Ok, so that buckle type is before my time. But, I live right next to an old ski hill that folded in the early 1980's. This ski hill is absolutely littered with broken BLUE buckle pieces just like what the picture shows- you can find them all up and down the hill.
What is the deal with these? Were these boots that popular back in the day, or where the little blue buckles generic things that only came in blue? Were they notorious for breaking? This is a very tame local hill, but its obvious people were blowing these up on a regular basis.
The original Lange buckles had a very bad habit of pulling out under pressure. They had to be removable since they used 3 different lengths. Originally we used medical or duct tape to hold them in; and that worked okay but looked pretty cheesy. So Lange came up with the blue rings, They did not work any better but looked cooler.
Lange owners from the late 60's - 70's carried pocket full of bales and clips. I did anyway.