NOBODY wants to wish their kids’ childhood away.
How many times have you felt that little pang when your child reaches another milestone on the road to becoming all grown up?
From the first day at school to the last, there’s always a little part of us that wants our kids to crystallise and for them to stay young, cute and funny for ever.
I have, however, a confession to make but it’s one many dads (and maybe a few mums) will understand. I couldn’t wait for my son to be old enough to own his first LEGO set.
Third birthday? Fourth birthday? Bor-ing! Just get to the one where I can buy you a LEGO brick
X-Wing Fighter, and hurry.
It practically goes without saying that I wanted a LEGO kit just as much as he did…OK I probably wanted one more than he did, so as a closet geek I was thrilled to hear Harrogate Convention Centre, where I just happen work, was to host a huge exhibition of LEGO models and activities.
We’re running the show in conjunction with a company called Bright Bricks and, for a LEGO fan, when I saw the Bright Bricks team at work, I knew the meaning of the of the term ‘best job in the world’.
These people imagine, design then build huge LEGO creations. And when I say huge, I mean really huge.
Last week we took delivery of a dragon at the Convention Centre, it was so big it rolled up on the back of a lorry, in three parts which had to be brought in with a fork-lift.
Once it was in place, all 430,000 LEGO brick pieces, it towered above us.
I’m told that come August 31st when we open the show, its eyes will glow red and smoke will billow from its mouth.
After seeing the dragon I just needed to see more so I headed down to Bournemouth, last month, where the Great Brick Adventure was doing a four-day run before heading north.
I’ve been told by event industry veterans that everything is about ‘the theatrics’. From sparkling awards ceremonies to political party conferences, it’s all about creating a spectacle.
When I walked in to the exhibition hall at Bournemouth, I knew why. The team at Bright Bricks had laid on a visual feast comprising roaring monsters, a brooding minotaur, sleeping gorillas and leaping tigers, all created from that humble little plastic brick we’ve all stood on many times at home.
For me, the best part was seeing the reaction of the kids. They did exactly what I would have done; run into the halls yelling with excitement – barely able to drink it all in with their eyes.
But the best reaction for me (and I know I shouldn’t laugh) was one young boy who walked through the doors and, confronted with a huge LEGO brick hydra, it’s many eyes in its many heads all glowing red, turned tail and ran straight back out again.
Of course, he peeped nervously back in before wandering up to the beast and marvelling at it, but that that initial reaction, is surely a credit to the creators of these models.
In fact seeing the fantastic reaction of the kids made me a little envious and think to myself that rather than wishing your children old enough to play with LEGO, why not unashamedly regress yourself back to the age when your imagination was so much more than it is now.
The Great Brick Adventure runs from August 31 to September 2. Tickets on sale now
Ticket Prices: Adults £13.45, Children (4 – 16) £11.45, Family ticket £39.80 (Two adults and two children £9.95 each) Children 3 and under free.
Tickets are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.
Click here for tickets or call the box office on 01423 502116