LEGO, Where's the Love?

A look at some cool LEGO sets of yesteryear...
September 08, 2015
So this is my first article, and honestly probably my only one as I enjoy reading through the hundreds of others on all the different retro topics. But as I have been reading through, it dawned on me that I haven't seen anything about LEGO.

I have read articles with various (sometimes the same) topics:

- top 10 SNES games
- top 20 SNES games
- top 20 NES games
- top 20 Genesis games
- arcade gaming
- top 10 arcade games
- 80s/90s toys
- 80s/90s tv shows
- retro cartoons
- why Saturday morning cartoons suck today

You get the idea, but why nothing about LEGO? The LEGO heyday was back in the mid 80s to mid 90s right? They came out with some AWESOME sets way back when, so let's take a trip down LEGO memory lane, shall we?

First off, I was the kid on the block without all the cool stuff. Though it wasn't a money thing, to this day I don't really know why I wasn't allowed to have any of it. I didn't have any of the He-Man, Batman, GI Joes, Ninja Turtles, WWF, Ghost Busters toys, or any of the action figures. The only time I ever got one was in a birthday party gift bag, or at a class Christmas gift exchange. I wasn't allowed to watch the Simpsons, and we didn't buy sugary cereal. I mean, I got grounded for a week for saying something "sucks" in front of my dad. Whenever I would go to a friends house, I got excited for breakfast because I could finally have frosted flakes, Corn POPS, or sugar smacks without my parents knowing.

I never had an NES, Atari, Genesis, or SNES (until I bought one on my own when I was in 5th grade). Although I did get a Panasonic 3do for my 8th grade graduation, (that could possibly be an article in the future). We did get a Coleco in 1982 for Christmas, I was like 4 months old and had other things to worry about. When I got to be a little older, I didn't understand why there weren't any "Bosses" to beat on the Coleco like on my friends NES.

I guess it didn't turn out all bad, I am 33 and haven't had a cavity yet (fingers crossed), have a BA and played NCAA football and baseball. We always took day trips as a family and I was playing sports pretty much all year round (baseball in the fall and summer, and indoor/outdoor soccer. Plus, I was forced to go outside by my parents, so my brother and I would whiffle ball it up (I hit 54 HRs one year, I was a total badass).

But one thing I had more of was LEGO's, and man did I play the crap out of them. I still remember my very first real set.

Mobile Recovery Vehicle and Hovercraft

I got these beauties for my 5th birthday WAY back in 1987, my dad had to help me put them together, but what did I care? This pretty much started the craze, and for every Birthday, Christmas, Easter and any other excuse I had to ask for something, it was LEGO's baby! Zach the LEGO maniac was my hero at this early age...

I have of course moved away and have 3 kids of my own. My parents visited my wife and I not too long ago (they live in CO, we live in IA) and I had them bring my old LEGO's, and boy did the memories come back and punch me in the face.

My favorite sets were the Pirate and Castle theme, though I had tons of Town and space sets as well. Pirates vs. Knights is where the imagination ran wild. Honestly, I lost track of time putting some of these sets back together, and of course my wife made fun of me for staying up so damn late.
Forbidden Island

Sabre Island

Lagoon Lock up

And then there it was, in it's own container, a little dusty but still as amazing as ever. The Holy Grail of LEGO Castle...the Black Monarch's Castle.

This was the ultimate middle finger to my friends, "yeah, you may have the NES, Genesis, gameboy, action figures, Cocoa Puffs, etc... but I have many nights of brain busting, LEGO building fun ahead of me."

I remember the Black Monarch's Castle taking me a LOOONG time to put together, even if I was 9 years old.

Recently I bought the newer LEGO Castle from 2013, but it just isn't the same...though my daughters love it.

Even with all the LEGO's that I had, there was still one set that I never got that I wanted SOOOO bad. I even circled it in every little catalog that came with the sets back then.

Intergalactic Command Base

Ugh, I wanted this set! I tried to build something like it with the existing pieces from sets that I had, but honestly it looked like crap.

I hope this brought back some memories for you as well, what LEGO sets were your favorites??
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