Saturday, December 08, 2012

Secret Addiction

Lego. If there is one toy (or really an endless toy system) that can stir my childish heart then it is the one with all those almost indestructible plastic interlocking bricks. They didn't figure into my childhood because the company didn't really hit their stride in the construction toy market in the U.S. until the 1970's. I made do with Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and an Erector Set. Cousins of mine, eight and ten years younger, had an American-made knock-off called American Plastic bricks. They were not as sturdy or interesting.

When I traveled around Europe aimlessly in 1972 I went to lots of toy stores. There were some amazing construction toys but even then in Europe there were no giant Lego displays and the brand was not the dominant player it is today. On my recent trip to New York City I refrained from going inside toy stores although I shot some pictures of the windows of the Lego Store in Rockefeller Center like the one above. I have made FFP go into the Times Square Toys 'R Us before to see the giant buildings and figures made from Lego. But during the Christmas season I wouldn't do that.

I still have the urge to buy a Lego set and put it together occasionally. But I've successfully resisted it for years. Five years ago I wrote about the Lego collection I put together and then let go. I guess there are topics I keep returning to, huh? The silly ones.


Sherck said...

Although Legos were ubiquitous when I was a kid, I think my mother had just a bit of a contrary streak to her. Although I had a few legos, I had a whole lot more of two other construction toys: Bristle Blocks and Construx. I imagine they both google just fine if you've never heard of either one.

In either case, now that I have my own children, I'm pushing construction toys too--I think they foster creativity more than a lot of the other toys: whether it's regular wooden blocks or Legos or any other kind of toy, they're all great to get kids creating and imagining.

(And yeah, I love "helping" my girls with them!)

Jerry of Dallas said...

Ahhhh, construction toys! The best kind. I had the Tinker Toys and the Lincoln Logs. Erector sets were out of the picture, though--much too expensive for Dad to get me.
I spent hours and hours when I could constructing all kinds of sets: towns, forts, ships, houses, what have you.
I would have gone ape over Legos, if they had been available in that small burg of ours. We did have a kind of plastic brick, though--can't recall the brand name.