(Written by Strider)
The LEGO Dark Ages… I’m using capital first letters for a reason. Some new LEGO fans might not yet be introduced to what this dangerous term means, so just to make sure everyone knows what I am talking about I will begin with an explanation. (LEGO Comic by FBTB.net)
➡ WHAT IS THE LEGO DARK AGES? – The Dark Ages is the period in a LEGO fan’s life, when they loose interest in their beloved little LEGO bricks. The following comes soon after; the LEGO collection is given away, or at least gets pushed into a dark closet or attic, completely forgotten…
➡ WHEN DOES THE LEGO DARK AGES HAPPEN? – This depends on the reason why it comes up in the first place. If it has to do with someone thinking that building with LEGO is childish and he/she is embarrassed, it will occur probably around the teen years. If it instead occurs simply because the person becomes interested in other things, it could happen anytime, though I believe the teens to twenties period is the most dangerous. It could sneak up on you quite suddenly, so beware…
➡ HOW DO I STOP THE LEGO DARK AGES? – Asking this question would be like asking Doctor Who to stop liking fish-sticks and custard. It would be like asking Sherlock Holmes to stop liking solving mysteries. I am not saying that there is no way it will not happen to you; from what I have read this tragedy happens even to seasoned LEGO fans who are aware of the threat. However it is still possible to avoid it or at least mitigate the effect. Once it starts though, it can be extremely hard or near impossible to stop. A better question would be…
➡ HOW DO I MAKE IT THROUGH THE DARK AGES? – This is the big question, and the one this post will focus on. First off all relax, it is normal. Do not freak out just because your interest in the LEGO hobby starts to fade. Changing hobbies or interests can happen to all of us. Below are some tips that would help you to come back to the LEGO hobby when you want…
- Keep some of your LEGO collection in sight; you do not have to place them right in front of you all the time, but it is best not to pack everything away. How will you come back to the hobby if you forget completely that you even own any LEGO sets? Your collection could also very well get lost, thrown out, or given away by someone you live with who doesn’t know any better. Instead, it would be better to place some of your LEGO sets or your own LEGO creations (even just one) on a shelf or desk that you can see regularly and is easy to reach. This will keep your LEGO in sight, and give you a chance to play around a bit whenever you get inspired.
- Do not give away your LEGO collection; you may want to share them with siblings or friends, but do not give them away. The chances are very high that you will regret it later, and when you do it will be very sad indeed. It might take years to build back up what you had before and will likely take much money and time. Again, feel free to share them by all means – you might even get inspired by the creations of others – but do not give them away!
- Do not force yourself to use them; getting through the Dark Ages is normal – it is just the way your mind and interests shift. So if you want to do other things go ahead, nothing is stopping you. If you force yourself to continue building with LEGO when you don’t really want to, it will be an un-enjoyable experience, and that is not how you want your memories of the LEGO hobby to be. When you do return to the wonderful world of LEGO it should be because you want to and you truly enjoy the experience. After all, that is what LEGO is all about.
Getting out of the Dark Ages could be just as sudden as entering it. You may see a wonderful LEGO creation online, end up in the LEGO-isle in your local department store, or rediscover your LEGO collection while clearing house for moving. These are just some pointers about the Dark Ages period many LEGO fans experience at some point in their life. I realize this is a big topic, so please feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences. Have you gone through the Dark Ages before? How did you cope with it? Did you give away your LEGO collection or made other decisions that you later regretted? Do you have any suggestions or tips for others? You are welcome to share in the comment section below!
This is my first article here at theBrickBlogger so thanks for reading! You may also like to check out the following related posts:
Nice post Arago- I mean Strider. I really do doubt ill ever go into my dark ages. However, you never know what will happen.
WHAT THE HECK WAS I TALKING ABOUT?!?! IM NEVER GOING TO GO INTO THE DARK AGES!!!
I love LEGOs WAY too much!
I never thought I would either, but things happen, you know…
I read this article years ago and felt the need to return to it. I see I’m not the only person who kept it in the back of his mind.
Nice to have you over, Tristan! Feel free to stop by and share your thoughts at any time! 🙂
I’m sort of in my Dark Ages now. Not only do I find encouragement in this site, (by the way thanks admin for encouraging me 🙂 ) but also in stuff I see. I may like other things and not use LEGO for a while,but that’s okay because I could always go back to you guys or find encouragement in buildings,what others make,almost everything. I will not give up. I shall always be the LEGO fan I always am. Very good post by the way.
Legoman, I agree. This post is a good one indeed! I wondered if you wrote any posts, Strider. Finally I found one! I went through my DA period about two years ago. Luckily it didn’t last very long and now I’m a huge Lego fan with a big collection. I didn’t know anything about the DA when I was going through it and had no tips during that period. So I figured it out myself by not giving or selling my Legos. Also I didn’t force myself to play with them although I did keep them out. I knew later on I’d probably come back to them. My views on what you do when you are in your DA period line right up with Strider’s. Great post, Strider!
