Slug: play-well Date: 2009-09-04 Title: Play Well layout: post

This is the story of a boy becoming a man, then a boy again.

Once Upon a Time (circa 1975), my parents gave me a largish LEGO kit for Christmas. It wasn’t a model per-se, but it was a kit that contained a large number of parts that could be used to build whatever you wanted (I think it might have been this one). They weren’t the big Duplo blocks, they were regular LEGO bricks. And I loved them. Oh, how I loved them.

Over the years, my brothers and I got more and more LEGO for birthdays, Christmas, and such. I mostly built spaceships and transformers - while other kids were out buying GoBots and Transformers, I was hoarding “special pieces” (hinges of various kinds) and fighting with my brothers over them because I needed them for the folding parts of my robots, or for the pod bay doors on my latest giant spaceship.

Classic Space Speed Build

Over the years, I didn’t exactly grew out of my LEGO, but I did leave home for school, spend 5-7 years traveling around the world, etc. In such ways LEGO becomes a childhood memory, whether we mean it to or not.

Fast forward a few years…

After Jodi and I got married, I inherited (read “acquired by bugging, cajoling, and bothering”) the old wooden box (with contents) my father had built for our LEGO. It wasn’t a large collection by that point - just several hundred pieces (a couple of pounds worth) of basic brick, and an acrylic box containing the last of my classic Space LEGO. Nevertheless, I kept it around, and when the kids came along we’d pull it out from time to time and have a little fun.

Then recently I ran across a site that simply blew my mind. The Brothers Brick is an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) blog dedicated to community news, education, and of course, lots of posts showcasing stuff that members of the community are creating.

Now, I’ve had friends who were adults and LEGO fanatics, but I had no idea there was this whole… world of fans, with whole genres and subgenres of building. I started browsing the Flickr pools, marveling at the creations people came up with. I joined MOCPages, a community site where fans can post pics of their MOCs (“My Own Creation”). I’m still amazed at what folks come up with.

If you’re one of my Flickr contacts, you may have noticed the sudden plethora of ABS-containing images showing up in my photostream.

WIP_ Grease Alley_ Chop shop renovation

Being a LEGO fan now is way more interesting than just building stuff - what with Flickr for images, MOCPages for more images and following other builders, etc, and the local LUG (mine here in Phoenix is CactusBrick), LEGO has become an amazing community experience - around an incredible plastic building toy that I can even share with my own kids. :-)

P.S. The post title comes from the reputed origin of the name LEGO - “leg godt” is Danish (the company is based in Billund, Denmark) for “play well”.