I have been a fan of building sets for as long as I can remember.
As a child I had access to Lego bricks, wooden blocks and Stickle-Bricks. There were a few pamphlets with building ideas, but there was no set that was meant to build one specific model. Creativity had free reign with these sets.
Most families that we spent a lot of time with had Lego bricks. While my grandfather was visiting a a friend or a family member they would give me a box of Lego bricks to play with so that I did not get bored. It proved to be a good way to entertain a child so that the adults could have a peaceful conversation.
As time progressed more sets were released that were aimed at building a specific model. Of course, you could combine the pieces with other sets and then use your own imagination to make your own creations.
I would never have dreamed of the variety of building toys that are on the market now, not to mention the massive sets that are available to build some awesome models. I thought having a few hundred Lego bricks was a lot, now you get sets that have a few thousand pieces just to build one structure!
As a child I enjoyed being able to use my imagination and build various creations with the different building sets that I had. That has never left me. To this day I still enjoy playing with building toys and get great satisfaction out of completing a project, whether it is one I created myself or if it had instructions to follow.
With so many options available on the market now, we truly are spoiled for choice. Three of my favorites are Lego, K’Nex and Zoob. They are all very different from each other so I won’t even try to compare them. All of these have the general sets that come with an instruction booklet to guide you with building a variety of models from the pieces in that one set.
Some examples of these are the Lego Creative sets, the K’Nex Building Sets of various sizes and the Zoob Building sets that also come in different sizes. Then Lego also has the Lego Architecture Studio that is aimed at the more advanced builder – a set with ideas but no specific model to build.
They all also all have their specialized sets that come with pieces and instructions to build just one model. Some of these are stand-alone models, while others form parts of bigger theme sets. This is especially true of the Lego sets and they do the themed sets on quite a grand scale. If you know anything about Lego sets you would most likely have heard of the Lego City themed sets. I honestly don’t even know how many sets have been released as part of that theme and they keep on coming. K’Nex and Zoob also have sets that form part of a theme, but not nearly to the same extent as Lego.
A few of the specialized sets that come to mind are the Star Wars sets that have the pieces and instructions for just one model and one of the newer Lego Ideas sets is the Lego Ideas Grand Piano (and it actually plays music).
The K’Nex sets lend themselves more to the building of structures and one of their most popular sets is a roller-coaster. They are also great for building machines with gears and structures such as bridges. These sets are also often used in the classroom when the lesson is around structures or gears. It should come as no surprise that they also have stand-alone model sets and their biggest set has about 13,000 pieces and is meant for just one life-size model of a grandfather clock.
The Zoob sets are great for creating models of animals and insects, as well as scientific models. They give a completely different experience to the more well-known Lego bricks. Like all the others, they also have a selection of sets with different numbers of pieces.
There are so many options to choose from now, but I my favorite is still Lego. Perhaps it is because this is what I grew up with. It was quite natural to begin buying Lego sets for my children and then joining in to help them build. The set that is on my wish list is the Lego Ideas Grand Piano that I mentioned earlier. Yes, a specialized set and no room for letting my creativity free, but it will be a good challenge with its 3,662 pieces.
What is your preference when it comes to building sets?
Do you have a favorite? Do you like collecting models that form part of a set, or something that allows you to make your own creations?
Please let us know in the comments below.