Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lego - the rules of engagement

Names we give to Lego bricks and the names they choose for themselves.

Over the years I've witnessed the rise and fall and then the rise again of Lego. Somehow in the current rise, a rise inflated by and infatuated with Star Wars and various other George Lucas franchises I see a certain dumbing down of Lego. I'm growing concerned in my areas of growing concern that the pure (dead brilliant) cult of Lego construction and design techniques may be getting diluted or worst of all lost altogether. It is a clear case of style and commercial acumen winning out over substance and actual Lego engineering skills. James May has done a bit to restore the Lego credibility gap but a lot more work and basic education needs to be done or this generation of builders and their latte supping dads may become a lost cause. As a start I'm proposing that the 10 Lego Pillars of Wisdom be republished and taught afresh to younger enthusiasts. You need to hear the truth or get bent:

1. Interlock, interlock, interlock.
2. Name the bricks but never speak those names.
3. Never substitute a round #1 for a flat #1.
4. Make sure your base is big enough.
5. Don't use your teeth to separate stubborn bricks.
6. Avoid gimmicky non-standard bricks - keep them apart.
7. Keep all your instructions in a neat folder.
8. See-through bricks are not windows.
9. Two #4 x #1s do not make an #8.
10. Dissemble, disassemble, disassemble.

There is of course more I could add (don't start me on the 10 Pillars of Mecanno Wisdom) but at this point my work(s) on earth may well be done and dusted.

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