Build Yourself Some Fun: A Brief Lego Retrospective

Real police stations should look like this.

Real police stations should look like this.

There is no way I can cover the entirety of Lego in one small article. Therefore, I will limit myself to strictly non-Bionicle Lego since that just asks for a whole article unto itself. Pretty much every kid had a set of Lego.

And by the way, it is Lego, no ‘s’ at the end, though that is a common misconception. Apparently the Lego brand utterly HATES when people make that mistake. Personally, I don’t care, but that’s just because I’m spending so much time building a spaceship or a jet formed from an RV and a police station to care what’s happening in the rest of the world.

In the simplest terms, Lego cannot be contained to one simple category despite the various series of models they’ve put out. While you may get a pirate ship set, nothing is stopping you from deciding it should be a knight’s fortress or a coffee shop, assuming you have the know-how to assemble whatever your mind can dream up.

The Brief History

Remember when pirates were actually cool?

Remember when pirates were actually cool?

The first Lego bricks were created by Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1949, though Christiansen had been making wooden toys since the 932 with his company that he named Lego, a name Christiansen coined in 1934 that came from the Danish term “leg godt,” which meant “play well.” And that’s where “Lego” comes from. Now you know.

However, it wasn’t until 1958 that the current standard for Lego bricks was formed, but since then every Lego brick has been compatible. Seriously, if you can find some Lego bricks from 1958, they still fit with bricks being manufactured this very second.

I’m sure everyone has owned at least one Lego model over the years. One of the best Christmases I’ve ever had involved me coming down to a track of Lego road pieces with a truck stop built on them, complete with multiple big rigs, a firefighter’s jeep, an RV, and an airplane for good measure. Since that moment I was thrilled to construct, play with, and then deconstruct models both sanctioned by Lego and of my own design.

Popular Brands Love Lego

More recently you’ll probably find Lego tied to other big names, such as Harry Potter, LEGO Batman, and LEGO Star Wars. Most boys my age drooled over the thought of owning the super duper model of the Millennium Falcon, but of course most of our families were unable to afford something that cost as much as a year’s salary (okay, they weren’t that expensive, but they were ridiculous for little plastic bricks).

Go ahead, try and build a pony out of this.

Go ahead, try and build a pony out of this.

Personally, I’d advise finding something a little less on the dramatic side and more on the functional side. A firehouse is always fun, or a police station, purely because both of those are important once you begin building space ships and time machines since there will be aliens and Vikings and all sorts of things that will eventually need to be arrested or saved from fire.

Of course you can’t go wrong with a kit of pure building Lego bricks, though I would suggest that more for the sort of kids already excelling at creating models other than what comes in the Lego manuals.

Depending on your interest in a Lego set, you could spend under $10 or over $100. Sadly, you’re paying for the name here, so expect the models to be more expensive than other brands, but still, you get what you pay for and then some. Lego will be around forever; they continue to be one of the most reliable and sturdy building toys around.


About Author

Chris was the former Head Writer/Editor of Toy-TMA. He did a great job overseeing the site and getting new content published regularly. Always more than willing to respond to a comment or two, but pitiless with trolls! He has since moved on from TMA, and we wish him the best.

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