Bionicle Haze

Over at Chez Jamie a year or so ago, a bunch of random people and I agreed in the comments of a post that did not mention Legos, Bionicles or robots of any kind at all whatsoever that what was really wrong with kids today was Legos.

Gone were the tubs of Legos we played with as children, random collections of shapes and colors.

All the Legos these days are sets, licensed and franchised within an inch of their lives, with attractive, sleek booklets explaining exactly how to put them together into properly licensed and franchised shapes, and attractive pictures demonstrating how to play with them in an appropriately licensed and franchised manner.

Someone mentioned Bionicles, which turned out to be the source of all evil in The Universe.

I remember being proud that The Boy wasn't into Bionicles, and I did not need to go back to school for a degree in mechanical engineering.

There was much nostalgia about how wonderfully wonderful our Tetris-ey Legos were, and how fabulous it was that we had the opportunity to have the kind that didn't have instructions, or attractive photos.

I am here to tell you that any time you publicly announce how relieved you are that your kid does not do something it will come back to haunt you.

I remembered this incident while wishing I had thought to ask Santa for a Master's in Mechanical Engineering, preferably from MIT, as I built The Battle of Metru Nui, consisting entirely of a quarter of a billion tiny little parts and an instruction manual thicker than the one that came with my car.

Also, there were three hundred spiders.

Some of them were robots.

Within moments of its completion, this Evil Toy that Destroys and Stifles Creativity (etc., etc.) was transformed into a Rebel Base. Apparently the Visorak and Toas decided to help the Rebels stand against the Evil Droids that were secretly working for The Republic. The Green Toa, (don't ask me his name -- The Boy would know), at tremendous personal risk to himself, flew Obi Wan's ship across the dining room table to bomb the evil Emperor, saving everyone a great deal of trouble while risking a cease-and-desist from LucasArts.

I have to admit, when I was a kid, I would have loved something like this.

The only reason we didn't have them as kids is because MIT graduates weren't designing toys yet. We would have had them.

We would have gone crazy over them.

And since the Star Wars Crab Droid just married the Visorak (the baby spiders needed a mother), I'm not really seeing where it limits creativity.

Besides, all our freeform building needs have been absorbed by Magnetix, which has Toy Envy issues of its own.

Remember, the best reason to have kids is for the toys. Just remember to call it "research" and "quality assurance."


bod said...

i would have loved it too!

snowballinhell said...

Holy crap! I'm so glad B hasn't seen that setup and needed it. Although I think we've bought most of the pieces individually. And the movies. And damned near everything else Bionicle, including a freaking toothbrush.

Anne said...

We have the toothbrush, too.

Gotta get that 2 minutes somehow . . .

Joanne said...

LOL, it sounds just like our house. My son has a deluxe Meccanno set, and together over many weeks we managed to make a motorised car. We to have also had many nights full of lego, in every different name and form. I love it.