I’m a LEGO fan. Loved them as a kid, still love them now as a 40-year-old man. They were very expensive for my parents to buy, but fortunately they saw the value in it so they almost never minded buying them for my brother and I when they could afford it. I had kind of forgotten about them for a while, but then my brother had kids, and my friends started having kids, and they were all really into LEGO so that brought it back into my head.
My nephew inherited all of my childhood LEGO, and I’m happy to let him have them, because now I can buy my own sets.
Over the years I’ve had a lot of different sets; my best ones from childhood were the King’s Castle 6080 and the Technic Prop Plane 8855 with the large-format minifigure and fully functional ailerons and elevators. They are both still assembled.
Ooh, LEGOs, the toys Mothers love to step on in the middle of the night!
My oldest (29yo) loved his. I still find them around the house. My little Yorkie was chewing on something a few days ago. Guess what? A yellow LEGO block.
I have his blocks in a box, when his Girls get old enough they are going to his house.
I have two types of sets: basic lego sets with varying numbers of pieces including most of the “classic” sets released in the past year or so, and sets that have to do with camping or the sea. The lighthouse with a whale. The cabin with a moose. A boat. Sharks and an octopus. Lots of RVs. Both of the recent people sets about parks and the beach. The next set I want is the new people set about camping. I want to set up a lakeside campground someday. The mystery machine my brother bought me can be a camper too, right?
When I was like twelve years old, we had some cousins visiting from Germany and they were playing with these neat toys. My mother was interested, so she called the company. (She worked for the phone company so long-distance wasn’t an issue.) What we found out was that the US headquarters was relatively nearby in Enfield Connecticut. They sent one of those little starter kits as a gift. And then I talked my parents into buying one of the building sets from a local toy store. I think it may have had 200 pieces or so, and it was expensive. Perhaps $100-150. These were generic kits, with which you could build anything you wanted, unlike the specific kits they seem to specialize in today. It had various blocks, doors, windows, wheels, and a few people. Given I was a somewhat literal child, the first thing I did was to reproduce all of the structures pictured on the box.
(I also always wanted an Erector set but never got one of those, and that too was a local company.)
As a kid, I mostly had some of the older, weirder sets- like the 1975 Moon Lander one. It was mostly vertical blocks- the whole peg system they have these days hadn’t been released yet, so while fun, they weren’t nearly as cool as contemporary sets are.
I also had a bunch of competitor blocks- Tente was what they were called, and they were pretty cool- they had some neat vehicle pieces that Lego didn’t have at the time- stuff like ship bows and sterns, radar dishes, domes, missile launchers, helicopter pads, helicopters, etc…
My 6 year old son is a total LEGO fiend and a space and Star Wars fanatic, so I’ve actually put together a lot of sets in the past few years. The big Space Shuttle one, a TIE Striker, an X-Wing, a cargo plane, and a host of smaller ones, and a few megablox sets as well. He figured out about six months ago how to put them together himself, and he put together a Y-Wing, Rey’s speeder, and a few other smaller kits.
None of my kids were interested in LEGO until my middle three daughters recently took a major interest in LEGO Friends. I do like these sets. Their “friendship house” comes with a LEGO grill and three little LEGO hot dogs, which for some reason makes me smile like the Cheshire cat.
My own favorite when I was a kid was a pneumatic crane which had (back then, for me) the most interesting pieces…a ball and socket joint, hinges, etc (I suspect it was this one, but for some reason, my mind remembers it as red rather than yellow).
When I was 8 (around 1975) I had a large Lego set with nothing but “basic” pieces like bricks, plates, and tiles. I loved that set and built all kinds of things with it. I really don’t understand the appeal of Lego sets that are designed to build one thing; they don’t allow you to be creative. Wish I still had that set…
My parents visited Denmark and brought back a set; they weren’t sold in the US yet.
You could mostly just build houses, but I found it fun to build, especially by making my own structures. I lost interest when they started making kits designed to make only one thing. I wanted to decide what I wanted to build with it.
I love Legos! But I can’t justify the prices for me to build them, so I buy them for my son for his birthday and Christmas and “help” him put them together. Last Christmas was the Taj Mahal and before that was the Porsche. It’s looking like the new Millennium Falcon for Christmas this year. Probably.
My 9-year-old son started his love affair with Lego when he was three, or thereabouts. My dad bought him a small Lego rescue set that came with a dumpster on fire. He’s been obsessed ever since. For a while he didn’t keep his sets separated so now, between his bedroom and our basement, there are about 10,000 Lego pieces scattered. He is in the process of putting all of his sets back together so he can keep all of the pieces separate. His cousin also recently gave him all of his old Legos, so he also has a bin of random pieces that he can just have fun with.
His crown jewel is the Lego City Police Station. He saved up for about 9 months (birthday, Christmas and chore money) to buy the $100 set, and the boy was PROUD when he finally got it all together! He’s got a lot of Star Wars Lego City sets too. He likes the Ninjago series, but I’m not sure if he just likes the cartoon/movie or if he actually has any sets. He’s got a ton of Mixels too, which he was obsessed with for a while.
ETA: My own memory of Lego from when I was a kid was that they were too expensive for my parents to buy, and I never really asked for, but my friend Tom had a lot and I liked playing with them at his house. I don’t remember there being sets back then, but just boxes with a variety of pieces that you built stuff with. This was the mid-80s.
I never had LEGO when I was very young, it was hard to get and expensive in our town, but some of my friends did because they had family back in Europe who could get it cheap, being Denmark’s neighbour. I didn’t get my first set until I was 10, and it was a fantastic one that let me build vehicles, buildings, and lots more besides. My younger sister had a set that was about a family. They were a bit gender-oriented, I suppose, but not to the degree they might have been.
I didn’t get any more LEGO of my own until I was in my 30s when they started to make IP sets for Star Wars and Harry Potter etc. I don’t have the time and space to do as much as I would like, but one day, when I’m financially solvent again, I will be collecting more for sure, it’s a great hobby to noodle with.
I also have a couple of the mini-spaceships-in-planet-shaped-balls (I got the Tie Interceptor in a Death Star and the X-Wing), several Star Wars advent calendars, several Technics sets, a few Bionicles, and some smaller Castle sets. My kids have many, many more sets.
Legos were always a part of my childhood, though the specialty kits didn’t exist yet. I’m kind of with those that think it’s more fun to create your own designs. One vivid memory I have is of building a house (a pretty good one if I do say so myself) and my brother coming along with a Tonka truck to which he had attached a “wrecking ball” made from some kind of lead ball (a fishing weight?). He demolished my house and my mother just about demolished him.