Last week, we showed you more of Beryll Roehl’s wonderful LEGO test brick photographs. Today, we’re going to look at Norwegian collector Fabian Lindblad and his equally enjoyable snapshots of marbled bricks. Marbled bricks are named such after the swirls of different colored plastic they contain. Some elements are intentionally marbled for sets, while others are the result of changing over the plastic in a mold from one color to another. In the past, LEGO employees occasionally took them home to share with their children. Today, the standard procedure is to recycle them so they don’t leave the building. However, if you are really lucky, you might just find a marbling error in one of your latest sets.
The LEGO Group purchased its first plastic injection molding machine in 1947 and began manufacturing Automatic Binding Bricks in 1949. These early bricks lacked the tubes of today’s modern LEGO bricks and were slotted to accommodate thin door and window elements. In the early days of LEGO plastics, sometimes these bricks were marbled out of necessity; they were made from the leftover scraps of plastic pellets, recycled molding errors, etc. Rather than destroy its marbled bricks, LEGO distributed them to retailers for sale. What were once considered factory seconds have become highly prized by collectors for their beauty. You’d be hard-pressed not to drool over Fabian’s rustic harvest below.
Being the proud Norwegian that he is, Fabian found a brick to match the color of his country’s flag. The centered white and blue, flanked by red seemingly mimics the colors of the flag. Fabian photographed this image for the Norwegian Constitution Day (May 17th).
Like Beryll, Fabian draws a lot of inspiration for his photographs from nature, like this slotted green and yellow brick atop the transitioning leaves of fall. The underside is fully visible, revealing the embossed LEGO name. When these bricks were produced, you would not find the LEGO name on each of the studs. In fact, the earliest LEGO bricks didn’t have any identifiable markings at all!
When the leaves fell as crimson gold, Fabian hit the bricks again and took a picture. ‘Tis the season, after all! The modern orange and red LEGO brick looks right at home atop its leafy host, seemingly in the process of camouflaging itself.
As it turns out, Fabian has some test bricks too, and marbled ones at that! The positioning on the flower reminds me of Beryll’s work and, judging by her comments on Flickr, she really enjoyed this photo. To learn more about LEGO test bricks, be sure to check out our informative, in-depth interview with Beryll Roehl.
Fabian has an eye for patterns in his marbled bricks. After acquiring a 2×4 milky white plate with blue streak, he noticed that this anomaly was pointed and angular. An idea clicked, and he gathered several white and trans-dark blue 1×1 slopes. These were then arranged to form a clever mosaic that completed the plate’s pattern. The finished product is eye-catching and almost reminiscent of a snow-covered mountain.
In addition to Flickr, you can also follow Fabian’s latest acquisitions on Instagram. If you’re looking to start your own collection of marbled bricks, try connecting with other collectors on Flickr and Facebook. You can also sometimes find them on Bricklink (you’ll have to do some digging, paying attention to descriptions and images) and eBay.