LEGO We Hardly Know Ye

Let’s face it, Lego’s are awesome!  I don’t care if you’re 4, 40 or 104 they’re awesome.  But like so many other things the Lego’s of today are not the Lego’s of my youth.  Yep here I go ranting again…

When I was a kid we had Lego’s that came in exotic colors like red, blue, yellow, green, white, black, brown, blue and maybe clear…you know for windows and stuff.  And shapes oh how we had shapes!  Rectangles AND squares…single row AND double…maybe even a set of little rubber wheels.  We made wonderful things with them.  Houses and cars, castles, boats, robots, spaceships of all kinds.  It was a beautiful way to spend a rainy day in the 70’s and early 80’s.  It could not get any better.

Then they introduced these generic Space Lego’s that were mainly gray.  The shape selection expanded to include little round rockets, triangles that looked faintly like wings and guns…oh the guns…oh how we LOVED the guns.  The were tiny double-barreled things like the one on the front of the ship shown below.  We’d fight over who got the guns and then when they were all taken we’d make our own.

The great thing about these Lego’s was that after you were finished building everything you could you’d have a big battle with them and start all over.  You’d make NEW ships with them and they’d be radically different from the ones you made earlier.

Fast forward to today.  Lego’s are bigger than ever.  My kids LOVE them.  But there’s been a fundamental change.  They come in sets now and not like the generic spaceship set above.  They’re specific to the point that special pieces are made just for that set.  On one hand that’s pretty cool, I mean I like the Lego Star Wars stuff too, but where’d the imagination go?  My 10-year-old son will sit still for 8 hours reading TWO 150 page instruction manuals to build one of these things.  Then perch it on a high shelf so his little brother or sister doesn’t destroy it.

That’s OK if you’re an older teenager or Star Wars geek adult, but my kids then sit around complaining that they have no more Lego’s and demand a new set to build.  I’m not even sure you can buy the basic Lego packages anymore; the ones without instructions, just blocks of varying shapes and sizes.  I’m sure you can still find them, but you probably have to ask someone to look in the back or buy them online from a store specializing in Retro Toys.



About J

I am a happily married Father of three living in Westchester County New York.
This entry was posted in fun, Kids, memories, Play, rant and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to LEGO We Hardly Know Ye

  1. Desmond says:

    My favorite pieces were the translucent red and green nubs, which could be used to represent fire, energy, or just something really hot.

  2. Julie says:

    Yeah, the whole Lego charm is lost on me. As a mom, these are just little pieces that we step on and vaccum up. And yes….I do vaccum.

  3. ryoko861 says:

    OMG, I could write a novel on this stuff!
    Wanna know how anal I was with LEGO?
    I went to Home Depot…bought one of those multi compartment storage cases and yep, SEPARATED EACH STYLE into it’s own compartment! Doors, windows, single layers, corners…etc. Bricks went into the big bucket. If I was going to sit on the floor with my kids and help them put together LEGO or make something, I wanted to get my hands on that elusive little piece that always ended up on the bottom of the mess!

    Great post!

  4. Harley Carlson says:

    I love LEGO but my passion for them has extended beyond having to clean a trillion tiny pieces up from the floor to taking them into the virtual realm of my XBOX (and possibly soon, my PC) with various LEGO games like Star Wars, Batman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and more. It’s not the same experience, I know. But as we get older (or at least I) I think our imaginations are dulled down by everyday life so it’s better to have the story already in place. Kids can sit there all day conjuring up wild scenarios with their bricks and that is awesome. I’m envious to say the least that the best years of my life are far behind me. Maybe that is why I have such a hard time “growing up” and I’m 32 next month. =)

  5. raychel says:

    Lego’s rule!! When Kamryn was younger she had thousands and thousands of them (literally) other than the occasional stepping on one or sucking it up in the vacuum, I wish she still had them sometimes.

  6. Rose says:

    I loved legos as a child. I’d spend hours playing with them. 🙂

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