By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
When deconstructing LEGO the Brickumentary to its parts, some aspects of this toy’s universal appeal is better explored than others. This feature-length film might be better served as an encyclopedic video release where viewers can decide what aspects of this popular toy they want to learn about more. As a primer to its universal appeal for newcomers, this movie does a great job. This film is now available on video to buy or on VOD services to view.
For someone like me who knew a lot before coming in, nothing new is offered until mid-film. I was pleasantly surprised it can be used to treat children with autism. It’s also a way to help them build social connections. Everything else, I already knew.
I’m disappointed that this movie did not go into further details of how far-reaching it went into franchise properties like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. The brick builds were there of the stuff, which included discussing how a full-scale X-Wing Fighter was built, but nothing was really said that it was done to help promote the television show The Yoda Chronicles. I can understand that this film is to promote LEGO than Lucasfilm/Disney, but still. Some brick builders argue that this company has not been the same since this company branched out to include recreations of movie properties, and I think that should not matter since it helps attract new folks, young and old, to this half century long product that has changed with the times to stay popular.
What’s enjoyable to watch is this film’s look into fan films. Whether they are made to recreate moments from the movies or are original products, this particular subculture is of heavy interest to me. I tried my hand at it and to make even a one minute film is time-consuming. In my look at the brick, I did a video editing trick to deconstruct the LEGO company name to make it look like I was building it from the ground up.
This film did reawaken my passion for the brick. By the time I got home, I thought about opening my box of Lego bits open to build a random object. Alas that almost happened; I fired up the Digital Designer computer program instead to look over my creations in a virtual world. With all the bricks available to use, the sky’s the limit. When all I have is a random selection, there’s only so much I can do. But that’s the challenge and joy of playing with LEGO. If you can build with limitations, that forces the mind to seek creative ways to get what you want — or you go out to buy the bits that’s needed. In the software, I debated with myself if I wanted to spend the $200+ to realize my TRON Lightscycle and Tank virtual recreations for a solid object to play with. Before I do, I need to revisit the tank so I can get the turret to rotate vertically and horizontally.
My only criticism for this toy is that it is very expensive hobby to get back into. I spent maybe $50 in total for the loose parts and $175 for the X-wing and Tie-Fighter. That’s about the extent of how much I want to spend in total just to awaken the child back in me. In total, I spent less for my How to Train Your Dragon collection. The market for licensed properties like Star Wars is lucrative but that’s when these toys are no longer being sold to young children to play with. Adults who have those high paying jobs can afford that $250 playset.
Expense aside, if this brick can be used to create fine works of art then just maybe there is profit to be made for builders to turn this into a profession. The lesson that’s learned with this film is that heavy interest in the brick helps build connections with folks from all walks of life.
4 Bricks out of 5