Over the last few years I have become a big Lego nerd. I’m only limited by the lack of money. But thank God, because I’d rebuild the house out of Lego if I could.
Over the last year or two we have used Lego Therapy to support children at our school to really positive effects. So, I’ve become more and more interested in the positive effects of Lego. I definitely know that the thing that makes me calm is following instructions and building a model. So when I heard about the book I thought I’d give it a whirl.
Some people might say that playing is just for kids, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Playing is more than just a lot of fun – it brings many real benefits into our lives. It boosts our mood and helps us to think more creatively. It helps us develop more positive responses to challenging situations. And having a playful approach to life is also associated with good mental health and well-being
To help my own mental well-being here are just a couple of simple strategies I plan to try to use:
The simplest build – keep a couple of pieces in my pocket. Whenever I’m in thought I can fiddle with them. The book says that ‘the sensory experience of feeling the nubbly studs on the bricks can help release tension’.
Stack up your positivity – give a happy thought to each brick I pick up and connect it to the ones before, until there’s a structure entirely built of good things.
The book is full of ideas – I don’t know if I’ll be taking on loads, but just a few to help me relax and unwind and be more positive about things.
During the summer I was inspired by JaysBrickBlog to collect all of the Lego collectible minifigures where the characters wear animal costumes.
I began to collect just a few figures each month. I already had a giraffe and knew I had the chicken suit guy somewhere. I then discovered I had the shark guy too. That gave me a good start.
Finding the figures in the shops can be tricky unless you have a feel guide. So eBay is often your best bet so that you can get the exact figures you want. More recently released figures typically cost anything between £4 and £6. Some of these figures go way back to the very first few sets and cost more.
The most valuable figure was the Bumblebee Suite Lady. She is the most rare of them all and it cost £24. Good grief. But my collection would have been useless without it.
Jay’s collection only counted 18 figures but I have also counted the bear suite guy in Series 19 – if unicorns count then so do colourful bears.
The figures included are:
Colourful bear suit guy- a brilliant figure – excellent colours and design. The multicoloured legs are awesome.
Gorilla suit guy – an excellent figure – worth quite a bit too. The mould is excellent and I love the banana that goes with it.
Chicken suit guy – a classic. It’s brilliant!
Giraffe suit guy – at one point I had four of these. It’s such a good figire!
Blue unicorn guy – I prefer it to the white unicorn but that’s probably due to the sword and shield that comes with it.
Bumblebee lady – Why this is so rare, I don’t know. It’s nice but I am unsure why it is so valuable.
Dragon suite guy – What a figure! Again, strictly not an actual animal, but I’m counting it.
Penguin suit boy – Way cute. It’s hard to display as it’s so small.
Panda suit guy – This includes a panda teddy! It’s perfect!
Crocodile guy – This one doesn’t really stand out when displayed with all the others. On its own and you see the detail on the back of the suit.
White unicorn lady – A bit plain, but I like the blue hands.
Elephant ballerina suit lady – Absolutely brilliant! I love the face expression due to the mouse!
Rabbit guy – A fantastic figure. I love the mould of the headpiece.
Fox suit guy – Another classic. I love the way it includes a chicken and a bag of grain!
Spider suit guy – An effective figure, but probably my least favourite of the set.
Pig suit guy – Another excellent figure – I love the detail on the headpiece.
Cat suit lady – Another one I’m not fond of. It’s fine but it doesn’t stand out.
Tiger suit lady – Another one that doesn’t stand out as particularly special. It was quite expensive, from what I remember.
Shark suit guy – This one is so cute – the headpiece is excellent and I love the fins!
There’s a space on the front row of my display ready for the next figure to add to the collection!
As someone who loves Lego but can’t really afford to buy it one way that I can get my fix is to read Lego magazines. Here’s a brief review of two that I have found.
This is the newest magazine. I read issue 3 and I bought it online. It costs £5. The magazine is A5-sized. I think this probably causes problems for it. It makes articles shorter. It is considerably smaller in size than other similar magazines.
I like how current the magazine is, including features on The Lego Movie 2 and one on how Brexit might affect Lego supplies. There are interesting articles – I particularly enjoyed the report on how the Darth Vader minifigure helmet has changed, how to tell a genuine from a fake Deadpool figure and the love for a 1×4 tile piece. The report on the effects of combining up to four sets of Harry Potter Quidditch sets was my favourite although it was overlong. If I’m honest though, most of the reports were too short and I am not in the slightest interested in Overwatch, although that’s my personal preference. At 80 small pages long there just wasn’t enough in Brick Fanatics to keep me interested for more than a few minutes.
I feel harsh in not rating the magazine but I hope it develops as time goes on.
I’ve been reading Blocks for a while now. It costs £5.40 per issue and until recently I have had a subscription. At 120 pages and A4-sized it comes in as a much more substantial publication. I reviewed the April 2019 issue.
I enjoy the round up of Lego news and upcoming releases. The articles and features feel substantial and have great pictures accompanying them. I liked the Lego plant feature written by Lego Masters Series One winner, Steve Guinness.
The Top Ten of spooky Lego feels a bit odd in April rather than October but I enjoyed it. It was interesting to find out how sets don’t have pieces missing.
There was lots of Overwatch in this edition which I am not interested in but there were lots of reviews of other sets which meant that I wasn’t bored. The feature on building animals was great!
Overall, Blocks is definitely the superior magazine. There’s something for Lego loves of all ages.
A few years ago I bought the magazines Brick Culture and Bricks which I loved both – particularly Brick Culture. I extended my subscription for both and then the publisher went bust and I lost money. I was more gutted that both magazines ceased to exist.