Thanks Meneldur. 🙂
i hope i will never go into my dark ages that would be SOOOOOOOOOO BAD 🙁 so thank you very much for good information 😉
Thanks everybody 🙂 Meneldur, this is my first post but I think I will do more. And thank you for publishing my post Admin 😀
You are ver welcome, Strider. You have good ideas and you are a good writer so you are always welcome to write more. 🙂
Thanks. I want to be a writer so it is nice to get some feedback.
That’s great. Blogging should give you a great learning experince as you get pretty much immediate feedback from readers. 🙂
I might as well also share that I entered my dark Ages when I was fourteen. Just went cold turkey. I was very much into LEGO and me and my brother played endlessly. Our parents were into it too and encouraged us in the hobby. But there was this family friend – a guy who was about ten years older than me. He walked into our room and said; “Oh, you are still playing?” – and that was it for me; all of a sudden I just grew up, packed away my LEGO and gave it all to my brother. He was quite shocked as I was very protective of my special sets and minifigs before. I also moved away from home a few months later, which didn’t help. I didn’t get back to LEGO until I was an adult and saw all the awesome LEGO creations people shared online. I realized that it was okay to play with LEGO even as a grown-up. So just as fast as I stopped, I went right back to it. My brother went thru the same experience and now we compete who has the most awesome LEGO collection. 😀
”cold turkey” I like that
Interesting story. Glad you came back because if you had not this blog would not even be here.
That’s true. Fortunately I’m not the only LEGO blogger out there, so I’m sure you guys would have found another place to hang out. But it’s nice to talk with you guys, so yeah, I’m glad too. 🙂
yeah but you do a post EVERY DAY i bet that not much other blogs do that 😉
That’s true. Let’s see if we ever run out of something to talk about! 😀
I had a couple short Dark Ages. I never gave away any Legos and they didn’t last more than a month. The longest one was when I discovered Minecraft!
I don’t think one month is considered Dark Ages. It’s not like if you don’t play with LEGOs everyday you suddenly go into The Dark Ages. I’ve had many times were I don’t build anything with LEGOs for weeks (sometimes this was MineCraft’s fault), but that’s ok. Even Naster Builds stop for a few weeks. 😉
Naster Builds=Master Builders 😳 😆
mine usually lasted a full year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! aah!
I NEVER HAVE OR WILL GO THROUGH DA!!! FINAL 🙂
Did you do this post because I told you I am going through the dark ages?….anyway, it’s the worst feeling ever!!! To be going through the dark ages 🙁 and your right, it usally happens in the teen years..
You are the one who got me thinking about it but the post is for anyone who is having trouble. Hope it helps 😉
yeah it did, thanks! like, it helped a lot!! 😀
There needs to start being people called Legotherapists. And tey sit down with you and talk about the dark ages with you and help you get through them ok 😛
LOL! That’s a great idea! 😀
yeah great idea! I wish they were real! hmm… I could be a legotherapist! … nope bad idea,
Yeah, it came out of nowhere 🙁 suddenly I realized I don’t like Legos that much anymore….
O my GOSH! I FOUND THE WEBSITE!!! lol that’s funny..
I remember you! I just didn’t have an account yet…
Hey I remember you! 🙂 Coles girl 😀 fun name
I am know one thing. I’m not giving away any of my Legos! Mostly cause I spent a ton of money on them:P
Noooo! I think it is happening… I hardly ever check my lego websites anymore… but I still build every now and then… See you in my twenties!!!
P.S. I am thinking of making a lego animation in 3Ds max.
ah, the dark ages… I remember when I went threw it. I never new the term ”DARK AGES OF LEGO” or whatever, but when I was little I went threw them all the time, if I wasn’t playing with LEGO I was playing with stuffed animals or other things. but that’s when I was little. back then I could fit all my Legos in a big plastic bag 🙁 now its all over my room) and right when I said that I saw that I was sitting on one! HAHA! what got me back into Lego was ninjago! I would like to thank my cousins for telling me about it. I remember them visiting and I was sitting in my beanbag chair… watching Lego ninjago first episode… live on TV. good memories! what about you guys? how did you get addicted to LEGO?
Some, like me, never got into LEGO, it was always there since we were very young. 😀
yeah, when I was little me and my sister played with Duplo
yeah when i was little me and my siblings used to play with those to 😀
does anyone know how to change the picture when I say stuff on here?
You mean your gravatar? Just go to gravatar.com and choose a picture!
I know i’m NOT going threw it… I have proof! my birthday wish list only has elusive or old LEGO sets 😀 😀 😀 so happy! even though no one has bought me a lego set since two Christmases ago! (hopefully no one got offended when I said Christmas!)
