It was my favorite toy, bar none. Lego, the Danish colored bricks — now with every conceivable adjunct, including (!) little plastic guns — that you can make into just about anything you can think of were the best thing I was ever given. I hated dolls because they didn’t do anything. Lego had, and still has, the delicious virtue of being a toy that you never get tired of, limited only by your imagination of what to do with it next. As an only child whose parents weren’t big fussers, it was up to me to keep inventing fun things to keep myself amused. Lego fit the bill nicely. It’s versatile, unbreakable, ever-recyclable. For girls of a certain vintage, Lego houses were also perfectly sized for trolls, weird little rubbery dolls with flame-colored hair who probably felt right at home in a Scandinavian-designed house made of plastic.
The only drawback to Legos was — ouch! — stepping on a piece of it barefoot. All those sharp corners and little interlocking nubbins.
My sweetie, knowing of my lifelong love for Legos, (and no kids whose bricks we could borrow) went looking for Legos for me last Christmas but knew I wouldn’t be up for the Indiana Jones or other movie-themed sets, which now turn out to be the most popular for today’s kids, according to a piece in today’s New York Times. (Turns out five to 10 percent of Lego is bought by adults for themselves. Whew.) I sometimes read another reporter’s piece with envy for their professional access to someplace or someone really cool. I admit it, I envy Nelson Schwartz’s visit to Billund, Denmark to “the drab. two-story Lego Idea House.” I love the notion of an Idea House!
For those of you who don’t know the toys, Lego’s name comes from “leg godt” or “play well”, a company founded in 1932 by a carpenter. Two new concept stores are opening this fall in Baltimore and Concord, N.C. The Brothers Brick is the place to go for Lego fans; BrickCon happens October 3-4 at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, the 8th. year the event has been held. For $7 admission, you get to meet 15 members of Lego’s staff and ooh and awe other’s MOCs…that’s My Own Creation, as the glossary at TBB explains. Not to mention greebles, swooshable, jumper plate and cracklink.
Were you a Lego fan? If not, what was your favorite toy?