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30 Years of the Lego Minifig

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-should-get-that-head-bump-looked-at dept.

Toys 167

clikit writes "Today, the Lego Minifig turns 30 years old. Gizmodo is running a video contest with Lego, giving away Galaxy Explorer or the Yellow Castle sets and other unopened vintage sets. They also have an exclusive video from the factory, showing how the minifig is built. Check it out ... finding out how the little guys are made will make you smile." Scientists estimate that 98% of the minifigs created in the last three decades have lost a hand in a tragic vacuum accident, been melted by a magnifying glass, or been eaten by your dog.

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167 comments

What about blasters? (4, Funny)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737177)

Scientists estimate that 98% of the minifigs created in the last 3 decades have lost a hand in a tragic vacuum accident, been melted by a magnifying glass, or eaten by your dog.

They forgot "blown apart by blasters, whips, and batrangs".

Re:What about blasters? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24737259)

They forgot "blown apart by blasters, whips, and batrangs".

And also BB guns, firecrackers, and gasoline.

Minifig = Lego People (5, Informative)

Teese (89081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737195)

For those who are curios about the arcane technical jargon in this post.

Re:Minifig = Lego People (5, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737589)

And the reason for the name is because Lego also introduced larger figures [lugnet.com] at the same time (1974). This is actually the 30 year anniversary of articulated minifigs, as the originals didn't have movable arms or legs.

Re:Minifig = Lego People (3, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737725)

My first minifigs were from the "Space" series in the mid-70s. Luckily, I didn't burn them in the back yard with kerosene or something, like I've seen other kids do. I've continued to buy a few sets a year since then. I'm not one of those guys who could build a piano out of his Lego and have enough left over for the stool, but I'm happy to hand down a nice collection to the next generation.

Lego Nation [deviantart.com]

Re:Minifig = Lego People (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737835)

For those who are curios

I think the minifigs themselves would be more accurately labeled as curios, not the people wondering about them

Re:Minifig = Lego People (0)

Teese (89081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739295)

For those who are curios

I think the minifigs themselves would be more accurately labeled as curios, not the people wondering about them

Dagnabbit! I blame firefox's lack of sophisticated spell checking. Check the word I mean, not the word I typed!

Re:Minifig = Lego People (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738623)

Yeah, really useful, what sort of idiot didn't know this!

PS. I didn't know this.

so what we're really celebrating (5, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737221)

is 30 years of 2 am blood-curdling screams and blasphemous curses against our lord jesus when a parent happened to step on one of these things barefoot.

lego: just because you didnt get candy at the supermarket,
doesnt mean you cant punish mom for her insolence.

Gaaah! (5, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737351)

is 30 years of 2 am blood-curdling screams and blasphemous curses against our lord jesus when a parent happened to step on one of these things barefoot.

You just gave me a 'Nam style flashback to pretty much every night this past week, and it wasn't fun. Good God, kid toys are awful. Stepping on Legos is bad - movement-sensitive toys that start a 15-minute sequence of annoying jabber because I walk within 5 feet of it when I get up to piss at night is the worst.

I swear to God, the next one of my in-laws that buys our kid one of those demonic talking toys, I'm buying their kids a drum set or electric guitar. This shit is war.

Re:Gaaah! (5, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737503)

When my son was little, his uncle bought him the Sesame Street Atom. It was the atom shaped device that rested on a stand. The child would spin it to hear music, sounds, and the voices of various Sesame Street characters. So far, so good. It was actually kind of cool. But when our son was tucked in his crib and we were in bed, we would hear the Atom starting the music/sound/voice sequence from the other room. Apparently, it would rock with the slightest movement and set off the routine. And THERE WAS NO OFF BUTTON! We finally figured out that removing it from the stand at night stopped the noise. (Thankfully, it wasn't connected to the stand in any fashion.) Now that uncle has a little girl of his own. Revenge shall be ours! (Once we find a suitably annoying toy.)

Re:Gaaah! (5, Funny)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737567)

All noisy battery-powered toys have off buttons - some of them just require hammers to find.

Re:Gaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24738059)

Hey, I am a noisy battery-powered toy you insensitive clod.

Re:Gaaah! (4, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738113)

When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like an annoying piece of loud plastic shit.

Re:Gaaah! (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738879)

When your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like an annoying piece of loud plastic shit.