LOL! It bugs me when people get offended. My mom says before I was born she substituted at a school, and you weren’t alluded to say “Christmas”… 😐
I know right! people get offended easily now. it seems that way anyway 🙁
I have been building with Lego since I was 4 years old. I am now 15 and I have never had a dark age in my life. I suppose I am lucky. I just hope it will never happen to me. Of course there are times where I will have less time to build like right now in the school’s final exams (damn you school!), but I have never totally stopped and lost interest in building. I really hope it never happens to me.
I think the most dangerous time for the Dark Ages is moving away to go to college. It’s hard carting all your LEGO bricks with you. Even if I had done that, between studying and social life I wouldn’t have had time. Not to mention the fact that money gets tight when you’re at college. I didn’t get back into LEGO until I was married 🙂
CD’s Lego Blog, it is great that you have not gone through the DA yet. Shame about school, but it is for the best. And Gabrielle good point about college. I am a TFOL so I wouldn’t know much about it.
If you’re not necessarily in a Dark Ages period but you’re struggling to find things to do with your Legos, I usually like to look at other builders’ creations. Most of the time I like to look at LOTR recreations and medieval or Middle-earth-like MOCs built by master builders. I’m quite proud of my Lego collection. I estimate I have about 100,500 bricks in my room. But when I look at others’ stuff they build and see how many bricks they used, I’m sometimes overwhelmed and wonder: “how much do these people spend on Legos?” and “where do they get the money?”. But I encourage all of those who aren’t going through the Dark Ages but are looking for some inspiration, to check out others’ masterpieces. And if you still can’t find things to build, don’t force yourself. Sometimes I just tinker around with my bricks and then find cool things I could do with them. Then pretty soon I have a skyscraper or a massive landscape or something else of awesomeness. But I’ve noticed when I try and force myself to build something amazing, I usually end up frustrated.
I agree completely. Looking at others creations is probably one of the best things to get you inspired. I probably have about 5,500 pieces. At this point I can make some pretty good castles and estates. I get a lot of house and building sets so my basic brick collection is extensive. I have learned that you can really make something go a long way if you just try and use all different kinds of bricks to an advantage. For instanc putting in lots of windows or adding snot techniques to the sides of walls can really save bricks. If you do not do this, it can be discouraging ecspecially to young or amateur builders as they will not have the right amount of one piece to make what they want. But a little variation, maybe a lot of different colors, and it is much easier to make a masterpiece.
the lego ideas book has a lot of good pictures to get ideas frome and what i like is that you don’t have to go on the internet to look at lego pictures:D
That’s a really good suggestion. I actually prefer physical books too. Also old LEGO catalogs are great. I may not have a particular set, but sometimes I still look at the pictures to learn neat building techniques or get some ideas. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Nearly all of these catalogs, old building instructions, and inspirational booklets are available online on fansites such as Peeron.
I know. But I was responding to the point that some of us prefer to check out actual books/catalogs, instead of online. I’m on my computer most of the time and for me continuing to stare at a screen in my downtime is not refreshing. That is why I prefer actual books or catalogs for checking out LEGO creations and for reading. I’m pretty sure this is the case with others as well who’s work requires them to be on the computer all the time.
This post is wonderful. I have wanted to express some conflicting feelings I have about Lego, and now I can. My Dark Ages began May 2012. After the NinjaGo series I began to feel like Lego had jumped the shark. Their themes were getting repetitive, their sets were getting more expensive, and most of them were only worth getting for the figures. This would normally not have stopped me. I’ve collected Lego for 15 years and have seen many themes made, remade, and disappear entirely. But something was different now. It was like Lego had become a tough job instead of a fun hobby. I would never give away any of my sets, and I keep them all safe in their own separate room in my house. But I keep getting more and more because Lego won’t stop making awesome stuff and they just pile up on one another in their room and I know one day they won’t all fit. Normally I would just reorganization, but I haven’t had the free time to do so, and the sets keep piling up. But this was last year. This year I decided to clean up and get things under control. Now I’m dealing with my second problem, Kre-o. I never lost interest in Lego until I saw Kre-o. Kre-o had better quality than Lego, better prices, and they were Transformer themed. I always wanted lego figures of Optimus and Megatron, and now Kre-o was promising me just that. All I had to do was betray Lego. I’m still unsure if I did infact betray Lego and give into the Dark Side (the Hasbro Side). But I do know that this year I have been buying lots of Kre-o figures, and I have lost alot of interest in Lego. I need Lego to bring me back, but I don’t know how they can. 🙁
Hmm, Kre-o. Me? I’m personally a fan of Lego but I do have a bunch of Mega Blocks sets. Unfortunately I don’t have any Halo Mega Blocks. But I really don’t like other building toys than Lego. Darkon, I have seen some Kre-o sets and I agree they are cool. Actually I’m surprised Lego hasn’t done a Transformers theme yet. You’re wise not to sell your Legos. Keep them! Like Strider said: you may regret it later if you get rid of them now. But it’s fine if you like Kre-o. I would recommend checking out other people’s MOCs and maybe tinkering around with your Legos occasionally. If you like Transformers a ton, maybe you could try building some out of Lego bricks. These are just suggestions and maybe I’ll think of some more for you when I have more time.
