The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The "Toy" You Never Quite Grow Out Of

Kids love them. Fathers love them. Mothers love them, in spite of the fact that vacuum cleaners also love them. You can find them at most department stores, toy stores and discount stores. They are seldom found at yard sales, flea markets or thrift stores, because once you have them, you keep them or pass them on within the family. They are Legos. Simple Legos. The plastic pieces of dreams, the building blocks of imagination. Yeah.

Last weekend, Brickfest 2005 convention was held at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. It is the official convention for AFoLs ( Adult Fans of Lego.) Lego fans gathered from all over the place to play and show off their creations. I first learned of this at Wired.com in a story by Michael Grebb. If I had known about it sooner -- naw-- I know I wouldn't have gotten involved, but I might have had Legos more in the front of my mind at gift-giving time. They are timeless. Now that there are larger Legos made with smaller children in mind, it seems to me there is a Lego set for just about everyone a person might find on a gift list. With this in mind, I clicked over to Lego's website -- checked under products -- and found all sorts of sets, games, and -- no building sets. I clicked the shopping cart, and there they were. Lots of building pieces. Reasonable prices.

So I wandered around the net a bit and found Ben's Lego Creations -- a site of his efforts. He is especially fond of machinery and 'bots.' Then I found Eric Kingsley's creations - he is quite diversified. Seems since I was young, Lego had added many elements to its sets of bricks, and many technical creations are now possible. But the one site after my own heart is here, where, for a price, you can have a Lego replica built of your own home or a dream home or some such. This is the sort of Lego building I want to do!

I used to play with Techie Kid's Legos while he was at school. When I was a kid, somewhere my brother and I inherited an old rusty erector set, a group of grid panels with little nuts and bolts to hold them together in whatever creation we could come up with. Well -- that was swell, but I remember the metallic smell on my hands and I wasn't crazy about that. When we were even younger than that, we had some Lincoln Logs -- but there were never enough of those. We had the cannister of Tinker Toys, too -- the bare bones of creative toys -- but there weren't enough of those, either, and I think they were left behind when the family migrated East around 1955. But I have always wanted to create solid things like houses, buildings -- even cities. Maybe that's one of the reasons I enjoy my SIMS so much -- you get to design and build your own houses, over and over again.

And now that I am a grown up, and I have time to myself to play with such things as Legos -- I have no room. But maybe I can give some as gifts over the holiday season this year, and (if I can do it politely, without intruding) when I visit those I gift with Legos, they will not mind if I just -- play for a while!
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Disclaimer: Lego is a registered trademark. This page is in no way affiliated with Lego. Visit the official Lego site at http://www.lego.com/!
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Yep -- here we are, toward the end of August. "Next August" is the time, I vow to myself every December, I will begin the holiday shopping and preparation for the next year. I hope everyone likes Legos...

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