News / USA

Phenomenon Captures Imagination of Children, Adults Worldwide

LEGO Phenomenon Captures Imagination of Children, Adults Worldwidei
X
March 12, 2014 11:05 AM
One of the most recognized toy names in the world -- known by children and adults alike -- is LEGO. The LEGO building block may be more than 50 years old, but its fans continue to grow across all ages. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles on this LEGO phenomenon.
Elizabeth Lee
One of the most recognized toy names in the world - known by children and adults alike - is LEGO®.  It has gone beyond bricks to video games and even a full length film.  The LEGO building block may be more than 50 years old, but its fans continue to grow across all ages. 

While many adults miss the sense of wonder they felt as children about what their imaginations could create, some grownups can still capture that feeling through tiny bricks.

“That sound to me is the sound of creativity," said Peter Abrahamson. He said it’s his favorite sound.  He has been playing with LEGO bricks for more than 40 years.  “The amazing thing I always found about LEGO was the ability of a toy to make other toys,” he said.

Abrahamson builds LEGO creations at home, with his daughter, and connects with other fans at the LEGO Users Group of Los Angeles.  There are adult fan clubs like this around the world, where creations are displayed and fans buy, sell and trade LEGO pieces.

Available in 53 different colors the LEGO bricks sold in one year would circle the globe five times.

Mariann Asanuma  makes a living selling LEGO creations.  She said when she was a child, more boys played with LEGO bricks than girls. And that's still mostly true. “If you go to a [LEGO] convention or something that’s about five percent women to 95 percent men,” she said.

Adult men who are willing to spend money on LEGO sets for themselves says Paul Hollingsworth, whose zombie prison displayed at the fan meeting is worth around $600.

“If I look around at some of these models, I see hundreds of dollars spent.  I know my wife would much rather have a purse or handbag or a pair of shoes or a dress, whereas guys would rather have 50 zombies or a giant space ship,” he said.

But as LEGO toys continue to be popular, they are now being marketed to girls as well as boys.  

“Playing with LEGO is something I can do with my daughter who is seven years old,” said Hollingsworth. His daughter Hailee even has a YouTube show, showing her audience how to build LEGO creations.   

Nathan Sawaya also has a global audience.  But instead of the virtual world, he shows his LEGO creations in contemporary art galleries and exhibitions.  "We’ve been to Singapore Taiwan Shanghai, South Africa," he explained.

His art work attracts people of all ages.

”Art made out of LEGO bricks is very accessible," Sawaya said. "People have LEGO bricks at home so they can connect to the art in a different way.”

While some people connect with LEGO creations at an art exhibit, others experience the LEGO world through LEGOLAND amusement parks or at the theater, with The LEGO Movie, released worldwide.  

“We love the movie we’ve seen it twice,” said LEGO fan Paul Lee. LEGO bricks are timeless for a reason. “The LEGO brick they sell today is still compatible with the brick they made 30 years ago,” he added.

Many of these fans say they will pass on their LEGO bricks to their children and hope their grandchildren will still be playing with them as the family LEGO collection continues to grow with each generation.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid