Never Lego of your childhood

Lego Haunted House

Special guest blog by Ray Dorey

Before I begin, full disclosure. Although my passionate interest in what I am about to describe is readily apparent, I am not an employee of Lego, nor do I own any Lego stock – oh how I wish I did! I am only a happy consumer.

Without question, Lego building blocks were my favourite distraction – I hesitate to say “toy” – growing up. There was nothing I enjoyed more than to dump a box of Lego blocks on the floor and eagerly begin assembling my next masterpiece. Whether it was a sleek racing car, a futuristic spaceship, or some other strange contraption, Lego helped stoke and mould my imagination and creativity.

Some of my creations I would proudly display for weeks, while others I would immediately tear down and start anew. As much as I hated destroying some of them, I of course needed the blocks for my next project. And this remember was in a time before smartphones and social media when I couldn’t take a few photos and post them instantly for peer review.

Flash-forward to present day, and Lego has grown exponentially in popularity. It’s been enjoyable watching my nephew share the same excitement for Lego that I had when I was his age. I’m sure when he purchases his first home, he’ll need an addition just to store all of his Lego kits he’s accumulated through the years.

My only criticism – and it’s a relatively mild one – is that Lego has evolved to offer mostly custom-designed builds. When I was growing up – here comes my walking through the snow uphill old guy story – I don’t recall there being as many customized kits. I remember large miscellaneous boxes of Lego pieces, and it was left to my imagination what I was building. Today, most kits come with custom pieces and detailed step-by-step instructions, perhaps dulling the creative experience.

Today, there are many “adult” Lego sets, targeting older, nostalgic generations, who like me grew up with Lego. The adult sets have more pieces and detail, and are perhaps a little more complicated to put together.

Last fall, I tackled the Lego Haunted House kit, complete with a working elevator, and I’m about to start a new especially exciting build – one that was just released – a larger and more detailed model of the DeLorean time machine from the 80s classic movie, Back to the Future.

While you may not see me list Lego among my hobbies on my Tinder profile, it does bring me much enjoyment in the form of youthful exuberance, which is always a welcome and valued commodity.

Ed. note: Ray is one of two friends who are AFOLs, LegoSpeak for Adult Fans of Lego. A few times on our family vacations, we’ve been in Lego stores or malls where they have simply amazing Lego creations. Why not pop into a Lego store and check it out. Last year Lego opened a new flagship store in New York City on Fifth Avenue. Read more about the store and Lego’s success in targeting the adult fan market in this article in The Guardian.

Lego display in their new flagship store in New York City
Lego display in their new flagship store in New York City

Let the season of giving begin with

Kid's sleigh for sale
Want this sleigh for your holiday greenery display? You can buy it on for $20 with proceeds to United Way

November 30 is Giving Tuesday, the day when charities, companies and individuals join together to give to their favourite charities after the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Luckily for those of us in Ontario, there’s a new website in town to make Giving Tuesday easy—

Giveshop was founded in Ottawa with a mission to help Canadians support their favourite charities and schools. It’s basically like Facebook marketplace. You put used items up for sale, or shop online, but all the funds go to charity.

Giveshop is still growing its community, so the majority of items listed are in the Ottawa area but there are charities listed in Kingston, Toronto and Vancouver. Some of the charities you can choose to direct funds to include Autism Speaks Canada, Make-a-Wish-Foundation of Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, CHEO Foundation, Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, and United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington.

I listed two items for sale in support of my company’s United Way campaign, a bike and kid’s sleigh. It only took a few minutes to list my item, set a price and upload a picture. You can choose both the charity you want to support, and a specific campaign. Donors receive a charitable receipt for the purchase price.

As you start your holiday shopping, why not make it a goal to sell one used item cluttering up your house on Giveshop for every item you buy?

If you’d like to support our work campaign, choose United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington for the charity and Empire Life Charitable Campaign for the campaign.

TIP: Giveshop just launched its desktop app. I’d recommend accessing it mainly from your phone. The mobile app is less buggy and very easy to use.

This week’s #HappyAct is to get in the spirit of the giving season and become part of the giveshop community. Happy giving!

Bike for sale
Buy me on!