Is joining the cult of LEGO fandom a good idea?

LEGO fandom continues to receive the spotlight as a lifestyle feature examines the benefits to brick building as an adult.

“I’ve become an AFOL,” I explain to my wife. “Yes, you have,” she says, mishearing me.

In The Daily Telegraph, Nick Harding has taken a look at the adult LEGO hobby, or “cult”, highlighting the growing trend for those over 18 to build with the plastic brick. LEGO Star Wars 75192 Millennium Falcon is highlighted as an example of how adult LEGO love is now catered for completely.

“Games are violent and destructive, whereas you physically create something with Lego,” self-confessed Jack Daubey explains in the article, when comparing his LEGO hobby to his previous interest in video games. “You start with a pile of bricks and end up with the Statue of Liberty.”

According to the feature, there are three categories of AFOLs (Adult fans of LEGO) – set builds, free builders and those who do both.

“I have a stressful job, so after a long day I need to build LEGO,” Peter Mordecai tells the Telegraph. “It can be 10 minutes, or a couple of hours. Sometimes I have to limit myself, though. It can take over your life.”

Nick Harding AFOL

“I’m not as organised as some because I still enjoy rummaging through a box, looking for a specific piece,” Daniel Jarvis, who has a build room for his 1.5 million bricks, explains. I find it relaxing. I can focus on what I’m building and forget everything else.”

Relaxation is a recurring theme that the article picks up on, with AFOLs highlighting building as an opportunity for stress release. James, a teacher from Camberley, Surrey, revealed his story for the article, which convinced the journalist behind it that perhaps there are mental health benefits that the hobby provides.

“Four years ago, my wife and I lost two children through miscarriage. I supported my wife and bottled everything up. Then, out of nowhere, I became ill with depression, post traumatic stress disorder and OCD. To try and calm down I reached for the LEGO I used to play with as a child. It gave me a break from what was going on in my mind.”

Ultimately, Nick Harding is not converted to becoming an AFOL – but does vow to do some building with his son.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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