It’s been a while since we last corresponded.
Since then, we’ve got closer, I think.
These days, Flea is a huge LEGO fan. We’ve got boxes full of LEGO Chima sets, and over Christmas we built an amazing LEGO winter village together. And pleasingly, Flea is getting confident enough to build her own LEGO creations – small houses, unfeasibly large sofas, towers, monsters… lots and lots of monsters.
So it was hardly surprising when we were first in line to see the LEGO movie at a preview screening. Flea ADORED the whole thing and even the grown-ups attending enjoyed it. If you’re reading this and haven’t seen the LEGO Movie yet, you absolutely must, by the way. It’s fantastic.
I was surprised that the last 15 minutes or so of the movie really made me quite emotional. I won’t post spoilers but it’s all about how LEGO is really for kids, teaching them to use their imaginations, that you’ll never really succeed if you just follow the instructions. The movie’s message is that play is all about kids making new things (that might not make sense to adults) and inventing their own stories.
It was properly lovely. Sniff.
So this weekend, when Flea was given some money to spend on toys, she was in no doubt what she wanted to buy – a big box of LEGO bricks.
She received a box of bricks for Christmas but she doesn’t have enough blocks to build houses and apartments, and apparently not enough floors. So we headed off to our local Toys R Us to stock up. This is a big to store – there is an entire aisle the width of the whole store devoted to LEGO. Not just that, there is a LEGO movie display and a LEGO Star Wars display, elsewhere in the store, and of course a lot of LEGO Friends sets in the “girls’ aisle” *narrows eyes*.
Anyway, hundreds of metres of shelving, stacked floor to ceiling with LEGO. We would be spoiled for choice, surely?
Except here’s what we found:
Sorry the sound is terrible. But what you can’t hear is Flea saying how odd it is that there are hundreds of boxes of LEGO to buy, but there’s not a single LEGO set that isn’t themed.
Not a single, solitary one.
If you want LEGO City, Star Wars, Friends, Movie, Chima, Ninjago, Duplo, Castle, Lord of the Rings, Lone Ranger, Ninja Mutant Turtles or even LEGO storage bricks then great! But if you want some LEGO bricks to make your own stuff – well, you’re out of luck. We went home disappointed – with a box of Playmobil (and a One Direction action figure, but that’s a story for another day).
So here’s what I wondered – are we the only people who want to be able to buy regular LEGO?
Plenty of my friends said they love the themed sets – Suzanne’s kids like the challenge of putting them together, and Denise particularly loves the 3 in 1 sets. We really enjoy those sets too, and as I have mentioned, LEGO Chima is one of Flea’s favourite toys at the moment.
But almost all of my friends said their kids mostly, or sometimes loved to play with regular, un-themed LEGO bricks.
Lindy from Squidgyboo says her 8 year old daughter mostly loves to ‘free style’ LEGO – using bricks inherited from her Dad. Merry and Pippa both said that if they buy themed sets, they are usually broken up fairly quickly and used as regular bricks.
So why is it so very hard to find regular LEGO bricks – ESPECIALLY given that the notion of free imaginative play, without rules and instructions, is such a central theme of the LEGO movie?