Grandma & Grandpa's Farm

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let Go of my LEGO! - Childhood Pass Times

Let Go of My LEGO!

Favourite Childhood Toys.

I used to spend hours playing on my own when I was little. I guess I was a bit of a loner as a child. I did like to play with other kids, but often found myself quietly playing on my own in the living room or in my bedroom. I had this wonderful toy I got for Christmas one year. It was my second set of bricks and could do so much more it seemed than my first set of plastic bricks which seemed only good for building walls and buildings. This new set had a fun name - LEGO!

The modern style bricks were actually first patented in January 1958 - 50 years ago - but " took another five years to find exactly the right material for it."* I guess this means, since I was born in June 1958, that I must have had one of the first sets of the modern LEGO. Not meaning a first edition or anything collector worthy - rather meaning that I had the opportunity to be one of the first kids to be playing with the toy and enjoying it. I feel rather privileged.

Now the set I had, had three bricks with holes for wheels and six wheels with tires. (The rubber tires did not fair very well for they were indeed nice and chewy and I was a tactile kid.) It also had an odd piece which would act as a flexible trailer hitch. The set also had a window block and a window door block. These were in addition to a number of transparent plastic versions of the regular LEGO blocks.

I think the set was a moderately large one and was intended to be very general. It had pieces to build both houses and vehicles. I did build wheeled vehicles with it, but not too many houses or buildings. What I did tend to build with it was submarines and space ships!

I thought the wheels made excellent space motor propulsion things... not like some sort of space wheel to drive on, but like some sort of energy emitter so they faced to the rear of the spacecraft. You have to remember that the original "Star Trek" and "Lost in Space" were on television. I also thought they made good ultra scientific submarine motor propulsors like they used on "Stingray" the Supermarionation show. I also didn't keep things strictly to the LEGO bricks. I would add whatever seemed like it would fit which might include marbles and bits and pieces from broken ball point pens like springs and the bits inside the pen tops that made the nib go in and out. (I also learned a lot about how the mechanics of pens worked.) It was good to have a box of buttons and bits to include in my LEGO bricks.

That included small figures from other toys. The set of LEGO I had didn't have any LEGO figures in it. I am not sure that LEGO included them yet. So I took figures from other toys of mine. I liked the "army men" that were in general poses like seated for in a jeep or plane and I had figures that never seemed to get into model planes as well. They all were crew for my subs and space ships. One of my favourites was my "little blue man" I think actually I had a few so I called them my "little blue men". It gives me a giggle when I see the "Blue Men Group" performing because they look like my "little blue men" come to life.

I could while away the hours with both building and playing with the models I made with the LEGO.

My imagination would soar to the stars or plunge to the ocean depths - of course my companions were things like National Geographic's articles on undersea exploration and habitats and similar articles on space exploration. Perhaps it was play like that which has lead me in part to where I am with a good education and crisp mind ready to imagine most anything? I know if I have children, they will have toys they can make toys with. That includes a box of buttons and stuff... well taking care that they are old enough not to choke on the wee bits.

~ Darrell

BTW You can find a page for LEGOLAND and as well as the site there is a LEGO Shop. I found a page about a collection of all the LEGO sets ever made too in The Lego Secret Vault - someone should let them know they are using the trademark name wrong.


*Lego - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I have read this in other sources as well.

PS This post is in Red because most of my Lego Blocks were Red with a few specialty ones that were Transparent, White, or Blue and one or two that were Yellow.

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