I love LEGOs.
I can’t remember how old I was when I first discovered them. I’m sure there were some Duplos in my past, but my first real solid memory of getting LEGOs is getting a small red plastic bucket of standard bricks. You may know the one I’m talking about; square lid with studs, like a 2×2 brick. This single box of simple bricks ignited a decades-long passion in me. As I think back across the sets I’ve had, the collection I amassed, and the countless hours of playtime they provided, I see some distinct themes.
– I always liked period LEGOs best. If it had a space helmet, a sword, or a pirate flag, I was in. I drooled over the Pirates collections and one of my favorite sets was Forestmen’s Crossing. It was a given that I desired every last Space set produced. The year my parents bought me the Imperial Flagship, from the Pirates collection, I nearly threw up from excitement.
– The big sets were always too expensive for me, but I spent enough money on the smallest sets to have gotten the big ones ten times over.
– My playtime wasn’t just build time. Yes, I built massive, multi-part constructions, but the real joy came in staging elaborate fantasies with my models.
– Drama was key. This is probably where my love for movies began to develop. I had a thing for heroic feats, epic battles and dramatic deaths. I would create a cast of characters, and most of them would end up dead by the end of my “story.” Usually there was a sole survivor, kneeling over the remains of a fallen comrade, crying “nooooooooo!” to the heavens. Believe it or not, I also almost always had a romance element.
– MegaBlocks are the worst.
– LEGO Technic, though more advanced and versatile, could never be as cool as standard LEGOs.
– The measure of a man was found in how big his spaceship was. For years, every spaceship I built had to be bigger and better than the last. My crowning achievement was a huge starcruiser, four feet long. It shattered on my way downstairs to show it off to my family, so they never had the chance to bask in its awesomeness. Something died in me that day. I had crossed a line. I never built a huge spaceship again.
– I am inexplicably offended by the vast variety of faces on minifigures now. What was wrong with the traditional standard smiley face?
– LEGO Star Wars changed my life. I supposed it was fate, or perhaps darned good marketing, that LEGO licensed Star Wars around the time The Phantom Menace came out. I think those sets inspired me to think even more of the new Star Wars movies that I would have otherwise. I launched into a four or five year Star Wars obsession, in which every new Star Wars LEGO set that was released was like a Dead Sea Scrolls-type revelation. Even today I get giddy feelings of excitement when a new Star Wars model hits the catalog.
– LEGOs are timeless. I am 26 years old; soon to be 27. I still think LEGOs are the greatest toys ever created. My wife and I are expecting our second child and, having just found out it’s a boy, I am already planning a massive reconstruction of my old collection. I expect to live on Ebay for a while, searching for all the old sets I used to have.
I will never stop loving LEGOs, and I’ll pass that legacy on to my children if it kills me.