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The family LEGO

(Written by William)

Becoming an AFOL is a hard thing when no one else in your family shares your interest. We often wonder what other family members think when we’re the only one that plays with LEGO. This is why it is important to form a support network when you become an Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL).

Building Up Your Family with LEGO

There are two methods that many AFOLs utilize to get a feel for where their family members stand when it comes to LEGO; they can either give a small gift or let them build something.

Gifts will usually come in the form of a minifigure that represents that person. Small impulse sets also make a great gift idea for this purpose as well. When we give this type of gift, we like to watch and see what type of attraction the family member shows. For many family members, there will only be a tacit acceptance. They’ll take these small token gifts and display them.

This is not the full blown, “I’ve discovered a long lost AFOL in my own family!” occasion, but it does give many AFOLs hope. Those members of the family that are not afraid to showcase LEGO will be accepting, or at least tolerant of your own hobby. This goes a long way in boosting your confidence.

The other method employed is letting someone build a set. This by far is the best way to convert or test if someone has the potential to become an AFOL. It involves actually playing with the toy in a very real way.

Employing this method usually involves the purchase of a larger set or letting them build one you’ve already purchased. Those who like doing this go beyond accepting the hobby and go straight towards understanding it.

Unfortunately, our family is a very finite number. We most likely won’t uncover another AFOL in their ranks. That’s why we must extend our search.

Linking with LEGO-Fans Online

The best way to begin creating a LEGO support system will be to use the Internet. This will tap you directly into a thriving community of AFOLs that span the world over.

AFOLs online are full of information, learned from hundreds if not thousands of sources.  They will be able to talk about anything and everything you have an interest in. Many communities will even gather around specialized niches that mirror your own.

On top of all this, they are supportive. They don’t care if your creation looks like it got in a fight with a rainbow and lost. The important fact is that you are trying and are growing.  Much of this supportive vibe comes from the connection we had with LEGO as children.

Of course, not every kid learned to play well with others. You will find a few of us may be a bit vocal about certain LEGO topics. For instance, I myself am a “purist”. That means I like to build with LEGO pieces and only if they are unmodified. Therefore, my opinions on subjects will lean in that direction.

This is the main reason why we group online in niche categories. We like to discuss with others that share the same viewpoint as us. However, there is always something to be learned from those who can go beyond our own limitations.

LEGO Must be Held

Finding people to connect with online is nice, but we must realize that LEGO is a physical thing. This means we should try to find other AFOLs in our local area. Face to face interactions with other LEGO-fans is a mind-blowing experience for the first time.

Actually seeing the people that share our passion makes it real to us like nothing else can. Not only can we share ideas about LEGO, but we get to experience what others have made.

Larger cities are more likely to support these types of groups. If you don’t have this option, you might want to look online and see if you know enough people in your area to form a group. Many Bricklink sellers are tapped into these groups and may make an excellent starting point to find at least one person you can talk to.


When we rediscover LEGO as an adult, we are often plagued by a number of uncertainties. Like the new kid in school, we know it is vital to find friends that will make our triumphs and failures all the more rich.

Explore all the options you have available to connect with others. Family, online, or in person – LEGO groups can make or break this hobby. In addition, the majority of people you’ll meet are much nicer than groups you might have experienced in the past. So go forward with confidence. 🙂

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Hayato May 3, 2011, 10:03 PM

    Actually, I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a lego family. My parents, brothers, sisters, cousins were all into lego. And now my sons continue the legacy. I can’t even imagine what it would be like not to have family members who like lego! I never even thought about it! Must be lonely!

    • Will May 4, 2011, 8:02 PM

      Your circumstance is a rather rare occurrence, but your type of family dynamic usually gives birth to the best LEGO builders in the world. The fact that you don’t go through a Dark Age means that you have that many more years to mature your craft compared to others. I’m really glad to see that there are people and families like yours out there.

      Thanks for your comment, giving a different point of view. It’s much appreciated! 🙂

    • Darthmogul September 5, 2013, 2:59 PM

      I have a father who likes LEGO, my lil brother has already entered hi Dark Ages and probably will never come out of it again(that’s some cheap LEGO for me.

  • FrenchToast May 4, 2011, 8:54 PM

    I like the idea about giving small gifts! This works for family, coworkers, and also kids who are not familiar with lego. My son introduced several of his friends to lego like this. Also the new lego games are pretty cool for introducing lego to others. Especially Creationery!

    • Will May 14, 2011, 12:45 PM

      I definitely agree with the Creationary game. That is probably the most straight-forward game to find out whether or not you have an aptitude for building with LEGO. I played once with adults who weren’t builders and it was a pretty horrendous experience for them. It was obvious that they were never going to be interested in playing with LEGO. When my wife and I played with our LUG, it was a wonderful experience. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • SPMom May 10, 2011, 8:19 PM

    I hope my kids will continue being creative with whatever medium (lego or otherwise) when they grow up. I think today’s kids are a lot bettter off by having so many online forums, places to share pictures and hang out. So they don’t feel like they have to give up legos for girls and video games as they see other kids of the same age still doing legos.

    • Will May 14, 2011, 12:47 PM

      With all the online access, I wouldn’t be surprised to see new and innovative expressions of art and play with LEGO and all manner of medium. It lends itself to having a very unpredictable nature. It should be very exciting. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • kingcobra May 18, 2011, 10:34 AM

    LOL! I think I was one of thos epersons who was baited into lego by a family member! Never thought of that until reading this article!

    • Will May 29, 2011, 1:00 AM

      For some reason, I’m imagining LEGO pieces placed in the line of a trail like bread crumbs. At the end of the trail is a LEGO set that a family member has thoughtfully gotten you. LOL!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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