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  • 12.19.07

When Bad Things Happen to Good Bricks

Lego’s catalog is a veritable textbook of its problems, says one fan. It features endless brand extensions but no coherent direction.

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It is Christmas Day 1975. I am seven years old. I have just finished extracting small items from a well-stuffed stocking. Among the gifts is a tiny Lego police-car set. I have just lost interest in opening any other gifts.Flash-forward to the present day. I’m no longer seven, but oddly I have more Lego bricks now than during my childhood. Thankfully, my patient and understanding parents allowed me to keep not only all of my old bricks but also all of their packaging and instructions. Technically, I am an AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego), although I revile the acronym. What I really am is a Child Fan of Lego who happens to be nearly 6 feet tall and has a full-time job and a wife. My current collection consists of all of those old sets and roughly 50,000 more bricks added with my own money. Among those bricks are the ones that can still be used to make the tiny police car that came into my world more than a quarter of a century ago … all 13 pieces of it.The new bricks come from my rediscovery of Legos three years ago. I see them as a great design tool, a sculpting medium, and a way to revisit fond memories. I also discovered some cracks in the bricks that I hadn’t noticed as a child.

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