When you solve your problems with a chainsaw, you never have the same problem twice. :D

Re:Gaaah! (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737985)

That 'toy' (which I regretfully bought for my son) made me vow to never buy anything without an actual off button built in (i.e. not using a hammer). The one we have will still go off when it's off the stand. I think the designer of that toy actually hates parents. As for the method of your revenge, if you don't want to give them the same type of toy back I can 'recommend' the 'Learn to Dress Elmo' (link [amazon.com]). Revenge served cold.

Re:Gaaah! (5, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738475)

Best toy revenge.

Being an EE I took apart some toys we bought for my brothers kids... I added an extra amplifier and upgraded the speaker to make it loud as hell.

I also disabled the on/off switch and added a tiny ballbearing/contact switch to make it trigger on movement.

Nothing like a furby that screams... MEE EEK OOKA LIKE YOU.... FURBY WANT BRAINS... and is triggered incredibly easy.

Bonus points if you install lithium longest life batteries and superglue the battery door shut.

Evil, Evil, Evil (5, Funny)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739637)

Didn't you have the first year EE seminar where they made you swear a solemn oath to only use your powers for good?

Re:Gaaah! (5, Interesting)

ProlificLurker (1349735) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737803)

Nah, drum sets are only annoying some of the time. Try this [thinkgeek.com]

Re:Gaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24738537)

Nah, drum sets are only annoying some of the time. Try this [thinkgeek.com]

A coworker once told me he built a "mosquito emulator" along the same lines, (i.e. sounded like a mosquito buzzing around your ear) but which had a light sensor. It only started the sound once the lights were off, and it went quiet if you turned them on. In other words, exactly like real mosquitoes behave. Then he hid it in his parents' bedroom. They didn't sleep much that night...

Re:Gaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24739993)

I built an electronic cricket a couple decades ago. It beeped at 15kHz and only started a while after dark. So the victim had to sleep with the lights on to keep it from chirping and waking him up. The very high pitch made it impossible to locate.

Re:Gaaah! (5, Funny)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737807)

My aunt got one of my cousins a toy that had a steering wheel and such, and a button that when you pressed it would say, in an Elmo voice, "Me drive car!"

A couple weeks later she comes home to an answering message that said "me drive car!" over and over again then my uncle saying "just wanted to know what we've been listening to for the last two weeks"

I live in fear (2, Funny)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737825)

When my wife and I were first married (and childless) I used to give these kinds of gifts to my nieces and nephews.

My favorite was "DJ Johnny Bot" and extremely annoying remote controlled robot/music player that was about 18" tall. It had this feature where if you played with it and then let it sit for a few minutes, it would "say" something to get your attention again (The best of all was this annoying robotic voice saying "I put the FUN in Funky!")

Now that I have a two-year-old daughter, and another on the way, each birthday/Christmas I look at the wrapped gifts with trepidation, wondering which is loaded with some terrible revenge :-)

Re:Gaaah! (3, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737979)

Someone gave my daughter a light sensitive doll that made noise when the lights were turned on and off. Problem was that I think someone slipped the soundtrack from "The Exorcist" into the sampling lab - it was the creepiest doll laugh ever heard. One too many incidents where I turned on the light and immediately started looking for Chuckie and I pulled that bitch's batteries for good.

Re:Gaaah! (5, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738077)

I swear to God, the next one of my in-laws that buys our kid one of those demonic talking toys, I'm buying their kids a drum set or electric guitar. This shit is war.

Just do what I do:

1) Grandparents give child noisy annoying toy.

2) Allow child to play with said toy until grandparents go home.

3) Take toy away from child and REMOVE BATTERIES.

4) Give toy back to child and watch him/her lose interest in toy very rapidly.

5) Put batteries back in toy and donate to Salvation Army (Alternately, if you have a gift receipt, just return it to the store.)

6) While out donating (or returning) annoying toy, buy child quiet, quality toy such as LEGOS, a ball, an "action figure", a dolly, a stuffed animal, ect.

7) Tell grandparents (later) the toy broke on the first day, and that next time they should get child something more durable and less gimmicky.

I did this for the first 5 years of each child. Eventually, the GP's got the message. Now my kids get fun and educational toys, or sports/activity related toys. For my son's 6th birthday just last month my parents gave him a 16 foot Trampoline with safety net. Both kids (6 and 7) love it and play on it every day. No annoying noisy crap toys sit around the house, and people know not to bother wasting money buying those toys for our kids.

