Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Others

While Transformers, G.I.Joe & He-Man pretty much ruled my toy shelf, they definitely weren’t the only ones on it. There were others.  Some of these other toys were pretty obscure and didn’t have the rich mythologies and and stories behind them (translation: they didn’t have an accompanying kick-ass cartoon) like my big three.  Others, although cool were rather simplistic and were eventually over shadowed by more complex and exciting toys.  And others, well I had to give up on due to being persecuted by my friends for liking them….Anyway, regardless of the fact that many of these other toys failed to make a lasting impression on me, they all were at one point in my life a source of joy to me and for that reason alone, I’d like to give them some recognition.  Since this probably will be a rather long piece, I’ll break it up into 3 or 4 parts throughout the week...

In Mmmmy Daaaaaay…..
They sure don't make horses
like the used to...
Lego nowadays is a totally different animal from what it was back in the day.  Things were more simple back then.  There were no Lego Star Wars, Batman or Ninjas.  There were no blind bagged Mini Figures or Lego themed video games either.  My Lego land was simple.  We had Space, City & Medieval…and that was it (I think).  And aside from the trees and the ship hulls, nothing was pre-made.  We had to build EVERYTHING.  I always go back to the horses to drive my point across, today’s Lego horses look so nice and well, look like horses cuz they’re all basically like action figures in themselves with simple articulation to boot, back in my days (I sound like a grumpy old man) we used to BUILD our horses from scratch! They weren’t the prettiest looking horses but in my eyes, they were cool.

Anyway Lego was probably the first toy my dad bought a lot of for me and my brother.  I guess it was the whole “creative” aspect of the toy that attracted him to it.  After almost every business trip my dad would come home with a new set or two of Lego. But regardless of what type of Lego he bought, the “life-cycle” of each set was always the same.  First we’d get the set, build it according to the instructions, marvel at our creation, maybe play with it for a week or so, but almost inevitably, that set would eventually get deconstructed and all the pieces would be dumped in this huge drawer in our room.  And when I say huge, I mean a 2 meter wide, 1 meter deep and almost a foot high drawer.  Imagine one of those filled to the brim with Lego bricks, bits and pieces!

My FIRST Lego set
I guess the reason why the sets wouldn’t stay assembled long was because eventually I’d get bored with them they just didn’t properly capture my imagination and I yearned to build bigger things that couldn’t be put down in an instruction sheet (did that sound poetic or what?) .  But it was true, I didn’t want to just have Lego cars, planes and boats.  I wanted Lego BATTLE cars that had guns and planes that could volt in together to form flying battle fortresses. I wanted monsters, dinosaurs, robots….hell! robot monsters & dinosaurs!  I had all these ideas in my head and the only way I could make them “real” was through my Lego bricks.

And when I was trying to build something specific, I was driven.  From outside my room you could tell if I was playing with my Legos cuz you could here the crashing and swooshing of endles Lego bricks as I swept arms deep into my Lego drawer tirelessly looking for that ONE perfect piece to complete my creation! Good Times!

As I said in the beginning, today Lego is a totally different animal.  I honestly think that today’s Lego doesn’t encourage the imagination as it used to.  Today’s Lego is so specific with so many pre made parts that it would seem like a waste to build anything other than what is illustrated in the instructions.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on today’s Lego, I think they’re amazing for what they are.  They just aren’t my Lego, which is why I never got back into them when nostalgia drove me to start collecting toys again, which in the end is probably a good thing… cuz Legos nowadays are SO DAMN EXPENSIVE! I’m pretty sure I’d be flat broke!  Although…..those mini figures do look pret-ty pret-ty cool….

to be continued...