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An Open Letter To All The Kids Who Got The 'Girl Legos' As A Birthday Present.

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Hey, kid. You're reading this because your parents bought you the "Lego Friends" brand of Legos for your birthday.

Your parents meant well. Really, they did. They saw you playing with your brother's Legos and they thought, "let's get her her very own Legos." So now you can build a pink convertible, and a bakery, and a beauty shop. Those are perfectly fine things to build! Unfortunately, these sets appear to have so many specialized pieces that there isn't much else you can build with them.

See, my siblings and I were lucky. We didn't really have "boy Legos" and "girl Legos" in our house. Just Legos, you know? We had these big Tupperware bins full of Legos from all sorts of different sets, and we used them to build whatever we wanted. Sometimes we built houses, but we also built castles, spaceships and Moon bases. When I was five, I got this little castle set, and my younger siblings snapped these pieces made in 1988 into these new pieces from sets they got in 2001. It was beautiful, really.

Legos are unbelievably awesome toys, and it would be tragic to see your Lego experience reduced to building the thing the instruction manuals want you to build. So let's take a look at some of these sets you got for your birthday and try to figure out all the possibilities you have at your disposal.

Butterfly Beauty Shop

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From the outset, this looks like an uphill battle. It looks like you do have a few unique pieces, though. The beauty mirrors, for one. I don't remember having any Lego mirrors when I was a kid. Maybe you could arrange the mirrors into a sort of "network," and then bounce through the network with a laser pointer. Think your parents would let you get a laser pointer? No? Hmm. I can't really blame them.

Well, movable pieces are arguable the chief Lego-piece commodity, and it looks like you do have some of those. The little mirrors rotate on those stands. You might be able to sell those as propellers, if you wanted to build a prop plane. That transparent glass entrance piece is also pretty intriguing. Flip that on its side and you just might have a cockpit window.

That "Beauty Shop" sign could serve as the bottom of the plane's fuselage. Oh damn, and that water fountain! Turn that on its side, find a way to stick it on the back of the plane, and you have a prop plane that also works on jet propulsion! Holy shit, that's as crazy as it is awesome. Might be worth a shot.

Olivia's Inventor's Workshop

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Well, it sure is nice to see one of these characters serve in a capacity other than "housekeeper" or "pet owner," but this isn't about that, it's about making the most of toys made by a company that pegs you as a kid who will only have fun with neat toys if they look like pastel playhouses. Needless to say, they don't know you very well.

So. This is a pretty small set you have here, but I had some of these small sets when I was growing up. Trust me, they're valuable. Often times, what they lack in size, they make up for with unique pieces. The robot is a terrific example. You could keep that fella together, or use the individual pieces for any number of ends.

Whoa, check out that lever piece at the end! They still make those! I had no idea. Sorry, sorry, I just got nostalgic for a second. Looks like you have a beaker and some test tubes back there, too. Okay, this is very good. Combine this set with some of the others you got for your birthday, and you should be able to make some stuff I was never able to. Kind of jealous, to be honest with you.

Olivia's House

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Oh man oh man oh man oh man. Okay. Let me pull up the instruction manual.

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I cannot overstate how valuable those thin platform pieces are. I'm speaking only from my own personal, relatively ancient experience, but whenever I set upon a particularly ambitious project, these pieces were always the bottleneck. I can't tell you how many production delays there were during the construction of my aircraft carrier. Total pain in the ass. Don't get me started.

Anyway, you have ... six? Six of these things! You could use them to build the aircraft carrier I always wanted to build. Or a skyscraper. Any kind of building, really. You could make a miniature model of your own house or school or something, if you had a little help from some other sets.

And I guess that's what this whole thing comes down to. You know, if you and your brother merged your collections, it would be a total win-win for everyone involved. He would have access to pink and blue, and you would have access to, uh ... every other color. He'd have an oven, and a wealth of those platform pieces, and a bed (you could totally sell that thing as an aircraft hangar). And you'd have his Technic pieces. Have you seen those? Because holy shit, kid. You can use gears and levers and cranks and pulleys to make these crazy machines that actually work--

-- oh.

Oh, he won't let you, huh. He doesn't want those "sissy pink pieces" in his collection, huh. I guess I ... should have seen that coming. Don't be too mad at him. I might have said the same thing, to be honest with you. I hate to admit that, but it just might be the truth.

Welcome to the world, kid. Good luck with your plane.