|I always had fun with Lego as a child, but it wasn't until the space sets that the interest really clicked. Over a period of several years, I accumulated over a dozen space sets, including the Galaxy Explorer and Beta-1 Command base.|
All were well played with, but I managed to keep them in good condition. When I got older and was no longer interested in playing with the sets, I packed them away in a trunk in the attic of my parent's house.
At the beginning of my junior year at college, we suffered a catastrophic house fire. Nearly everything was lost. However, my older brother was exploring the ruins of the house and found the charred remains of that trunk. He dragged it out of the rubble, expecting it to be some of my mother's things and opened the trunk to find... Lego.
All of the original boxes were charred and burned. But when he pulled out a box to see the pile of slag inside, he noticed that all the lego were in perfect condition. I had packed the trunk so tightly there was no air, and all the boxes and plastic inserts took the brunt of the heat. In a miracle, all of the space sets survived. Many of my miscellaneous sets and loose bricks were melted beyond usage, since they had been stored in bags in the trunk, on top of the space sets. Unfortunately, this also included the space crater plates that I had. Knowing how much I had loved my Lego sets, he and my mom packaged them in zip-loc bags and surprised me when I got back from college that something had indeed survived!
For many years, those sets stayed in my mom's new basement, since they reeked of smoke. But when mom decided to clean out the "fire" corner of the basement, she told me to go through my stuff, and again I was lucky. Time had erased any hint of the smell. So I brought them over to my place and thought I might play with my nephews when they got a bit older.
Well, they are older now and playing with them rekindled my interest in the Classic Space sets. I decided I would engage in a bit of wish-fullfillment and collect the remaining sets that I had always wanted.
So now, the collection has grown quite a bit and I've picked up most of the sets I truly wanted as a child from the 78-79 time period and expanded into Blacktron, SpacePolice, and M-Tron! The boys still manage to bicker over which sets to play with, but I am slowly getting them more and more interested in just building with all the loose brick I've accumulated.
Here's to remembering the joys of childhood, creating the next generation of AFOL, and having some good play time with my nephews!
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