In Praise of Lego


Last weekend it was my birthday, and my lovely boyfriend (who is frustratingly better at choosing presents than me) gave me a brilliant thing; a Lego mini-figure that looks like me. It has orange hair, a grumpy face, a sword and a blaster – all quite accurate, I think you’ll find. It seems to have revitalised a long dormant Lego obsession, and now I find myself trawling ebay for other Lego figures with swords and angry faces. I already have a few, thanks to the Knights and Castles set Marty bought me for Christmas last year, and now I’ve decided to build my own sell-sword gang, which my Lego figure can be in charge of.


See, Lego and I go way back. When I was very small, my Grandad kept a giant white bucket full of Lego for me in his shed (I look back on it now and I wonder what that white bucket was actually for. It was bigger than me at the time. Storing dead bodies?). In the summer I would drag it out of the shed and pour the contents over a blanket in the back garden, and spend many happy hours making stuff.


This being way back in the mists of time, the Lego was your bog standard multi-coloured brick stuff, with the occasional set of wheels or window frames. I didn’t have any mini-figures (apart from a few disembodied heads that made interesting gargoyles for my houses) so instead I made what I generously imagined were “penguins” out of some of the tinier pieces, and they populated my Lego world instead. I also stored my collection of toy cars in the big white bucket, so they would occasionally be drafted in as characters too – when I got really expansive, I would go and retrieve my plastic dinosaurs, and all Lego-hell would break loose.


Lego is a brilliant toy. I had no plans or instructions as a kid, so mostly I would end up making giant houses, although these houses were more like super-fantasy-castles; they would have turrets, dungeons, secret rooms, lawns on the roof, diving boards leading to nowhere, the Penguin Paddock… In short they were structurally unsound, and most days would end with the east wing falling off and knocking my lemonade over, but I can’t remember ever growing bored of it.


When I got a little bit older, my giant white bucket of Lego was given to my younger cousin, and I sulked about this for, approximately, seven years. I have no idea what happened to my well-loved toy cars, or the historically inaccurate plastic dinosaurs, and I can never reclaim those, but at least I will have my Lego army of mercenaries. Oh yes. The only question is, what shall I call them?


Ah, Lego, I loveded you. I loveded you!


Ps) Just as I finished writing this I got an email from ebay telling me I’d won a “Lego Mini-figure Series 4 Viking”. I did an air-punch.


10 thoughts on “In Praise of Lego

  1. Mmmmm…. Lego…. Love the stuff, and that’s been one of the best things about these last few months and the Bean; he’s now old enough for Lego, so has been getting loads for Christmas. I used to be obsessed with building spaceships, ones as large as I could get them without falling apart. Now the Bean has Lego, I too am finding that obsession calling me back :)

  2. I miss you, Space Lego. I’ve got modern ninja/space lego but it’s all erring on the moulded. Ohh and I miss you in particular, little lever gear stick type things from space lego.

  3. Am really, really looking forward to my daughter being a bit older and getting into Lego. But am worried, like Rosy, that it’s maybe getting a bit prescriptive, what with all the franchise Lego. True, I spent most of my time trying to build the X-Bomber from Star Fleet, but I made it from a big box of mixed bits. Kind of feels like you have to use your imagination a bit more that way.

  4. I too have happy lego memories. Generally making spaceships for my other toys.I remember when the lego spacemen went from plain yellow or red to having that half white uniform with the zip. And the first time they had visors, wow that was cool!I think we should all get legotars.By the way have you considered doing The Copper Promise lego set?

  5. @Emma – excellent! I have heard that children are an excellent excuse, uh, I mean totally legitimate reason to buy Lego. ;)@Rosy – those little tiny wee bricks… I seem to remember always being on the search for a particular two-nubbin block. When my little cousin played with the Lego with me (he who later STOLE IT ALL) we would shout requests at each other as we searched through the Great Lego Pile.@Danny – I know what you mean. It’s kind of like modern Lego is actually more aimed at collectors. Funnily enough, Neil Sheppard suggested earlier that I make a little tavern for Lego-Me and her brave companions to drink in, and when I was a kid I’d have happily made that out of multi-coloured bricks. Now I’m thinking, “I will need thatch-effect Lego and flag-stone effect Lego and a little pub sign with “The Gilded Brick” written on it.”@Peter – I am vaguely embarrassed to say… yes I have. If you put a little smirky face on my Lego-Me figure and take away the blaster, it could well be Wydrin, and there was an elf figure on ebay with white hair that could be a reasonable Frith… but that way lies madness (not saying I won’t do it, though).

  6. Mmmmmm… Lego :DDefinitely one of my favourite toys of all time, many a spaceship/vehicle built :) Never kept things as they were on the box for long, they always got assimilated into this massive box of lego that i used to make random things.Notable things i made that come to mind:- A huge thunderbird 2 that even had a removable storage section in the middle like on the TV- A large F1 car built from a mix of normal and technic Lego, had working steering plus an authentic crashing action (i made the struts holding the wheels on fragile so the wheels fell off it it crashed into something, like the cars did on the TV!)techy geek as a child too 😀

  7. @cyrilthefish – Wow! That is proper Lego construction 😀 I was never able to make anything as complicated as that – probably explains why my houses kept collapsing (good thing I’m not an engineer)

  8. If you want me to look for any lego stuff next time I am out in Copenhagen let me know. As Denmark is the home of lego, they have rather large shops there. Plus it’s cheaper :)

  9. Like Playmobil, Lego never fail to amazed kids by producing toys that really excites them. This one is a good example.

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