I guess I’ve been buying Lego for around 30 years, possibly longer. We have sometimes joked that when it comes to family heirlooms, we don’t have antique furniture, paintings or jewellery but my goodness, the family Lego collection is immense. Most is away in the loft, but Darth Vader has been known to put in an appearance now and then.
Just before we went on holiday, I came across this fun blog and it set me thinking. With three of us spending a couple of weeks with our cameras at hand, perhaps we might have a bit of a lark. After all, there’s always the odd rainy day, the quiet afternoon or the moment when we’re twiddling our thumbs. In John Lewis, gathering a few last minute things for the trip, I bought four packets of minifigures.
Now these were a new development to me. We used to guard the little men (they were usually men, in the olden days) carefully, because they were so easily lost and there were favourites. I could tell the tale of the favourite Duplo Pig which went missing but I’m not sure it makes for comfortable reading! Anyway, suffice to say, the Lego characters available are now rather more individual, more specialised and characterful than before and taking a lead from those Japanese blind-boxes or gashapon, there’s no way of knowing which figure is inside. The charming young JL assistant and I did our best to identify four different figures and could do no more.
Opening up on the first night of our holiday, the girl surfer appeared, soon to get a dunking in my beer as she tried to balance on the rim of my glass. Mary opened her bag to find a hockey player, complete with skates and faceguard (frequently lost) and Mark found Kimono girl in his.
But Billund, we had a problem.
No matter how we tried, she couldn’t keep her hair on. After thirty years of connecting Lego bricks together, we had found the first pair which wouldn’t connect.
Time to open the fourth bag. Monster brought a smile to our faces! Kimono girl was returned to her bag and put back in the suitcase.
Three weeks later and we’re home. Unpacking, out fell the bag with Kimono girl inside. I couldn’t help myself but email Lego about her hair, making it clear that I was uncertain whether this was a complaint or a compliment. After all, one tiny manufacturing error in thirty years can’t be bad, can it? I received an email reply almost by return, explaining that this was a particular problem associated with Kimono girl and the Sumo wrestler because their hair doesn’t sit straight on top of their head. If I wanted, I could request a replacement.
But hey, I don’t really think it’s necessary. With a bit of glue, her hair is firmly in place and once she’s written another Haiku*, she’ll be ready to do battle.
She’s just got to get hold of that light-sabre first.
*If you haven’t clicked through to the Lego MiniFigure website yet, spend an amusing five minutes or so reading the biographies of the characters of these little chaps. See how far things have moved on in thirty years and wonder what fun we’d have had if we’d been downloading iPhone apps for our Lego!