An antique cash register is rated in the LEGO Ideas review

Cash register LEGO Ideas Antiques (6)

In the past few days, fans have been polishing the jewel until it is shiny. Today is finally time: the draft “Antique Cash Register” has garnered 10,000 votes and can be entered as the 36th candidate in the 1st round of review in 2022. In Billund, the Ideas team will begin the evaluation in early May. We have already taken a closer look at the idea and will introduce you to all the details.

The cash register was created by Ideas user dimexart aka Mexx Rustamov Azerbaijan designed. The 3D designer got his first LEGO experience in 1997. He started expanding regular sets and liked to improvise. From that point on, LEGO became part of his life and a way to express himself artistically.

Mexx has been on the Ideas platform since September 2020 and has presented 12 designs to date and, according to its story, three more models have so far been able to garner more than 4,000 votes. It unveiled the cash register in mid-September 2021 and was able to register the first 1,000 votes in one week. The idea surpassed the score of 5,000 votes in mid-November 2021 and beyond 193 days the first entry in a review was perfect.

The Ideas model was based on the old Model 452 cash register, manufactured by the former national cash register (today: NCR Corporation) in the late 19th century. Mexx required for digital construction 2,565 parts and comes whole without a minifigure the end. According to the descriptive text, it should be a fully functional cash register. Let’s take a closer look at the good piece.

First of all, of course, let’s look at the many buttons typical of the cash register generation. The fan designer installed five buttons each, which are divided into four rows. In front of it we see a small shelf on which the customer has probably placed the amount paid to counteract subsequent discrepancies with the rest. In the large compartment below, Mexx has installed the cash drawer, which should open at each checkout process.

Above the keyboard we see the display panel. This way, customers and resellers could track the correct total at any time and immediately correct any errors. On the right we can see a crank. It was probably activated when the item was to be added to the purchase. The cash roll is installed in the left block next to the key block. Depending on the cash register model, customers may receive a cash register receipt directly at that time.

The complex project cost Mexx many hours of work. In the descriptive test, he points out that his draft Ideas has a number of functions: the cash drawer should be open, the crank on the right edge should be rotatable and the buttons can be pressed. Since we have a digital model here, we should treat the claim with some caution.

We tried to estimate the size of the cash register based on the pictures: We estimate the model to be about 26cm wide, 21cm deep and about 25cm tall.

National cash register model 452 Kj Swan Fineartamerica
Model 452 National Cash Register, Source:, Photo: KJ Swan, October 2018

On November 4, 1879, James Ritty filed the first patent for a cash register, nicknamed Ritty’s Incorruptable Cashier Machine. In 1881 the small company with patents was sold to a group of investors who called the National Manufacturing Company (NCR). In 1884 the company was bought by John Henry Patterson and renamed the National Cash Register Company. In 1885, the first further developed cash register was presented at a trade show in Chicago. Thus was born the National Cash Register model line. The first office with 13 employees was located in the Callahan Power Building, in Dayton, Ohio (USA).

When Patterson took over the company, the registry was relatively expensive and demand was relatively low. However, he believed in his product and proved to be an extremely innovative salesman: he created the “American Selling Force”, a sales team that worked on commission and introduced the first predetermined sales guide. In addition, the company was seen as a model company in terms of working conditions.

The 400 series has become a bestseller. Flexible fields of application have certainly contributed to this as well. The cash register could be operated by multiple people and was able to distinguish between different payment methods. You can also view the cash register configuration from the model designation. According to the Carillon Historical Park, the historic open-air museum in Dayton, Ohio (USA), the model 452 represents a model of the 400 series, with a 5-line keyboard and equipped with a totalizer, receipt and check printer.

The company grew very rapidly in the following years and by 1911 it had already sold around a million cases and had around 6,000 employees. The listed company is still active: in 2020 about 6.2 billion dollars were shot and about 36,000 people were employed.

You can see more views in our gallery:

Overview of drafts in 1st revision 2022:

I am torn for this design. I think the idea is really good and the digital implementation has been hugely successful. If the features described turn out to be real, the design would be the epitome of a set of ideas for me. It would contain everything I hope for: looks, functionality and originality. Just something new. On the other hand, I see a lot of pieces in colors that LEGO doesn’t have and then think about how the model should be redesigned to become a set of ideas. I am very concerned that the draft does not pass the practical test.

Let’s move on to how LEGO might evaluate design. For this we look again in the ideas archive: we cannot find anything similar either under the rejected proofs of revision or under the “expired” projects. The speaker has a unique strength on Ideas. We arrive at a similar result when looking for the main LEGO range: only in the LEGO CITY 7907 Day 15 Advent Calendar can we discover an 11-piece mini-build. There are no other successes.

Even trying to get suggestions via a generic search term query doesn’t get us very far – a cash register is still a regular item for business equipment to this day. We believe it is doubtful that a possible demand for a LEGO product arises from this. The same goes for the research of the company NCR Corp. The company is publicly traded and should therefore attract the general interest.

So we have no choice but to make some general considerations. Old cash registers are still a popular gathering area today. In our search for this article, we found a few antique auctions where the exhibits fetched results of several hundred US dollars or more. Also, the cash register embodies a mechanical object and much of the retro feeling. That nostalgia factor is popping up in some LEGO spots these days. A good example is the LEGO Ideas 21327 Typewriter or the LEGO Super Mario 71374 Nintendo Entertainment System.

In terms of design and playability, the model is well equipped. If all the functions really worked reliably, that would be a big plus. Since the draft only exists digitally, we cannot make any statements about it.

The fan designer himself writes:“This was built and rendered in 3d”. This gives him access to a large number of parts in his program that are not available from LEGO in the desired color. In the case of the metallic gold color that was probably used, the BrickLink database only knows 105 different parts and for pearl gold alternatively it would be 949 parts. However, both variants do not provide the building blocks needed to make the idea happen. This would mean a significant color change, many new parts, or a rejection.

Even though all functions work fine, the bottom line is that I see major problems with the parts present. Unfortunately, I have to take this into account in my assessment and I classify the implementation as unlikely. I am happy to be convinced otherwise.

Now you are asked: Do you like the old cash register or is it an old relic? How do you find the design? Is it close enough to the original or does it need improvement? Are you eager to learn about the features or are you skeptical? Would you buy the model like this or don’t you like it? How do you rate the color problem? What possibilities do you give to the model? Write us your opinions in the comments.

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