Warning: Insignificant details ahead… I have made a few posts about current LEGO catalogs, first comparing the Finnish and Japanese catalogs, and second about the latest Finnish catalog. On Eurobricks.com, member GRogall pointed out that LEGO Group had posted a PDF version of the latest German catalog, so I went to have a look-see. It is a nice browse even if you don’t read German.
Overall the July to December catalog is the same in Finland and Germany, other than the language of course. There are some differences in the order which things are presented (as you may recall, the Japanese catalog differed a lot from the European catalogs in this regard), for example The Lord of the Rings is after Monster Fighters in the German version and vice-versa in the Finnish one. And DUPLO gets a little more prominence in the German catalog. But differences are expectedly far less between these two European catalogs than compared to the Japanese catalog. I did find a couple of things of note, though.
Above: Same box on the right, different sets in different catalogs.
One curious thing struck me when I was checking out the Lord of the Rings section. Again, 9476 The Orc Forge. What is up with that? In the U.S. it is apparently exclusive to certain stores and came out a bit later than the rest, so it was a little different from the start. In the Finnish catalog it is missing completely and I have not seen the set in the initial batches at local stores either. Yet, here it is in the German catalog. But, get this, unlike the Finnish catalog, the German catalog does not have the 9472 Attack on Weathertop. The Orc Forge simply replaces Attack on Weathertop’s slot in the German catalog spread, which otherwise is almost identical to the Finnish catalog.
On the bottom of the page, where the minifigures of each set are portrayed in boxes, the order and 9472/9476 boxes are naturally different. Also, the minifigure box for Attack on Weathertop looks different than the rest in the Finnish catalog – like it was added afterwards or copy-pasted from somewhere else. Finally, neither of these sets is included in the map of Middle Earth on the previous page, probably so that they can re-use the map in regions where either of the sets is missing in action… Yet, go to the online LEGO Shop, both sets are available and ready to order in both the German and Finnish regions. Did they just run out of room in the catalog or are exclusive dealings the reason?
Above: There is no Weathertop or Isengard’s orc forge on the map in either catalog.
P.S. For historical LEGO catalog archives, see this post.