Lego anyone?

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You know for a site like this with all the children at heart / parents / nerds / etc here, I don't think we've had a thread about Lego. So to that I devote this slice of the site to just that. Post about what you had a a kid, what you just got for yourself, and what you bought for your kid(s). My contribution is a site with a TON of manuals/building guides.

Site with Lego guides

Also of course is the lego site

I'd be interested to also see thing you or you and your kids built. So post some pictures if you want!

My kids have had legos for about three years and hardly touched them. I got them Lego Starwars for Xbox a few months ago and now all they want to do is build legos sets. Both my son and daughter are nuts not only for starwar lego sets but batman sets and others. They've started doing original works but they haven't evolved to something I've taken a picture of. I wowed my boy by building a twin gun turret by using cannons from the pirate ship set and rotors from a plane. Both guns can target independently and also turn together on a platform. I threw in some hinging port doors and my boy spent a hour studying the engineering. He's starting to take from that and coming up with his own ideas. Man I just love legos.

Grayjedi wrote:

I wowed my boy by building a twin gun turret by using cannons from the pirate ship set and rotors from a plane. Both guns can target independently and also turn together on a platform. I threw in some hinging port doors and my boy spent a hour studying the engineering. He's starting to take from that and coming up with his own ideas. Man I just love legos.

See I'd actually like to see that. Guns especially when lego based are cool!

This link gives me the warm fuzzies.

This may just be one of those grumpy old man "back when we were young" kind of comments, but has anybody noticed that Legos these days are a lot less generic? Every once in a while I check out some of these new sets and the elements are so detailed and specific that I'm having a hard time imagining how you could make anything out of them except what's pictured on the box. It's almost like IKEA toys.

I also want to know if anybody here has ever played with Lego Mindstorms?

MoonDragon wrote:

This may just be one of those grumpy old man "back when we were young" kind of comments, but has anybody noticed that Legos these days are a lot less generic? Every once in a while I check out some of these new sets and the elements are so detailed and specific that I'm having a hard time imagining how you could make anything out of them except what's pictured on the box. It's almost like IKEA toys.

It's hard to miss and it's a definite trend since the 80's.

Whatever happened to Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs?

Great topic.

I was lucky enough to have a cousin who outgrew his Legos and passed them onto me. The first set I had was the Coast Guard Station:

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/th_0575b.jpg)

Here are some of my other early favorites:

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0588b.jpg)

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IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0554b.jpg)

When my family would travel, I was only allowed to bring one Lego item, and the Space Cruiser was usually it:

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0487b-1.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/6970b.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0442b.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0452b.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0462b.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0483b.jpg)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0493b.jpg)

The Yellow Castle was huge and included a ton of bricks. Once I dismantled it and the pieces were assimilated into the Great Heap, I found that my homemade space ships' necessary gray and yellow color schemes made them significany less fearsome.

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/03752b.jpg)

My first Expert Builder set (later known as Technics)

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0948b.jpg)

The Idea Book (full book scan) was on my bedside table for years. There was so much cool stuff in there. At one point I made the inadvisable decision with a friend to build some of the bigger models using bricks from both of our collections. We succeeded, and that was a great day, but the when it was time to dismantle them, it became a an ugly custody battle (coincidentally, Kramer vs. Kramer was released only a year or two prior). We didn't speak again until we were teenagers.

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/6000b.jpg)

I never had Main Street, but I remember it well as my friend had it. Last year, I saw it in a toy store. Apparently it was re-released as part of some new retro collection.

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/6390b.jpg)

The Galaxy Explorer is the one set that I never had but I pined over for years. Someday, I'll get it.

IMAGE(http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z221/crouton_bucket/0497b.jpg)

Star Wars-branded sets weren't around when I was a kid. That dismayed me at the time, but retrospectively, I'm glad they didn't in my time. I made every major starship (and lots of minor ones) from those movies, and I would spend hours or days designing and building them. It was that creative challenge that made me happiest. A related anecdote documented elsewhere.

