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.