Scott Reid passions: Piecing together my obsession for Lego - the iconic children’s building block
There are millions of us out there, a global army of AFOLs who spend an inordinate amount of time, and, frequently, inordinate sums of money, piecing together thousands of these colourful little bricks.
For a toy invented in Denmark shortly after the Second World War, Lego’s growth has been nothing short of phenomenal. The humble, and occasionally painful, plastic interlocking brick has spawned amusement parks, travelled into space, been adopted as an educational tool and touched just about every aspect of popular culture, including movies, books, TV series and art works. It is estimated that in excess of 600 billion Lego parts have been produced over the years while the brand is often cited as the world’s largest tyre maker.
Many AFOLs find themselves born-again Lego lovers having bought a kit or two for their dearly beloved. Others, devoid of kids, like myself, are likely wallowing in nostalgia, pining for a time when being short of a single red 4-by-2 to complete the latest building project was your only concern in the world.
I have been reliably informed that my Lego journey began at some point pre-primary with the gift of a bright red London bus (which I gather now is the classic kit 313), before gathering momentum, culminating in winning a series of building contests held regularly in Edinburgh’s dearly missed department stores. Then, aged 12, the Lego, piled high in several large storage boxes, was shipped off to a younger cousin. Bikes and record-buying had trumped the brick.
But now, all those decades on, I bash out these words staring eagerly at an unopened Lego model of The White House, which, when completed after several hours of split nails and cursing, will sit proudly alongside a burgeoning collection of landmark buildings, street scenes, planes and assorted vehicles.
Still not convinced that Lego is for grown-ups? Well, ponder these two facts. The White House kit has 1,483 pieces and is labelled for ages 18-plus. Oh, and Lego Group has a Head of AFOL Engagement.
Scott Reid is a business journalist at The Scotsman
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