The LEGO Gamble

The set is not necessarily the final picture, and it is certainly not the only picture worth making.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again: my kids love LEGO! Those little, plastic bricks take up the vast majority of their time. They like to ask for and receive the various sets for Christmas and birthdays. The problem with that is that they build the set according to the instructions a few times, maybe three, the first two days and then they lose the pieces -- that is, they mix them with all of their other pieces. At first, I found this practice really frustrating and wasteful. Why should I buy these sets if you just mix all the bricks up? Why don't I just give you bricks? I even tried that one year for Christmas -- instead of a cool set and instruction booklet, Chris got a box of bricks. He liked it, but he would have preferred a set.

Why?

Well, advertising. Also, there are unique bricks in the sets. With these bricks my children have made some remarkable creations -- houses, rocket ships, police stations, vehicles, space stations, office towers, and much more. It took time for me to stop fighting it and to see that for them the sets are just media and inspiration, pencil, paper, a mountain range you've never seen before. The set is not necessarily the final picture, and it is certainly not the only picture worth making.


I'd better state my point, or it'll be missed altogether.


You may never have that toy in one piece again. Also, your bright idea, the reason you took your X-Wing Star Fighter apart, may turn out to be a useless idea that doesn't work out at all.

Building the set the way it is intended to be built is worthwhile. If you follow the directions correctly, you will end up with a nice toy to play with. Now, once you take that toy apart and start doing other things with its pieces, you may not be able to get it back together. You may never have that toy in one piece again. Also, your bright idea, the reason you took your X-Wing Star Fighter apart, may turn out to be a useless idea that doesn't work out at all. You may find you've taken apart something cool, and ended up with bricks that you can't use -- and an angry mother who bought you those under-used bricks.

Then again, you may come up with something else -- something worth coming up with.

If you're viewing this without pictures. Check back. I'm just a little slow at getting them downloaded -- or uploaded or whatever's the right word.