When I was a kid I played a lot with lego. I literally don't even remember when I first started playing with it, that's how early I got into it. There's a photo of me building a "christmas tree" when I was 4 years old. When my family moved to Canada, I played with lego in the motel we stayed at for a week while they found an apartment. In Toronto I would play a lot with the brick-style of lego, building a lot of cars and little houses. A lot of the stuff I made was my original design, I only built the set in the instructions once, and then took it apart. One huge (for me) set I remember building was the 3451 Sopwith Camel plane. I had to get some help from my family because some parts were difficult to get together. I would at some point own a small number of lego vechicle sets that had wind-up motors with them. Basically to move the vehicle forward you had to pull it back, and the wind-up spring would push it forward.
One vehicle I owned was some sort of buggy that had 4 wheels. It was ok, but there was this cooler wind-up motorcycle I got that had an interesting gimmick. Basically there was a total of four of these motorcycles available as a group. Two were off-road motorcycles, while two other ones were regular street motorcycles. But what was cool was that if you bought either two street ones or two off-road ones you could put together a four-wheel buggy with twice the wind-up power because you had a wind-up motor from each motorcycle. And each of the motorcycles came with half the instructions for the buggy. I only got one of the street motorcycles, but a friend of mine who also liked lego also got a street motorcycle, which happened to coincidentally be the other half of the buggy set. So one day when I visited him while my mom and his mom went to a concert, I brought my motorcycle set, and both of us put together our shared little buggy with our sets. Later we took it apart and I was left again with my single motorcycle. But afterward I got the other motorcycle half so I had my own personal buggy.
Also, small side notes: I later got a bionicle visorak with one of those pull spinner things because my friend also owned one. And when I was playing a lot of flash games on the internet I would play the supersonic RC game on lego's website.
Now, this all happened before I was 10 years old. I mentioned before I was playing with the brick-style of lego. What is the other style? The lego technic kind! I noticed that the motorcycle I got did not have any brick pieces, which was interesting to me, so I started paying more attention to lego technic sets. I noticed that it had things like gears and pneumatic parts. Though it wasn't tecnically lego technic, I was so hyped when the mindstorms NXT came out. I never got one, but it was really cool at the time.
From 2005 to 2011 I would get a lot of lego technic sets. The first lego techic set I got was either the 8281 mini tractor or the 8282 quad bike. Note that these were small and cheap sets. My family didn't have a lot of disposable income to throw around ya know. But later I would get a job delivering flyers in my neighbourhood, so I finally had mad stax to throw around along with my birthay and christmas present money. I built a lot of various vechicles, but one that I was really proud of was me combining the parts/instructions of the B-model of the 8283 Telehandler with the 8419 mini excavator to make my own lego technic backhoe.
Around this time lego came out their power functions system, which allows you to add remote controlled motors to your lego technic creations. Some sets did come with their own power functions parts included, other sets didn't have power functions, but were designed such that if you had power functions parts, there was a seperate set of instructions that let you have a motorized version of that set. None of the sets I owned in the early days had either of these, so I bought my own direct from lego. I bought 4 XL motors, 2 IR emitters, two IR remotes, and one battery box. And I went to town making my own remote controlled cars with lego technic. Here are a few pictures of what I made using lego technic plus power functions: pic 1 pic 2 pic 3. At that point I had completely stopped playing with my brick-style lego, and I later gave it away to a friend while keeping the technic stuff.
While all this was happening I got on the interwebs more and more, and I watched a lot of youtube videos which had lego in them. Because I was interested in lego technic, I looked for youtubers who made lego technic things. One of these youtubers was Sariel. Sariel is a prolific Polish lego builder who is and was seriously hardcore about making the most amazing original lego builds using all the lego parts he could get his hands on. His builds like the tow truck, the snow groomer, and the M1A2 Abrams MBT really impressed me, and I aspired to create builds that were amazing as his. He also got me into some of Rammstein's music because he used their tracks as background songs.
In 2010, Sariel uploaded this amazing motorized octopod walker, and it inspired me to make one of my own. Small problem: I didn't own any of those ball-joint rods, so I had to get creative. Fortunately at that point I had a large amount of lego technic parts so I was able to scrape together a larger version of that octopod walker (which I called a spider) using regular parts. At first I made a non-steerable six-legged bug thinking I didn't have enough parts, but I did, and the experience I had with the six-legged bug was useful and allowed me to make the steerable spider. This photo I took on December 27th, 2010 is the only photo I have of it. I would later add two claws to it which I powered with the fancy new power functions parts I got in 2010. The new power functions parts I got in 2010 were two rechargeable batteries, two IR recievers, two IR remotes, 4 XL motors, and 4 medium motors. All 4 of my previous XL motors died (wtf?), so I bought the new ones as a replacement.
The spider I made in 2010 was... inferior and poorly designed. I later realized that the way I had made it made it very unsturdy, and because I was so ashamed of that (jk) I decided to make a second version of the spider in the summer of 2014. This one was much much better, and I think that it's the best original lego creation I made and completed. That's why I used it as the cover photo at the top of this post. Here are a bunch of photos of it being built and how it looked finished: pic 1 pic 2 pic 3 pic 4 pic 5 pic 6 pic 7 pic 8 pic 9.
So 2014 is when I basically stopped building with lego. Before the second version of the spider I wasn't building with lego much either. I guess I was too busy with college and wasting time on the internet. Though later (don't remember which year and the camera timestamp was borked) I did try making a third version of the spider, but I never completed it. It would have been way more amazing and even more sturdier compared to the second version. It was much larger, it had 4 XL motors powering it instead of the 2 XL motors that powered version 1 and version 2. The total length of the completed third spider would have been almost a meter! I wanted to complete it, but for some reason I decided to leave it for later, so I put it in my closet. It was never completed, and sat in my closet for years before I decided to get rid of my lego. (Nani?!)
Yeah, so I had realized that I don't want to play with lego anymore. There was basically no point to it. Everything I made was purely for fun, and had no practical use. Lego was basically just a fancy toy, and I no longer have a need for toys. So I told my parents that I wanted to get rid of my lego, and my dad found a co-worker at his job who had a little kid and my dad gave my lego to him. I've never seen this kid, and I don't know if he likes the lego I had, but I really hope it inspires as much creativity in him as it did in me.
Though it's been long since I built with lego, lego has definitely left a mark on me, and it is definitely an awesome mark. I owe a lot of my creativity, my interest in technical & mechanical things, my pretty good spatial memory, and my weird ability to keep a decently precise mental inventory of my possessions to lego. I never became as cool as Sariel, I never got all the lego sets I wanted, and I never built everything I wanted to build, but I did become a more awesome person. Thanks lego.All the lego technic sets I got:
- 8043 Motorized Exavator
- 8049 Tractor with log loader
- 8053 Mobile crane
- 8273 Off-road truck
- 8281 Mini tractor
- 8282 Quad bike
- 8283 Telehandler
- 8419 Mini Excavator
- 8284 Tractor
- 8069 Backhoe Loader
- 8110 Unimog
- 8436 Truck
- 8297 Off-roader
- 8265 Front-loader