I have a love hate relationship with my sons’ favorite toys.
On the plus side, they are hours upon hours of fun. They help young minds conceptualize, construct and be creative. That’s why I buy them. That’s why I fork over big bucks for them. Which brings me to my next point:
They are eye-popping, jaw-dropping, brain-blowing expensive. You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you’ve just checked out of Costco and you’re sitting there eating your hot dog, looking at your receipt and wondering to yourself, “what the heck just happened? How did I spend all that?” That’s how I feel every time I check out with a set of Legos. I saw the sticker price on the shelf, but somehow I can’t help but ask the cashier, “I’m sorry, how much?”
The boys got a few Lego sets for Christmas. But now they “really, really, really, really want” another set. This time from the Star Wars collection. Out of morbid curiosity I looked it up on Amazon to get a ballpark figure. Are you sitting down? $239.99. That’s in American dollars. 239 bucks for plastic bricks. Plus tax. Granted, they’ve paid for a registered trademark to market said bricks, but still.
If I, as a parent, am supposed to teach the life lesson of delayed gratification to my little protégés, how are little boys supposed to save that kind of money?? By the time they’re finished pulling that many weeds, they’ll want a car.
We did brainstorm a few entrepreneurial ideas with them, but reaching that three-digit figure just seemed too daunting. They even tried to lower their sights and browsed other Lego sets that were less expensive. They settled on a $139.99 set. Wow.
Why doesn’t Lego have any competition? Have they patented the interlocking plastic brick so tightly, no one can produce a generic brand? Aren’t there laws against monopolies like this?
And then, of course, there’s the size issue. All those teeny weeny, tiny pieces. And those bookoo buck sets? They get made once. After that, the microscopic pieces get scattered and mixed in with all the other Legos. That’s assuming all the Legos are in one spot. The bite sized bricks are the perfect size for hiding in between the couch cushions, under the refrigerator, even that little tunnel where the seat belt buckle comes up out of the seat. I’d really like to know, has anyone ever put together an entire Lego set twice?
But I will say this: Legos have stood the test of time. Most boys are so sold on video games at these ages, toys have a hard time holding their attention anymore. Except for Legos!
So I think we’ll keep brainstorming business plans so our budding entrepreneurs can start their very own “Lego fund.”
That means Santa’s out. Angel investors are in.
Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, returned missionary, freelance writer, and mother of four small children. You can read more at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com