Why Some Adults Like Legos
After talking to my sisters (who are also adult Lego fans), I began to wonder why some adults still like Legos. For example, my interest in building Lego sets only began when I was an adult. In fact, I started building Legos when I was in my early 40’s. As I discuss in another post, I saw the Lego Taj Mahal set in 2008 and wanted to build it. It was challenging, frustrating, and required beaucoup concentration. But, over the course of a month, I completed the build and fell in love with the result. Thus, I became a Lego fan.
Mulling over what motivates some adults to buy and build Legos, I came up with the following reasons:
Some adults might like Legos due to nostalgia. While that isn’t my reason for being a Lego fan – I never played with Legos as a child – I imagine an adult with a childhood history of playing with Legos might be drawn to the sets due to fond childhood memories. A person might also get re-hooked on Legos while helping their children build a set or by just playing with the bricks with their kids. I know of one father who took over the building process of a Harry Potter Lego set he bought for his two kids. The kids were fine with it – they just wanted to play with the set when it was done. My friend said that building the set for kids rekindled his interest in Legos. Thus, he started buying and building the adult-oriented Creator Expert sets for himself.
A Craft that Doesn’t Require a Special Skill
Also, I think some adults – and this applies to me – are attracted to Lego because of the simplicity of the whole building (creating) process. Yes, you are following directions and the directions do require focus and concentration. Moreover, a small mistake can derail the entire construction. But, building something with Lego bricks doesn’t require a specialized skill (like painting, woodworking, needlepoint). If you adhere to the directions, you will be successful. The end result can be a beautiful building, car, skyline, etc.
Sometimes, in the process of building, you become inspired to hack an existing set. For example, I hacked the Lego Store and Lego Minifigure Factory sets by using another building set and some leftover Legos. I was unhappy with the original set’s open back. I had some leftover bricks and thought about hacking the sets. This caused me to literally “think outside the box.”
Lego Store Hack
The original Lego Store building – as shown below- has an open back. I used leftover bricks and the Lego Grand Opening kit to create a fully closed store.
Minifigure Factory Hack
The original Lego Minifigure Factory kit
The original design had a cardboard factory wall and an open back. I replaced the cardboard sides with Lego bricks and created a closed-up factory. Additionally, I added more minifigs to the conveyor belt, added more pictures, and placed some Lego brick decals to the outside of my factory.
Some adults are so inspired by Legos, they build entirely new creations, not hacked versions. These Lego artists can display their works on the Lego Ideas website. There are some amazing ideas out there. Note, if you sign up, you can vote on your favorite creations. If enough people support a particular creation, Lego may issue it as a new product. For example, the Lego typewriter idea (an idea I supported) is now a product that Lego plans to sell.
Additionally, although I do not watch this show, LegoMasters is a tv series where Lego enthusiasts compete to build complex creations.
Building with Legos relieves stress and anxiety. Focusing on building something with the bricks takes you away from home and work issues. I know that, during the coronavirus lockdown, I was becoming glued to the news. It was always bad. One day, I decided to turn the tv off and build a Lego Creator Expert set (the Lego Mini Cooper). I played some soft music in the background (nothing that would make me want to dance), and began working on the set. Time flew by. I felt less stressed and was happy to talk to my two sisters about my Lego creation. In any case, after the MiniCopper, I built a second Lego set (Dragon Dance), then the third set, and so on. During the one year of quarantining, I built six Lego sets. It was the most number of sets I built in a year since I first started (in 2008).
Some Legos are great décor items. For example, I have a display on the top of a bookcase. I have a wooden “Travel” sign, and I placed various Lego décor items, such as the Las Vegas Skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and the Dragon Dance, around it. It looks great and does not look like Legos.
Another example of a decorative piece is the Lego Botanical Collection sets. The Flower Bouquet piece is pretty enough to serve as a centerpiece.
There are probably other individual reasons why some adults like to build things with Legos. I have tried to come up with the main reasons that may inspire adult Lego fans. If you can think of others, let me know!