If Kre-O is Oxford-based, they sound like they’re of high quality. They look cool, though, and all instructions and brick counts are freely available on the website if you’d like to get a hunch.
Speaking of clone brands, I bought some old Cobi army base cheap at a flea market recently. (Don’t hate on me!) About 75-80% complete, I think. A lot of log bricks. Anyway, there was no instructions included, and I wondered if they were available for download somewhere. There was some tank in the lot which I was a bit wary of disassembling.
If you’re a serious MOC:er, you could probably build your own working Transformers that’d look better than the official Kre-O ones, though. I remember one of my friends told me he’d built one. (I never got around to see it, though.)
Well, it’s a challenge.
Wow. That first Transformer was awesome.
Hakan, that’s a good question about Cobi instructions. I’m not sure if they have them online like LEGO. Another option that might work is to try to locate one on eBay.
The overall quality of Cobi felt quite high, although the army theme and the pale skin color gave a somewhat bleak appearance (although that’s just looks). I bought my set second hand, so there had been some wear and tear involved. My main issues were some specialized pieces and that the minifig hands gripped their tools too loose, compared to Lego.
My friend’s a rather introvert AFOL that’s been working professionally in special effects, so I could imagine his Transformer would work quite well, albeit perhaps on a more primitive scale than in the links I submitted.
Darkon, thanks for sharing! Yeah, Kre-O has been making some wonderful sets. I don’t like the minifigures they have, but the accessories and the sets themselves are quite nice.
As far as LEGO becoming a tough job instead of a hobby, this seems to be a quite common experience with those who focus on the collecting aspect of LEGO, rather than the building/playing. I don’t know how many posts I have read from burnt out LEGO collectors on various LEGO forums – it’s a lot. I think as long as you focus on the playing aspect, rather than collecting, the hobby will remain fresh and fun. But as soon as someone gets into the mentality of wanting to collect every little thing within a theme (for example) it becomes a chore.
I think you’re right about a lot of the Dark Ages problem being with collecting; as long as you’re building it’s always new, but just collecting sets can get tiring and boring! Besides, of course, the other drawbacks such as space and money… whereas if you are building your own creations with bricks you already have (and then destroying them), it doesn’t take up as much space or money. That is, not necessarily… you could spend a lot of money on bricks though!
Okay, how many of you that comment during the day are homeschooled?
Wow, I’ve been wondering that. I mean, some of us are out already, and some of us are adults, but I’ve still wondered. I am homeschooled, and there a few others such as Gid617 and To bymacboy.
Judging from previous discussions I had with the kids around here (especially at the Ninjago section) something like 50% of the kids are homeschooled. I found that really interesting. 🙄
Weird. Alot of homeschooled people are LEGO fans. Alot of kids my age in my Boy Scout Troop are homeschooled and LEGO fans.
I’m homeschooled as well Noah.
Also, there’s lots of LOTR fans who are homeschhooled. GO TOLKIEN!!!
You’re totally right, Noah! I’m actually doing a research report on him right now!
Hey Strider, looks like your post got a lot of people talking! Good job. I only hope my post does this good when I join!
Join? I just sent the post to Admins email address. It will be fun to read your post. Also I am homeschooled and right now I have a three week break. Then back to school for a while. Breaks our for Bricks like I always say 😀
i am home scoold and i like legos lotr and ninjago 😀
It is interesting. Perhaps part of the reason is that, being home schooled, we don’t have as much pressure from other kids/teens that we’re still playing with a toy, etc., plus less time devoted to gaming and TV?
LOL! Love the Doctor Who comment! Nice post. Dark Ages are a long time away for me though!
Yeah, I felt I had to slip Doctor Who in there somewhere.
so to help me get out of the dark ages, I set all my ninjago spinners back up with their characters and weapons! 🙂 and it got me thinking..how much i miss ninjago!!! 🙁
I like Legos and I’m in public school. BTW, I hope I never go into my DA! 😀
Admin that’s not true in my case i’m 14 and still love Legos
P.S also play with dolls believe in fairy tales. One time the tooth fairy stole my tooth because she took it without leaving any money my parent say thats it a good thing but i have to be realistic 😐
I remember you! 😀 Haven’t seen you comment in a while. That’s okay though. Whenever you have time just stop over. That’s what Admin told me and now i’m encouraged not to go into my Dark Ages.
“Long time no see Sonic , my loathsome copy!” HAhaa I LOVE Sonic!!!
I am not worried about the dark ages,because I started collecting LEGO when I am in my young adult stage ( maybe its my second childhood). My biggest concern is space for my collection. I know I am not going to stop any time soon. If I have to stop I may turn into someone like Gollum and live in a dark cave. LEGO is great therapy and it keeps your mind always thinking up new creations.