Of course, they all think my kids are incredibly rough with their toys, but if it keeps the crap out of my home, it's worth a little bending of the truth. (actually, the gimmicky toys wouldn't last much more than a month anyway. I just shortcut the breakage process by ensuring they "break" on the first day.)

Tangeant comes to a close... (1, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738449)

While out donating (or returning) annoying toy, buy child quiet, quality toy such as LEGOS

...And with that, our lovely off-topic thread arcs back toward the original subject... Legos...

Re:Gaaah! (1)

el_coyotexdk (1045108) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738723)

That sounds like a great idea, but what do you do about annoying noisy children on the trampoline? ;)

Re:Gaaah! (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738985)

They are outside. They can be as loud as they want OUT THERE. As long as I can have peace and quiet IN the house when they are using the trampoline.

And who the heck modded my previous post as "Troll"? What, did I not use enough /. memes, or is someone just bored and has mod points?

Re:Gaaah! (0, Troll)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738995)

it won't be long until an "accident" occurs to take care of that problem, trust me, thats how I got in this wheelchair

Re:Gaaah! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24738463)

I swear to God, the next one of my in-laws that buys our kid one of those demonic talking toys, I'm buying their kids a drum set or electric guitar. This shit is war.

One of my old coworkers used to say, "If you buy my child something that makes noise, I will buy your child something that is ALIVE!"

I think the threat of ending up with pets you don't want is a pretty good deterrent to buying a noise-making toy.

Re:Gaaah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24739113)

Hmm, you just admitted to having a kid. Geeks don't have kids (let alone women to have kids with). Turn in your Geek card and Slashdot registration now you infiltrator!

Re:so what we're really celebrating (5, Funny)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737415)

I still remember being like 6 years old, and looking all over for a 6inch by 6inch (rather big, for legos) space ship i built out of legos. I looked for like 2 hours, until I had an idea. I asked my friend's (exceedingly obese) mother to stand up, and she stalwartly refused and told me to go run along and play. So I sulked for an hour, and eventually found a way to make her get up (don't remember, it was a LONG time ago).

Turns out, she just thought our couch was really uncomfortable. And, gave me a good reason to watch my weight all these years. Because, really, who wants to loose an entire spaceship in your gigantic ass?

Re:so what we're really celebrating (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24738007)

"Did you know I built a spaceship out of Legos that visited Uranus?"

Re:so what we're really celebrating (5, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738101)

"Because, really, who wants to loose an entire spaceship in your gigantic ass?"

I believe you know the real reason she didn't want to move, but just don't want to admit it to yourself.

Re:so what we're really celebrating (4, Funny)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738235)

Two possible meanings:
1: She was embarrassed that she sat on it, and didn't want anyone to know.
2: She liked it.

Please, for the love of all things in my childhood, don't let it be #2!

Re:so what we're really celebrating (1)

DaveDragon (1115051) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737493)

I've steeped on them in the night. I've also kneeled on one while looking under a bed that left a mark for almost a year! Kids love em, all ages.

Re:so what we're really celebrating (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739301)

Not even *half* as bad as a now-discontinued LEGO piece: the detachable wheels. Round wheels, 2x2 size, rubber tire around the rim, with a steel pin sticking out, that stuck into a matching internal-bearing block. The wheels always ended up falling pin-up, just like caltrops. Those little metal pins could go through a thin-soled shoe, and certainly could go through skin.
They were great for making LEGO cars that coasted well but they were terrible for parents.

Eaten by my dog? (1)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737261)

I'm pretty sure if my dog had swallowed 98% of the minifigs produced in 30 years he'd be feeling pretty sick. Plus, I'd have noticed. So I doubt that claim.

dude, you cut off my hand! (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737269)

Scientists estimate that 98% of the minifigs created in the last 3 decades have lost a hand in a tragic vacuum accident, been melted by a magnifying glass, or eaten by your dog.

Or how about a kid using a lighter to heat up a paperclip cherry-red so that he could reenact the ventilation shaft scene from Empire Strikes Back with his lego dudes?

Re:dude, you cut off my hand! (3, Funny)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738041)

Luke: OWW! Why'd you slice off my hand

Vader: Its imperative you understand

Obi Wan would never bother

Telling you about your father

Luke: He told me enough - he told me you killed him

Vader: Then there's something I must reveal him

I'm your father

I'm your father

I'm your father

I'm your father

I'm your father

I'm your father

I'm your father

I'm your father

Re:dude, you cut off my hand! (1)

SparkEE (954461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739115)

Damn you! Now I've got to go find that video again if I ever want to get the song out of my head.

