I came across the black and white below a little earlier today, and saw the color image a few months ago. Both make me happy and nostalgic over how much my childhood was influenced by a very simple toy. It's a testament to my love that, despite my exhaustion and having just finished a length chat with a friend, I indeed to be a bit wordy here.
In short (haha), I learned much of what these ads describe: that I could create, could choose to follow directions or branch from them, could feel pride in my own creations, could play pretend with what I'd made. And Lego was one of the few things that Matt (my older-by-seven-years brother) and I could do together as kids without driving each other nuts--he would build things, I would play with them. His castle would be made with precision, using the special wall pieces and multiple floors. Mine would be made out of the traditional bricks, multi-colored and stocky, but I loved them anyway. There were no gas stations or space sets. All medieval, baby.
And we would splay out on the floor of his room and recreate Willow (I will hear no ill words of that movie--it is amazing), modified by his love of Piers Anthony books and twinges of my obsessions with The Swan Princess and Sleeping Beauty. And for some period of time--minutes or days, I couldn't say--we cohabitated and could have posed for an ad to fit right in with those below.
As I mentioned in posting "Peace" ad earlier today, it makes me a little sad that little (nothing?) is marketed this way anymore, and certainly not to kids. A sense of secret accomplishment? Quietness? What is this, Little House on the Prairie?? I love it. I love that we valued this once, enough to market product that way and see it pay off. And while I roll my eyes at Lego's revamping line, I look forward to sacking out on a floor one day with my nieces and nephews (Matt, apparently I've assigned you a large family--you and Karen better get cracking...), and I'll explain how you can make a second floor hallway end in a door to nowhere, sending intruders to the death dogs below.