With Halloween creeping ever closer, Blocks takes a look at the history of the holiday in the brick, unearthing some surprising revelations…
Halloween has long been at least a month long holiday in the US, with many people decorating in September even though the day itself is October 31. What started as a pagan tradition has transformed into a fun event that’s full of pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and apple bobbing. Stores are packed with spooky decorations and ghoulish costumes, while pumpkin spice lattes are everywhere.
However, Halloween doesn’t have much of a catalogue within the LEGO portfolio, with themes like Monster Fighters or seasonal gift-with-purchases something that’s only come about quite recently. Why does Halloween seem to be so underrepresented in the brick? Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans is taking a look at the haunting history of this holiday…
The simplest reason that Halloween hasn’t been the most represented holiday by the LEGO Group is because Denmark did not start celebrating Halloween until fairly recently. Modern interpretations of Halloween only began in the country in 1998, when a Danish newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, started arranging Halloween events. It was soon followed by toy stores and theme parks in the country doing the same. It was also in 1998 when one of the first LEGO Halloween sets was produced – 3047 Halloween Bucket.
Before this time Denmark celebrated more traditional festivals like All Hallow’s Eve and have Fastelavn in February, which does involve dressing up and sweets. As the Americanisation of Halloween has spread, it has been adopted more and more in Denmark. Pumpkin production has increased tenfold in the country (they’re carved to scare away demons traditionally) and LEGO sets inspired by the season have also become more popular.
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A lot of these sets are iconic Halloween symbols, like 40090 Halloween Bat or 40122 Trick or Treat Halloween. This could also hint at another possible reason Halloween isn’t seen too often in the brick. It can be creepy and very scary. Just look at the horror films based on Halloween night. So, the LEGO designers really have to stick to material that isn’t frightening for children, and instead there’s smiling ghosts or wise old owls in 40497 Halloween Owl.
You’re probably wondering about the aforementioned Monster Fighters though. How did a bunch of scary paranormal creatures make the LEGO design cut? Well that’s because LEGO Vice President of Design Matthew Ashton dressed up as a vampire and came out of a coffin dancing to ‘Monster Mash’ at the pitch in Billund. He wanted to show that paranormal monsters could be fun and not too scary for kids to play with. Monster Fighters may only have been released for 2012, but it has a brick cult following.
Bringing this Halloween history up to the present day, 2022 has seen two sets released. 40562 Mystic Witch and 40570 Halloween Cat & Mouse. 40562 is pulling a bit of a magic and can be built into a dragon or cat too!
And that’s the history of Halloween in LEGO bricks. If you’re making any Halloween builds, or incorporating it into your decorating, please tag Blocks on our social media channels so we see your ghoulishly good creations!