Around 1985 Legos started to take a turn for the worse. I call it the Great Canopy Crash. That's when they started releasing sets with pieces that were large and overly-specific. They were less versatile and less intersting to build with. This is most easily seen when trying to enclose a spaceship's cockpit. Where it used to take 20+ creatively placed versatile bricks to make an enclosure, now it takes a single specific canopy piece that can't be used in other roles (hence the Great Canopy Crash). Compare the cockpits from this 1979 set and this one from 1988. I'm sure my opinion of this was exacerbated by the fact that I was getting older and moving away from toys anyway, and is now is fueled in part by nostalgia, but the specificity change

Lugnet is a huge site with loads of information about sets and links to instruction scans.

I used to buy legos for my little brother till he turned about 16 and quit playing with them. But man are they fun, I mean I even enjoyed playing with them. I built a titanic once that even broke in half strategically. But he was quite better at that. I think though, by the time he quit playing with them he had about 5 or 6.. 24 gallon buckets full of them and mega blocks. We ended up selling his dragon-hoard stash of them at our garage sale for like 5 bucks a 1 gallon "choose what you want in it" bag. I think as far as what I bought for myself when I was younger it had to be the medieval play sets with all the knights. Though I doubt they make those anymore..

Whatever happened to Tinker Toys and Lincoln Logs?

They made it into VH1's I love the 60's-80's shows?
Actually, those were just as fun, too.

ilharae wrote:

I think as far as what I bought for myself when I was younger it had to be the medieval play sets with all the knights. Though I doubt they make those anymore

You would be wrong then... as they do in fact still make them. My son wants them but they cost so much so he'll be getting my old castle sets in a bit. The new sets do come with cool dragons though so I might have to shell out for the cheapest set (like $40) so I...err HE has a dragon to play with!

.....! Sweet. I'm glad they carried on some old tradition then. Its just too bad that they cost that much though. Bah. Inflation in the US. Even with dragons, tempting, tempting.

I think my favorite Lego creation was when I made a big brick and threw it at my brother's head.

MoonDragon wrote:

This may just be one of those grumpy old man "back when we were young" kind of comments, but has anybody noticed that Legos these days are a lot less generic? Every once in a while I check out some of these new sets and the elements are so detailed and specific that I'm having a hard time imagining how you could make anything out of them except what's pictured on the box. It's almost like IKEA toys.

I also want to know if anybody here has ever played with Lego Mindstorms?

Yeah, the thematic sets are a pain in the ass. I've had a hard time getting Lego for my older son.

I've played with the Mindstorms some. The new XT kit looks really cool but I haven't yet picked it up. It looks to have made a lot of improvements over shortcomings in the first offering.

Some sets we had:

IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/00000/0367/0367b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/00000/08701/08701b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/68611/68611b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6970/6970b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6890/6890b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/60751/60751b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6080/6080b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6074/6074b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6049/6049b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6016/6016b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6054/6054b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6085/6085b.jpg)IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/08000/8845/8845b.jpg)

As you can see, mainly knights, sci-fi, with some expert builder sets thrown in. The Cosmic Cruiser (6890) was cool because the little ship was the removable cockpit of the larger ship. For the castles, we played wargames with them. We developed rules, hit point rosters, weapon damage ratings, and ranged attacks were made with rubber bands.

My son is gonna love that lego website. Thanks for sharing.

Quintin I had some of those same sets!

I wonder if lego themselves would like it though... or if they would find it 'infringing' on their ip.

I'm 25 and still have all my legos to give to my kids. I mostly had the spaceship and Mars Wars legos.

I love the Ultimate StarWars Collectors Series. Only a couple of unique peices, otherwise they are all generic, and putting the things together, like the Star Destroyer, are a real challange. These days it is a bit to commercial for my tastes. To much Batman, Spiderman, Harry Potter. The underwater stuff is cool and I am glad the brought back the castle as well. The space stuff is ok, but it has been downhill since the UFO collection. What I would really love would be collectable BattleTech Mech. I always tryed building them, but did very well.

Also, Bionical is total s**t. Who let them sell that crap.

I took a trip through the Lego section of Toys 'R Us a few months ago and the only thought that came to me was, "Why didn't they have this stuff when I was a kid?"

