Lego, Lego everywhere but my kids couldn't care less. This week we have been shifting our kids into a new room. It's been a nightmare. So many toys. An arsenal of plastic weapons, a team's worth of sports gear and four clean sacks worth of soft toys. But what we found in the top shelf of their cupboard shocked, embarrassed and disgusted me. It made me feel like a bad parent. It made me fear for the future of humanity. Four unopened large sets of Star Wars lego. Sets that had been sitting gathering dust for two years. Each worth well over $100. A massive AT-AT Walker untouched, a huge Millennium Falcon unopened, Darth Vader's gigantic Star Destroyer unloved and, most beautiful, awesome and cool of all, a big intricate Imperial Shuttle Tydirium.
All toys I would have killed for as a child. I would have done anything for anything Star Wars. Let alone Lego Star Wars. Like me you probably spent nights lying awake imagining a world where toys could be this cool. I had two bags of Torro, a squishy Lego imitation. That was it. But boy did I love making spaceships out of it. I made the world's worst looking Tie Fighter out of Torro house parts. It was awesome. I played with it for three years.
My kids have the greatest Lego sets in the history of the world and they can't even be bothered pushing a chair 1m to climb up get them down. Little ratbags. I wish my 6-year-old self could travel forward in time and give them a hiding for being so lucky.
But the unmade sets are just a small part of the Lego tsunami that is destroying middle class lives. We have way too much Lego in general. It's everywhere. Huge plastic boxes, piled on top of huge plastic boxes of it. Where the hell did it all come from? Ninety per cent of any room cleaning is spent picking up Lego. Every friend I have with kids is suffering a debilitating avalanche of Lego. Our lounges look like Lego refuse transfer stations. It's everywhere and it freaking hurts when you stand on the little bits.
Every friend I have with kids is suffering a debilitating avalanche of Lego.
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What can you do? Throw it out? No. I love Lego too much to put it in the rubbish. It's the coolest toy in the world. When you see your kids playing with Lego you feel like they are getting smarter. Like they might grow up and become engineers that change the world. The problem is they don't play with it that much. Not when they can grab your phone and thumb when you aren't looking and hack into it. Run off and slam Five Nights at Freddy's under the coach. There are so many fun things for kids to do these days, that amazing Lego sets just don't excite them anymore.
Give Lego to charity? Maybe. Personally I would prefer to get that time machine out again and send all the Lego back to me as a kid. I would be on my knees, hands raised to the heavens, as it poured down on me from the future.
We can't let our kids get away with this. So at my house we have been sitting them down at the kitchen table and forcing them to make Lego sets. Like it's a chore. "Eat your greens, clean your room and make your bloody Lego set now." It's heartwarming watching them whinge and whine their way through the coolest toys in the world. Then when they finish each one I have been taking them to my room and putting them high up on my shelves, never to be played with again. I might even glue them together like the bad guy in The Lego Movie. If my kids don't appreciate how cool Lego is, they can make it for me to look at.
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