Decline in imagination as number of lego figures rise?

Normally, I’m not a big fan of plastic toys as they tend to be designed with a particular purpose in my mind which seems to stifle rather than expand the imagination.  Lego is different though.  Not only does it develop fine motor skills but each brick is filled with endless possibilities.  It can be part of a rocket, a car, a castle or even a dog!

Yesterday my husband showed me an article which predicts that by 2016 lego figures will outnumber humans.  If scientists at the University of Virginia are correct, there could be 8 billions lego figures on the planet in 6 years time. 

Our house is full of lego.  And I mean full.  My husband has perhaps more lego than Jasper but as I’ve said already, I think it is fantastic.  Don’t get me wrong, I complain when pieces are sucked into my hoover or a brick slides up underneath my big toe nail but in an age when we are surrounding with technology and cheap plastic which seems to be used as a baby-sitter rather than to engage our children, I think it is great that we are embracing the more traditional toys.

However, I have this morning read a lot of comments on several articles about the increase in the lego figure population.  Hardly any of them seem to talk about the value of lego, building bricks etc as toys to develop the imagination together with thinking and problem skills.  Instead, I have seen comments from people determined to collect them all and display them in little cabinets; people who said they might get rid of all their bricks and models they have built in favour of these collectible items. 

Now, I’m not against collecting things.  Of course, I’m not.  What better way to develop patience, self-amusement and to learn the value of things?  But what I am against, in a world where everything has to be a gadget, is that lego instead of being filled with excitement, narrative and expansion of the soul, will become hidden behind a class shelf whilst we continue to play with our tablets.