Though my love for the Lego brand has never diminished over the years, I find myself purchasing Lego less frequently than I used to. Which is to be expected I guess, probably part of this ‘growing up’ malarkey that I have heard much about. I do still pick up sets based on the Marvel movies from time to time, but there’s just so much of it and I don’t seem to have the time to sit and build sets that will fill all occupiable living space until I dismantle them and stick ’em back in the box.
That said, I couldn’t help but purchase a set off eBay the other day after having a dream about it a few nights prior. Despite being boxed, it wasn’t overly expensive with it being an older, very small set. I was awash with more than the slightest amount of nostalgia as I opened it, as it was the very first Lego set that I owned (not being the generic box of bricks I think every kid owned).
It might not look much but this was the product which really cemented my appreciation for Lego as a brand. I didn’t know Lego could be cool until this set, as my previous box of bricks had just had stuff I had thought was a bit…meh. Flowers, trees, wheels and bricks. This set introduced me to swords and scrolls, wizards and wands, and barrels and parrots, all things that seemed infinitely more interesting than what I was used to (and all of which sound almost like Dungeons & Dragons knock-offs).
The set itself is very simple with not much going on, obviously intended to be an ‘accessory’ to the bigger sets at the time, but I still had a helluva lot of fun putting it together.
The official set name is ‘Magic Shop’. If this is indeed a shop, it’s a bit of a shitty one as the wizard doesn’t really have much in the way of products to sell. To me it was just a little tree house/hangout place for the wizard where he could enjoy a drink, read his scroll and hang out with his parrot. A kind of medieval ‘mancave’ I guess.
Although I loved this set, I never really understood what the purpose of the ladder was for. If it was a ladder, it didn’t really lead anywhere, and if it was meant to be a fold up cover for the wizard’s magic stall, then it just looked a bit silly. I really like the art on the box which shows some of the other things that could be made with the pieces in the set. One image suggests using it as a kind of ledge to cook stuff in the barrel up in, kind of like a cauldron.
I loved building alternate models from sets when I was a kid. Having a finite amount of Lego pieces and having to come up with something interesting using every piece was always a creative challenge. My imagination sadly isn’t what it once was, but still I had a play and tried to build an alternative little scene.
Lego has definitely come a long way since this little set from 1993, with so many new themes and sets from licensed properties, but the essential magic of being able to just build whatever the hell you like is still there. I had a lot of fun building this set from my past, so much so that more Lego sets from my childhood will definitely have to make an appearance on this site again soon.