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How do AFOLs "play" with Lego?

NatebwNatebw Tampa BayMember Posts: 339

I see a lot of posts here about the play-ability of certain sets and "playing with" sets. Since this is primarily an AFOL site, it got me thinking: How do AFOLs "play" with Lego? Why does "playability" even matter if sets are to primarily be built and displayed?

I know how I played with Lego as a kid. I know how my kids play with Lego now. I participate, but only to amuse them. But I don't think in any real sense I "play" with Lego on my own. I sort, I build, I sort, I break stuff down, I sort some more. And it is fun, relaxing, and creative, but not really play.

Do you "play" with Lego? If so, how? 


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,313
    I play with speedorz, usually with my kids, but sometimes I need to get extra practice in after they've gone to bed.

    Cars built with pull back motors are fun to race too.

    And of technic remote control cars, train sets, etc.

    Spaceships need the occasional swoosh too, just to check on the strength of your building techniques of course.
  • aimlesspursuitsaimlesspursuits USMember Posts: 207
    My "play" is similar to the first two posts.

    I also play with my kids sometimes when they ask me to.  After I build a set, sometimes I do take a few minutes and swoosh them around and make some pew pew pew sounds.  Oh and I do take my 4x4 Crawler out for a spin every once in a while too.
  • LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138
    I think i'm the other perspective here. I'm almost 41 and I don't have kids so you guys would have the opportunity to play because of your kids and I don't really. I build then I put it on my coffee table by my tv and to be honest I look back and forth between the two. I'm looking to see how I can rebuild, change and make better. When i'm done it goes on display for months. But I never really play. Kind of sad really as lego is a building toy for kids. 
  • rdflegordflego in a world of his ownMember Posts: 324
    Every set that I have on display is, in essence, still a toy and I try to treat them as such. For example the technic sets will act as an incentive to clean by having them push rubbish towards the bin, pull back cars make me tidy the worktops so that they can have space to run, trains will remind me to work hard so that I can finally make a layout for them to roll on (one day I will have the space), etc.

    In my mind the obvious 'play' criteria is definitely the building process. Whether that is building a set or building from my imagination I'm always allowing the 6 year old me to shine through in those moments. Once the set is completed or I finish a MOC I feel as if the play has ended, usually far too quickly. That is the reason that my MOCs only last about 20 minutes - so that I can start playing again. I think Glenbricker sums my feeling to play up well; he calls people who don't have this feeling 'Muggles'
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,060
    "Glowing with Embarresment" I sometimes swoosh the ship's when my better half Isn't looking just so she doesn't think I'm a complete loon. 
  • LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138
    rdflego said:

    In my mind the obvious 'play' criteria is definitely the building process. Whether that is building a set or building from my imagination I'm always allowing the 6 year old me to shine through in those moments.

    Yeah, that is so true.

  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    I like this question. I often find myself reluctant to "make comics," as my son has called role playing with the minifigs since he was 5 (now 9), since it requires traits adults all too often allow to atrophy, namely creativity, spontaneity, energy, and so forth. I love Lego because of the building and displaying of sets, period. At night, when the choice comes down to reading a book or "making comics," I'm usually hoping that he will  choose to read with me so I can just lay there while somebody else does the thinking and the story is already done and it has a definitive end point.

    But here's the thing I've realized: when I get over my stupid old lazy inertia and inhibitions and just pour myself into it, more often than not we come up the most surprising and hilarious scenarios. Not every time of course, sometimes the noggin needs sleep, but simply by being there with him, making up whatever crazy things come into our heads, tying in what we've seen or heard or learned lately, well it's wonderful and irreplaceable. He remembers things I said off the cuff months and years later, which is amazing. Even when we're playing with licensed sets, we're not just imitating the movies, which is actually one reason I stayed away from licensed sets for a while. But they're really nothing other than a springboard for the imagination.

    Now if the question is "how do AFOLs without kids 'play' with LEGO?", I suppose my answer would be that I do like to make funny displays with the sets and minifigs. It's been said before that LEGO and photography go hand in hand, and I think that's very true. I think of each arrangement as a snapshot, then some time goes by and I either rearrange the display or trade it out. I'm in heaven now, because Monster Fighters has been my favorite theme, and now we've got a lot more to work--I mean, PLAY with!

