Memory Lane: Joining the LEGO Builders Club

The LEGO Club.

Today a freebie magazine that highlights certain themes such as Chima and City in a comic style, much like the magazines that you get on the newsagent shelves.

Rewind to 1980 as I continue my review through Memory Lane and the LEGO publication archives. This was on the back of one of most treasured archive pieces, by 1980 LEGO UK Catalogue. I am glad that I never cut it out and posted it off. Interesting to note that the address for the club is Liverpool rather than Wrexham which served as LEGO HQ for a good part during the 1980s and 1990s.


The first thing that you will notice is that the ‘Club’ is actually called the LEGO Builders Club’. This – to my knowledge – was the first incarnation of the club for all LEGO fans and the UK’s way of interacting with the consumer.

So for £1 (yup, a quid) you would get a badge, certificate, bag stickers and a sew-on patch. Add to that three newsletters (not magazines) every four months. Now to put this into context, and I know this for fact, that the cost of a Matchbox diecast car was around 60p in 1980, so this actually was not bad value for money. I do wonder who has a cheque book these day as that was the only way to pay back then. No credit cards or PayPal.

Today’s LEGO Club consists of just the magazine with input from readers in terms of MOC’s  and a wee competition. There is also lots of ‘learning’ activities as well based around some of the LEGO themes As it is free, there are no additional LEGO items such as the badge, etc. I am not sure if it is worth paying a membership fee for this today as such things may not appeal to a child.

I was never signed up until around 1985, so I don’t have any of the newsletters that were published. I would be very interested to know if any of our AFOL readers had been a member during the early 1980s and what the content of the newsletter was, indeed what the competitions were as well.

Compare this with today’s offering from LEGO UK – it is a huge contrast to the way that the market and children have evolved over the last 30 years.


My name is Keith and I am a AFOL. Currently an expat living out in Basel, CH, but have a firm footing back in the UK when time permits. I have had had Lego ever since I can remember - and only until my wee one came along have I re-kindled the flame for building again. I also run, a resource site for the 1-75 series of miniatures by Matchbox. There are only three themes that I am get/collect (finances permitting) - City, Creator (Advanced and Expert) as well as the classic Star Wars sets from Eps IV to VI (anything else does not exist). I also keep an eye in Europe with ample chance to see how France, Germany and Switzerland market and offer LEGO.

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