The Brotherhood of Lego


Feel the Force.

A short while ago I received a communication from my sister.

Her eldest daughter was playing in a piano concert, and my sister couldn’t see her five-year old blonde bombshell of a brother sitting still in a piano recital for an hour.

Could Big Al come to spend Sunday afternoon with us?

Well, of course, I said. Bring him right along.

Phil ambled past to be briefed on our nephew’s arrival. He grinned affably. “That’s ok,” he observed happily, “we’ll just get out the Lego.”

It was easier said than done persuading my son to bring down his precious box of Lego pieces for Al. Because we all know that my nephew is an experimental soul, and it is quite gobsmacking what a five-year old can find to do with these unassuming little blocks.

Finally, the box was bought down out of sheer filial obedience. And the strangest thing happened when it arrived in the sitting room. Of course Al pounced on it, of course he did; but as well as me supervising him, Felix settled contentedly down to construct something spectacular.

And finally, so did his father.

So there they were, the father, the son and the nephew, utterly absorbed in building spacecraft.

Phil was building the classic rocket-with-gantry affair you would expect from a child of NASA and he sixties. Felix went for wide spaceships with Star Wars proportions.

And Al lined up all the little Lego people and swapped the legs and wigs around.

This concerned Felix, who enjoys order. I pledged to restore things after the play session, and then cursed my naivety. The legs and the headgear are endlessly variable. We had spacemen legs with ninja torsos and star wars helmets. It was deeply creative but somehow, it felt so wrong.

And then Al found Frodo Baggins.

Did you know Lego have produced Lord Of The Rings models? They have. And Frodo Baggins is what you would call a non-standard Lego person.

His legs are shorter than all the others.

This bothered Al. He wanted to take the little legs off and put big legs on. But that bothered Felix, because in the order of things Frodo must have short legs. I decided to become oblivious to the small Lego person politics, and did that immensely satisfying rifling in the box thing.

I searched out all the little people, and I made sure that even if they did not have their own legs specifically, no-one was legless. Or wigless. Or at least, if they didn’t have hair they had a decent helmet, or snake-headdress, or whatever.

I looked up. And we were all happy, doing our own thing, making our own creation.

And once again, I silently thanked The Force for the endless magic that is a box of Lego.

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36 thoughts on “The Brotherhood of Lego

    1. He’s made a few appearances before; at the jubilee he was putting up bunting, I seem to recall. In that shot he was humming the theme tune to 2001: A Space Odyssey and staging a fulll NASA style take off.

  1. My main memory of Lego is walking, bare foot, on pointy bits whilst heading for the bathroom in the dark. My curses and cries of pain made a mockery of my attempt at not disturbing anyone by not turning on the lights.

  2. Just finished a course that used Lego as one of the business cases. Really can’t believe that they made a non-standard Frodo after all that I’ve read!

  3. I feel compelled to run out and buy a box of Legos right now, Kate. We pulled out some Lincoln Logs when the kids were in a few weeks ago. Kezzie was pretty interested, but, my dear sons-in-law took over. She has a box of Legos at home and is into building bridges with them.

    Do you have any Legoland stores there? Kid heaven, and I mean kids of all ages, at the one in Chicago.

  4. There’s one very disturbing shot of a man hanging upside down by his leg (and it’s not Phil)… Have you been leaving your Tarot cards out by any chance, Kate?

  5. This is just a wonderful day! I have so many happy memories of my son and his Lego sets! Somewhere in our many attic boxes we have the original Star Wars legos, or what remains. I’ve tried to engage Sophia and Karina in Legos and they simply aren’t interested. I would have enjoyed this Saturday activity, Kate, especially the leg swapping. 🙂

  6. My cats steal Lego’s. I therefore have a love hate relationship with them. They are vacuumed up (because the wee beasts steal them and drop them in random places) stepped on (see previous comment) and dropped “accidentally” down the garbage disposal (again, see previous reason). All in all, my children are continuously upset with our furry children 🙂 In our home, the cats always win. Therefore, our Frodo Baggins, Harry Potter, and various space men will always be mismatched!

  7. Happy afternoon by the sounds of it, but I might have enjoyed the Piano Recital too. Life is full of trade-offs, and trading legs and wigs, isn’t it?

  8. The 11 year old boy who lives across the street is the same age as my youngest sister. He often comes over to play with her, but ends up hanging out in my 25 year old brother’s room, in awe of my brother’s LEGO collection, and video game knowledge. They have spent many hours playing with my brother’s LEGOs. In fact, any time a boy, and some girls, come over, my brother’s collection is the go-to entertainment.
    Also, if my brother had a Frodo mini figure, it would probably have been pulled apart and re-built with squid legs or some other fantastical thing.

  9. My Felix falls somewhere between Al and Felix on the Lego spectrum 🙂 And we, too, have a figure whose legs are shorter – one of the wee aliens from Toy Story (the claaaaaaaaaw). Felix delights in slipping the stumpy legs onto other characters, but they always have to go back where they belong.

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