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Keim Time: being a 20-year-old LEGO enthusiast

Brian Keim
The LEGO collection of Brian Keim has been accumulating since his childhood and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.

“The box for this one said ‘ages eight to fourteen.’”
“That’s a suggestion. They have to put that on there.”
–“The LEGO Movie” (2014)

Countless people across the globe have fond memories of the LEGO brand. With an inestimable array of bricks, sets and minifigures, it seems like a product that any child would be able to enjoy. However, despite what my daily activity would suggest, I am not a child. Why, then, can I simply not let go of my affinity for LEGO sets? Does it stem from my hopeless sentimentality and constant insistence on living in the past? Well, yes, but it’s also so much more.

LEGO bricks (sometimes erroneously referred to as “LEGOs”) have the unique ability simultaneously to evoke iconic well-established images of pop culture and to become the basis for an all-new world of limitless imagination. Building sets come in a variety of themes, some playing on existing franchises such as “Star Wars” and “Batman” as well as LEGO originals such as “City” and “Creator.” There are also sets specifically designated for people aged 16 and older, but that has never been my focus. I laugh in the face of age ratings and happily build products intended for eight-year-olds.

There are people who display LEGO sets, people who love the act of building and those who just collect for the sake of collecting. While I certainly understand all of these sentiments and relate to them in varying degrees, I am wholly enamored with the act of playing with LEGO. Without getting too complicated, I simply find it really fun. After all, it lets me live out my fantasies where Gandalf the Gray has adventures with Sonic the Hedgehog. More recently, I have arranged nearly all of my sets and figures into one singular display in which a variety of characters from all walks of life can live and interact in harmony (or in conflict, depending on the day).

The inherent coolness of crossovers isn’t the only thing I love about my ever-growing LEGO collection. It allows me to explore storytelling in a pure and unstructured form that I have enjoyed since my earliest days. When I think back to my childhood, making up stories with my LEGO figures is the first instance I can recall of my own form of storytelling. To this day, I still love making up scenarios for various characters. I recognize how childish that may seem, but I quite frankly don’t care. I love it.

As someone who dabbles in creative writing for a living, I really like telling stories and do so whenever I can. However, doing so in a more formal manner often stresses me out and causes me to worry too much about a lot of specific details. The world of LEGO allows me to create my own stories in a stress-free environment where I don’t have to worry about structure or consistency, because I’m not putting anything concrete onto a page. The stories stay in my head with my figures and nobody else has to see them.

I really like LEGO and don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s something that has been part of my life for as long as I can remember and continues to have a place in my life today. For fun, relaxation and even a creative outlet, the bricks simply can not be beat.

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About the Contributor
Brian Keim, Opinion Editor
Brian Keim is the Opinion Editor for The Carroll News, hailing from Medina, Ohio. He is a sophomore at John Carroll University, majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing and minoring in communications with a concentration in digital media.
Often referred to as a “person” who “exists,” Brian is also involved in the JCU Improv Troupe and Blue Streaks on the Run. In his free time he allegedly considers film-watching and book-reading to be two activities that are enjoyable as well as life-changing, if you know where to look.
To request biased film opinions, haphazard Academy Award predictions, or otherwise contact Brian Keim, he can be reached at [email protected]

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