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Lego City content, based on Lego City Undercover, was added to the toys-to-life video game Lego Dimensions on May 9, 2017, via a 'fun pack' containing a Chase McCain minifigure and a constructible Police Helicopter. In 2011, two to five minute short films produced by M2 Films and Lego were aired on Cartoon Network and released on the Lego.

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Lego City
Other namesLegoland
Lego Town
Lego World City
Sub‑themesFire
Police
EMS
Swamp Police
Train
Great Vehicles
Diving
Demolition
Arctic
Volcano
Space
Prison Island
Jungle
Mining
SubjectCity life
Licensed fromThe Lego Group
Availability1978 (as 'Legoland Town')–present
Total sets451[1]
Official website

Lego City is a theme under which Lego building sets are released based on city life, with the models depicting city and emergency services (such as police and fire), airport, train, construction, and civilian services. Lego Town is one of the three original themes that Lego produced upon its launch of the Lego minifigure in 1978 along with Castle and Space. The Town brand was briefly replaced with Lego World City in 2003 and 2004 before it was simply rebranded as Lego City in 2005.

History[edit]

The Lego City theme traces its origins to Lego Town, a theme introduced with the first minifigures in 1978, when a completely new range of buildings and vehicles were introduced for the European markets, although Lego sets with city buildings and vehicles had been commonplace since the late 1960s.

In 1975, a precursor to the minifigure was introduced, in the same scale but without moving parts. These mid-1970s, Town sets had buildings and vehicles functioning more as models, with minifigures unable to ride the vehicles, which continued with the new minifigures. From 1979, new vehicle-specific pieces (chassis, doors, seats and steering wheels) were introduced to be compatible with minifigures. More realistic features were introduced in the 1980 season, with the last non-minifigure compatible sets being phased out by the following year. 1980 also saw the Trains theme completely revamped to compliment the Town sets.

All sets were originally released under the 'Legoland' label until it was discontinued and replaced with 'Lego System' branding in 1991. Eventually, different subthemes under the 'Town' brand were used to tie together related sets, such as police, coast guard, emergency services, airport, road rescue, trains, fire, and harbour. During the Christmas season, a City-themed advent calendar set is sold through the online Lego Shop and at retailers.

On June 22, 2019, Lego City Adventures aired on Nickelodeon during a Saturday morning lineup along with Spongebob Squarepants.

In June 2020, following the killing of George Floyd by police, Lego made an announcement that they would temporarily stop marketing police-related Lego City sets. Due to misinformation claiming that they removed these sets from being sold that led to backlash, Lego issued a follow-up statement emphasizing that the sets were still for sale and that digital advertising for the sets would just be temporarily haulted.[2][3][4]

In January 2021, Lego released a new plate-based road system for the City theme that differed from its predecessor, which used baseplates whose height equaled one-half of plate.[5] However, this system was critizised by some members of the Lego community due to its alleged incompatibility with the former baseplates, which had been gradually reduced in usage and limited to sets such as Lego Modular Buildings.[6]

Subthemes[edit]

Outside of Lego City's generic city and town life based sets that are released regularly, the theme has had various subthemes, many of which are recurring. Under the Lego Town theme, the subthemes released during the 1990s and early 2000s also had individualized branding and labeling. In 2003 and 2004,[7] the only town-based sets were released under the 'World City' label. Since the launch of City in 2005, they are just labeled as City sets but often have multiple sets based around a single concept released at the same time during Lego's release schedule.

Town subthemes (1991–2002)[edit]

  • Arctic: 2000
  • City Center: 1999–2000
  • Divers: 1997
  • Extreme Team: 1998–1999
  • Flight: 1992–1996
  • Launch Command: 1995
  • Nautica: 1991
  • Outback: 1997
  • Paradisa: 1992–1997
  • Res-Q: 1998
  • RSQ911: 1991–1992
  • Space Port: 1999
  • Town Jr: 1997–1998, 2001–2002

City subthemes (2005–present)[edit]

  • Airport: 2006, 2010, 2016, 2020
  • Arctic: 2014, 2018
  • Cargo: 2008, 2013
  • Coast Guard: 2008, 2013, 2017
  • Construction: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009
    • Demolition: 2015
  • Deep Sea Explorers: 2015, 2020
  • Emergency/Medical: 2006, 2012, 2018
  • Farm: 2009–2010
  • Fire: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021
    • Forest Fire: 2012
  • Great Vehicles: 2012–2021
  • Harbour: 2007, 2011
  • Jungle: 2017
  • Mining: 2012, 2018
  • Police: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020, 2021
    • Elite Police: 2013, 2020
    • Forest Police: 2012
    • Mountain Police: 2018
    • Prison Island: 2016
    • Sky Police: 2019
    • Swamp Police: 2015
  • Space: 2011, 2015, 2019
  • Town: 2009, 2012–2013, 2015–2021
  • Trains: 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018
  • Volcano Explorers: 2016

Octan[edit]

Octan logo, unchanged since 1992.

