Saturday, August 13, 2011

LEGO, Video Games, and the Recession

I have been thinking a lot about this lately, so I figured I mine as well post something about it. These are all my personal opinions, so I hope it gets you thinking!

With fears of another recession looming around the corner, I was curious to know how you as the readers felt about LEGO as means of stimulating the child's mind while trying to save your money in a tough economic period. Is that how you see it? Have the prices of LEGO sets discouraged you from buying them recently? 

I see it this way. LEGO essentially pays for itself in the long term. What could be seen as a basic building toy for youngster can evolve over time as that same kid realizes new building techniques and the fact that LEGO is much more than a toy, but rather a hobby.

For much of my life, I have grown up with video games, and of course LEGO. I managed to balance the time between them, usually drawing inspiration from one another. Sure the video games were great, but as I grew older, I realized how utterly pointless they really were. It's a fictitious sense of accomplishment, with nothing to show for except hours and hours logged into staring at a screen.

Sure, some may say that these video games are stimulating, which they are. But in most cases, based solely on my own experiences and encounters, they create a sense of irritability and impatience. Kids are easily sidetracked and seem to become lackluster in focus. Again, that's just from what I have witnessed from other kids growing up. What do you think?

LEGO, on the other hand, focuses the mind into creativity, problem solving, and imagination. Suddenly, all sorts of variables come into play as one tries to determine the right height, length, width, color scheme, weight, and overall style of what they're building. Not to mention the limited number of pieces they have available. It builds patience and rewards a sense of accomplishment when something is finally built.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on the matter. I'd love to hear what you have to say about it. Hope you enjoyed the read!



  1. Another great thing about Lego is that the building possibilities increase exponentially with more bricks - so your child can still make a large swath of new stuff with one or two new sets. I for one could wait for going to the flea market every month where a vendor sold brick by brick - those $5.00 purchases were the best part of my month.

  2. I am very much the same as Chris - grew up with both video games and Lego, but I still enjoy each now that I am older. I started gaming as soon as I could hold a joystick (that's all there were back then) and never stopped since, so I am nearing 30 years non-stop with the hobby. For Lego, I took a break from around age 16-28, but am currently having much more fun with this hobby than gaming.

    I think both have potential merits and pitfalls. A child can play games that encourage teamwork and creative thinking, and they can do nothing with a pile of Lego except make guns and pretend to shoot people - neither can substitute proper parenting, obviously, and I feel both played at least some part in making me who I am today.

    I will end with this, in relation to the economical angle of it all - in my collection of 600+ games spanning back to the late 70s, maybe 10 of those games could be sold on ebay for the price I paid for them or more. They are a horrible investment in that regard. On the other hand, even though it is opened and played with, I could get 3-4 times the price for my Cafe Corner than what I bought it for - food for thought.

    Very interesting topic and discussion, Chris!

  3. Very true, the past year I received a video game console and I barely ever built legos and then I realized what I was doing so I quit playing video games and devote more time towards lego.

  4. Nice article! Back in the days, I used to build all kinds of things with LEGO, then switched to videogames and now, as I am older, I still use them good ol' bricks for my artwork. Too lucky no one ever threw those away ;)

  5. Great article!
    Certainly for me I can catch myself hovering in thought before I buy a new Lego model. Certainly the fact that the new kits really only build one model (unless explicitly advertising that different models can be built)... I'm guessing I'm showing my age when I say I recall Lego models ALWAYS used to have different build options on the box!

    As for the short term/ long term payback; I can't say I've ever thought about how long something would last ti get any return on investment; more of a case that you realise how long you've had a model / piece in your collection.

    In truth, I do think that the Lego sets are a little on the expensive side; the Architecture range more so (and just because it's aimed towards a more adult market shouldn't justify the price hike). But then Lego hasn't expanded it's main manufacturing plant outside of Denmark - so immediately you are dealing with "imported" toys.

    But as someone who never stopped playing with Lego - I guess I will continue to buy the stuff...

  6. Thanks for all the great insight everyone! Glad you all liked the article!


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