How it all began – and ended.
It all started when I was still a little kid. I was already playing with the LEGO® my brother and sister more or less left for me. At that time (and this dates back more than a quarter century) there were still mostly basic bricks available. But specialized items came more and more. So it was then, when I received my first very own LEGO® set for christmas. It was the set 6023. Well, as I said, this was my first very own set with many more to follow.
And so my journey began and from time to time I got new sets. Some were from the city theme and a little later the space theme. Two of the sets I was most proud of were 6781 SP-Striker and 6932 – Stardefender 200. These were the biggest sets I had as a kid and I was very proud. It was then, when I was stuck in the space theme for quite a while with more or less short interludes of castle and pirates.
At a later stage when I was nearing the teenagehood, I switched to Technic. I was impressed by the models, the functionality and the sheer infinite possibilities. I borrowed instructions from friends and built some stuff like original. I had to learn soon, that I need to improvise a lot, since my Technic collection was rather limited. But I think I built some cool things. One model which I never had myself was the famous 8868 Air Tech Claw Rig. Unfortunately, I had neither the parts nor instructions to build it. So I tried to re-engineer it. And I must say, from what I remember, I was pretty successful. Of course it was total color vomit and nothing like the real thing, but I had built a american style longnose truck. I think as a kid you really don’t care about authenticity.
I also wanted the 8880 Supercar. Who would have not wanted it. But I never got it. And so I kept drooling over the LEGO® catalogues, wishing that I got this best LEGO® car ever. But, well … it never became true and until today I have not yet gotten it. Oh what wasted possibilities and what I could have built with all these pieces back then.
Becoming a teenager usually brings a lot of change. School gets more important, friends and hobbies change and then you reach the point, when it is not cool to build and play with LEGO® anymore. So it happened to me as well. I began going out on weekends and more and more hanging around with friends. Also, my computer got a lot more important then and I didn’t want to know what people would think if I still played with LEGO®. After having not touched my LEGO® for quite a while (2 or 3 years) I took a last effort and rebuilt once again all my space theme models and had them displayed in a showcase in my old room. Funnily, neither I nor my parents ever made an effort on cleaning this up, so the setup stood there in the shelve for something like 12 or 13 years. Only protected by a thin layer of glass. Recently my mum needed the space though and space had to wander into a box (pun intended).
After I had built all the space sets again, I didn’t touch LEGO® anymore and I went to my dark age.
As a kid I loved LEGO®. You could build anything you wanted to build. I loved to watch Sabre Rider and the Star Sheriffs, so I built my own Bronco Buster (and it only looked merely like the real thing). Or when I tried and built stuff that was in the LEGO® cataloges. I attempted to build the 8480 Space Shuttle at one point. And it had some of the original functionality, but I could never finish it due to lack of parts. Anyway, the countless hours that I spent with LEGO® made my childhood. It was inspiring and often it was a real challenge. I simply loved it. But it all had a dark side as well.
The first thing is jealousy. I must admit, it sometimes ate me from the inside. A schoolfriend of me who later moved away had some of the coolest LEGO® sets that were out there – the famous 6989 Mega Core Magnetizer. This and a lot of other cool sets. I never had it, but I wished so much for it as a kid. A few years later I had a friend who had the 8880 Supercar and some of the Model Team sets. Oh how jealous I was. And one other friend I had got for his birthday not only the 6272 Eldorado Fortress, but also the 6285 Black Seas Barracuda.
But the worst thing was jealousy combined with anger. I have some cousins. And they always got the bigger sets than me. When I got a cheap pirates set, the eldest of these cousins got the 6270 Forbidden Island, with that mast and the cool island baseplate. At a different time he got 6081 King’s Mountain Fortress. Another set that would have been of my liking. I would have loved to have such a baseplate and all these wall parts. *sigh* What awesome things I could have built. Sometime later, he also got a ship from the pirates line, but I do not remember which. It also wasn’t that big. But the worst thing in this case is not, that they received these sets, but that I knew how these 3 kids treat their LEGO®. They easily lost some bricks, and so they could not assemble sets anymore. They managed to tear apart the building instructions having no instructions anymore. And they broke parts. At one point, I wanted to borrow the 6081 baseplate and build something cool at home. Well, I was too late. One of three broke it. And I do not talk about a simply crack or something like that. It was nearly ripped in half and bent all over. When I saw this, something in me died a little bit and I cried. Horrific, isn’t it?
But, except for these “bad sides” of my LEGO® experience, I really had a good time with it as a kid. And I wouldn’t want it any different. I built my own adventures in caves, on the seven seas, in space and even sometimes in a simple town. I created heroes and foes. I learned some mechanical knowledge and how to improvise in a technical construction. And most important: I learned to think in LEGO®.
I hope you liked this story of my childhood with LEGO®. Soon, I will make a new post with which I will show my process of getting out of my dark ages.