I love basic the concept of Lego. It’s a very clever set of blocks with which you can build almost anything. But going to a Lego store is also a peek into the kind of country America has become. We are a country of warmongers.
I took each of these photos in the Lego Store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. For starters, I do want to recognize that Lego makes simple kits that you can use for building anything you want. For instance, here’s a basic starter pack that doesn’t include any guns:
If 280 pieces isn’t enough for you, you can graduate to this 700 piece set. Look at Dad, acting as though he is content building little houses. I know what Dad really wants. He wants his kids to get a little older so that they can build things with guns!
Here’s a hot rod car. But what’s a mere car to a kid?
We need to be inspired by people we see on TV. Hence, Spongebob Squarepants makes a joint appearance with Legos. Now . . . if we only had a gun . . .
A GUN!!! Are you crazy? Why would you need a gun? Because that’s what so many Lego kits include. Guns of all shapes and sizes! Notice the guard in the tower. He has his own Lego gun. I suppose he has it so that he can shoot that guy trying to make an escape. I wonder why they don’t show the mortal injuries that can be inflicted through the use of Lego guns?
It seemed like most of the Lego kits were created with a media celebrity or guns, or both. I’m not denying that there are some Lego sets with either of these, but you’ve seen most of them already, at the top of this post. I’m not really trying to blame the Lego Company. I assume that they’ve tried making peaceful kits without celebrities. I assume, also, that those kits just don’t sell very well. The rest of this post will show you that violence sells, even when that violence is sponsored by Lego.
If you travel to Mars to explore, make sure you bring a space ship with a LOT of GUNS. If you discover life on Mars, shoot it!
I guess I exaggerated when I wrote that most Lego sets have guns. Medieval dudes didn’t have guns, so they have to make do with more traditional forms of violence. What do horses think while dragons fry out their eyeballs? There’s no captions on the box, so maybe this horse doesn’t mind.
And here is the Millennium Falcon. All yours for a tidy price (you can expand any of these photos by clicking on them. I know that the Falcon some very cool guns. Since this toy is all about Star Wars, that tells you about all you need to know. No time for diplomacy. Let’s take off and start firing our guns.
Here’s another agent trying to escape from another agent. Good thing they both have guns, or else it wouldn’t be much of a fight.
There’s a special kind of Lego called Bionicle. These guys seem to lack all semblance of inter-personal skills. What they lack in talking skills, however, they make up for in their fighting skills. As you can see, these guns are especially formidable. I don’t know what these guys are fighting so much about. It’s not like they have girlfriends they they need to protect from each other, or at least I can’t imagine that. What do these guys do other than fight each other with their weapons? I haven’t a clue.
Here’s how you travel if you’re a Bionicle. It looks like it’s 10% vehicle and 90% guns. That’s important, because you never know when you’re going to have to shoot someone.
Here are yet more Bionicles. Always going at it, those guys.
Ooops. Here’s a kit without guns. Then again, maybe there are concealed guns in those other vehicles. That way, if you lose the auto race, you can shoot the winner.
I’m not totally anti-gun. I don’t trust our government any more and (I can’t believe I’m saying this) it might make the government think twice about imposing martial law that so many citizens have guns. Further, I used to play with guns when I was a kid. I used to play war games all the time, and I certainly didn’t grow up with a love of violence. I used to “kill” other kids from the neighborhood all the time, and I seem to have come out OK.
Maybe I just don’t have a good memory, but were guns this much the focus regarding toys made 20, 30 and 40 years ago? Again, I’m not blaming Lego. They know what sells and they’re making it. But it gives me pause that SO many products made by a company that ostensibly makes construction toys include guns and other weapons.
I don’t know why I turned out to be relatively anti-war given my background with toy guns. I wonder, though, whether the existence of so many Lego kits with weapons is evidence that American kids think of weapons as the first tool of resort when faced with conflict. I wonder whether such a violence first attitude (reinforced through television, movies and toys) is one reason that so many people scoff at the idea of talking to one’s enemy rather than quickly posturing then engaging in warfare.
For a related post, see Boys Toys.