that can be done with rigid and non-bendable LEGO bricks. There is a small gap between bricks that allows you to actually “bend” the connected bricks to make curves. We used this trick to make a curved field of stars by using 1x2 black bricks and “sprinkling” 1x1 trans-clear round plates at various random places to make both individual stars and star clusters. As you can see, we tried to match the star clusters in the same regions of space as in the Idea Book.

For the planet in the distance we used the globe from the Star War’s set #9678 Twin-pod Cloud Car and Bespin and hung it from the starfield using some transparent rod pieces, giving it a 3D effect. The globe looked as if it was suspended in the starfield. For the landscape we used tan bricks and plates randomly placed to create hills and to give that sandy undulating look.


One interesting thing to note for all the classic space fans is that we found that LEGO had at least three variations of the classic space landing plate released in the 1980s. The one on the far right is probably the original design. In the Idea Book it looks like they used the one on the right exclusively.

space base

When we were building the rocket base the challenge was to build it with only the pieces from the Space Command Center set (#926 from Europe and #493 from USA) and from the Alpha-1 Rocket Base set (#920 from Europe and #483 from USA). We nearly did it except that we had to use a few blue bricks from elsewhere to complete the rocket base.


Another thing to note is that the metal-detector vehicle uses the classic red wheels but it also has a classic 2x2 single motorcycle wheel at the front. This is hard to see from looking at the Idea Book and so we have a separate photo here to show the element shape.


Still another very cool fact is that one of the spaceships from the Idea Book was used on a T-shirt that you could buy from the Lego-Shop-at-Home service back in the 1980s.


You will notice that there are some classic grey space astronauts in our scene but you will not find them in the Idea Book! In fact LEGO never made classic grey space mini-figures. LEGO made red, white, yellow, blue, and black classic space mini-figures but not grey. We had some plain grey torsos, helmets, and grey legs and so all we needed was the space logo. We scanned the logo and printed them on sticky paper and applied them to the torso. Neat!


Here are close-ups of some of our vehicle recreations.

more vehicles

And below are close-up photos of our recreation of the large space from the Idea Book that used elements from the famous Galaxy Explorer set (#928 in Europe and #497 in USA). Also, shown is the space lab.


Coming Next Time: Aliens land!

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