Re:dude, you cut off my hand! (1)

hob42 (41735) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738673)

When I was a kid, I lost a grand total of one minifig hand. (Subsequently, I melted the end the poor guy's arm so that there wasn't a gaping hole, but rather a stump. But anyway.)

Fast forward 15 years. My 4-year-old likes to re-enact that infamous scene, but just pulls one hand out of the arm of whomever he decides is Luke. And then promptly loses the hand. So next time he uses another minifig, removing its hand and losing it as well. Then he uses another minifig...

Nearly all of the dozens upon dozens of minifigs from my youth have become completely hand-less in the past year...

Re:dude, you cut off my hand! (1)

dohnut (189348) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738997)

Dude, you could have just pulled the hand off.

Though I guess your method better captures the original spirit of the scene.

Genocide? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24737271)

Scientists estimate that 98% of the minifigs created in the last 3 decades have lost a hand in a tragic vacuum accident, been melted by a magnifying glass, or eaten by your dog.

Does this mean my dog is guilty of crimes against lego-humanity?

Lego Bulletin Board? (4, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737279)

Am I the only one who saw those Lego heads on that big board and thought "It'd be cool to have a Lego bulletin board in my office"? Put some big Lego sheets on the wall and then have special Lego bricks with clips to hold papers that connect to the wall sheets. Perhaps some Lego bricks with magnets embedded in them so you could stick magnetic items to part of the wall.

Re:Lego Bulletin Board? (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738845)

then have special Lego bricks

Why? I'm sure you can build something yourself out of available Lego pieces. That's the point of Legos, after all, to use your imagination instead of one super-huge pre-fab piece like Megablocks.

Step 1) Order Lego platforms in bulk
Step 2) Superglue/duct tape to wall
Step 3) ???
Step 4) Painful feet!

Had Both of Them (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737367)

I thought the description "Yellow Castle" sounded like a set I owned when I was a kid. Looking at the picture; the Galaxy Explorer was the first Lego set I ever had.

Re:Had Both of Them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24737977)

Me too!

I just rebuilt the Galaxy Explorer with my 8 year-old daughter and 6 year-old son last weekend.

Re:Had Both of Them (2, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738073)

the Galaxy Explorer was the first Lego set I ever had.

Not my first (that one goes to the Coast Guard Station one), but pretty darn close. Man that thing was cool!

The one thing that bothered me with the space minifigs is you could see their smiling faces with the helmets. But I knew (as only an elementary schooler can) that you couldn't see the astronauts faces through the visors. So I would turn their heads around so all you could see was the yellow through the helmet.

Feeling old again. (1)

JeanCroix (99825) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737385)

Not only does my collection include a good cross section of minifigs from that 30 years, but I even have some of the faceless no-arms-or-legs types (came with a police van set) and the larger, multi-jointed "maxifigs" from the 1970s (came with the moon lander set).

And somehow, I managed to never lose, damage, or otherwise destroy any of them. That's what green plastic army men were for - LEGOs were too expensive.

Lego People? (4, Funny)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737425)

My generation didn't have any lego people, hell we only had rectangles. No curves. I remember "clear" legos being introduced and wanting them.

These days, the lego's are barely what I remember. Specially shaped parts, windshields, wheels!

We had to PRETEND our model cars with square wheels could role. Thee days, kids don't have to imagine anything!!!

Re:Lego People? (3, Funny)

extirpater (132500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737501)

My generation didn't have any lego people, hell we only had rectangles. No curves. I remember "clear" legos being introduced and wanting them.

These days, the lego's are barely what I remember. Specially shaped parts, windshields, wheels!

We had to PRETEND our model cars with square wheels could role. Thee days, kids don't have to imagine anything!!!

http://www.plaidstallions.com/legoman.jpg i can imagine you

Re:Lego People? (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737937)

We had to PRETEND our model cars with square wheels could role.

Role-play is a very imaginative style of play! Keep at it!

Re:Lego People? (3, Interesting)

DarkHorseman (1150085) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737759)

Thee days, kids don't have to imagine anything!!!

I beg to differ. I grew up with these lego sets and to me, the coolest thing was not just assembling the set the way it was meant to be, but disassembling it and finding out how to create something completely unorthodox by mixing two, or three, or my entire collection of lego's.

