Throwback Thursday: A Builder’s Journey

Over the last few weeks, we have spent a little time considering LEGO:Builder’s Journey – a game from Light Brick Studios exploring the ideas of Play, Work and family relationships. This then got me thinking: as LEGO® fans, we are all on our own Builder’s Journey. And somewhere along the way, something happened to get us on that path.

For many of us, there will be a LEGO® set that just did it. It might have been our first set, a set we built with a relative, the last set bought before entering our Dark Ages, maybe even the set that brought us out of them.

Today, I am starting a new series, exploring the sets from the past that have influenced LEGO Fans around the world. And I need your help. I have a set that after 40 years still holds appeal, still sparks my imagination. BUT I’d love to know about the sets that are important to other people. I won’t judge: be it Space or Scala, Clickits or Castle, Star Wars, Technic or Town, I would wager that for just about everyone out there, there is one set that did it, does it, or has a special place in our hearts. It might be big or small, cheap or expensive. For most of us, I am pretty sure they are pretty different sets. The opening picture might be a hint towards mine…

885: Space Scooter

Image: Brickset

This was one of the first sets I could build by heart. And this was, in part, some of the appeal of early sets in classic themes: there was no psychological barrier to pulling them apart as you could rebuild most of them in a few minutes, quite possibly without the instructions. But that’s not what mattered.

What mattered is what it represented: this was the first set I owned that was set in the future. A future where mankind worked together towards a common exploratory goal. Growing up in the late 70’s and early 80’s, the Cold War was still happening, and while the Space Race was no longer part of the underlying political narrative, we were looking forward to where mankind’s exploration of space would take us: the Space Shuttle was undergoing test flights on the back of a 747, and the future was starting to look hopeful.

This model could launch me on a flight of the imagination: exploring new worlds, facing new challenges, excited to hear about where we were heading next and dreaming about possibly travelling to the stars one day, or at least owning my own copy of 918 (Spoiler: that didn’t happen until much more recently!)

This set again sits on my display shelf, after gathering the parts to put it back together. I still didn’t need the instructions, but the reference photo from the box was really handy. And with a red spaceman at the wheel, it didn’t really matter how impractical the control interface was! This model has served to inspire countless subsequesnt LEGO sets, with a seemingly annual updates to the design.

And so I would like to throw things open to you, dear reader.

I have come to realise that this blog is fuelled, in part, by my nostalgic yearnings for a toy from my childhood, and the way that contemporary LEGO sets reach out to the cultural touchstones of my upbringing. However, as much as I love to talk about older sets that inspire me, I’d like some help, from you.

Would you like to share the story a set that influenced you, and why it is instrumental in your builders journey? I’d love to post it!

Can we keep it going for a year? Surely we can.

Send you submissions to

and until next time…

Play Well.

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