The LEGO Brand – still perfect for imaginations of all ages

February 21, 2014

The LEGO movie has been tops at the box office for two weeks in a row, bringing in more than $140M, and I’m betting that strong word of mouth will make it #1 again this coming weekend. This is no surprise given the movie’s positive reviews and its appeal to the general population. This movie really has something for everyone and can be enjoyed by children and parents of all ages – for entirely different reasons.

Sure, this movie has all the makings of a blockbuster. It cleverly brings our beloved LEGOs to life in a way that only LEGOs can be brought to life. It’s filled with lots of action packed scenes, explosions, special effects, stunts and the totally unexpected (No spoiler alert here. You’ll just have to see the movie for yourself). But what really made me like this movie and continue to keep thinking about it is the fact that it remains tried and true to the LEGO brand. This movie is all about imagination at play, with an overt message to its audience that there really is no substitute for using our imagination.

As a 53 year old, this movie immediately took me back to the bins that stored thousands of LEGO pieces and my spending endless hours of imaginary play either on my own, with my older brother, or with a friend or two. We would build houses and neighborhoods complete with cars, trucks, boats, trains, airplanes, spaceships, and evil creatures. We would have contests to see who could build the tallest tower before it toppled over. With LEGOs “everything was awesome!” In addition to using our imagination, LEGOs taught us about creativity, helped us to develop our dexterity skills with the snapping together of pieces of various shapes and sizes, and gave us an appreciation for how to effectively use color.

Our imaginations always reigned supreme with LEGO and this brand promise is an integral part of the LEGO movie. For the adults in the theater, and there were many, this was understood. As for the children, I’m not so sure. Has technology and its application to smartphones, smart pads, videogames, and apps created a new generation who really doesn't know about imaginary play? If so, how sad.

Sure, technology and all of its capabilities keeps all of us well-connected and amused for hours. And while much of what we view on our devices of choice is creative, it is also high-tech with most of the imagination already done for us. This requires very little origination on our part. In my mind there isn’t any technology, videogame or app that can replace the basic tenets of putting our imaginations to work. Let’s hope that one key takeaway from the LEGO movie, especially from the parents, is an appreciation for having their children achieve a balance between simple, yet imaginative childhood play and technology.

In addition to imaginary play, can you think of other important aspects that have been lost due to the use of technology as part of our everyday lives?

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