  • Jern92Jern92 MalaysiaMember Posts: 815
    I place minifigs in interesting positions around my modular city XD
  • CircleKCircleK U.S. - Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 1,055
    New projectile launchers + unsuspecting wife / toddler = Endless hours of fun. 
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,851
    I'm 24 and don't have kids. Generally, any set I build, I will "play" with a bit immediately after building. It makes the building process feel much more rewarding if the finished product DOES something, even if they aren't features I'll be using on a regular basis the way a kid would. Even if the set is mostly going to sit on display on a shelf or be stored in its box after that, those first moments of being able to try out the set's features are an essential part of the "new set" experience.

    The sets I play with the most are sets like the new Bionicle sets that have a balance of action features (like a gear or button on the back to move the arms) and articulation. I have autism so it's useful for me to have things that I can just fidget with absentmindedly, so sets with a lot of joints and/or a repetitive action feature are good for that. In between doing things that require a lot of focus I enjoy grabbing a set and just turn it around or reposition the limbs to find poses and angles I like. When I really love a particular pose or angle, I try to take a photo or even draw the set (here are some examples).

    "Swooshability" is a great bonus with spacecraft, aircraft, or flying animals, and after building #44009 Dragon Bolt at BrickFair Virginia in 2013 I had a lot of fun flying it around the expo center. The wing-flapping function made it even more fun! But of course, swooshing a dragon or spaceship is harder to do while sitting at a desk than posing an articulated figure.

    And of course, there are sillier kinds of play, like when I swap my Bionicle characters' heads with the head from #4526 Batman, put a LEGO Friends dolphin in the cockpit of a Ninjago vehicle, or stick Mixel eyes on... well, anything, really!
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,098
    I don't really "play" with mine other than the Pirate stuff. I build a lot and love to sort and organize.  I keep telling myself it's a "refined" level of LEGO play.
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    I assume when people talk about 'play features' they do so out of an appreciation for the design of a set (unless of course they play with their LEGO with their kids). After all, it is a toy that's being collected. I mean if I wanted a less expensive and more accurate scale model of an X-Wing on display I could (possibly?) do better than a LEGO UCS set, but where's the appeal in that?

    Personally I don't particularly want 'play features', which is why I like the UCS display sets and why even the Microfighters I own have stands for display. Having said that, I appreciate LEGO for what it is, which I guess is why I collect minifigures and Microfighters as well as UCS sets.
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515

    I don't actually play in the way kids do but I test the features, u know.

  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 998
    i played ad&d, dsa, shadowrun and vampire in the past...
    my nephew loves it when we do "play" with lego.
    holding a minifigure and do some voice-acting is my kind of "play". but i m not really doin it when no kids are around!
    solo. my "play" is sort and organize!
  • LordofLegoLordofLego Member Posts: 311
    edited September 2015
    I sit right down own on the god-danged floor and blast those god-danged Commie Mega-Bloks with my P-38. 
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,518
    The Airjutsu just have to be played with. :)
    I have had up to 4 in the air at one time. 

    Mostly the "play" bit is the building of the set.
    But sometimes a crashing helicopter can be fun, unless some parts disappear under the sofa.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,386
    Aanchir said:
    Generally, any set I build, I will "play" with a bit immediately after building. It makes the building process feel much more rewarding if the finished product DOES something, even if they aren't features I'll be using on a regular basis the way a kid would.
    yes. some features are really rewarding, like that splitting fire temple. I like to try shooters as well. found that the technic spring loaded shooter was strong enough to dislodge bricks sometimes.
  • PmhPmh netherlandsMember Posts: 128

    -building the set.

    -creating scenes while displaying set.

    -build own variations of set/combine sets.

    And then I have them in a closet and everyday I take a look at them, take one or 2 out and just hold them to have a better look,drive the vw van back and forth 2 times and then I am happy again:)

  • readersamreadersam USAMember Posts: 62
    When my Harry Potter sets were built, I would listen to the audio books and act out the story with the LEGO. I really want a Ministry of Magic and a Number 12 Grimauld Place.
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