I had the Galaxy Explorer and it was the sheeznit. I was the envy of all my friends for some rare white machine guns that came with it.

The best part was trying to visually reverse engineer the different builds by looking at the 'You could also build...' pictures.

Where is it now? Who knows, handed down through a legacy of cousins, I suppose.

Rat Boy wrote:

I took a trip through the Lego section of Toys 'R Us a few months ago and the only thought that came to me was, "Was this sh*t always so expensive?"

One friend of mine is mildly obsessed with legos.

He has a lego version of Serenity he's built, taken apart, re-built, refined, taken apart, and re-built and refined again since ages ago when I first introduced him to the show. It's now like three feet long and actually has compartments inside it that actually look a bit like the rooms in the show.

I'll have to get some pictures of it.

I loved Legos when I was a kid despite not ever being all that good at building anything with them. I recently gave all my legos away to the friend I mentioned above.

Rosebud.

So frikkin' sweet. I saved up for an eternity for this one. Magnets and Legos were made for each other. The sprocket mechanism would later be used to create a weapon capable of launching one of the wheels at bruise inducing speeds.

Sorry Crouton, but that canopy was one my cherished pieces. If it makes you feel better, it would later go on to be used for many purposes including Bussard Ramjet. It doesn't really look like a one, but what do kids know?

I was one of the first kids on the block to get my hands on the Technics Pneumatic sets. They had pumps and pipes and you could make some pretty intricate stuff out of them. Then there were the Magnetic space sets My pride and joy was a big space cruiser that had another 3 separate ships that attached to it via the magnets. It was fantastic.

My girlfriend surprised me with one of the new Exo-Force sets last weekend. It's amazing how much enjoyment I got out of building it even now, and it comes together into a cool Machina-style robot with a long-barrel minigun (!)

edit: Just followed your link Danjo, and the cruiser I was talking about was in that set

My son loves the mindstorms too.

However, is it just me, or do bionicles not really 'count' as legos?

I can't stand those things.

peacensunshine wrote:

My son loves the mindstorms too.

However, is it just me, or do bionicles not really 'count' as legos?

I can't stand those things.

That depends... Do they smash when crashing?

If so they count! Thats one of the best parts of legos... Smashing your creations together so you can make new ones from the wreckage!

Quintin_Stone wrote:

Some sets we had:

IMAGE(http://www.hccamsterdam.nl/brickfactory/scans/06000/6890/6890b.jpg)

The Cosmic Cruiser (6890) was cool because the little ship was the removable cockpit of the larger ship.

Classic. You touched on my favorite feature. Spaceships are always better when they have a smaller spaceship inside.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

For the castles, we played wargames with them. We developed rules, hit point rosters, weapon damage ratings, and ranged attacks were made with rubber bands.

Same here. We developed game systems for space, medieval, and modern (town) settings. They were usually based on whatever move we just saw (Aliens, Platoon, The Untouchables, The Warriors, etc.)

We're moving, so I just had to breakdown the functional Lego trebuchet I built with my kids.

We didn't have space combat. However, we did have this competition where two people would build cars and then smash them together. Whoever's car was most intact afterwards was the winner!

Quintin_Stone wrote:

However, we did have this competition where two people would build cars and then smash them together. Whoever's car was most intact afterwards was the winner! :)

Oh yeah. We did that, too.

One of my friends' older brothers (and I swear this was not me) created a nudist colony by taking yellow spacemen and removed their planet insignia with a rubber eraser, then drew in anatomy with a permanent marker. Yeah, that was a little weird.

Quintin_Stone wrote:

We didn't have space combat. However, we did have this competition where two people would build cars and then smash them together. Whoever's car was most intact afterwards was the winner! :)

My favorite was when we did this with spaceships.

I may have hated Star Trek.. but I knew a sturdy ship design when I saw it.

I always built the Borg cube.

We have about a cubic meter of Lego in our house, and my kids are playing with it. We recently got a digital camcorder and I am planning to stage a Lego movie production of some sort just for the hell of it.

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