March 8th, 2007 will be a day I will always remember fondly, for it was on that day that I walked into my local consignment shop to find this holy grail waiting for me. It was in another child's hands, and I exercised supreme control in not tackling him for it! As I picked up the box and inspected it, I began to realize that I was probably having one of those once-in-a-collector's-lifetime-experiences! The set is 17 years old, and the box appeared to be in superb condition for its age.
The back of the box proved to be in excellent shape as well. Once I got it home, I was able to very carefully remove the factory seals (which had been cut, hence it's not MISB) but I did not attempt to remove the leftover glue as I knew that this would damage the cardboard. The outer box had a few slightly dog-eared corners, but revealed no sun damage, scratches or other blemishes.
I opened the box flap. To my unbelieving eyes there lay the deeply nostalgic blister tray with its sampling of some of the special pieces included in the set. The plastic top sheet had not even been removed!
I always loved the pictures underneath the box flap because they would give many examples of play options to be found in the set. The text on the top left is also something I remember fondly, especially the part describing how the set provides:"endless building possibilities, and offers children the opportunity to achieve a feeling of pride and accomplishment while developing creativity."Amen!
Here I've removed the inner tray so that you can see how much more carefully TLG used to package their product. The two main parts bags are isolated in their own little tray while the two smaller ones are underneath the blister tray. The smaller box is kept in position on the left by a triangular cardboard piece underneath the blister tray and smaller parts bags.
I just had to snap a shot of the blister tray by itself, as it is one of the aspects of the older packaging style that I loved the most. In addition to the excellent photography all over the outside of the box, the blister tray was another wonderful way to advertise some of the cool pieces in the set.
After the inner parts box and other items are removed, you can see the unique baseplate, the current catalog (from 17 years ago!) and the instruction booklet.
Since the older packaging style was more careful and organized, the instruction booklet is as mint as mint can get!
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