Treading on it in the middle of the night is the least of my problems with Lego. Seriously, I had to whittle this list DOWN to just ten! I’m thinking of starting a Lego Haters society, and I suspect there would be a big queue to join. Here’s my big list of hate.
1 – It’s too small. I mean properly microscopic. Forget the 1×1 bricks, I’m talking about pieces so tiny you need tweezers to fit them together. If you’re playing with it on a big white table, then you have half a chance. If you’re on a carpet or a thick pile rug, forget it. You might as well just tip half of it straight into the bin.
2 – It’s really expensive. When you’re really desperate for a kid’s birthday present, Lego always seems like a great plan – until you look at the price. It’s never on sale, and sometimes it feels like it would be cheaper by the kilo to buy gold. You end up buying a tiny little box for £22.99, and then feel the need to tell everyone at the children’s birthday party how much it cost so you don’t look cheap. You end up looking cheap.
3 – It gets inexplicably dirty. And sticky. Yep – Lego could attract dust in an operating theatre. It could be carried from one end of a sterile NASA laboratory to the other and come out with a lump of jam attached. And I’m sorry, but I’m just not the kind of mum who is going to put it into tiny mesh bags and stick it in the dishwasher. Life’s too short to waste it washing Lego. I consider dirty Lego to be a service to my family’s collective immune system.
4 – Something important always gets lost. You know that feeling when you pull out the sofa to hoover up the dust bunnies, but unexpectedly hear the familiar tinkle of a Lego brick going up the hoover? Me too. Just don’t tell my husband or daughter. Sometimes though, when there’s just one piece left to fit (and without it the whole afternoon has been wasted) you can move sofas around and rootle through bin as much as you like – it doesn’t want to be found. I think we have mice living in elaborately crafted Lego palaces under the floor boards.
5 – Once it’s built, it doesn’t get dismantled for years. My husband is currently resisting the destruction of a Lego Architecure model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s house ‘Falling Water’. It has been on the shelf above the telly for two and a half years. TWO AND A HALF YEARS. Nobody is playing with it. Nobody is looking at it. It just sits there, gathering dust (and jam). I’m going to have to take it apart one day soon, and it is going to break his heart a little bit.
6 – I’m crap at it. I would generally consider myself to be quite a creative person, but when faced with a box of Lego, I’ve got nothing. I generally attempt a house or building of some kind, then quickly get irritated by the inconsistencies in scale and give up after a wall and a couple of windows.
7 – It is the cause of many a broken fingernail. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been summoned to separate two tiny pieces, which invariably results in damage to my nails. Of course, the lovely people at Lego have made a tool to help with that, but I would refer you to point 4.
8 – Lego Friends. When I was a kid, Lego had no gender distinction. Lego was Lego, and anyone could play with it. Whoever dreamed up the pink and purple scourge of the toyshop that is Lego Friends should be sacked. It makes the world a sadder place. My husband recently attacked a John Lewis catalogue with a black marker pen, furiously scrawling ‘NOT REAL LEGO’ across all the Lego Friends items. I love him for that.
9 – The colours are boring. Pillar box red, royal blue, white, yellow, blah, blah, blah. Come on Lego, its 2017! Where’s the teal? The fuschia? The rose gold metallic accent bricks? Create a greater variety of colours, more transparent pieces, some different textures, a bit of glitter, and maybe, just maybe, that would be something I could get on board with.
10 – Nobody ever throws it away. Despite the fluff and the jam, your basic Lego brick is basically indestructible. And because it doesn’t really age or get broken, it survives every toy cull. Everyone keeps it in giant boxes in the loft, waiting for an opportunity to bring it out again. I think it will be what carries me off in the end – I’ll be buried under a giant Lego avalanche when the loft joists finally give up.