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The quest for my LEGO childhood…

(Written by Sarah)

Oh, dear! I found my childhood LEGO collection, and it was right in my own garage!!! I feel so stupid, yet so happy! 😮

Okay, let me back up so you can understand why this is such a momentous occasion.

I think I started playing with LEGO when I was about 10 and continued until I was about 16. I stopped playing much with them, but kept my LEGO collection boxed up in my bedroom closet. Even when I was getting rid of my childhood toys, I insisted on keeping the box of LEGO in the guest-bedroom and I kept a few of my own constructions on the shelves in my room.

It was all there until I moved out of the house when I got married at age 25, and moved to an apartment with my hubby. I’m not sure where the box went from there, but somehow it ended up going with us three years later when we moved to a duplex. It was put up in a shelving unit in the garage with several other boxes, with the label towards the wall. The boxes were promptly forgotten about, though we had good intentions to go through them all.

Then a year later, we re-discovered LEGO together and I started my search for my collection, not knowing it was in the garage. We went through my dad’s storage locker and found a lot of my old toys, including a box of LEGO boxes. At the time, we didn’t keep those, which I later regretted, but now realize that we’d have no room to keep anyway.

Then the storage locker got full so I couldn’t get back in. Then months passed and my dad informed me that he had cleaned it out and I could now get into the back. But I procrastinated many months which gave him time to fill it up again.

That lead to a recent Saturday afternoon of going to the locker, spending an hour trying to move what we could, but finally giving up. When we came home and pulled into the garage, Will wondered out loud about the miscellaneous boxes we had on the shelving unit that we had never gotten around to sorting.

We had dinner, did a few things and finally started pulling out boxes from the garage. The first box was an odd assortment of grade-school papers, kids’ magazines & comics, baseball cards and… LEGO instruction manuals!

I was so happy that I could have stopped there! At least then I knew what I had as a kid so I could recreate it! 😀

But there were more boxes. Some we quickly determined were books, so we put them back. Finally, on the top shelf was a box with no identification on the side sticking out. Will pulled it off the shelf and showed me the other side. It clearly read “Sarah’s Legos.”

I was so stunned! And so mad at myself! I’ve been searching for nearly 2 years and had them the entire time! 😳

As I pulled bags of LEGO pieces out of the box, I quickly realized that I haven’t changed much since growing up; I’m an organizer at heart and every bag contained a single color of pieces or single type of pieces. There’s even a shoe-box with minifigures and a few sets that I had left together. There’s also the storage box I remember quickly out-growing.

And the best thing was finding a creation I didn’t remember making – a female centaur! I think I did a pretty darn good job, if I do say so myself! 8)

I can’t wait to clean the pieces and start rebuilding my LEGO childhood that, somehow, was never very far from me, just a bit forgotten.

Now that I have shared my story, I have a question for you! 😉

Which LEGO themes or sets do you remember playing with as a kid? Do you have any memorable creations that you built? And the biggest question of all – do you still have your childhood collection? Please post your responses in the comment section below. I’d love to hear other AFOL’s stories! 🙂

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • self storage May 25, 2011, 1:24 PM

    Great article, I loved reading it. All my old toys have sentimental value but are just taking up so much space in my garage. Was thinking of renting a storage unit and keeping it there until I figure out what to do with it or when my son is old enough to use them.

    • Sarah May 26, 2011, 12:53 PM

      Toys are such an important part of our development, our growing up, that it’s so hard to know what to keep and what to let go. My husband Will had to help me decide because I had so many boxes of toys from my childhood that I just didn’t want to let go of, but he was right. I can’t keep them all. I kept the ones that were the most memorable, the ones in my fondest memories, and donated the rest so that other kids would have a chance to play with them and make their own memories.

      If you can keep them and let your son decide when he’s older, I think he’ll really appreciate it. I appreciated that my parents kept most of my toys for me so that as an adult, I made the decisions.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  • FrenchToast May 25, 2011, 7:07 PM

    Nice post! I didn’t have lego as a child, but I do have several friends who are just as sentimental towards their old lego as you mention here. my son is really into lego, so when he grows up I will make sure I box up his collection in case he later wants it. 😀

    • Sarah May 26, 2011, 12:54 PM

      There’s just something about LEGO that it has such an impact on a child’s life. I think it has a lot to do with the creativity it promotes.

