For the month of May, I’ve decided to write about some of my other, non-video game related interests. Don’t worry, there are two new Rocky’s Reviews coming and they have nothing to do with Formula 1 (but one does have to do with Lego!). I prefer to finish a game before writing a review on it and one of them has taken some time to get through. Anyway, starting off our “May Madness” (boo-hiss), I thought I’d talk about something that I loved as a child and still collect some sets even to this day: Lego. When I say “still collect”, I mean Sharon collects them but we do build them together.
As a child I was fascinated by Lego. I loved the idea of building things, even if I never had much imagination outside of the instructions that came with the sets. It’s odd, I had a very vivid imagination (I still do) but I always stuck rigidly to the instructions. There was one set I had that I’d lost the instructions off of and it always annoyed me when I tried to build it. It was a Lego City police car but I could never get the roof to fit just right.
I can’t remember what my first Lego set was. I think it may have been the Lego City police car but I did have a number of small sets. I would often get a new set when I went on holidays to Wexford. I had a number of different race cars and a small helicopter. I also had a Medieval set, where a ghost would drop down from behind the door. He was glow in the dark, which was cool. We couldn’t really afford the bigger sets so I made do with the small ones but it never bothered me. I would build them when I got them, take them apart when I was going home/ on holidays and then rebuild them. I loved it. There was nothing quite like it.
As I started getting older, my parents bought me a large Lego set for my birthday. It was a space shuttle that came with an airplane used to transport it. It was the most complicated one I’d gotten but my older sister was on hand to help. Everything had to be right as the shuttle would slot onto the top of the plane. We had finished the shuttle when I’d gone to bed and when I’d woken up, my sister had finished the plane for me. I was delighted it was ready to play with but looking back, it’s a little sad I didn’t get to make it myself or help to make it. As it was such a large set, it was the only one I never took anywhere with me as it would be difficult to take it apart and reassemble. Not long after that, I remember getting a speed boat that actually floated. It was bright red and the base was already assembled. I got to work building it and when it was done, raced around looking for a basin to fill with water to see if it would float. I was amazed when it did as I was certain it would sink. Sadly, I don’t know what became of my Lego sets. Some went to friends; others went to younger relatives but I still remember the joys of building them.
For a long time, I didn’t have any Lego sets. I liked to go to the Lego store every now and again and see what displays they had. Some were really impressive, especially the ones at Disneyland Paris. Sharon had also loved Lego as a child and one day while out with friends in London, we visited the Lego shop in Westfields. She spotted a small Christmas Toy Shop and thought it would be nice to have for Christmas. I spotted something else, something larger and more expensive but I knew she’d love it. While she was queuing up to buy the Toy Shop, I was right behind her with the Disney Castle. This was a huge set, with thousands of pieces. It had references to all sorts of Disney films as well as having Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisey and Tinkerbell. Sharon was not impressed that I’d bought it but was delighted to have it. It became our weekend project for a while as we slowly assembled the Castle. When it was finally finished, it sat in our sitting room for all to see. When the time came to move back to Ireland, we slowly took apart the Castle, labelling each bag in correspondence to the instructions. To this date, it still sits in our wardrobe as we don’t have the space for it yet.
The Disney Castle wasn’t the last piece of Lego we bought. They were fun and it was something we could do together. I purchased the Hogwarts Castle for her one Christmas but it’s still in the box as we don’t have the space for it yet. We also picked up some smaller sets that we could make. We purchased the monochrome Steamboat Willie, a wonderful little set. We’ve also bought a lot of Harry Potter sets, from the Hogwarts Express to 4 Privet Drive and even Hagrid’s Hut. All of these are proudly displayed in our sitting room and Rocky hasn’t managed to destroy them (yet!). Last Christmas, Sharon decided to treat me to a very unique Lego set, the Nintendo Entertainment System. This wonderful set comes with a NES, an old-style television and a NES cartridge. It’s a big set and as such, has remained in its box for now, but once we get the Disney Castle and Hogwarts out of the way, it’ll be a lovely way to spend a few weekends together.
Are you a fan of Lego? What are some of your favourite sets? Are there any that you’d love to get your hands on?