In the fall of 1991, as a birthday present from my parents, I received LEGO set number 6062. The set – part of the Castle theme series – featured a small fortified wall under attack from a battering ram. After building the set and running through a series of small skirmishes, I quickly destroyed the wall and battering ram and began reassembling the bricks.
I was hooked. These little plastic bricks were the coolest thing ever. Over the next few years, I amassed quite a collection. (My obsession with LEGO made me very easy to buy presents for. “What do you want for your birthday, Matthew?” LEGOs! “What do you want for Christmas, Matthew?” LEGOs! This pattern held for five or six years.)
Slowly and subtly, my love for LEGO waned as I went through middle school. My collection was kept in a large tub and filed away in a closet. There they sat, neglected for years while I attended college, got married, began paying my own utilities – the stuff of adulthood. I like to imagine my LEGO minifigs (the little 1-inch tall LEGO men) came alive in my absence – Toy Story-like – waiting for my return. They kept their swords sharp, and their horses groomed and fed, knowing that the Dark Ages in the back of the closet would not last forever.
Several years ago, while visiting my parents, I found that tub of LEGO bricks. I took it home and began reassembling my sets in a corner of my basement. That corner is fast becoming full of castles and marauding armies of sword and spear wielding minifigs. I’ve assembled a race track and some Indy style cars to speed along it. My wife – bless her – even got me a LEGO set for Christmas, the first Christmas morning in 15 years that I’ve had the the thrilling experience of opening a new LEGO set.
Which brings me to this delightful book – LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender. Bender is roughly my age and had a similar experience in transitioning from a child to adult fan of LEGO. His memoir-via-toys narrative is full of funny and eye-opening encounters as he ventures into the world of the AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO).
So, whether you’re a child or adult fan, in need some inspiration for your LEGO building, be sure to also check out these books and magazines from the Library:
The Unofficial LEGO builder’s guide by Allan Bedford
The LEGO ideas book: unlock your imagination by Daniel Lipkowitz