The theme was set in the American Old West in the second half of the 19th century and featured cowboys, outlaws, cavalry soldiers and native Americans. It was the first theme that introduced realistic fire arms (revolvers and rifles) that could also be found in the real world of today, while Pirates only featured antique weapons like muskets and flintlock pistols. It was also the first theme to introduce racial characteristics for minifigures. That being the printed head pieces for the indians.
Western was the first minifigure-compatible Wild West-styled LEGO theme, but there have been earlier sets of the same subject. Most notably 620 Wild West Scene (1975) and 617 Cowboys (1975) which both included the old LEGOLAND Minifigures, that already had the same cowboy hats used today.
The first sets from 1996 focused on the aspect of sheriffs fighting against outlaws as well as the military presence in the old west and less on civilian life. The few sets that featured town-life served more as a back drop for the gang of bandits robbing carriages or banks. The town, called Gold City, consisted only of the Sheriff station as well as a bank and a general store (6765 Gold City Junction). The bandits took refuge at an abandoned mine outside the city. Another important element of the theme was the cavalry, based at Fort LEGOREDO.
In the second and also last year of the theme, 1997, Indians became a major part of Western. Most of the sets included teepee's, including their main settlement, Rapid River Village. None of the sets including Indians featured other types Western Minifigures .
New and exclusive pieces
Several new pieces were introduced with the Western theme, such as the revolvers and rifles, as well as the soldiers' kepis, which has since been seen as grey in Rock Raiders and Star Wars sets, as black in Adventurers and Trains, brown in Adventurers and tan and sand green in Indiana Jones. The Bandannas used for the cavalry soldiers and the bandits were another of the new pieces that were seen again in various later sets, as were the large barrels. The gold buglem, another new piece appeared in sets of Western, and later Time Cruisers, Soccer and My Own Creation sets.
Rare pieces that did not appear elsewhere include the Indian teepee's, the hollow tree stump and various accessories of the Indians, such as the headdresses of the chief and the medicine man, the hair pieces of the other Indians and the feathers with black tips on their heads.
- 6712 Sheriff's Showdown (1996)
- 6716 Weapons Wagon (1996)
- 6755 Sheriff's Lock-up (1996), re-released as 6764 Sheriff's Lock-Up (2002)
- 6761 Bandits' Secret Hideout (1996)
- 6765 Gold City Junction (1996)
- 6769 Fort LEGOREDO (1996), re-released as 6762 Fort LEGOREDO (2002)
- 2845 Indian Chief (1997)
- 2846 Indian Kayak (1997)
- 6706 Frontier Patrol (1997)
- 6709 Tribal Chief (1997)
- 6718 Rain Dance Ridge (1997)
- 6746 Chief's Tepee (1997)
- 6748 Boulder Cliff Canyon (1997)
- 6766 Rapid River Village (1997), re-released as 6763 Rapid River Village (2002)
- 6790 Bandit's Wheel Gun (1997)
- 6791 Bandit's Wheel Gun (1997)
- 6799 Showdown Canyon (1997)
- K6762 Western Collection (2002), included the sets 6762, 6763 and 6764
- Other sets/products
- 3974 Cowboy Key Chain
- 5923 Western Photo Frame
- 5317 Wild West Accessories
- 5392 Wild West Accessories
- 8098 Rose Art Floor Puzzle, Wild West 3D
- Audio dramas