A LEGO cave doesn’t sound that bad. Invite us over, we will all join you so you don’t turn into Gollum. 🙄
I think that’s the creepiest part of the Lord of the Rings movies, when Sméagol transforms into Gollum.
Yeah, very sad too. 😥
I’m happy to say that I have never experienced the Dark Ages. It’s been tough at times because I have felt the pressure from both embarrasment and the appearence of other interests in my teens. I believe some keys (for me) to avoid the Dark Ages have been buying a set, even the smallest set possible, once in a while, build it, and display it for some time, other than that, I have never denied my hobby which made people go from “childish” to “childish but fun” after a while, and now people stil think the hobby is childish but they express their admiration that I stuck to it. As the article describes, it is important to stay en touch with your LEGO and for me it helped to look at it from different angles: building a little and looking at LEGO as a business. It was helpful to let go of the toy-aspect for a month or more and start looking at it from a business perspective: Product lines, prices, audience, fora, jobs, economi. And to be honest, being Danish might have been helpful too. I 24 of age now, and I hope, I’ll never see the shadow of the LEGO Dark Ages.
Fugle, you bring up a really good point. One aspect of transitioning in the LEGO hobby is to stop looking it as a toy, and learn to appreciate it as a hobby and creative medium, including the business aspect as you mentioned. For a lot of people this will only happen after their Dark Ages during their youth, however it seems like you were able to transition smoothly. Yeah, being Danish must have helped! I imagine Denmark all built out of LEGO! 🙄
Unfortunately we will have to settle for a LEGOLAND theme park as anyone else. No doubt that LEGO plays a role in most Danish minds and I don’t believe that many Danes grow up without LEGO. LEGO is always a safe choice for a kid’s birthday gift and everybody has an opinion on it. But it is an expensive toy (even more expensive in Denmark) so it’s not as available to everybody which means that everybody doesn’t have the opportunity to grow into it. Danish kids might be more likely to find interest in LEGO, as LEGO is the only toy that’s provided with its own shelf or aisle in most stores. Toy stores does that for Barbie, Hot Wheels etc. but our department stores has “girls toys”, “board games”, “outdoor toys”, etc. and then “LEGO” (at least the ones I can recall), so it is a big part of danish child-culture but Danes outgrow it just as easy as any other nationality.
If you want to know about my Dark Ages, you can go to my Contributor’s page. Everything is there, though I must say my period was rather odd, since before, I never really was into LEGO that much. So would you still consider that as a Dark Ages? I’m not so sure. And Admin…That’s so true that wanting to collect every set out there will only make it a chore. There was a brief period (like about a couple of days or something.) When I considered being a completist. I was absolutely tortured at that period.
Yeah, being a completist is often the death of a LEGO fan. I hang out at Brickset quite a bit, which, as you know, is a LEGO collector’s website/forum. Huge conversations about collecting, buying selling, profiting… and getting burned out… 🙁
I visit Brickset bery regularly, but only for news and the “my sets”, since personally, I feel Bricklink has a user-unfriendly interface, and since I’m not planning to buy anything, why use bricklink?
I agree. I also use Bricklink as a reference guide, since I can add parts right into my wanted list or buy them. It is an excellent resource for all LEGO sets both past and present. 🙂
I use Brickset about 6 or 7 times a day.I know I’m a Brickset obbsessive.
Yeah, Brickset is awesome. It is also very reliable. Huw spends serious time on making the site work really well. It is not just a fly-by website here today, gone tomorrow. 🙂
This advice is probably valid for getting through any toy’s dark age.
That’s true, but a lot of toys are nothing more than toys. They won’t grow with you as you mature. Maybe you can get into collecting them, but as for as really using them as an adult, not all toys will measure up.
No one really grows up , its just a figment of ones imagination.
Wow, more people have commented on this post in one day than they would have on a new episode of NinjaGo. Just to make myself clear, I do still build things. Last week I built Doctor Who, the Tardis, Davros, and eight Daleks! I think my main problem at the moment is that I’m running out of space. As far as the whole Kre-o vs Lego thing is concerned. Lego and Hasbro have been fighting for years, but in the end the winner has always been Lego. I’m just worried that it might change now that Hasbro has there own Lego. They’re making alot of new themes and pieces that Lego should have already made but hasn’t. They’ve already grabbed the Transformer fans, and now Kre-o is coming out with GI Joe and Star Trek sets. I’m not sure what Lego can do to compete with that.
Lego has Marvel, DC and Star Wars, though. Should be able to hold their own as far as licences are concerned.
Of cause the “new” bricks are a threat to LEGO but they have already commented on that (I guess it was in an “annual report 2012” interview). They have a strong brand and I think many fans and users are devoted to LEGO. Håkan has already made a point with the licenses, so that’s at least an even 50/50. And as LEGO says, their biggest competitors are the toy companies that produce something different than building toys because LEGO have trouble competing with (just take a look at how long it took them to create a real girl oriented toy succes [not to be sexist but LEGO friends is minded on girls but I’m not afriad to admit, I own a few sets too. It is good bricks/parts/accesories]). So I’m not going to worry about LEGO but I know they have their work cut out to keep the quality and brand high.
