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I recently noticed the tag. The tag wiki simply specifies, "Used for old vintage LEGO sets and pieces."

How old is old enough for a set or piece to qualify as "vintage"? For example, would Paradisa and Blacktron be considered vintage? 4.5 volt trains? Classic Space (mid-1980's)? Fabuland? The Yellow Castle? Only stuff from before 1970? Only the very early years?

My personal opinion would be that anything before my "dark age" (circa 1995) feels vintage, but I recognize that many people will have a different perspective. Is there anything approaching a consensus on what is and what is not vintage?

I'm not really asking for an exhaustive or scientific answer, and don't need an adjudication on a borderline case. What I want to avoid is, say, tagging a bunch of monorail questions as vintage and then getting stern messages that vintage means pre-1980 and not just discontinued.

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Looking at the questions we currently have tagged it does seem to imply "early 80s" at the latest - however as with cars and furniture, this is likely to be a moving target: would you consider the pre-realistic skin tone licensed sets as "Vintage LEGO Star Wars" for example, or just "Classic"?

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For me personally, vintage seem to be pre-1995 too (as this is where I got into Dark Age). This was 25 years ago, which is quite some time ago.

However I could think of a good point of time in LEGO history which could be considered a turning point here - change of Light/Dark Gray [BL] to Light/Dark Bluish Gray [BL] (and few other colors). It wasn't just a color change, but also quite drastical change in set designing approach as well as designers themselves.

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To second Alex's timeframe, the urban dictionary definition for vintage states:

An item of age, usually from around the 1920's to [approximately] 20 years ago. The items could be anything from furniture, children's toys, to clothing and household bits and pieces.

So that'd be anything before 2000 at this point. I wish Zhaph's answer was closer to the usage I'd heard, but it seems like I'm going to go feel old for a while now.

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    If we had to pick an arbitrary cutoff I think 20 years ago is reasonable. – qwr Aug 18 at 0:31

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