• thebrickguy

LEGO Advertising Agency Joke from 1981 (NSFW)

Updated: Jun 17, 2019


From time to time, we come across interesting bits of LEGO that are peripheral to the core of building, and MOCcing and collecting sets that we are so used to. I for one, love the stories that are often less told but show a different side of things.


That’s when I bumped into Matthew Hocker, a unique kind of AFOL that not only build with bricks. He collects Lego ephemera. Ephema-what? Yes, even I myself was surprised to add a new word to my vocabulary. An ephemera collection is about the bits and pieces that we sometimes forget because of it’s short-term usefulness or popularity, things like pieces of papers, letters, phamplets, ticket stubs and such. It comes from the Greek word of ephemeros to mean “lasting only one day, short-lived”.

Amongst Matt’s huge collection, this one stood out, for obvious reasons. Matthew was kind enough to allow me to share this with you which he admits it’s the weirdest thing he has in his collection! Over to you Matt!

Matthew Hocker: The image in this poster is from 1981 and was created by Max Reklame Grafik ApS, an agency in Arhus that did many of LEGO's building instructions at the time (according to the article). I first read about the photo in the September 1981 issue of LEGO Review, LEGO's employee magazine.


I was really surprised to find a poster and remembered the article. The seller said it was a "failed advertising proposal" and that they got the poster from a former advertising executive. They claimed that around 6 posters were made and distributed to some of the "guys in the office."

The article from LEGO Review is titled, "Birgitte's custom-built bikini." The article reads....

It's not every day the old Editor gets his grubby hands on a girl in a bikini - so we thought we would brighten his day with the latest creation for summer 1981:

  • the girl's name is Birgitte.

  • she's from Arhus in Northern Jutland (Denmark).

  • she's holding a yellow, 6-stud LEGO brick in her right hand.

  • her bikini is a glue-and-build job in washable (see LEGO Review 2/81, page 42) blue and yellow bricks.

  • the bikini is little more than a scanty facade (we know because in all its poetic beauty/horror it lay for several minutes on the old Editor's table).

  • the idea-monger was Jorgen Brogger, who in more normal circumstances is a Big Wheel with Max Reklame Grafik ApS, the agency in Arhus that does many of our LEGO building instructions.

  • the photographer was Jorgen Baekhoj - also from Arhus and reported to have been wild about the bikini idea.

Spring Joke:

The story got off the ground when Max Reklame Grafik's people wanted to pull a spring joke on their contacts in our Product Finishing department. The idea arose in the midst of a photo session with sectional building of some LEGOLAND cars. Maybe it hadn't been an inspiring day. And they had been doing fashion photography the week before - besides the sun was shining on the first day of spring.

Whatever the reason, the final result of the ploy is here for everyone to see in glorious monochrome (if we'd printed it in colour, it would have been a bit too heavy - and would have cost us most of our production budget!).

To round off the story we can report:

  • the bikini took most of a day to built

  • it took a couple of hours to get the pictures right.

  • Brigitte was frozen stiff in that cold water (without which, of course, the whole thing would have been in vain.

Could the picture perhaps inspire our dear reader to hit upon new games with LEGO bricks (see the article on creativity, page 26 of this issue). We repeat once more that LEGO bricks are not the exclusive property of our dear children. Remember - as summer wears on - the good old, well-proven slogan: LEGO is a new toy every day!



All images were kindly supplied and used with permission from Matthew Hocker. If you like Lego ephemera, drop by at his Flickr Page and you'll be able experience much much more! Thanks again Matthew for showing us a different side of LEGO collecting!

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