Octan is a fictional oil company that has appeared in multiple Lego sets since 1992.[8][9] Before that time, logos of the real-world oil companies Esso, Shell and Exxon were used on sets. The Shell logo continued to be used on promotional sets after that time. In 2014, Lego announced it would not renew its marketing agreement with Shell, under pressure from the environmental group Greenpeace.[10]

Octan first appeared in the 1992 sets '6397 Gas N' Wash Express' and '6594 Gas Transit'.[9] Since the release of the Octan name, Lego has not signed any further deals with Shell or other gas corporations.

Octan (or oktan) is the Danish word for octane, a component of gasoline.

Octan has appeared in a number of Lego video games. Lego Island for example features an Octan gas station and the company sponsors the race track.

In The Lego Movie, Octan is the base company of the main antagonist Lord Business. His company is the producer of almost all of the commodities in his dominion.

In the Lego set '7747 Wind Turbine Transport', a variant of the Octan logo is depicted which reads 'Octan Energy', implying a new division responsible for renewable energy. In the set '60016 Tanker Truck', another variant is seen with 'Energy' in much larger and fully green type.

In a number of Town and City sets it is shown that Octan has a racing team that competes in at least Formula One, GT racing and rallying.[9]

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Other media[edit]

A video game developed by TT Fusion called Lego City Undercover was released for the Wii U on March 18, 2013; a port of the game was released April 4, 2017 on Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A prequel to the game was also released for the Nintendo 3DS on April 21, 2013.[11] Lego City content, based on Lego City Undercover, was added to the toys-to-life video game Lego Dimensions on May 9, 2017, via a 'fun pack' containing a Chase McCain minifigure and a constructible Police Helicopter.

In 2011, two to five minute short films produced by M2 Films and Lego were aired on Cartoon Network and released on the Lego website. New films have since been released every year.

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In 2019, Nickelodeon premiered a new series in June of that year, based on the Lego City theme. The series, titled Lego City Adventures features the newly introduced named characters from the brand as they do their daily jobs in the fictional metropolis.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^'All themes'. Brickset. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  2. ^Rossiter, Marie (2020-06-08). 'Lego Temporarily Stopped Marketing For Police-Themed Sets And Donated $4 Million To 'Support Black Children''. Simplemost. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  3. ^Miss2Bees (2020-06-08). 'LEGO Pulls Ads for Police Toys, Donate $4M to Social Justice'. The Source. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
  4. ^Hibberd, James (June 4, 2020). 'Lego pulls ads for cop-related toys in wake of George Floyd's death'. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  5. ^'Youtube:LEGO road plate harmony! Quick, easy, cheap fixes & integrations'. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  6. ^'Youtube:LEGO® macht einen unglaublichen Fehler mit dem neuen City-Straßensystem 60304'. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  7. ^'Brickset: World City'. Brickset. Retrieved January 17, 2020.
  8. ^'Sets with 'Octan' in the title'. Brickset: LEGO Guide and Database. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  9. ^ abc'Sets tagged with 'Octan''. Brickset: LEGO Guide and Database. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  10. ^'Lego ends Shell partnership following Greenpeace campaign'. The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  11. ^'Lego City Undercover on Nintendo.co.uk'.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lego City: Calling All Cars! (Level 1). Authored by Sonia Sander. Published by Scholastic US, 2010. ISBN0-54515-523-1
  • LEGO City: Fight this Fire (8x8). Authored by Anthony Michael Steele and Chuck Primeau. Published by Scholastic US, 2011. ISBN0-54531-759-2
  • LEGO City Brickmaster. Published by Penguin Books Ltd, 2011. ISBN1-40535-623-5
  • Lego City Sticker Storybook: Escape from Lego City. Authored by Wade Wallace. Published by Scholastic US, 2012. ISBN0-54528-095-8
  • Lego City: Save This Christmas. Authored by Rebecca McCarthy and J Jason May. Published by Scholastic US, 2012. ISBN0-54545-727-0

External links[edit]

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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lego City.

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  • Official sites: United States, United Kingdom

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