LEGO is not the cheapest toy out there. In fact, it is often one of the most expensive - even compared to electronic toys and video game systems. It seems more at home in boutique toy stores where the toys make your kids smarter and are made of recycled hemp.
So why would we write about LEGO on a frugal blog?
Well, to begin with: we love it. Both of us played with Lego as a kids when, we can only assume, it was also one of the more expensive toys.
The second reason: LEGO is actually a frugal toy because it never dies...
We've also figured out how to make more of the awesome LEGO kits, without having to buy any more pieces.
Lego can never die because
it is the ultimate toy shape shifter.
Frugal Reasons to Love LEGO:
The first, and most obvious, reason for this is that it is a building toy.Kids can build whatever they are interested in at any given time. While other Star Wars toys can only ever be Star Wars toys, Lego Star Wars can evolve into camping (Canopies and wings turn into tents), family play (the characters can have babies and build an Empire-free life together) or pretty much anything else. If a trend goes out of style, Lego moves on.
The next great, frugal thing about Lego is that it is designed to last.Every kit made since 1958 will work with current bricks sold today. Thank you, LEGO for respecting the consumer! Can you think of another toy (except maybe books) with that sort of track record?
Most of our current Lego belonged to my brother and I when we were kids - much of it is over 25 years old. Add a couple small kits from something current (say Harry Potter or SpongeBob) and it refreshes the whole lot.
Finally, Lego provides digital versions of thousands of kit instructions.This is our most recent discovery. You've got to check out this library of LEGO Building Instructions. It is free to search, view and print, so that your existing Lego kits can take on even more life.
Also, this may help alleviate the concern that if you lose instructions, you can never rebuild models you currently own.
We played a bit at this in the last 24 hours. My son found some Star Wars mini kits in his giant LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary book. (This updated one is even more amazing!) This book is well worn and loved, but we had never tried this before.
How to Find and Make any Lego Kit:
1. Find the kit number (4-5 digits) that relates to the Lego model you desire.I screened his choices with a quick visual once over to see if we had most of the required parts. All three models featured in this post were "Reverse-Engineered" in this way.
2. Next, go to Lego.com Building Instructions and drop the kit number in the Quick-Finder.
There are other ways to search, but this proved the most fool-proof. We pulled the instructions up on a screen to save the print-paper and dove into our Lego-Stash to build.
3. You will likely find that your kit-hack is missing some parts that the real one has.Lego does feature some speciality pieces in nearly every kit, and colour will likely be an issue too. No big deal. The instructions are just jumping off points and once the ball is rolling, creativity will take over.
I tweaked the wings on the X-wing to work with parts we had/I could actually find. Our son added the wing-tip guns that he found more "realistic". I think the model is better for it.
Our daughter built most of this Slave-1 model herself, making her own adjustments on the fly. The end product still looked mostly like the real model, but had way more personality.
|Gold wing mounts? Boba Fett should be so lucky.|