To return to the topic again (Dark Ages) I think this plays a big role in the existence of the LEGO Dark Ages, as most poor quality or weaker brands doesn’t have a revival like LEGO. For most parts it takes a strong brand to return of an “outgrowth”. And the quality of the product is important as well, because when you find it after year on the attic, you are more likely to use it again if it aint an all flimsy toy 😀
Fugle, you make a really good point that one of the reasons of LEGO’s appeal to adults is the quality of LEGO brand products. Little kids may care about quality less and fill up the gap with their imagination, but adults are more critical and won’t accept something crappy. I hope LEGO knows this because in some ways their quality has been slipping. There are the issues with color differences, the quality of the China-made minifigs, and issues with cracking elements that was not there in the past. And now that they are planning to open a factory in China… although they are saying it is only for the Asian market, there is a potential for the quality to slip further. AFOLs are good though at voicing their opinion and keeping LEGO up to high standards. The question is if LEGO actually listens or the profit potentials while cutting back on quality will blind them. 😐
Well I guess I’m late to the party (somewhat ironically I’ve been really busy lately)… anyways I’ve never had a Dark Age, though I probably would have if I hadn’t found out about all the online LEGO fans. But since I have… I doubt I will anytime soon at least. Time is sometimes hard to comeby though… especially for the non-building aspects of LEGO (i.e. photographing, posting comments, articles… as a lot of my writing time has to go to schoolwork!). There’s only so much computer time I can get away with in a day! A lot of what keeps me motivated is building and posting MOCs & getting feedback. It’s a lot of fun and gives some point (other than just having fun) to the hobby.
Gen, thanks for sharing! How do you like the new flickr? I know a lot of LEGO fans (and also other people) are outraged. I’m planning to write a post about the topic, once i figure out how everything works.
It is somewhat annoying. I don’t like the tremendous black space around each picture nor the crazy layout of the home page. In fact I’m not sure there’s anything I positively like better other than the increased space, though I can live with the changes. I do miss the how many views on your photo-stream thing though (I was almost to 5000! 😛 ). As far as the cover photo, I don’t mind that, though having the pictures all smashed together below it with hardly any space isn’t that great, especially since it means there’s less info per photo without clicking on it. Neither do I like the shorter comment section (that is, I don’t like how you have to hit see more to see all the comments if there’s more than some number).
But I’m not sufficiently outraged about it that I’d leave Flickr for MOCpages, Brickshelf, or something. I would just hope Flickr tones down a bit on some of the changes and re-introduces things like the view number…
I discovered that by hitting the edit button on the right of the photostream-sets-favorites tab or by adding ?details=1 (actually read that part) to anyone else’s photostream, you can get it to look the normal way + the cover photo. Not sure I’ll use it for anyone else’s stream, but that URL will be replacing the other link I had on my favorites bar!
Actually, as far as the photostream itself goes, I can see how the new format is nicer for normal photographs, since you don’t necessarily want text all over the place. It would be nice to have a customizable option though. It’s really the homepage that’s most annoying.
Those are great little tricks! I wish the setting would be permanent though! I have been poking around today too trying to see how things work. One thing I haven’t figured out that under the Contact section the Recent Photos and Photos of Contacts are totally different, but I don’t knwo why? The Recent Photos also seems to be from my contacts (I know because they are LEGO related, not just random Flickr photos, but it is not the same as the Photos of Contacts. I can’t figure out what is the criteria for each. Any ideas? 😕
Actually I believe that that’s the same as before the changes (though I never used either one that much, I generally relied on the homepage. Guess that will change!). The ‘Photos of’ are pictures where someone has added someone else to the picture; eg. this photo:
has two people in it (AK_Brickster and K.Kreations, if you scroll down you can see it), so if either of those two are in your contacts it would show up on the photos of list (pretty far back though!).
One other change that I like would be that I can now add photos to as many groups as I feel like (previously it was limited to ten for non-pro users).
Yeah, it will take a while to get used to it, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Besides the homepage. I ahve done the same as you; just saved direct links to the pages I visit the most, and those pretty much look like the old ones anyway. I think I can get used to it, even if I don’t like it. I do like the 1 TB storage though. I was just at 200 pictures before the change. 🙄
Yes, 1 TB is certainly nice! I was at 500 some-odd before though… 😛
hey admin im 11 and I went through the dark ages cause of drawing. Now Im back in the game!
It isnt really that bad…
Comet, that just sounds like a mini Dark Ages. The real one will happen when you are a teen. 😉
Don’t quit drawing, though! Keep your passion and strive to improve your skills!
What are you drawing? Any particular motifs or styles?
I am going through this right now.
I have a big room for my LEGO stuff (Mostly Ice Planet 2002 and Blacktron sets) but I am Definetely NOT selling any of THAT.
School is a major factor.
