Say It Ain’t So

I read something shocking in “No Logo” last night. So shocking that I can’t believe it. From google book search:

“These crisp royal blue and kelly green boxes snap together like pieces of Lego (the new kind that can only make one thing: the model fire station or spaceship helpfully pictured on the box)." Emphasis mine.
Please correct me if I am wrong, but is Ms. Klein saying that the lego pieces in new sets can only be used to build the model in that set? Can this be true?

I loved Lego growing up, particularly the Castle series. I remember having a box filled with blocks that I would use to build towns, forests, castles, etc. I think the animated Robin Hood movie really hit me at a deep emotional level. As everyone knows, legos were great because you could use them to build whatever you wanted/imagined.

I can’t find anything to confirm this allegation, but looking a lot of the current Lego models seem to fit the description. Here is the “Death Star” from Star Wars. The pieces look fairly specific, but it is difficult to determine if those pieces can be used to build anything other than the "Death Star." I can't link to any images of old sets, but you can find them here. It looks like Lego has turned into Puzz3D

It makes sense why Lego would change their pieces. A kid could look at a new set and figure out how to build it with his own pieces and Legos wouldn't get any money. I don't want to romantize Lego too much, but it was a great toy. But it is a shame that what made it great wasn't profitable enough.


  1. I was also a lego junkie growing up, and I'm pretty sure (based on looking at them as gifts for friend's kids) you can still build anything your creative mind can come up with using the new sets. There ARE more molded pieces in newer sets, that's for sure, but they can still be used in ways beyond what's on the box. I think Naomi Klein is exaggerating the downfall of the Lego market...imagine that!

  2. That is good to hear. If this allegation against lego had been true, I would have gone fully into brick throwing anarchy mode.