It all started when I asked where my LEGO Mindstorms set had gone. I wanted to build a model of a two-servo walker robot prior to building it from balsa wood and bailing wire. I found the box that I’d been directed to, and I found the Mindstorms set, but I also found a trove of City and Classic Space LEGO. They cluttered the coffee table for days, until a few peculiar things happened.
First, the LEGO parts seemed somehow to self-organize when I wasn’t looking. The mess on the coffee table evolved into a strange diorama of townspeople and Imperial officers. The Emperor knighted a classic spaceman while Luke and Vader’s reunion was interrupted by a drunken Star Wars photobomber. In the streets, black suited spacemen faced off against white suited spacemen in a gang-style dance-off. And Marion Ravenwood was abducted on a hand truck.
It when decided that all the LEGO sets should be built in order to determine if there were any missing parts. As it turned out, of course there were, but I soon learned surprising news, that a couple of sets existed in the mass of parts that nobody knew anything about. This included a catapult set that dated from, apparently, 1984. In the process of building, I employed Evil Mad Scientist’s organization tips, which were most helpful in avoiding rummaging.
So what, you might be saying, what’s so interesting about a grown man playing with LEGO? Ridiculous is what I’d call it.
I have a few things to call that sentiment, but I digress. The interesting part came a little bit later, when I suddenly realized that I finally had a photographic subject. I’d long admired the moodily lit photos of action figures and other collectibles taken by some of my Flickr contacts, but the only comparable subjects that I could come up with were a Robosapien knockoff and a 99¢ wind-up robot.
The wind-up was nice enough but a little limited. But LEGO minifigs? You could put them into any situation!
But it wasn’t until I remembered the Far Side Reenactments group that I suddenly felt inspired…
And the robot…? Someday, maybe…