When my brother moves out, I will probably play with them again because I am gravely nostalgic and I miss the good old days.
I have a page in MOCpages for all my Ice Planet 2002 creations (About 50) but I am inactive and no one pays any attention to me.
Commander, thanks for sharing. The Dark Ages can have many layers. For some it is just that they are busy with work/school/other hobbies, but they still appreciate LEGO and are planning to be back. It can also get darker though when someone feels like they don’t even want to touch LEGO ever again, for whatever reason; burnt out from collecting, feeling embarrassed, or whatever. Sounds like your Dark Ages are quite heatlhy and you will be back to the hobby at some point. Ice Planet and Blacktron are awesome and have many fans. I have even seen this huge Blacktron city someone built and displayed at a LEGO convention. It was way amazing! Maybe a few years from now that will be you! 😉
I’m a bit late reading this (I don’t remember getting an email about it, but oh well). Great article for your first one, Strider! 🙂 I already knew what the LEGO Dark Ages were before this, but for those who don’t know this is a great article.
In response to some of the comments on this post…sometimes the Dark Ages doesn’t actually happen to some people. If someone is really passionate about LEGO and can play with it all day and not get bored, they might not even go through the Dark Ages.
Its just the people that sorta like LEGO when they were young, but then moved on to other things (like work and/or studying) when they got older (the period inbetween playing with LEGO as a child and rediscovering it and playing with it as an adult is called the Dark Ages by LEGO fans and AFOLs). Some people just forget about LEGO all together and think that its not that important anymore.
Man! That was a long comment. I’m nearly 12, but I’m the founder of BrickExtra (a popular LEGO news/fan site) and I participate in the online LEGO fan community and have been for the past couple of years. I sorta hope that I don’t go through a Dark Age, but maybe I will. Its quite hard to tell what will happen in my future, which will obviously dictate whether I have a Dark Age or not. Obviously, work and school always come before LEGO (because you need them to do well in life more than you need LEGO). I’m not really worried that much at the moment, though.
If you read this whole long comment, then you probably deserve a medal. 😛 😛
I think it makes a big difference that today’s kids can participate in the LEGO community online. This can make the whole “feeling awkward still playing with LEGO” completely irrelevant as you can see kids, teens and adults building incredible stuff. Very inspiring. But there are still girls, cars, school and friends that could be a very strong distracting factor. 😉
I just got out of my mini dark ages.For 3 months I became intrested in computers instead of LEGO sets.Im happy that Im out of the dark ages.I didnt let go of any of my LEGO sets,luckily.I still visited the LEGO section at my local TRU.Im happy Im out of it.LEGO will always stay with me forever.
The dark ages creeped up on me when my friend said”You still play with LEGO?Your a geek.”now we are n0t friends anymore but that mainly did it for me.
Yeah, I know the feeling… 🙁
i think my oldest known friend is in his dark ages… not buying lego?!?! seriously….. although he has been softening up to his newly reconstructed surge…. the one with the hero cuffs.
I think my mom is trying to destroy me,my mom threw out most of the stuff in my basement including 70% of my lego collection!:( :,(
Oh! That sounds terrible! 😥
Hi! I’m George and I first started playing with Lego when I was 3 and a half years old. Whenever I talk about lego in school, everyone says, “Wow, George.” I am always saddened when I hear this. What should I do?
George, you may be just talking to the wrong kids. Many schools and public libraries have lego incorporated into their classes and programs, so you might consider checking out if in your location there is a LEGO related club. LEGO is a very popular hobby with kids, teens and adults. If you don’t find anyone locally you can also join online groups where you can hang out with other LEGO enthusiasts and if possible also go to LEGO shows and conventions. Those are especially excellent ways to really see how huge and how cool this hobby is. 😉
Wow, good advice! Keep in touch=)
Are you on g+?
I initially got into Lego through Bionicle, mainly. I’d had a passing interest beforehand, but it was Bionicle that really ignited the flame. From there, I branched into some traditional brick-building via Life On Mars, and things went pretty well.
While I can’t place exactly when my Dark Ages occurred, as it was more a gradual decline in interest over the course of several years, with some ups and downs. By 2008, however, it had hit rock-bottom. I still bought sets on occasion, but usually shelved them as soon as they were built, and made little to no attempts at custom models.
Perhaps ironically, then, it was Bionicle’s ending that definitively ended my dark ages. There was a huge hullabaloo about it wherever I looked, and more and more I was drawn into these discussions, having my own opinions – and getting nostalgic enough to start digging out old sets. At first it was just rebuilding the originals, but then I branched back into custom models. (something further helped by the rediscovery of Slizers, the fascinating predecessors to Bionicle) I mainly stick to technic and “constraction” stuff now, but I do have a fair collection of normal bricks at my disposal as well. All told, it’s fun.
