About two months ago, my wife got me the Lego Millennium Falcon as a birthday present. Now, it's my strong-held belief that you should always get a toy for any and all special gift-giving occasions. Toys are important -- what a toy is, is not. It could be made by Lego or Apple, a new gardening tool by John Deere or a new camera lens. As long as it's something that engages you in creativity, not just a new tie to wear to work (I don't wear ties), then it's a toy.
But where is the line in time when we got older and stopped playing with imagination toys? And I don't mean the new iPad or the new garden tool -- I mean Legos, action figures and dolls, play sets and crayons. (Btw, have you drawn with crayons lately? It's seriously a ton of fun coloring in and outside the lines.) Why is it weird to see a 40 year old playing with toys, but not a 4 year old? (Ok, because it is weird.) Part of it is that there's seemingly no time to play as you get older. You get focused on work, on getting to the bar or gym on time, making payments, making babies, back to making payments... there's no time. But I think as we get older we discover other pursuits that fulfill the "playing" we did as a child. Whether it's video games or photography, blogging or even working out, it's a "hobby" -- which is a term for grownups playing. But I think imaginative play is important, too, and I don't do it enough, if at all anymore.
So that brings me back to the Lego Millennium Falcon. When I got it, I was pretty stoked -- even just thinking about finding the time to set aside to put the model together made me feel more relaxed. My in-laws joked that between work and having a 2-year old at the house, putting it together would take me a long time. (Then they sent me pictures of their grandson's 2 completed Falcons...)
Took me a month and a half of random 30 minute or 15 minutes opportunities. Probably 3 hours total time. And boy, it was fun. The best part was imagining the ship was in the process of being built by a shipyard, and I was watching it all come together.
When I finished the Falcon, placing the characters inside gave me the opportunity to find the small vignettes that seemed to just automatically happen.
|I'm not sure why, but Luke Skywalker looks really pissed. |
Sure, Aunt Veru and Uncle Owen got roasted, but the dude just seems really annoyed.
|Cosmic diva takes no crap.|
Here's all the pictures from the Lego Millennium Falcon (or view the set on Flickr):