M. Giant's
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Thursday, December 17, 2009  

Brick by Brick

I have mixed emotions about M. Edium's current fascination with Legos™ and Star Wars, and particularly about his obsession with where they intersect, in Star Wars Lego sets.

I mean, have you seen these? These are not his father's Lego sets, and I speak from firsthand experience. When I was his age, Legos were a bin of square and/or rectangular blocks that came in four colors, and if you wanted to build something out of them, it better be something square. Even though they interlocked, they really only stacked in the same orientation. The only difference between Legos and old-style wooden blocks is that sometimes you could pick up the former and turn it upside-down without falling apart. And if you really wanted to get exotic, you could use doors and windows in a Lego house. Dynamic!

A bit later, Legos evolved into the "space" sets, which consisted mainly of the addition of wings, cockpit canopies, and more jet engines. This made it possible to build fighter ships, although they were still a pretty blocky. But if you wanted to build something that actually looked like something out of Star Wars, you were on your own.

So that – and, more significantly, puberty --pretty much ended my involvement with Legos for a couple of decades. Come to find out that in 1999, the Star Wars line of Lego sets had their debut. Just a coincidence that The Phantom Menace came out that same year, right?

Anyway, I didn't know any of this was going on until M. Edium started getting Lego catalogs in the mail, again with convenient timing -- just as he started getting into Star Wars.. It's like they know.

Back in August, M. Edium came home from his first road trip with his grandparents as the proud owner of a Darth Vader's TIE fighter Lego set. Once he'd scammed them into buying it for him, he had a little trouble figuring out how he was gong to bring it home to us, since we'd given him strict instructions not to be scamming gifts out of his grandparents. At first he told them, "Don't tell my mom. It'll just confuse her." But then he came up with the story that he had received it as a reward for being extra-good, which worked great for the two or three days we believed it and by the time we learned the truth we were too impressed with his scamming skills to be mad.

And actually, it came in handy for our own purposes. A day or two after he got back, the three of us were going on a camping trip to Wisconsin, and we weren't about to bring it along. Still, knowing it was waiting for him at home, and that the amount of time he had to wait before assembling it when we got back was directly proportional to his behavior, helped us keep him in line.

Of course, I didn't let on that I was probably looking forward to building it as much as he was. They teach you some parenting skills in high school, but sometimes the most important one you learn there is how to hide what a dork you really are.

We had a lot of fun putting it together after we got back, and it actually stayed together for a few weeks. But that was just the beginning.

posted by M. Giant 6:49 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

My four year old is all about Star Wars, the Legos, and the Star Wars lego sets. Lately, he's been disassembling the Star Wars kits and building scenes from Indiana Jones with them instead. It's better than running with scissors, I figure.

By Blogger Lady M, at December 17, 2009 at 8:50 PM  

It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't ridiculously expensive.
We have lego Yoda watching over us from the ledge above the TV. And that's just my husband and me. The kid is only six weeks old.

By Blogger Duffy Batzer, at December 18, 2009 at 6:39 AM  

We just got that exact set for our nephew (5 years old) for Christmas. Most crucial: no Jar Jar or Anikin involved.

His Uncle looks forward to helping him put it together.

By Blogger GhostGirl, at December 19, 2009 at 5:13 PM  

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