Very interesting! We actually have quite a few Bionicle fans here, so it is nice to have you over! 🙂
Hi this is my first post I am just a kid I have truly not experienced the dark ages yet but I know I will soon :P. I am a bit worried, though. I really love lego and when I become older I am scared I will quite my favorite hobby because of embarrassment or someone saying its ‘childish’, or ‘stupid’. I hope you realise my situation and are able to help me get through that. Thanks for your time.
Stevie, yes, it is true that most kids will go through a withdrawal period from LEGO. This is quite natural as other hobbies and interests take up your time and attention. However there is no need to worry. When the time comes you can just pack away your LEGO nicely and keep it for later. You will be back as an adult when you no longer care what other people think and your interests in your old hobbies rekindle. Also, there are huge adult LEGO communities both on the Internet as well in the real world. When you start to regain your interest you can reach out to these groups and you will be up to seepd in no time. 😉
I hit my Dark Ages when I was 13 or 14, and didn’t come back to it until as an adult. As I said; it is a natural process most kids will go through. Having said that, there are also kids who never have a Dark Ages period. They just continue the hobby through their teens and adult years. Being part of a group of likeminded individuals really helps with this – be that either online or in your local area. But the point is just be natural. If you loose interest that is fine, and if you don’t that is fine too. LEGO will wait for you. 🙂
I’m now 21 years old, have a job that I absolutely love and I’m gonna have some money in my pocket! I was really into the hobby as well, especially the StarWars and Indiana Jones sets but I’ve also wanted to do WW2 diaramas! I was wondering g if there was a term for this lol! But I hit the dark age when I was a Freshman in highschool, for the reasons listed above ha, then I got out of it cause I figured it was embarrassing. I gave away most of my collection to a boy who didn’t have a good home life at all and figured he could have fun with him and it made me feel good I could give him some happiness from my childhood! But I didn’t get rid of em all! I kept 6 sets that I favorited and I saw em the other day and before I knew it I was messing with em all lol! U wanna get back into it, especially the WW2 building thanks to Brickarms! Any advice on how to build up a collection and buildup my bins for pieces? Also I forgot to mention that the Lego movie sparked up the old flame haha!
Cobey, nice to have you back to the hobby! As far as building up your collection, this is a great time to do that with so many sales going on for the holidays. Since you like WW2, you might want to get some of the sets that are compatible I color; like they include a lot of grays, olive greens, brown, black, etc. Star Wars sets are good for this as well as some of the Super Hero sets. You can also buy individual pieces from BrickLink, if you like. So yeah, this is a good time to stock up on pieces. And it’s awesome that you were able to help a kid and make his life brighter! 🙂
I went into my LEGO dark age 3 times, back when I was 5, i started to like thomas the train toys, though before lego, i liked hot wheels (my first hobby) but then i went back to liking lego at the age of 12, i was 15 when i started getting into transformers and girls, then i went back to liking lego again at the age of 17, at the age of 18, again i stopped and went hardcore collecting hot wheels (i even found redline hotwheels, which costs $100 a car) after a year, i got back into lego, all because of a small set, the octan race car, it was probably the first time (correct me if im wrong) lego released a minifig size-appropriate race car and not the gokart sized cars or F1, neither the speed champions, theyre too big. I was so fascinated by it because it was the first time lego ever did it, through out my whole building life, ive always made race cars for my minifigs, all ending up to be 4-wides, but then again, lego made that 6-wide beauty.
Pierre, thanks for sharing! Yeah, you can definitely go in and out of your Dark Ages. For some people it happens, ones, but for others it could be a waxing and waning like you experienced.
I entered the Dark Ages around age 16 when I started dating (1993). I emerged briefly in the middle of a long-term relationship, but I didn’t fully escape this period until I had been married for ten years. It helped that my SO developed a brief interest in Lego. Although she quickly escaped its grasp, I have been blissfully drowning in Lego ever since.
Jeremy, thanks for sharing! Yeah, that’s a pretty typical pattern for getting in and out of the Dark Ages. Enjoy your LEGO! 😀
Thank you for the great article! Really enjoyed it.
It creeps up on you. I just got out of my dark ages, my dad just asked me when I was around 10-12 when are you going to get rid of your legos, so I just said, I’m done with them, and got rid of them. Right before he asked I was playing with them and building and such then boom, it struck me like a train. It took me a few years but I finally got out of them, unfortunatley right once a few good sets retired. I don’t know how to tell my parent tho, as I am 15 and they simply see it as a toy. When I’m at walmart I will buy a tote bag and some chips, grab a small set like a battlepack or something, cover it up with the chips so that the rattle sound is hidden and quickly build it when my family is distracted or when I am alone. Hopefully soon my brother gets back into lego so I can finally stop hiding it, or maybe even better get my multi thousand dollar lego collection back from our basement area, where all my sets were kept during my dark ages and until now. I wish you luck and hope you can get through this just like me!
Awww! Thanks for sharing your story and wishing you the best in your LEGO journey! This is a beautifully creative and relaxing hobby kids, teens, and adults all can enjoy! 🙂