I definately remember using my imagination when I built a fleet of small 4 pc. ships and one large, and elegant ship and battled them in a epic space battle all over the house against my brothers team:P

Aah... the fun!

Re:Lego People? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737881)

grew up with these lego sets and to me, the coolest thing was not just assembling the set the way it was meant to be

In my day there was no "meant to be" it was just a tub of blocks. We built airplanes, subs, buildings, and cars with square wheels.

Re:Lego People? (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738291)

You know, most of the grognards who cry about how lego "used to be" haven't played with some of the more recent kits. There's some seriously clever design in some of them, and I find it inspiring to see how other people do things to incorporate them into my own design.

I think that cleverness acts as a force multiplier for the big tub o' bricks.

Re:Lego People? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738439)

You know, most of the grognards who cry about how lego "used to be" haven't played with some of the more recent kits. There's some seriously clever design in some of them, and I find it inspiring to see how other people do things to incorporate them into my own design.

I disagree. My son, who is 17 didn't find them nearly as interesting as I did as a kid.

When you have a blank slate from which to start, anything you make is interesting. If you set up a previous expectation of how something should be built, then you tend more to think of it as a kit. That is a generality, of course, and my observation.

Mindstorms was/is a very interesting system. Kids with no previous experience with robotics or programming, seem to follow the instructions and build what's in the books. Those that see the Mindstorms block as a means to their ends do better.

The mindstorms computer is a generic computing block, but so few kids go beyond the pre-packaged designs. The old legos, bucket of blocks mentality, seemed to inspire more creativity. No only did you have to imagine the wheels, you had to imagine it rolling.

Re:Lego People? (1)

mrzaph0d (25646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738751)

i think it depends on the kid. my son is 6, has several thousand legos (based on the original count off the boxes), and he usually builds most sets once per the instructions, then rips them apart and uses his imagination. part of that may be that the first sets he got were hand me downs, and it took me a year to find where i'd put them, so his only guide was the picture on the box.

Re:Lego People? (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738983)

Or, maybe, your son is different from you.

Seems to me that the instructions in the mindstorms kits are just like the instructions in the regular kits: Good places to start.

Good ideas create other good ideas. Creativity doesn't happen in a vacuum, and other peoples' cleverness can be a good catalyst for one's own.

Re:Lego People? (1)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739891)

I was one of those kids who built the thing pictured on the box once, admired it for 5 min, then took it apart, added the pieces to my collection, and started building anything I could think up.

I had some friends who lived not to far from me, they had legos on their shelf, just what was from the box, nothing unique, collecting dust.

It's all about the kid, some will create, others will not. You can encourage the creative but not force it...

Re:Lego People? (1)

GTRacer (234395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738009)

My favorite "invention": I combined a novelty hat/visor thing that was lined with blinkenlights with a box o' Lego bricks. I had several of the Space sets and I was really into Sci-Fi thatnks to Star Wars and the like.

So I built a bar, complete with tables, stools, a bar, and flashing dance lights. I achieved this by ripping the LEDs and battery from the hat and pushing the LEDs into a Technic beam (they fit perfectly)). I even made a battery compartment.

I set it up so the roof was removable for easy play access. I filled it with my space-figs and there was always plenty of cruiser parking out back!

Thanks for the memories!

Re:Lego People? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24737819)

My generation had erector sets and tinker toys. I remember a robot I built out of an erector set that would travel to the end of its extension cord and stop when the plug came out of the wall. It wouldn't do much else, though - I didn't have anough parts.

But I played with legos with my two daughters, fifteen or twenty years ago. It was as much fun as an erector set, even though you needed no screwdriver.

Re:Lego People? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24737851)

Ah, your generation had it easy.

In mine, we only got the plastic beads. We had to melt them using the frictions of our hands and sculpt them using only a fork and spoon.

Then we had to run outside finding roots, flowers and berries, to masticate and make colors so we could paint them.

Re:Lego People? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24738763)

You soft bastards had spoons and forks? In my day we had to use knives to carve molds into our own bones. We'd have to pour in the liquid plastic and let it harden before we could even begin to build anything with them.

Re:Lego People? (1)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739393)

I think I can go one better than that: when I was quite young we had American Bricks. They were just like LEGO bricks only they were stamped out of wood. There were 2x4 and 2x2 bricks, in (painted) red and yellow, and 2x2 angle bricks, and that was all.
Plus they didn't stick together, they just relied on gravity to hold them together.

