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8:48pm on Sunday, 6th January, 2013:



My dad gave me some swag when I visited over the weekend — my lego. It was actually shared between me and my brother, but we let him have it when we left home for the use of visiting grandchildren. However, the presence of a lego-eating dog meant it was consigned to the attic, until my dad found it last time he was having a clear-out, so he gave it to me.

This stuff dates probably from between 1965 and 1975. It needs a good wash, on account of how my brother and I would do things such as bury it or leave it outside for days. Some pieces are broken (usually by visiting friends) but most of it is in good condition. There are occasional toothmarks on pieces from when we had trouble separating them using regular brute strength.

I'm sure they don't make all of these bricks nowadays. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

We had tremendous fun with lego, because we could make things out of it. We built small worlds populated by small people. Here's an example of the final design of such a small person:

There were some differences possible: instead of a roof tile, the cap could have been a 2x2 slimbrick with a 2x1 visor (as here) and a 2x1 bit at the back; the aerial could be square and could be a slimbrick; the face could be (indeed usually was) a single 2x1 standard brick; the legs could be two 1x1 single bricks; the belt may be missing as it was a sign of rank (black was the highest as we only had two of those until very late when we got a kit that had another in it; grey was second-highest); very infrequently we may have had a need for a female character, in which case the legs were a roof tile (like the cap) to represent a skirt. Note we didn't bother with arms, as we didn't have the pieces for them.

The rule was that if the head, belt or legs were separated during play, the character was dead. Somehow, our two black-belt characters (named Poly and Ploly) never suffered that fate. We would separate them out-of-play, though, for example to change their belt character or to sit them down. Head an belt were allowed to be separated if the people were sitting down, as in this example of one of them driving one of the little buggies we used to make:

We really enjoyed playing with lego, but nowadays we'd have been stuffed. The reason: lego minifigs. They're too big. You need to have more lego to make things for them. Lego is expensive. That box is all the lego we had after 10 years of buying it with our pocket money and getting it for Christmas and such. We'd have needed three or four times that amount to play with the minifigs the same we did with the people we made ourselves. Sometimes, trying to help an imagination can backfire.

Hmm, I wonder if they'd survive the dishwasher?

Referenced by Brick Washing.

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Copyright © 2013 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).