      But that’s definitely a good idea to keep them for him to decide later in life whether he wants to keep them or not.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • YTjedi May 26, 2011, 12:21 AM

    Great story. I grew up playing with mostly Knights and Pirates. As years went by though, Star Wars became my all-time favorite line and I’ve collected them ever since! I’ve since moved away from home, I’ve built my own collection that’s grown from scratch, not having enough space yet to get my childhood collection. Someday it will all come together though.

    • Sarah May 26, 2011, 12:56 PM

      That will be one awesome moment when you finally combine your childhood collection with your adult collection! It’s so great to hear that you’ve kept LEGO close to you as you’ve grown up. So few people do that.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • Nathan May 27, 2011, 10:51 AM

    Glad they were near you all the time.
    I played with LEGO a lot when I was a kid, but only really remember a hospital (which to this day cannot determine the set #).

    • YTjedi May 27, 2011, 11:01 AM

      Did it happen to be one of these?


      (Brickset has a very comprehensive database of LEGO sets)

    • admin May 27, 2011, 11:04 AM

      Nathan, have you checked the Bricklink catalog to find your childhood hospital set? I just did a quick search and got this: https://www.bricklink.com/catalogList.asp?pg=1&q=hospital&catLike=W&v=2

      Does this list has your hospital set? You can find all sets ever released on Bricklink. You can also search by the year it was released. You should be able to find your hospital somewhere in their database. 😉

    • Sarah May 28, 2011, 11:42 AM

      Aw, I’m sorry to hear that you can’t determine what set it is. I know my husband was only able to recover half his childhood LEGO collection and he’s been piecing it back together from sets he remembered having. It’s hard when you don’t know the set name or number.

      Good luck in your search!

  • MorningCoffee May 28, 2011, 10:17 AM

    That centaur is really cool! Very creative!

    • Sarah May 28, 2011, 11:43 AM

      Thank you so much! When I first pulled the centaur out of the box, I was stunned that I could have made something like that. Just goes to show that I can relearn how to build because I used to know. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • blog4block June 2, 2011, 6:31 AM

    You are so lucky! I gave my LEGO to someone other and I still regret that… 🙁

    • admin June 2, 2011, 10:18 AM

      Hey, Pawel! Nice blog you got there! 😉
      Yeah, I hear your story all the time! Kids who gave away their LEGO and now regret it as adults. 😥
      I hope you will be able to replace your missing childhood sets! 🙂

  • Sarah June 5, 2011, 12:54 PM

    Unfortunately, it is very common to give away what you don’t want any more. It happens to a lot of people. Happened to my husband, he gave half of his collection to his cousins.

    I think the important thing to focus on, if you’re interested in recreating your childhood, is to figure out what you had and get those sets. That’s what my husband did for his missing sets.

    And that is a very nice blog you have there. I like that adventure for the LEGO couple. And great photos all around. I find it hard to take good pictures of LEGO.

  • Niku December 29, 2011, 9:52 PM

    I used to play with Western Lego.
    Now as an AFOL my favorite theme is Castle 😀

  • Matt May 23, 2012, 2:38 PM

    I just recently brought home my collection from my mom’s garage. I had 3 large pirate ships and a bunch of little sets. I originally was going to put them together, confirm I had all the pieces, then sell them on eBay since they’re worth a lot of money with the boxes and instructions.

    As I started putting them together, I remembered how much fun it was to build and play with the sets. So much, in fact, that I got a little sentimental talking to my wife about it. Now that the sets are all together, and any missing parts purchased from bricklink.com, I’ve decided to keep my ships for my daughter when she grows older (or possibly a future son). Legos were such an important and memorable part of my childhood- I couldn’t possibly sell them.

    • admin May 23, 2012, 3:00 PM

      Matt, thanks for sharing! Yes, those pirate ships are now worth a fortune! Also, besides the money, they are still some of the best LEGO ships ever made. I’m glad you decided to keep them. I have heard from many LEGO fans who sold their childhood LEGO sets that they have regretted it forever. It is not worth it. We can always make money in other ways. Keep your childhood memories and share them with the next generation; that is always the most satisfying way to go. 🙂

      If you would like to include a picture of your ships just let me know. Would love to see them! 😉

  • Håkan February 23, 2014, 9:48 AM

    I see the centaur has a quiver. Sagittarius?

    There are also custom centaurs produced by third party company BrickForge, although they’re relatively expensive. Currently out of stock, but a new mold might be in production.

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