Last weekend it was my birthday, and my lovely boyfriend (who is frustratingly better at choosing presents than me) gave me a brilliant thing; a Lego mini-figure that looks like me. It has orange hair, a grumpy face, a sword and a blaster – all quite accurate, I think you’ll find. It seems to have revitalised a long dormant Lego obsession, and now I find myself trawling ebay for other Lego figures with swords and angry faces. I already have a few, thanks to the Knights and Castles set Marty bought me for Christmas last year, and now I’ve decided to build my own sell-sword gang, which my Lego figure can be in charge of.
See, Lego and I go way back. When I was very small, my Grandad kept a giant white bucket full of Lego for me in his shed (I look back on it now and I wonder what that white bucket was actually for. It was bigger than me at the time. Storing dead bodies?). In the summer I would drag it out of the shed and pour the contents over a blanket in the back garden, and spend many happy hours making stuff.
This being way back in the mists of time, the Lego was your bog standard multi-coloured brick stuff, with the occasional set of wheels or window frames. I didn’t have any mini-figures (apart from a few disembodied heads that made interesting gargoyles for my houses) so instead I made what I generously imagined were “penguins” out of some of the tinier pieces, and they populated my Lego world instead. I also stored my collection of toy cars in the big white bucket, so they would occasionally be drafted in as characters too – when I got really expansive, I would go and retrieve my plastic dinosaurs, and all Lego-hell would break loose.
Lego is a brilliant toy. I had no plans or instructions as a kid, so mostly I would end up making giant houses, although these houses were more like super-fantasy-castles; they would have turrets, dungeons, secret rooms, lawns on the roof, diving boards leading to nowhere, the Penguin Paddock… In short they were structurally unsound, and most days would end with the east wing falling off and knocking my lemonade over, but I can’t remember ever growing bored of it.
When I got a little bit older, my giant white bucket of Lego was given to my younger cousin, and I sulked about this for, approximately, seven years. I have no idea what happened to my well-loved toy cars, or the historically inaccurate plastic dinosaurs, and I can never reclaim those, but at least I will have my Lego army of mercenaries. Oh yes. The only question is, what shall I call them?
Ah, Lego, I loveded you. I loveded you!
Ps) Just as I finished writing this I got an email from ebay telling me I’d won a “Lego Mini-figure Series 4 Viking”. I did an air-punch.