In 1979, LEGO® FABULAND® is introduced with easy-to-build models for children aged 3 to 7 with a universe of friendly, funny animal-headed characters that appeal to both boys and girls. The purpose of the easy building theme is to close the gap between LEGO DUPLO® products for pre-school children and LEGO System products for older children by making the transition from one to the other easier for children.
Stories you can build
FABULAND is the first LEGO theme to feature licensed products such as storybooks, playing cards, children’s clothing and animated TV series to enhance the playing experience through storytelling and role play. From large pieces for fast building children can create colorful houses, boats, fairground rides, police and fire stations, and much more. Larger sets include easy-to-follow building instructions with stories for parents to read aloud while their children build. The houses have rooms large enough to play with figures inside.
Roofs change into larger LEGO elements
During the 1980s the FABULAND houses change; the roof on the early models are made of 2 x 4 bricks but this changes in 1982, where the roofs change into larger LEGO elements. The changes are obvious in the sets 350 from 1979 and set no. 3678 from 1982, both sets being inhabited by Mayor Lionel Lion.
Introducing parents to the FABULAND universe
A leaflet in each FABULAND set introduces parents to the FABULAND universe:
“FABULAND is the name of a delightful new play area for your preschool child. It is an opportunity for your child to use its imagination. You can read the story and let your child follow the pictures, which are like simple building instructions. Then your child can make up stories of its own imagination and build models to illustrate them. The possibilities are endless. FABULAND pieces fit together with LEGO bricks so it is easy to extend the scope of play and give additional possibilities for bigger models – and longer stories – whenever you want”.
A world of roleplay and imagination
The FABULAND figures have heads of a mammal, a reptile or a bird sometimes topped by a peaked hat, and arms and legs with motion very similar to LEGO minifigures. The citizens of FABULAND have their own names, accessories and sometimes uniforms that relate to their jobs in the FABULAND storyline. From 1979 to 1987 there is no lead character in the FABULAND universe. However, when the animated TV series based on the FABULAND series are released in 1987, Edward Elephant becomes the main character and every episode is released under the name Edward and friends, whereas the LEGO sets still are launched under the name FABULAND. After a decade the FABULAND theme is discontinued in 1989. The theme is the first to encourage storytelling, and it has been the first theme to be extended into books, clothing and accessories and TV-series.