Sunday, March 1, 2009

Legos = Geek Love

Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out at my friends Bryce & Kathy's apartment for a "B-Movie Night", in which a select group of people, carefully selected by Kathy, brought foodstuffs and in return were treated to a big screen treatment of the forgotten classic sci-fi 1958 flick, Queen of Outer Space, starring a comely Zsa Zsa Gabor and featuring strings of blatantly sexist remarks. It basically is about a spaceship crew from the far future. 1985, that discovers that Venus is inhabited by a race of hot women who only wear really short dresses. The rest just really sells itself.

What made the evening memorable for me was the post-movie conversation that engaged David, one of the guests. David is my age (Late 30's) but, unlike me, did not grow out of his love for Legos at age 11. He is so serious a collector of those plastic building bricks that he has a website dedicated to his projects:

Holy cow! Now, I have seen online people dedicated to Lego building, including a guy who rebuilt Yankee Stadium, but this was my first first-person encounter with a "brickhead." Now, everyone needs a hobby, I have bemoaned by someone I live with (my wife) for my collection of soccer jerseys (which topped off at 80 kits but I have been giving some away to friends' kids who love soccer), but I never considered my hobby a lifestyle choice. Go back and look at the Xenobuzz again, did you see the walls of containers full of Lego pieces? 

What made this meeting even better was one of the other guests at the party was a certified "Lego Freak", Jeff, who engaged David in a lengthy fanboy conversation the likes of which I have never heard before. Turns out there are years of Lego kits, series, color schemes and specialized piece that get the thumbs up or down from this niche fan-base. Who knew?

I even heard about a man who required that his company build him work desk made completely out of Legos. My jaw is dropped in shock...

I have to admit to being a joyful spectator to this whole conversation. It's not often that I come across a subject matter that leaves me unable to at least partially engage, being the dilettante I am.

Do you have an obscure hobby or obsession you care to share? 


  1. Great. We have a friend from great Britain (lives here now) that is married with 2 kids. Probably mid 40's. Turns out he's a Lego® freak. He asked me one day what my ultimate new toy would be. I'm thinking new iPhone, MacbookPro, etc and then he started talking about Lego® sets. I looked at him baffled and had nothing to contribure other than "that's cool." Duh. I wasn't sure he was serious but later my wife told me that he and his brother were some sort of Lego® champs across the pond. I'll have to send him those links.

    There's a cool Lego® dinosaur I saw at the Autodesk Gallery.

  2. Hey Dana,

    Dave here! I'm so glad you enjoyed our lengthy and vociferous ramblings and rantings! I often have to remind myself not to get too gabby about my hobby in the company of non-fans 'cause I don't want them to feel left out and/or wonder when the super nerds are gonna put a cork in it and let someone else talk!

    It was a pleasure to meet both of you and we look forward to seeing you on the 28th if all goes according to plan!

    Dave & Nancy

  3. Brendan,
    I have contributed to that dinosaur at Autodesk! I was a few drinks into the reception but I know I planted a few bricks on there...