This attitude is common, and I get it. Creativity is a big part of the appeal, especially when I was a kid, but as an adult, to me what’s interesting is the build itself and the engineering of the whole thing. I’m not going to “play” with the finished product, I’m not going to run around the house with a spaceship I built, going “whoooosh!” The professionals at LEGO are much better at engineering a polished, finished product than I am; I just want to build it and put it on a shelf to admire. But only out of LEGO (I hate traditional glue-and-paint model kits).
I don’t understand. I always got the sets designed to make one thing, and I always made the thing pictured on the box… and then after about 15 minutes, I took them back apart, mixed them in with all of my other pieces, and then made something new. Most of what I made was spaceships, so I mostly got the spaceship sets, not because I wanted to make those spaceships, but because they had a bunch of cool pieces like wings and engines that I could find my own uses for. Just putting a directions booklet in the box doesn’t actually hinder creativity.
Most of my Lego experience nowadays is with the robotics kits, mostly in teaching middle schoolers. When we’re on the build phase, I always tell them that they can find directions to follow, or they can come up with their own designs, their choice.
The modern kits aren’t as specialized as you might think; while they’re tailored toward building the intended object, all those parts can be recycled (and are!) by builders for all sorts of stuff. My 6 year old has the odds and ends of all those kits I mentioned above plus one of the… 300(?) basic brick sets, and over time, he’s spent FAR more time making stuff out of his own imagination than he ever has building the kits and playing with the resulting things.
That’s really what Lego blocks are about.
Exceptthe Y-Wing. He kept that thing around and repaired it as he went for nearly six months before he finally took it apart and reused it. I half-suspect he was rather proud of himself for correctly building a nearly 700 piece Lego set for 8-14 year olds.
I’m an adult Lego lover also. I find it relaxing. I don’t tend to build the big stuff (for space and financial reasons). I have a good friend that is working on a Lego Pavlov’s House that will be incredible when it’s finished.
Can you actually get little Red Army and Wehrmacht minifigs?
Yep. https://www.google.com/search?q=wehrmacht+lego+minifigs&client=ubuntu&hs=cex&channel=fs&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjVmtW4kPnbAhXmJDQIHY6tDM4QsAQIMw&biw=1855&bih=959 I should note that Lego has never endorsed war and these are third party compatible stuff.
I have the classic Millennium Falcon, A-Wing and a few other sets. I’ve been playing with Lego since I was 5 years old in Germany (early 70s). I can’t even remember how many bits and sets I’ve had over the years. I almost always “build the box” initially but even now I start making my own variants or completely different things out of the sets. The old Bionicle sets have some neat parts and I always loved the robotics stuff, but could never afford it.
MostlyClueless, I love the minimovies and those builds are incredible. I love the Indrik snow machine! I wish they made a real version of that as I would have use for one at work!
Sort of, they are not actually made by Lego. They are knock-offs (or possibly repainted minifigs). The ones my friend bought from a “Brick Artist” appear to be of good quality.
Grew up in the 80s loving LEGO. It wasn’t a proper Christmas without a few rectangular boxes under the tree that had that distinct sound when shook. In the 80-90s we mostly collected the space, pirate, and train sets. Now that I am in my 40s I primarily collect Star Wars LEGO. My favorite sets are:
LEGO Star Destroyer (10030). This is the first ultimate collectors series (UCS) set and the hardest to find these days. Pain in the ass to build.
LEGO Slave 1 (75060). Really nice set. Well designed.
Millennium Falcon (7965). Older set not the massive new $800 set.
Jawa Sandcrawler (75059). Still haven’t had time to build this one.
Not Star Wars but the Saturn V rocket is a really nice set. I like the fact that it has 1969 pieces
I just got this one yesterday. Haven’t even opened the box yet, but I spent a long time last night eating dinner and admiring it. I wonder if the 1969 pieces was intentional from the beginning, or if they completed the initial build and noticed they were close to that number and “adjusted” a few things to get there.
I had less joy doing it than other lego projects. I’m not sure what made me feel this way, but it just had a lot of tiny details that didn’t pay off for me.
It looks nice, but I wasn’t a huge fan in the end.
The only big set I had as a kid was the same Kings castle as the OP. My mum kept it and set it up for the next generation to play with.
My kids have a bunch of the lego friends and small lego cities sets. And a huge plastic tub of assorted duplo.
My Lego love goes further back than I had guessed. We had thisjumbo block set when I was little.
The first ones I bought for myself (in college) were from the Space collection. Polaris Space Lab, Modular Space Transport, and Terrestrial Rover. I still have bits and pieces of those sets but after a succession of nephews playing with them I doubt any of them are complete. I have a castle set somewhere. One of my nephews would bring his Orc army over and lay siege to it, flinging my knight’s heads over the ramparts with a catapult.
Nowadays, I like to build the architecture sets and various buildings. I have Big Ben and the old fishing shack still to build. That rocket would be incredible but I’ve no idea where I would put it.
It’s really nice though…
When I was a kid, I had a lot of building sets but Legos weren’t a thing then. You just built whatever you wanted. There might be a manual with a dozen or so ideas but far from written in blocks.
Later, when I encountered kids and Lego sets I ran into this weirdness. They would build the thing on the box and then do nothing else at all with the set!!!
They were astonished when I would take it apart and built something else. I mean really brain blowing to them.
I don’t get “Death Star” Lego sets and such. The whole point of these toys is to create, invent, dream up your own constructions.
So my favorite? Just a large box of varied blocks. The more the merrier. Without question the best.
Exactly. Maybe I didn’t get stuff that was as super specialized as the Apollo rocket, but we’d get all sorts of pre-designed space ships and pirate ships and whatever back in the 90s. And we’d make what was in the instructions. And then we’d rip it apart and put it in the Giant Box 'o Lego(s) and used it to make our own stuff. I thought everybody did this, but apparently not.
My son-in-law is a Legos fiend, and has lots of normal blocks. He’ll probably start building again when my grandson gets old enough not to distribute the pieces around. I’ve given him some books with ideas of non-standard stuff to build, including some which require you to saw blocks in half.
I also give them him and my daughter Lego Advent calendars ever Christmas. Buy early, they sell out.
As for me, I do architectural sets. I’ve got the Guggenheim Museum, the UN, the Space Needle, and Berlin and Venice. (Been to all except Venice.)
I might succumb to temptation and buy a Star Destroyer or Saturn V if I see one in a store. My beef is that the instructions are so clear that assembling is not much of a challenge, not like 3-D jigsaw puzzles. The Legos do stay together much better.
My older sister and I really loved to build Rebel bases from Star Wars. Looking back, they were pretty generic constructions that became Rebel bases only because those were the action figures that we happened to populate them with. We never tried to replicate any particular location or scene from the films themselves. (In fact, the only things we ever built that were specific to any actual universe whatsoever were Star Trek-style transporters.) Each one featured a medical center, a computer room and plenty of jail cells. God help us, we never skimped on incarceration. I still remember the time when one of the cells had a loose brick in the wall that happened to have the docking bay on the other side. Of course, all the storylines with that base involved prisoners being thrown in that cell, then escaping. Good times!
[A little off topic, but… ]
Several posts have mentioned the high cost of Lego.
Does anybody know WHY it is so expensive?
It’s just a bunch of small pieces of plastic.
The modern world is full of small plastic stuff–because plastic is so cheap.
Because people are willing to pay that much for small pieces of plastic that say LEGO on them.
It’s high quality plastic. It usually adds up to around 10c per piece count (USD), so a 400 piece set will be $40 or thereabouts. Considering some are specially made pieces in specific colours, that doesn’t sound too bad to me. Interesting link