Lego Blues

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I have a love hate relationship with my son’s favorite toys.

Legos.

On the plus side, they are hours of fun. They help young minds conceptualize, build and be creative. That’s why I buy them. That’s why I fork over big bucks for them. Which brings me to my next point:

They are eye popping, brain blowing expensive. You know that feeling you get when you’ve just checked out of Costco and you’re sitting there eating your hot dog, looking at your receipt and wondering to yourself, “what the heck just happened? How did I spend all that?” That’s how I feel every time I check out with a set of Legos. I saw the sticker price on the shelf, but somehow I can’t help but ask the cashier, “I’m sorry, how much?”

Andy got two sets of Castle Legos for Christmas. But now he “really, really, really, really wants” another set. This time from the Star Wars series. Out of morbid curiosity I looked it up on amazon to get a ballpark figure. Are you sitting down? $239.99. That’s in American dollars. 239 bucks for plastic bricks. Granted, they have a registered trade mark marketing their bricks, but still.

If I, as a parent, am supposed to teach the life lesson of delayed gratification to my little protege, how is an eight year old supposed to save that kind of money?? By the time he’s finished pulling that many weeds, he’ll want a car.

We did brainstorm a few entrepunerial ideas, but reaching that three digit figure seemed too daunting.  He even tried to lower his sights and browsed other Lego sets that were less expensive. He settled on a $139.99 set. Wow.

Why doesn’t Lego have any competition? Have they patented the interlocking plastic brick so tightly, no one can produce a generic brand? Aren’t there laws about busting monopolies like this?

And then, of course, there’s the size issue. All those teeny, tiny pieces. And those bookoo buck sets? They get made once. After that, the pieces get scattered and mixed in with the other Legos. That’s assuming all the Legos are in one spot. Legos are the perfect size for hiding in between the couch cushions, under the refrigerator, even that little tunnel where the seat belt buckle comes up out of the seat. I’d really like to know, has anyone ever put together an entire Lego set twice?

But I will say this: Legos have stood the test of time. Most 8 year olds are so sold on video games, toys have a hard time holding their attention anymore. Except for Legos. I think we’ll keep brainstorming business plans so our budding entrepenuer can start a “Lego fund.”

Any ideas?

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6 responses »

  1. One time Nick got a set of lego-like building bricks for his birthday from a friend. They weren’t lego brand and let me tell you- they sucked. I figured out at that moment exactly why legos are so expensive. At first glance they looked like legos, but in some cases they didn’t quite fit together and kept coming apart. It was a truck or something, and the base kept popping off, and we could never get it to work right. (we ended up throwing it away because it was frustrating, and heaven forbid those little lego imposters would mix in with their superior counterparts) Whereas legos are PERFECT. Each and every little piece is perfect. They have to be. can you imaging one piece in the middle or bottom not quite fitting and thereby ruining the whole 239 set?

    so that’s what I have managed to figure out in my last decade of purchasing legos. Others can try, but they fall short. and that my friend is why the rest of us painfully fork out the bucks for the real thing.

  2. Margaret……..

    I love your writing style. If nothing else comes of this blog, know that at least we are getting a kick out of it!!

    Glad to hear you are surviving plastic brick world. 🙂

  3. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one with a love hate relationship with my boys Lego’s. They have Lego structures all over their room and in their closet and I don’t have the heart to destroy such masterpieces. AHHH! Thanks for the blog. It is quite entertaining.

  4. I so hear you on this one. I should have bought stock in Lego when I had my first son…..now three sons lego strong, we are swimming in them at our house. We subscribe to lego magazine and their favorite website is lego.com…..The boys trade the mini leog people at school that come with the set. I can’t bring myself to toss one silly piece when I almost cut my foot on them daily as I walk around. It’s a love hate relationship. Oh well, boys must be boys and legos are a great way to spend time.

  5. We are swimming in Legos as well. Castle Legos at that. Besides birthdays and Christmas (which fall one day apart for the poor kid) he has to earn part or all of his Legos. How does he make money? He shines shoes. Well, our shoes. He gets $2 a pair. We help him. Sometimes we get suckered into a tip. Which means we end up paying for the Lego set anyway. But at least now we have the bargaining chip of, “Well, that lego set is 50 pairs of shoes…”

  6. Pingback: Surrendering the Fantasy « Jams and Pickles

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