My Strange Obsession – LEGO

Reconnecting with my childhood through a toy I always wanted

Growing up, I moved a lot. Not just houses, continents.

This may sound like I’m trying to brag, but in this context, it’s no such thing of the sort. Moving around meant LEGO bricks were the most inconvenient toy ever.

By the time I was five-years-old, my parents had learned that my sister and I were unable to keep a build together for longer than a few months, rendering the colourful blocks into sharp mounds of clunky rectangles.

I never lacked toys – I know I was lucky in that sense. But a part of me always knew LEGO and I had a forbidden love story, destined to happen and blow up all over my life.

And now, it has.

LEGO has taken over my social media feeds, my YouTube recommendations, even my relationship. My partner and I have adjusted our nightly routine to reflect the new change – we now watch videos of people building massive and expensive lego sets, reviewing all the fun playing features.

I don’t know what exactly it is about the building block – maybe the satisfaction I feel when two pieces fit perfectly together, to create a seamless and entirely new object.

Or maybe the feeling of accomplishment from seeing the finished product of a set that once started out as bags of what looked like confetti.

Could even be the childlike playfulness the toy brings out in me, imagining the different scenarios I could play out in my own little pretend world, making the mini-figures speak in funny voices…

Either way, it’s not a hobby I can easily delve into… not to mention it would cost me some serious money.

LEGO might be most commonly known as a children’s toy, but there is an entirely different “LEGO” world for adults, too. One that is expensive, filled with intricate architectural models, scenes from movie franchises, and creative objects such as flower bouquets or even globes.

My long-lost LEGO love found me one night when my partner unsuspectingly pulled out the LEGO Paris Architecture set, retailed at $70-$80. A tiny, innocent-looking box sparked this weeks-long obsession.

The evening was quite quaint, the two of us silently squatting on the floor sorting LEGO pieces into neat piles only to rummage through them when looking through the instruction manual.

Once we had completed the set – a total of 649 pieces and approximately five hours – we sat, content, observing our creation, now in awe of what had come from those mismatched pieces in the small, innocent box.

The next morning, we pulled out a 10-year-old un-assembled LEGO set from my partner’s basement storage closet. It was one of the big boxes. The ones you see on the shelves at the store that your parents would never buy for you. Over 2,000 pieces.

I haven’t felt pure excitement over a toy in a long time. But now, with my new LEGO obsession, I’m hoping I will continue to honour my inner child’s wildest dreams.


Graphic by James Fay

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