Blocks. I thought that this would be a simple toy purchase for my son. After all, I’ve always known that a set of those plain, non-toxic, unpainted wooden block sets would be in Calvin’s future. Only now do I realize that it’s not such a simple choice. There are numerous different sources — from Plan to Brio — and to add to it, the fact that I’ve just realized he will need two different sets of blocks.

Funny how those detaisl don’t stick. I remember a much loved set of wooden blokcs, and also a much played with set of Legos. But only on browsing up a storm did I recall that these were two, distinct block entities. One wooden, the other plastic. One that creates structures ‘glued’ by physics; the other by ingenious little indents and outdents that fit together.

A visit to the Lego site made me sad to see that the product seems to have sold its soul to franchising, from Pooh and Disney versions to various products related to TV programmes. It was a hard search to find a simple set of locks for someone aged 13 months.

Searching elswhere turned up an embarrassment of options. So do we get the Mega Blocks wagon which he loved at the doctor’s office? The Modo Maxi Blocks that he likes at his creche? Are these things he can grow with or will we end up buying a third set of blocks in a few years time?

And that’s not even contemplating the comment one parent reviewer made on the site, “Where do we put it?”

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One response

  1. I was trying to catch up a bit on your recent doings and this caught my eye. I, too, lamented the loss of the “Build anything you want” lego sets that were the norm when I was a kid. I have decided that cost, primarily, drives this decision — the merchandised sets have fewer and smaller specialty pieces than the Creator sets would (less plastic=lower costs) and they are more like collections (as all toys have become — you aren’t complete unless you own the whole set). You couldn’t possibly make your own x-wing fighter — you need the x-wing kit. You’ll also need a tie fighter to fight, and so on….

    Just my 2 cents. Hope all is well.

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