History of rec.toys.lego LEGO Set Review Form
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History of rec.toys.lego LEGO Set Review Form

As a regular reader of the Usenet groups dedicated to everyone's favorite building toy (first alt.toys.lego and then rec.toys.lego), I saw several informal reviews of LEGO® sets posted. While many of the reviews had common elements, the results were varied, from reviews that seemed too terse to others that were verbose to an extreme (becoming too ‘folksy’ and off-topic).

In 1994 I decided to create a structured document that implemented all the features of the best reviews. Once I published that format, I solicited feedback from other posters, modifying and updating the format to more closely conform to an idealized consensus desired by the active review writers of the group. The adoption of the document has been surprisingly widespread. My initial labelling of the document as the ‘official’ review format has never been challenged, and has even been supported by quite a few, so I continue to refer to it as such, comfortably accepting that it is at best a de facto standard.

Since before the first version of the document, up through the present, I have captured every set review from rec.toys.lego that I read ­ even those not based upon the official form ­ with the idea that I would eventually present the archive as a reference work. This is that archive.

Revision History of the LEGO Set Review Form

Version Number Date Changes
1.1 11-Apr-1994
  • Replaced usage of ‘kit’ with ‘set’.
  • Added reviewer information to bottom of form.
  • Added some Special Features choices to list.
  • 1.2 31-May-1994
  • Replaced usage of ‘piece’ with ‘element’.
  • Added further description text.
  • Added Review Date “field”.
  • 1.3 12-Aug-1994
  • Added DECALS section, steps in instructions. Thanks to Brian Kendig for improvement suggestions.
  • Cut Type/Theme/Sub-Theme down to Type/Theme.
  • 2.0 11-Jan-1995
  • Simplified the form, moving all the stats information to the top of the document, and making the input format more free-form in style.
  • Cleaned up instructions.
  • Cleaned up the Category and Theme lists.
  • 2.1 26-Jun-1995
  • Reversed some of the stats section moves, placing suggested values near the relevant sections.
  • Rearranged sections again.
  • 2.2 15-Jul-1996
  • Changed usage of “Category” to “Product Line”.
  • Updated contact e-mail address.
  • Added trademark acknowledgement.
  • 2.21 28-Aug-1996
  • Added review archive WWW address to header.
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