On the up-side, we had a whole lot of them so we could make entire castles out of them, and once we DID get LEGO bricks we built catapults, trebuchets, and ballistae and had races to see who could demolish each other's castles with the siege equipment.

(American Bricks were made circa 1944-1960, and were apparently an inspiration for the designer of LEGO bricks.)

i'm surprised that there was no mention here.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24737757)

http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/

this web comic uses dozens of the little guys in alternating story lines. it's hilarious!

e

Re:i'm surprised that there was no mention here... (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738569)

http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/

this web comic uses dozens of the little guys in alternating story lines. it's hilarious!

e

Feh. Add that to the pile of game sprite comics and other webcomic formats for people who can't draw...

I'll see your "irregular webcomic" (and maybe recommend some fiber or something) and raise you a brickfilms [brickfilms.com].

The faces... (4, Insightful)

Chysn (898420) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738103)

Backinmyday, which was the Galaxy Explorer era, all the little figures had the same face. It was a 1970s-era smiley face. The only thing that changed was the headwear: space helmet, fireman hat, girl-hair.

Now, my son has space lego sets. The guys in the Mars Mission sets have decidedly bad-ass faces. Bad-ass facial hair with the bad-ass grimace of a real bad-ass.

Make no mistake about this: my 1970s astronauts did not lead pleasant lives. They fought brave battles, lost limbs, sometimes cracked (literally) under the pressure. Sometimes they even had that stupid smile wiped off their faces (again, literally).

Why do today's miniature astronauts wear their emotions on their sleeves? What happened to the steel resolve of yesteryear? Why not, when under alien attack, smile?

Kids these days.

tinker toys (1)

RemoWilliams84 (1348761) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738407)

Did anyone else ever think that tinker toys were the stupid kid's legos. And I always hated it when I asked for the newest set of legos and got a stinking set of the same old tinker toys. How many freaking log cabins can i build?

More, more, MORE! (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738429)

FROM: The Darkmaster
TO: LEGO(r) Factory

Send more legos, please! I'm running out of blocks to build my 1:1 scale car

Impressive hound (1)

johnw (3725) | more than 5 years ago | (#24738561)

Scientists estimate that 98% of the minifigs created in the last three decades have lost a hand in a tragic vacuum accident, been melted by a magnifying glass, or been eaten by your dog.

That dog must rattle as it walks.

Galaxy Explorer - best Lego set ever (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24738913)

I had the Galaxy Explorer. I had a few of the older Lego sets (like the moon lander with the big people, and a police motorcycle and a forklift with the little people that didn't have movable arms or legs), and I've picked up a few of the newer sets too, with all their pieces that can only ever have one use.

I consider the late 70s and early 80s to be the apex of Lego technology. Pretty much all the parts could be used anywhere, but there was just enough specialization to allow for some cool stuff.

I used to spend all day building a spaceship upwards of 3 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 2 feet tall, with separate compartments for crew and space infantry, small fighter craft, laser batteries covering every angle of approach, escape pods, missiles ready to launch . . . it was a combination battleship, spacecraft carrier, and troop carrier . . . and then I'd keep it around a week before I tore it apart and built an improved version. I think my final versions had about 6 fighters, and my chief complaint was that I never had enough Legos to make it REALLY good.

I also had it as an article of faith that Lego spaceships should be built tough enough to actually play with. True, I couldn't drop it without it falling apart (except for one small fighter I designed super-tough), but I could "fly" it with one hand for hours without incident. The new models they have out fall apart if you sneeze on them, with all sorts of parts held on by a single knob.

As for that one fighter - I used all white bricks, mounted it with skids, and on an icy day I would go out and practice skid landings on the ice - I would throw it in the direction it was to go, and watch it land. The "engine" would frequently fall off, but that was all. I think I still have that one intact somewhere. No way was I going to take apart a model that worked THAT well.

Finally, after building my awesome spaceship, I'd use whatever bricks I had left to build some crude adversary craft, which of course would get knocked into pieces in the ensuing, one-sided battles.

who cares (-1, Flamebait)

crevistontj (1032976) | more than 5 years ago | (#24739457)

Why does Slashdot post so many damned Lego articles? Sure they were fun toys but so was a lot of other stuff. It's just a stupid plastic brick. Grow up.
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