08 December 2010


"Didn't you outgrow Lego?"

That's what my wife asked me today in Wal-Mart. I don't think I've outgrown it. I stopped playing with it for a while, but every once in a while I'll save up and get one of the large models. Technic was a favourite range in my high school / uni years, and more recently the Lego Creator 3-in-1 models are really cool. Instead of just showing example photos of other designs on the backs, each 3-in-1 set contains complete instructions for three different models.

As I explained to Kara, some people build model kits - aeroplanes, vehicles, etc. Some people (my parents) have a fondness for jigsaw puzzles. Well, Lego is my model of choice.

The years spent playing with Lego as a kid in Ghana have paid off at work, too. The world's most famous Danish toy and most famous Swedish furniture have something in common - a list of itemised components, followed by pictorial step-by-step instructions. Some customers have difficulty with IKEA directions. Not me! Lego taught me how to follow pictures and build something new.

Another handy thing about Lego as a toy is the development of fine motor skills. Some of those pieces are really small - and some of those Creator sets are definitely not for those with short attention spans. My 1:8 scale Ferrari F1 racer took me several hours of building to complete.

But back to today's Lego: a return to one of my favourite childhood ranges... the medieval Lego sets. My brother and I had numerous "Castle" and "Robin Hood" sets when we were growing up. When I say "had", we still have them - they're just in storage at Mum & Dad's house. ;) Over the years since then, Lego has had its ups and downs from my point of view. Particularly disappointing for me were the designs and choices in the revised/revamped/updated Castle ranges through the 90s and 2000s. But this new "Kingdom" range is pretty good and reminds me of the Castle sets I grew up with.

Call me a big kid, but I'm going to enjoy the hours I spend putting these together. :)

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