The first present my boyfriend Shane ever got me was a set of three mystery minifigures from the Lego Batman Movie.
He may or may not have realized at the time just how solidly that would attach me to him.
I’m about 95% sure he knew this at the time, but Lego is—and always has been—my favourite toy. And today is the perfect day to talk about it.
Building the foundation
Tiny Erin was just as likely to play with Lego as she was to play with her Barbies.
We had a big bucket of generic pieces and “grass” that I would dump all over the floor, and it was my favourite thing ever to come up with fun new housing designs for my other toys.
However, my parents had to develop very tough soles on their feet, because as good as I was at dreaming up new designs and architectural wonders only a five-year-old could concoct, I was pretty terrible at cleaning up the construction mess.
For years and years, I was blissfully unaware of themed Lego, until one day my mom brought home a Harry Potter set. It was nothing like the generic pieces I’d been playing with.
It blew my mind.
It was one of the earliest sets, and I absolutely adored it. It was Hermione, my Hogwarts-attending spirit animal, exploring two of the shops in Diagon Alley. It was all pinks and oranges and frogs and unusual pieces—and Lego hair reminiscent of the first movie’s perfectly crimped early-2000s look.
It really didn’t take much to get me addicted to specialty Lego after that.
Keeping it going
Every year since that fated day my mom brought home Harry Potter Lego, I’ve asked for sets for my birthday. At one point, they got tired of trying to pick out sets I didn’t have, and just started taking me to the Lego store for my birthday.
How could I complain about that?
I think what kept me so in love with the sets is that you can clearly see how they’ve evolved over the years. The minifig design evolved gradually, introducing new outfits and a movie-realistic look; the buildings grew to suit the style; even new pieces were added to the Lego repertoire to create the right magical effect.
Even when I finally got my hands on a Hogwarts set a few years ago, it was nothing at all like the original Hogwarts set.
That’s both a good thing and a bad thing, though.
It’s good because it means there’s always something new out there, which I can incorporate into my own designs (I still have all the set books, don’t worry).
But it’s bad because it means there’s always something new to spend money on. That gets dangerous real fast!
I’ve confessed my inner child, so now I want to know. What childhood toy did you never grow out of?