Monday, April 30, 2012

My First Lego Set?

Barney Bear 3629
I mentioned in my previous post a Lego set that I remembered pretty well from my 7th birthday. However, that wasn't my first experience with Legos. While fishing through the 1000's of pieces in the old Lego collection, I found a bear minifig that was very different from the standard Lego minifigs. It had a big wobbly bear head, a blocky red body, black legs, and yellow arms. There were several other pieces in my collection that didn't match the typical Lego pieces, like a full black car chassis with grey wheels on metal axels. I vaguely remembered seeing the pieces before, but I had no real memory of them. After doing a little investigative work on Brickset, I tracked the little bear down to a specific set, the Barney Bear set from the Fabuland series. It's obviously a set that was designed for small children, and it debuted in 1981. I myself debuted in 1978, which means I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years old when my parents got this set for me. As you can see, I apparently got started with Legos at a very young age, before I can remember, even.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Past and Present

Alien Moon Stalker 6940
I was trying to recall the first LEGO set I ever owned. I couldn't think back that far, but the earliest one I remember was from my 7th (or was it my 8th?) birthday when my parents got me the Alien Moon Stalker. It wasn't my first ever set, but I'm pretty sure it was my first set that had over 200 pieces. It was in the now classic Space system of LEGOs, and I loved this thing. It had rockets, a detachable head and tail section, the tail worked as a claw like appendage for picking up things, there were storage compartments in the legs, and it WALKED! Well, by "walked" I mean you could move the legs back and forth so that if you were on a flat surface you could make it shuffle along, quite nicely. The walking mechanism was achieved by using five turntable pieces to attach the legs to the body, and this wasn't the only set to use this mechanism (for instance, check out the Walking Astro Grappler). Part of the reason I remember this set so fondly is that it was the closest thing I had to those AT-ATs from Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back. Like every nerd child from that generation, I thought those giant, evil walking machines were the coolest part of that movie. Having the Moon Stalker was like having my very own LEGO version of one of those awesome four legged robots.

Motorized Walking AT-AT 10178
Well, now we're in present day. There are tons of new LEGO systems, one of which is their immensely popular Star Wars based sets. Now you can have a LEGO set that is actually based on the AT-AT from Empire Strikes Back. Not only does this one not shuffle, it WALKS BY ITSELF! There's a pretty large gap between when I got my last LEGO set for myself and when I recently bought one for my daughter. In that amount of time, LEGO sets have come a long, long way. But even so, it amazes me that they still remain faithful to the original designs and use most of the same parts that were originally patented in the 1950s. Sure, there are tons of new pieces and building mechanisms, but it's comforting for an old(er) LEGO fan to watch his daughter open up a brand new set and still see a lot of the old pieces I grew up with.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Lego History

Hi, my name is Joe and I still play with Legos. I started playing with Legos back in the three system days (Town, Castle, and Space) in the 80's and 90's. I started getting "too old" to play with Legos right about the time the Pirate system took off. As tends to happen, once I headed off to college my folks bundled all of my lego sets into one giant tupperware container and put it up in the attic to save for "the grandkids".

Fast forward about 18 years. Now I'm married, have a good job, a house with a mortgage in the suburbs, and 2 children of my own, the grandkids my parents had been anticipating. My oldest daughter is almost 7 and I realized that was about the time I started playing with Legos. So one day, while visiting my parents, I casually asked if the old Lego bin was still in the attic, and could I borrow it for a bit. Yes it was, and yes I could.

Needless to say, both my daughters (the other one is 2) love playing with Legos, and are always asking me to play with them. So now that my love of Legos has been rekindled, and add to that the ubiquitous prescence of the internet, I've been rediscovering Legos in the modern age. I think I may be playing with Legos for a long time to come.
Blog Collector Blog Directory