Legos: late nights and never-ending fun

February 17, 2024 — by Natalie Chua
Photo by Natalie Chua
My beloved legos displayed on my bedroom shelf.

Having those appealing and intricate Lego sets displayed on my shelf is truly worth going broke for. 

My eyes watered from intense concentration. Scattered messily on my desk, I frantically searched for my missing piece. Despite my favorite TV show, “Keeping up with the Kardashians,” blaring loudly from my computer, my ears and mind blocked any distraction, for my complete focus was on my half-built Lego Lamborghini. It was 2 a.m., and my hand was sore from constantly pressing and pushing the pieces together. However, my excitement to witness the pristine lime-green and intricate build and play with the complex Lego motor functions filled me with ecstasy.   

Whenever I receive a new Lego set, these are the kind of experiences I have.

Exhilarating anticipation courses through my body. Fueled by the thought of building the set and admiring my creation on my bedroom shelf, I refuse to sleep until my craft is complete. Staying up past 4 a.m., I hear my mom banging on my bedroom door and pleading for me to sleep. I don’t, and instead, my strained, dry eyes and sluggish mind frantically fixate on the manual as I dig for pieces in a pile of Legos.

 My love for Legos, rooted deep in my childhood, has become a cherished hobby, and due to its expensive nature — sets range from around $9 to $850, not to mention the retired sets that can cost thousands of dollars — it has become a guilty pleasure. 

Lego perfectly captures my love for the creative process. Since I was 8, I’ve always been eager to help out my dad when he constructed furniture with instruction manuals. It’s no surprise how I became very attached to Legos. 

My first memory of Legos was when I was 9 after my mom bought a huge tub of Lego pieces on sale from Ross. Tuning into my imagination, I built a variety of creations in the likeness of planes and cars; more often than not, my parents would scream after accidentally stepping on Legos scattered on the floor around me.

When my mom witnessed my fascination with the bricks, she bought a myriad of Mega Bloks playsets (a Lego knockoff). At first, I was excited to have more to work with; however, to my great disappointment, I realized that Mega Bloks and Legos literally could not fit together. So, for my 10th birthday, my brother got me my first Lego Chima set. With this set, my life was completely transformed: I could build bigger and more attractive models rather than the dysfunctional, highly imaginative buildings I was previously making. Now, for every birthday and Christmas, Lego sets are always at the top of my wish list.

I currently have around 25 Lego sets, ranging from sets as small as Brickheadz about the size of a computer mouse to colossal ones like the 2015 Millennium Falcon, which is two and a half Harry Potter books wide. My collection includes a mixture of Marvel, Star Wars and car sets. Although some people collect Legos hoping to resell them for a profit, I prefer to buy the most attractive and challenging sets.

Many of my friends question my obsession with the seemingly childish toy. However, when they realize the fulfillment in transforming a pile of pieces no bigger than the size of their stubby fingertips into a masterpiece, they are converted into avid enthusiasts.  

 My older brother, who now has his own job and can pay for them himself, was inspired by my collection and now has an even grander one, with many of his sets costing around $800 each. The question of where he will display those massive sets still remains, but it has quickly become a way for us to bond together when he’s home for the holidays. Building Lego sets and displaying the finished models opens up a realm of wonder —  and of never-ending debt. 

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