They say that families with children are split between being either a Playmobil or a Lego family. In the early years, we were lovers of Duplo, then strayed away to the other side; my girls have always been rather ‘immediate play’ children and ready made pieces seemed to suit their style better. Then a couple of Christmases back we got some gorgeous sets from Santa, which fired a straight SIX WEEKS of Lego play. The games started off centred around the shops we had bought, moved on to floor plan style games that involved huge amounts of role play and developed into model building and technical moving parts quite autonomously. We’ve even used Lego as the basis for an art project.
This year I went shopping for Lego again; finding enough cheap Lego to furnish the creative desires of 4 (and now 5!) children isn’t easy, though as a friend told me she has just realised she has now spent a 5 figure sum on Lego for herself (ahem, her children!) and her hoards of godchildren, I think I should be grateful we took our time discovering it!
Lego is still a huge draw for the younger girls and Fran, at nearly 14, still considers a Lego set at Xmas her guilty pleasure 😆 This year she got the lighthouse, a Creator set that makes several models and spent several happy hours on Boxing Day constructing it as a bit of down time from panto performances. Amelie and Josie shared the Victorian post Office, (cue not only loads of rebuilding of last years Victorian shops but also a huge long game!) and Xmas, once again was taken over by Lego. It has to be said though that it is only with the greatest of difficulty that I manage to avoid being a total control freak over the whole thing. I want my Lego filed and categorized and permanently perfectly built. My children, having failed to inherit most of my OCD traits, are perfectly happy with models that look a little like the Potter cottage in the final Harry Potter and huge tubs of jumbled up Lego, with bits of food and sawdust mixed in for good measure. Sometimes I don’t really know where I got them from 😆
One model that is I think going to last as a permanent model is the VW Camper, which also arrived at Christmas time. It has to be the most beautiful creation I have ever seen. I’m no huge fan of the vans themselves (I like my camping full of modern convenience or, more recently, involving me staying in a cottage while the children camp!) but this is just fantastic. I never fail to be impressed by the sheer obsessive invention of the Lego creators. I think it appeals to the Fimo modeller in me; I just love seeing the detail people add to things and the clever uses of basic bricks to make familiar objects.
While I was in hospital having Benedict, the girls were lucky enough to be sent the Lego Grand Emporium to review for free. I was sorry to miss the building of this (I’m actually tempted to by the pet shop for myself so I can make something as big and gorgeous!) because it is one of the most amazing Lego sets I have ever seen. It stands over 30cm tall and is roughly the size of an A4 piece of paper in ‘floor plan’. Each layer, of which there are three, comes apart so they can be played with individually and the level of detail is incredible. There are plenty of people and pieces of merchandise to build into game play and naturally the girls have immediately involved various pirates, witches and other mini-figures into the game play. As a toy, this is divine, but I’m not going to be letting it get broken up any time soon. I think it will look just lovely on the dresser 😆
Possibly my favourite thing about this set though was my children having a very serious conversation about whether it was okay to send the mini-figures to the emporium and would it mean that trade was down at the village post-office, toy shop and bakery that we already have. it’s good to see I have trained them well in supporting small business!!!!
Disclosure: We were sent the Lego Grand Emporium to review for free in return for this blog post. The other sets were bought by us and all opinions are genuine and my own and long overdue a blog post anyway!