Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Old Prince

One of my habits when buying things from Bricklink is to browse through all the minifig parts a store I'm shopping has in its catalogue. This isn't my only such habit; I usually also take a look at whatever old grey pieces are in stock and whatever trans-yellow pieces might be there. As a result, although I've never really set out with a goal of collecting old minifigs, I've built up a number of classic Castle figs over the years, figs from prior to the 1984 debut of Legoland Castle. On the parts to these figs that I acquired was a torso to the prince (or lord or king or what-have-you) who comes with 383/6083 Knight's Tournament, LEGO's very first jousting tournament set. According to Bricklink, this torso only ever came with this set. Unfortunately, in the condition I got it, the torso was a little bit worn; in fact, all the gold was worn off completely. In and of itself, this isn't such a surprise--there are probably more examples missing the gold printing on Bricklink than have it, and gold printing has vanished off many early torsos, such as the Classic Space torso and Lion (Legoland Castle) torsos. I added the torso to my cart without really knowing what I was going to do with it. Should I convert it into a soldier's torso? Rebuild the prince and ignore his missing printing? As you can see, I decided to "customize" him back to his original appearance with the use of a little gold-star sticker:
As you can no doubt also see, I decided to upgrade the prince a little bit so that he could hang out with the other royal minifigs in my Castle realms. I decided against giving him a crown--I kind of like the fact that this guy doesn't have the ubiquitous crown-helm that all the later kings have--but I did give him a sceptre (stolen from the KK2 in the Knights' Kingdom Chess Set.
I also gave him a cape, in the style of the Dragon Master and Royal Knight cloth capes of the mid-1990s, though of course this is actually a paper cape. It should be noted that, in addition to the tri-colour shield emblem of his torso, the prince's cape also sports the crown off the emblem of the main faction of knights in 375/6075 Castle. In my LEGO world, all the pre-Legoland Castle factions are united under the Knights' Tournament Prince, thus making him the titular "crown" of those original Crown Knights. Presumably the Tri-Colour family acquired the throne or married into the original Crown family at some point.

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