Okay, yes. I’m a grown-ass adult man, but that doesn’t mean that I’m still not a huge fan of LEGO, and I know a lot of other grown-ass adults who are as well. Hell, (pun intended), you can even read the Bible in LEGO.
Personally, when I was in the hospital for a weekend in 2016, watching The LEGO Movie on cable from my room really lifted my spirits. Everything is awesome, although it did suck that Juan Gabriel, el divo de Juarez, died the same Saturday night I was in there.
But for us kids of many generations, one of our fondest childhood playthings were those LEGO Building System sets that might start out as some generic 120 piece kit for building a car or an airplane or a rocket, and then would grow.
LEGO is basically Minecraft IRL Well, to be fair, Minecraft is basically LEGO online. And, as I’m sure many LEGO kids experienced, you didn’t have to build what was on the box, and once you’d combined two or more kits, the sky was the limit.
Flying submarine! Rocket house! Awesome castle!
Having grown up as an only child with just half-siblings who were all old enough to be gone by the time I was born, LEGO was one of my best friends. I could spend hours alone in my room making stuff out of them.
I kept this up probably until early high school, but then as I moved into my later teens and twenties, I was “too cool” for LEGO, so they were left behind as I moved out and into young adulthood.
Kind of a shame, too, because I had one opportunity to reclaim that big cardboard box of LEGO from my childhood home in my late 20s, but the asshole boyfriend I was living with at the time basically scoffed and asked — nah, told me, “Why would you want to bring that shit here?”
What? I used to be way too submissive.
So… I told the evil half-sister “No thanks,” and that piece of my childhood probably went into a landfill after she (the half-human Scarlet Witch) cheated me out of the home I grew up in and which was supposed to have been mine.
But I’m not bitter, I’m… No. Screw it. I’m very bitter. She can burn in hell. But I do digress.
It wasn’t until after I ejected asshole boyfriend and started working in TV that I got my hands on LEGO again, and this was in my very early 30s.
I regularly shopped at the Target down the street from the offices. This is where I discovered that they had buckets of 1,200 or more LEGO pieces on sale for about $20, and since I was making TV money, over the course of a couple of years I bought… I don’t know how many of them, but I wound up combining them all into one super stuffed bucket, and had all kinds of fun.
With my last move, they wound up in my closet, but that changed recently. Necessity is the Mother of invention. Being locked inside is the Dad. I couldn’t find my tripod, so in order to have my camera at a better angle for chats and not shooting up my nose for Zoom sessions, I finally had the need for something to hold my phone the right way.
That’s why I dragged out the LEGO to build this thing.
The process of building it was very therapeutic. I started with solving the engineering problem of creating the mount, with a way to secure the camera without having it fall out or over.
After making this part, the next challenge was creating a base that would be sturdy and steady, and which wouldn’t be pulled over by the weight of the camera.
In a way, it was also a proxy connection to my long-dead father, who was an engineer and architect, so making this thing was doing what he did for realsies, except on my (physical) desktop.
I essentially constructed from the top down, and couldn’t resist adding the non-essential elements, like the operator’s cabin, and the door at the bottom, pictured at the top of this article.
And when it came to the show time it was created for, it worked perfectly. The phone stayed in place, the thing didn’t fall over, and it just looked beautiful in place to boot.
I think that LEGO is going to help me make it through this lockdown.