Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The robot invasion begins in Lawrence, Kansas

I was in Lawrence, Kansas, last night to talk about the history of LEGO bricks and the world of adult fans. Local kids -- of all ages -- had been invited to bring their creations to be entered into a contest to win a $100 gift certificate to LEGO.com. Sadly, the miniland version of Kate and I didn't secure me an entry.

I had a brief slideshow and question and answer session -- note, if you ever need to impress a group of children, show them this Iron Man minifig. At the end of my talk, I called up the kids (age four to fifty-two) who wanted to talk about their creations. I got the chance to do mini-interviews finding out just what they had built and discovering that although everybody knows their name, one's age can be difficult to summon in front of an audience.

I was continually struck by how the stories of what kids built were as interesting (if not more so) than the structures they held in their hands. And I was surprised by the ingenuity of some really young kids -- like the boxy tank that was pulled apart to reveal an Imperial speeder bike inside.

My favorite might just have been a 11-year-old that held up a robot made primarily from 1x2 tan plates and grille pieces.

"What did you build?" I asked.

"A robot," said Bryant.

"And what does he do?" I asked.

"He's a robot," he reiterated.

"I see...well, be careful, robots are always taking over the world."

"I know," he replied.

"Well, you were smart to build him so small, that way you can prevent him from taking over the world."

"Nope, he can just build a bigger robot, who would then build an even bigger robot."

"Well, you better take him apart to keep that from happening, right?"

At which point, Bryant snapped off one of the robot's antennas to show it who was boss.

Image via Wallpedia.

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