This week, on #SiPgoes52, we are celebrating “Leg Godt”, the famous Danish expression at the core of the biggest toy brand.
You guessed it, I am talking about LEGO.
And I thought it was appropriate to take the time to acknowledge this little brick and thank it for everything it did for me in my life.
My LEGO beginnings
The first LEGO brick arrived in my life at a very young age, when my parents bought me my first set. I don’t remember what it was but I remember playing with the LEGO Duplo firemen. Then later, with the “System” brick that we all know.
I remember those countless hours, going through boxes looking for the right part for my next construction.
As a child, I built a lot of MOCs. Cars, buildings (often houses with secret passageways that I loved to hide behind walls), or even boats. I built several ferries after using one to reach to Sweden and Norway.
I am sure that building LEGO creations and looking for a specific part among hundreds of similar ones helped me shape my character. It helped me develop an eye for details. Something important today in my professional life.
Then came the period of the Dark Ages, that time when you separate yourself from toys because they are not “cool” anymore.
Out of the Dark Ages
And at some point, I became an engineering student, with some money in my pocket. I can’t remember exactly what brought me back to the power of the brick, but I know that it was a Star Wars set.
For a couple of years, I surprised my parents asking them for LEGO sets at Christmas. They were a bit shocked to see a 20-year-old adult asking for a children toy.
But I never got any LEGO sets under the Christmas tree, so I decided to order one myself on Amazon.
Like an old friend (or an old addiction?) that you haven’t seen in a long time, I was really happy to feel the plastic studs under my fingers. It brought back so many good childhood memories. I got hooked again.
Then, I ordered a second set. Then a third one, etc. I was so happy to find back the LEGO parts from my youth as well as discovering new ones. And now the Star Wars characters were not yellow anymore.
On a regular basis, I started buying LEGO sets for myself. I’ve been mocked by fellow students. Received some strange looks from friends and family. But I looked past it and continued to enjoy the brick.
Several years later, now out of school and working full time, I saw online people using LEGO minifigures to tell stories with pictures. I decided to launch myself in the adventure.
Do I regret it?
I am so happy to have made this step forward!
Thank you LEGO
I would not be here today writing this blog post if it was not for the LEGO brick.
I live a very happy life.
I take pictures of toys around the world during my free time.
I publish them on a regular basis online.
I am an internationally recognized toy photographer (thanks to you).
I made new friends online.
I made new friends in person.
I sold the rights to one of my pictures to an international company.
I had my pictures displayed in several exhibitions in Europe.
I was published in international magazines.
I traveled the world for my passion and met great and talented people.
I sold several prints to people who now display them in their houses.
I was asked by my parents to hang a very large print on a wall at home (one of my proudest moment).
I joined this awesome collective that is Stuck in Plastic.
I worked with the LEGO group on several photo projects.
I visited the LEGO factory (a childhood dream of mine).
All of that thanks to the LEGO brick, this little toy supposed to be for children.
There is no shame for me to say that I play with toys.
Now congratulations have replaced mockery. The pointed fingers are now clapping hands.
I am proud of who I am, of where I am in life and of what the Brick has made of me!
And you know what? Now every year, I find a LEGO set under the Christmas tree.
Thank you LEGO
Julien / Ballou34
Aeronautics engineer by day, toy photographer by night.
Exploring the world with his plastic figures.