Jack received several Lego Hero Factory toys for his birthday in January. At the time, I didn’t know anything about them. I was afraid that they would be similar to traditional Legos that have thousands of pieces and have to be “played with” gently or they fall apart.
Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of Legos and the creativity involved in coming up with a design and the engineering required to put it together. But it has been our experience that they aren’t very durable once they are together, making them difficult to play with for younger kids.
The Lego Hero Factory product line is a completely different story. The pieces are bigger, snap together firmly, swivel and turn to facilitate play, but don’t fall apart. Now in the hands of a two year old nothing is indestructible, but Jack is able to easily play with his guys.
Jack now has about five characters from the series and he interchanges the pieces creating new characters or moves the shields and weapons around. He will look at a photo of a character that he doesn’t have and try to create it from the pieces he does have. It has led to a lot of fun and creativity. Most of the neighborhood boys have Hero Factory toys, so conversations at the bus stop or parties will be about who has which character, who is a good guy or bad guy and who will win in a pretend battle.
Lego has even created an area on their website where kids can go (with parental approval) to create their own Hero Factory character and play games. They are also creating new characters or upgrades to existing characters, prompting more discussions of how Furno 3.0 is better than Furno 2.0.
A few months ago Jack was helping Jim in the garage and found some pipe fittings that he put on his fingers. He added a helmet and some other materials to make himself into a Hero Factory costume. I love that he can turn simple items into something wonderful and creative.
It is funny how expectations often times don’t turn out, well, as expected. We have been pleasantly surprised at how much Hero Factory has inspired even more creativity in a boy with an already vivid imagination.