crusty old reminiscing about toys

A couple months ago a family friend gave my kids a tupperware container of Legos which quickly became my children’s favorite toy (especially Nels). Last night we bought our first new set and, late as it was by the time we got home, my children and I put it together (culminating in a very fetching garbage / recycle truck).

Most Legos these days seem to be cross-branded. – a shame, if you ask me. Not only because I dislike branding in general (it encourages children to drop imagination in their pursuit of toys or clothes they might want and instead simply thirst for anything with Hannah Montana on it, etc) but because these newer Lego kits have many over-specialized parts. The fun in Legos is putting together the specified model once – then you get to take it apart and build your own creations with the blocks. What other use does a Wiggles Aussie Safari Buddy Koala – fully molded with two parts snapping together – have, anyway? Old school Legos were blocks in al colors and sizes, plain and simple.

And let me tell you, they weren’t boring. I swear as a child my brother and I played mostly with dirt and rocks – and Legos, which seemed like the one toy my parents would cheerfully invest in for birthdays. In the Fisher clan we joke about my brother lying on his side (in week-old socks usually) raking through his red plastic box (I can see it in my mind – I wonder where that treasure trove of old got to?) for seemingly hours on end. The avidity with which he and I enjoyed these toys was relived in my children last night as they fully participated in every aspect of construction, eyes wide and hands darting for the tiny, specific pieces for headlights or hydraulic lifts.

Oh – and Nels slept with the Lego kit manual last night; even bringing it from his bed to ours in the middle of the night.

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