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Life then and now… thru the eyes of a minifig

Back in the spring, we featured the work of LEGO fan and model designer Elspeth De Montes with a collection of theatre scenes (see: Famous Theatre Scenes in LEGO). Today I wanted to show you another series of LEGO vignettes by Elspeth, titled Then and Now. The series was originally built for an article in Bricks magazine, highlighting the contrast between life in 1966 and 2016. I think you will like it. 🙂

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 1

Here is what Elspeth says about the series: “Meet Doris. On the left it’s 1966, and she is a young vibrant lady in touch with the latest fashion, technology and trends. On the right, time has passed and it is 2016 and Doris has to cope with new technology, innovation and the changes in society.” In the old days Doris could simply take her bag of trash outside to the one trashcan. Nowadays she is confused about the number of choices between all the different recycling bins. While I do own a few LEGO trashcans, I never realized it was available in so many colors!

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 2

In 1966 people had to move antennas around to find that one sweet spot to get good reception on their televisions. In 2016 Doris is trying similar methods to get the bars up on her mobile phone. Take a look at all the well-designed furniture pieces!

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 3

Back in the days, the park was a place of tranquility, the laughter of children, picnics on the grass, and kites in the sky. In 2016 Doris looks on with concern as kids are riding Segways and operating drones. Notice the really nice landscaping techniques used in both scenes.

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 4

Elspeth says that in 1966 Doris was using a Vita-Master Vibration Belt Massager (I had to look that up as I had no idea what it was). I guess the loosing-weight-with-no-effort craze was well and alive even back then. In 2016 Doris is using a virtual obstacle-course to stay in shape. That’s probably more effective, isn’t it? And more fun too! She doesn’t seem to be particularly happy with either though.

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 5

In the first scene, Robert Atkins had just announced that you could lose weight eating bacon, butter, sausages and steak and Doris decided to give this highly publicized new diet a try. Just as ridiculous is the Oxygen & Vitamin Shot diet in 2016. But diet fads never die. I’m jealous of how many of those new printed wallpaper bricks Elspeth got!

LEGO Life of Doris by Elspeth De Montes 6

The last scene in the series shows Doris’ blind date woes back then and now. Elspeth writes: “In 1966 Doris felt that this new culture of blind dating was a high-risk gamble; it seemed that Frank was far more enthusiastic than his invitation to meet up for a coffee suggested. In 2016, Doris had finally relented and agreed to a blind date with Arthur after he promised to take her to a swanky restaurant and show her his new wheels – these were not exactly the wheels she envisioned.”

As you can see all of Elspeth’s scenes are characterized by excellent parts-usage, a clean design, and great story-telling in fairly simple scenes. It is worth studying the pictures to catch all the small details. If you would like to see more of Elspeth’s work, you can visit her flickr gallery for more.

What do you think? How do you like these LEGO vignettes? What other scenes you think could be added to the series to show the differences between life fifty years ago and now? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • jabber-baby-wocky August 26, 2016, 10:35 AM

    These are wonderful! What a great idea! I guess it could be continued with so many then versus now scenes. Very nice and clean building techniques!

    • admin August 26, 2016, 11:52 AM

      Yeah, so much changed in 50 years! 😀

  • Lloydguy August 26, 2016, 11:46 AM

    These are really great! I really like how the trees have grown in the park. The trash cans is totally true! I also like the Wii fit.

    • admin August 26, 2016, 11:54 AM

      Yes, they have many great details. Now I want to collect trashcans! 😀

  • Judith August 26, 2016, 12:31 PM

    I thought trash cans came only in green and grey, because they are the colours that I have………..I also want more!

    Some great pics on flickr. Love the monochrome build and Mr Bean’s car.

    We didn’t have to adjust our TV ariel in the 60s, but guess a lot had to……especially if they lived quite a distance from a transmitter. Makes you feel nostalgic when looking at all these……………those were the days lol.

    • admin August 26, 2016, 2:05 PM

      According to BrickLink, the trash-can officially comes in seven colors, so she is even missing one: http://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=2439#T=C

      My grandparents had a very old black-and-white TV. I remember it had a big antenna on the top (like on the picture), and besides moving the antenna, you also had to bang the TV on the side to get a clear picture. I guess things were sturdier those days, because if I would bang a TV that way these days, it would just die. 😀

      • Håkan August 26, 2016, 6:47 PM

        Three of these trashcans only appeared in the semi-obscure Belville set 5962 Tinderbox. I think I got them all from some second hand bulk.

        If you include the new mold, there’s an eighth color; red.


        • admin August 26, 2016, 10:47 PM

          Oh yes! I knew I have seen a red one before! 😀

      • Elspeth De Montes November 22, 2016, 9:46 AM

        Thanks for featuring Doris and my series! I do have all the trash cans haha….it’s just that dark grey and dark bluefish grey looked too alike to feature both. One of my side lines is collecting LEGO parts in their range of colours…mad I know 🙂

        • Elspeth De Montes November 22, 2016, 9:48 AM

          Sorry ‘dark blueish grey’

        • admin November 22, 2016, 12:00 PM

          Elspeth, nice to have you over! Love your series, and I have seen that you have made some new ones since I wrote this article. Super fun! 😀

  • gid617 August 26, 2016, 2:03 PM

    I enjoyed seeing these as they were uploaded. Some great building techniques and they’re really funny too! 😉 Nice to see them recapped like this.

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