Working towards Lego…

I originally started this little blog to talk about the toys that I played with as a young boy, my adventures in fatherhood and the toys that my son was playing with. It didn’t take me long to focus (obsess) on tabletop gaming. This wasn’t a great shock to me as I did (and do) love the hobby and I’ve found as I’ve got older that computer games are no longer a real attraction to me.

In terms of toys and childhood my view is that boys should be outside playing football and riding bikes in the summer; building camps, playing in woods and stuff like that. In the winter or when weather dictates toys should be about imagination and fantasy. So I had He-Man, Transformers, Action Man, Lego and Star Wars. On top there were always dinosaurs, space ships and aeroplanes to keep me going. Playing usually involved trying to make parachutes for my toys and throwing them out of the window!

When we moved house one of the big factors was the life that it would give our son as he grew up. The garden and surrounding countryside were therefore massive attractions. But how have we done in terms of the toys that our son is currently playing with? Well he’s only 28 months which is a funny age in terms of toys and the skills that a toddler has. He’s got the usual puzzles, books and other educational toys but then he’s got boys toys – bricks, cars, fire engines and dinosaurs.

The cars that he has has gone from the plastic toys for 1yr olds through to cars that he can push along. Then there are the Matchbox type cars that he’s playing with more and more. The big plastic ‘Mega Bloks’ are a stepping stone to Lego, although I think the youngest age for Lego is about 4. I’ve still got the box of Lego in the Mancave ready for the day when he’s ready. He’s also got the little wooden trainset that he can build himself. He loves trains at the moment so maybe the old Hornby set will see the light of day in the next few years.

I don’t want to wish his childhood away as every day is precious, but it is really nice to see him grow and grow into the type of toys that I love so much.

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It’s like Toys-R-Us up there

We’re moving house and I’m going to have my very own man/geek cave. I am really excited about it and it’s got me thinking again about my old toys. I’ve been thinking of getting back into a hobby or two to make the most of my free time anyway and this seems like the perfect opportunity to start. I’m going to have to to some work to make the cave liveable as it’s being used as a shed by the current owners. I am also going to have to share my hobby space with my office so I can get my IT business off the ground.

With excitement mounting I’ve been thinking of the games that I really enjoyed as a teenager and the one that stands out is Blood Bowl. I had the polystyrene pitch and the next version which was a printed cardboard pitch. I remember spray painting the polystyrene pitch a bright green. There was no subtlety about it. I had the Star Player book and the Companion as well as lots of 2nd and 3rd edition miniatures. I certainly had an Orc team, a Chaos team and I think an Elf team. My brother, as was his way, played Halflings. We used to go into Portsmouth to play in the GW league in later years (when the rules changed to allow rosters etc). In the days without the internet as we know it White Dwarf was the source of knowledge and information on new rules and models. I was never the best painter that much I remember. But I did try and I loved collecting the mutants and the big guys. In the last week I’ve been catching up on the latest rules and trawling the forums to see what the BB world looks like today. In my mancave I want to make a hobby area for painting and collecting and I fancy making a custom pitch too.

So keen have I been over the last few weeks that I put in a call to my dad to see if he had by any chance kept any of my old toys. When I left home my stock answer to the question of what to do with my old stuff was to throw it away. How glad am I then that my dad ignored me every time?! I should have known really. Anyway he says that there’s a cupboard full of old toys. He reckons it has got Blood Bowl stuff as well as Lego, and a train set. I’m going to pay him a visit next week and am going to pick it all up. I don’t know what is there but it will be fun finding out. I’ll take pictures of it and catalogue it all and then work out what to do with it. Blood Bowl is certainly more appealing than Airfix (which don’t seem as sturdy as they did when I was younger).