LEGO has been a part of my life since I was a child in the 1970s, and I feel the brand has grown over the years with me. I had an abundance of LEGO kits, mainly LEGO system and Space. One thing I remember was that I used to build ‘playsets’ and ‘ships’ for my Star Wars figures as a kid. I had Star Wars toys, but I had this massive box of plastic bricks that I could literally build anything I wanted and created so much to entertain myself.
Growing up with LEGO and Star Wars, you can imagine how blown away I was when LEGO had the franchise to produce sets. LEGO is a premium product, and I simply cannot, like millions of others, bring myself to buy third party stuff. But I find now that I work for a living and I can afford to buy bigger and better sets, so for me the dream, the childhood escape continues.
During lockdown in 2020, I started working from home, and the amount of money I noticed that I was saving by not spending it on fuel, I discovered the very slippery slope of buying the modular buildings and more expensive sets, and I love them! The minifigs really make it for me too. I know there are thousands, but I have a small collection of the ones I really love, and treasure them more than some of the bigger sets I have. The whole notion that anything is possible in the mind of a child still runs through my veins even though I’m in my late 40s, from the sane to the ridiculous, there are no limits.
When I bought my first modular, the Bookstore, I just had this idea that I would get the mini figures to actually build the building. I’m always posting on social media, so what better thing to do than to document the construction of this new kit. Blending the characters from different genres was also a fascinating concept to me, because in this world of mine anything was possible. The notion of Darth Vader’s troopers building a building is nuts, but that’s how my mind works. We know these characters from films, but to give those characters additional quirks, such as they are hooked on donuts, or have some sort of unhinged quality is comical to me.
Recently I had been re-watching the classic 1990s tv series Home Improvement, and simply love the show, and I’d seen on LEGO Ideas someone had created a small Tool Time set, and I used the concept, and designed my own version in Bricklink Studio, filled it with tools, and then spent a fortune building it for real. Then I spent a fortune buying random minifigure parts to try and fit together characters that matched those of the television show, and after so many variations I’d like to feel I did a reasonable job.
I did a series of skits over the Christmas period which were studio based with the characters interacting with various guests, ranging from various Star Wars characters to Santa Claus, with all the ensuing catastrophes that happen due to the nature of Tim’s character. This lead to a Tim and Al special ‘acquiring’ the parts to build a LEGO Galaxy Commander ship, one of my childhood favourites (which I’d acquired on eBay for a great price) have them testing it out, and being picked up on the scanners of the Imperial Empire, with Vader insisting they track the ship.
Also I did a ‘Tim and l’ build the LEGO Diner, and friends and family seem to really enjoy these nonsensical pieces of harmless fun. The whole idea that a character can be killed off and returns in a future skit, via some sort of magic, or invention by a character such as Dr Strange from the Marvel Universe, or Doc Brown from Back to the Future…..is crazy yet hilarious.
I also love LEGO Technic, and I plan to buy the new Lamborghini next. I loved the intricacy of the working parts, and the fact that I put the sets together. It’s a great way to learn mechanics and physics, and great for those with an interest in engineering. I have built many Technic sets, but don’t tend to do the step-by-step pictures of documenting the build, and just simply enjoy the build. It’s a different type of build compared to the comedy modular builds I do. Although that being said, I did have two LEGO Death Troopers, the larger format figures, and made out that they built the LEGO Technic Ducati motorbike, as it was perfectly scaled to them, but that was a one off.
Will I grow up, I doubt it…..but whilst friends, family and the dozens of people that enjoy what I’ve done continue to love what I do, I’m happy to carry on! If you want to check my latest adventure you can check it out here!
Long live LEGO……these little plastic bricks have certainly, and continue to shape my life!
Chris Thomas, South Wales