I went up to the Harbor for a movie night this past weekend, something I haven’t done in what seems like months.

I guess I have Netflix to thank for that. That, and my seemingly unending obsession with “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.”

“The Lego Movie” was something that I hadn’t really planned on seeing until I read the reviews describing lots of laughs and a catchy theme song. Even though animation’s not really my thing, I figured if it could top the box office as long as it had, it must be something special.

Not to mention, I used to have more Legos than I had sense back when I was a kid.

Yep, those were the days. I’d spend all afternoon building, just building. Nothing in particular, nothing fancy. Just whatever popped in my head, that’s what I’d build.

The thing that always fascinated me about Legos was that you didn’t have to follow the instructions to create something great, and I definitely took advantage of that. I would turn a pirate ship into a two-decker castle, or at least that’s what I thought it looked like anyways. That islanders’ fortress wouldn’t be a fortress for too long, more like an overgrown cove hiding tons of lost treasure for pirates to loot.

I had a big, creative imagination in those days. Of course, the Legos that were available in my youth are far different today. This generation’s Legos seem to be all film adaptations. There are Harry Potter Legos, Star Wars Legos, and seemingly every other classic movie has a Lego set.

Whatever happened to the pirate ships, the dragon castles, the Wild West sets? Seems it has all gone modern, for the worse.

But I’m getting off track. “The Lego Movie” was entertaining and had its fair share of laughs, but what rally brought me back was the fact that it was all done with Legos and only Legos (with help of special effects, of course). Even the ocean in the movie was made solely out of little blue building bricks. I got to hand it to the creators, they were consistent that way throughout the whole two-hour movie.

Master Builder I think is the correct term for the people who built everything seen in the movie.

Was I ever a Master Builder back in the day? I’d like to think I was, especially for the sake of my parents, who Christmas after Christmas would spend and spend their hard-earned money to get me and my brother more and more Legos. Eventually, we had an entire tub full of them.

I think that’s about the time they started falling out of my favor.

I still find it a little funny that even though I obsessed and obsessed over them, the one thing that ended up breaking that obsession was my own organization skills (or lack thereof).

Yes I had an entire tub full of Legos, and that should have kept me happy and entertained for a long, long time. But somewhere along the way, pieces started disappearing. Not just any pieces either.

My favorite Lego characters would be missing a hand or a hat, or even a head in some cases. I’d spend hours building a masterpiece, only to find that the one piece to make it complete was nowhere to be found.

Or was it in the Lego tub? That seemingly bottomless tub, where Lego pieces went to get lost forever.

In hindsight, it was my own fault. I should’ve been organized and not dumped everything in one place. Lesson learned.

I’d like to think that this whole talk about Legos has a point, and I think it does. I wouldn’t be where I am now were it not for hard lessons learned. Even if those hard lessons were learned through a favorite childhood pastime.

Austin Wells is a reporter for the Rockwall Herald-Banner and Royse City Herald-Banner. He can be reached via email at awells@heraldbanner.com.

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