As we’ve not been allowed to travel during the recent period of lockdown I found myself looking for something ‘constructive’ to do in order to keep my mind occupied and my brain stimulated, not to mention a much needed distraction to silence my ever present ‘worry monkeys’.
Initially I had considered the situation an ideal opportunity to write another novel, or maybe even attempt to complete the Adult Pantomime I’ve been promising to finish for the past few years. But my heart just wasn’t in it (not to mention a complete lack of inspiration) and for me ideas have to flow freely in a natural way and not be forced to the surface.
One of the major tasks which needed attending to was sorting out the accumulated plethora of artefacts and junk threatening to burst through the ceilings of the upstairs room…better known as the loft.
Well it would certainly prove to be a beneficial activity, as it may well have prevented the house from imploding, but stimulating it was not. However a trawl through the many boxes revealed a long hidden trove of the boy’s childhood toys, more specifically Lego, and this definitely caught my imagination…dare I say ‘what could be more constructive than Lego?’
As well as a rather large box of assorted ‘bits and pieces’ there was also several sets of the ‘Technic’ brand of models, which I seem to remember were quite intricate and challenging to complete. So in the guise of the need to check all the pieces were present and correct I set about this new activity with extreme enthusiasm and gusto.
First on the list was Technic set 8480 Space Shuttle, 1366 parts of total immersion and intrigue. In my usual ‘modus operandi’ it wasn’t just a case of putting together the parts but more a meticulous operation of assembling the perfect model in its best possible form. So to begin with all the pieces were separated into colour and type and thoroughly laundered in an ultrasonic cleaner, then dried and buffed (with a non-scratch lint free cloth of course) As the build progressed many visits were paid to the large box of assorted bits in an attempt to locate any missing pieces, and there were many. A small quantity of said parts which eluded discovery were quickly sourced via ebay (a very expensive way to buy Lego) and overall it probably took the best part of two weeks to finish the project.
But now I was hooked.
Now I freely admit that I can sometimes get carried away when a new project presents itself, but I could never have known that what started a bit of a time killer when we were ‘confined to barracks’ back in March 2020 would become a firm and favourite hobby.
To my surprise I’m not the only one, apparently, and there are a huge number of enthusiasts around the world who enjoy collecting, building, designing, writing and talking about what started off many decades ago as just a basic few types of brick in a limited number of colours to the complex ‘educational toy’ we have today. There are many small businesses which make money out of buying and selling both bulk supply and spare parts and initially I just couldn’t believe how expensive and collectable some parts could be. When I first discovered that my set 8480 (with its original box and instructions) and in good condition was worth close on £300 I was astounded
And so it began.
I can confidently state I’m definitely an AFOL and my collection is growing almost on a daily basis. I particularly like the modular building range and I intend to post some of my interiors mainly for an ongoing record of my collection…plus writing about Lego may actually help to distract me from buying it.