4 Oct 2008


I fell in love with Lego when I was in primary school. I had (and still have, actually) a neighbor (who was also my desk-mate and play-buddy) who had loads of Lego pieces. They were all mixed together and deposited in shoe boxes and we’d get them out of the wardrobe and we’d spend hours and hours building whatever our vivid imagination considered appropriate. (photo below from here, the creation of brick artist Nathan Sawaya)

As childhood gaming faded away and the responsibility of endless secondary school homework took over most of our spare time, we’d often find ourselves in unfortunate circumstances of Math exercises and Geography lessons eroding our relationship with the Lego pieces.

This way, by the time we reached 14, the amazing pieces that challenged our imagination were long forgotten. And they stayed that way until last week, when I spent quite some hours evaluating items in the children’s department of a big retail store.

The long hours of close examination made me draw two main conclusions.

One (and I know I’ve thought about this before, but it just seemed so much more striking): it really is no wonder that kids are getting smarter and smarter, and that’s not exclusively due to computers. It also has a lot to do with the intriguing games one can find nowadays in children’s stores. Games that invite you to discover the world in its various forms and aspects, games that stimulate your ability to form complex constructions and structures, games that challenge your imagination and invite you to make the most out of your creativity. Games that have been developed by physics institutes and art labs and all sorts of other pretentious structures.

Two: my passion for using Lego bricks is slowly finding its way back into my life. Therefore, I couldn’t help buying myself a great Ferrari Lego from the Racers collection, which was followed by several Bionicle acquisitions. And I keep on finding reasons to go check out the Lego shelves almost daily. Anyway.

The thing is that reexamining my own Lego memories obviously made me curious in some different ways: am I the only Lego nostalgic around? was Lego a significant part in more nineties childhoods? are there other 20+ Romanians who have found the joy of Lego once again? or some who’ve never lost it ? is there a local community of Lego-builders? and I could go on and on, but I guess the point is made.

Happily, browsing local blogs and forums started answering my questions. As well as revealing some rather neat realities. It seems that many 20+ (and even 30+) guys have great childhood recollections concerning Lego sets, which they’d mix and recombine and use and reuse according to the free will of their imagination. Moreover, discussions around Lego apparently not only wake up memories, but also stimulate the parental instincts of these people, who are pretty much keen to pass on the Lego flame, rituals and secrets to their kids.

One very pleasant surprise was to come across a young guy in Cluj-Napoca, who is a Lego guru and who is making great efforts to build a strong local community of Lego embracers (he set up a Lego forum here, and you also google numerous other topics opened by him on other ro forums). His name is Adrian Florea, and his own creations are interesting and ingenious enough to have brought him several prizes, interviews, as well as an admirable position of Lego ambassador. the photo below is taken from boingboing.

Until I get to reach great Lego achievements, I must also link to an ArtLab research project that used the bricks as a means of expression and exploration.


Anonymous said...

Bits & Thoughts...frumos articol...imi aminteste de un citat din Ärzteverzeichnis

diana said...

multumesc :), din pacate insa n-am inteles o iota din link :(

Andy said...

I was quite obsessed with Lego bricks :-D si ma gandesc la modul cel mai serios sa ma reapuc de chestia asta ca "hobby" desi acum am 25 de ani :-D

Tin minte ca pe la inceputul anilor 90 tot jinduiam la corabiile mari de pirati si la Lego-urile mecanice (care evident nu se gaseau la noi pe vremea aia, iar ce se gasea era extrem de scump). I still want those !!!

Mersi de articol :-) o sa ma uit pe forumul respectiv si .. poate imi fac "curaj" sa ma reapuc si de Lego :-D

diana said...

ma bucur ca si tu te gandesti sa te reapuci de lego :), ar fi super daca ne-am cunoaste cat mai multi iubitori de lego.

si by the way, tocmai am aflat ca la cluj va fi organizata o expozitie de moc-uri la inceputul lunii decembrie. poate ne vedem pe acolo :).

Andy said...

Heh ... eu as merge, mai ales ca am o legatura aparte cu Clujul dar ... mie daca nu-mi aduce cineva aminte cu cateva zile inainte ... uit orice :-D

Adrian S. said...

Venind din partea unuia care încă are cele patru lăzi mari de LEGO din copilărie, aş spune că, în ziua de azi, LEGO are două bube. N-ar fi multe, dar sunt mari şi esenţiale:

Primo - preţul exagerat de mare. E greu să fii student şi să mai ai şi hobby în LEGO.

Secundo - tendinţa de prefabricare a pieselor complexe: cum faci, cum nu faci, tot robotul ăla iese. Zic eu că asta paradeşte niţeluş iniţiativa creativă, precum şi plăcerea aia pe care o aveam de a face orice, cum ai face din rahat - bici şi să mai şi plesnească.

Sigur că ar mai fi de zis şi despre tendinţa agresivă (din ce în ce mai pronunţată în cultura dedicată copiilor şi nu numai) pe care o au noile modele de roboţi, nave şi toate cele.

Toate ca toate, mişto invenţie LEGO ăsta :). Mi-a mâncat copilăria! :P

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Elisabeta said...

I love lego games.