21st century Lego

In Opinion Journal, a Lego fan writes on his travels in San Diego’s LegoLand.

Somehow I’d expected to find mountains of bricks with masses of children assembling, creating and wondering why this 45-year-old was having so much fun. Too often, what assembling did occur undermined the simplicity of Lego’s good old days. The creativity remains; it’s just been, well, modernized.

At the Imagination Zone, rather than build for the sake of it, kids design a tower to see if it can withstand a simulated earthquake. Yet this pales in comparison to Lego Mindstorms, a park feature (and product line) that helped me understand why just snapping bricks together no longer cuts it for 21st-century kids. A special software program lets you design and program, for example, a Martian rover capable of retrieving a couple of boulders so they can be “rocketed back to earth.” Not impressed? Keep in mind that entire college classes are now being taught using Lego Mindstorms kits.

Don’t miss the full-size Volvo made of Lego bricks.

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