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AFOL
For my 18th birthday, I'd like to tell my LEGO story.
About this creation
Well today I’m officially an AFOL! To celebrate this, I will tell parts of my LEGO story and also highlight my favorite sets and some MOCs that I have built over the years.

Note: The picture of the LEGO sets in these posts are not mine except for the picture of 7003 Young Dimetrodon. I got the LEGO set pictures off of peeron.com.

I have had a LEGO product of some sort since I was six months old and I received a LEGO set for babies. Then, a few years later in 1997, I got two Duplo Dinosaur sets.

My Duplo dinosaur sets:



My first memory that involves LEGO, however, is not about either of those things. I was probably about 4 years old at the time. I was at my aunt and uncle’s house in their basement with my brother playing with my cousins’ old toys. We must have gotten bored of them though because we started exploring the basement to see what else we could find. We came across a clear plastic box with a bunch of small plastic pieces inside it. I was intrigued by this and so was my brother because they resembled our Duplo bricks, they were just smaller. We started to play with them and I decided that I really liked them. After we had gone home, I remember wondering what they were. The next time we were at my aunt and uncle’s house, I asked to play with what I would later realize was LEGO, but I wasn’t allowed to because my brother was only 2 and shouldn’t be around those little pieces and would complain if I got to play with them and he didn’t. About a year or a year and a half later when I was at my aunt and uncle’s house again, they got out the LEGO pieces and let my brother and I play with them. It would be another year until I got my very own LEGO set.

Christmas Eve 2001 was when I got my first LEGO set. My aunt and uncle had noticed how much my brother and I enjoyed playing with LEGO when we were at their house so they got us small LEGO sets for Christmas. The LEGO set they got me was 7003 Young Dimetrodon. My brother got 7002 Young Brachiosaurus which was actually his second LEGO set because earlier in the year, my uncle had given him 6474 Wheeled Front Shovel.

My first LEGO set:



Until Easter, I only had two LEGO sets, 7003 Young Dimetrodon and 7001 Young Iguanadon (my brother got me that set for Christmas), a total of 43 pieces. On Easter, I finally got a set that actually had a minifigure. It was a Life on Mars set, 7310 Mono Jet.

My first LEGO set with a minifigure:



Until I was 10 years old, I only had small LEGO sets, except for one Designer set, 4101 Wild Collection, and one Inventor set, 4093 Wild Wind Ups. Some of those sets were 6719 Brachiosaurus, 4103 Fun With Bricks, 7410 Jungle River, 4097 Mini Robots, 3424 Target Practice, 7411 Tygruh’s Roar, 6720 Tyrannosaurus, 8777 Vladek Encounter, 7000 Young Ankylosaurus, 7002 Young Brachiosaurus, 6722 Styracosaurus, and 6734 Beach Cruisers. Since 4103 Fun With Bricks was the only set that I had that had a larger amount of LEGO bricks in it (and it was only a 200 piece set), I had mostly specialty pieces which led to me building really strange things sometimes.

Some of my first sets:



My first set with quite a few actual LEGO bricks:



My favorite LEGO set when I was a kid:



Around this time I started getting LEGO Club Magazine and when I was 8 years old, I became a really big Bionicle fan. I had actually gotten my first Bionicle set a couple of years earlier at McDonald’s when Bionicle first came out, but it took a while for me to start liking Bionicle. My first actual Bionicle set was 8567 Lewa Nuva. Over the next 4 years, I closely followed the Bionicle story. I bought the books and a lot of the sets. My favorite era in the Bionicle story was, and still is, the original story arc with the Toa Mata who later turned into the Toa Nuva and my favorite Bionicle character is Kopaka Nuva.

My first Bionicle which was from McDonald's:



Some of my favorite Bionicle sets that I own:



On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2005 I got two of the biggest LEGO sets I had ever received so far and they were both Star Wars sets. I had become a Star Wars fan just before the release of Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith. I received the first one on Christmas Eve. It was 7257 Ultimate Lightsaber Duel which was my first LEGO Star Wars set ever. On Christmas Day I received 4502 X-Wing Fighter. I had to build that set by lamplight because our power had gone out that morning and being 10 years old, I of course got up really early to open presents so it was still dark.

My two very first Star Wars sets, the X-Wing Fighter set is still my favorite LEGO Star Wars set:



For the three years that followed, my LEGO collection grew at a very fast rate. I received one larger set every Christmas and bought small to medium sized sets year round. For the first time in my life, my LEGO collection wasn’t composed of mostly specialty pieces; I actually had a fair number of bricks in relation to the total number of LEGO pieces that I had.

Around the time I turned 13 and my brother turned 11, that all was coming to a close. My brother started middle school and gave up LEGO all together because he thought it wasn’t cool anymore. I got all of his LEGO pieces though and since his collection was larger than mine, the number of pieces I had more than doubled. I was now the only LEGO builder in my family and I am the oldest child so I’m pretty sure that my parents kind of thought it was strange when I kept on building through middle and high school. My mom even told me when I was 13 that she wouldn’t be buying me anymore LEGO sets for Christmas or anything else. That’s when my LEGO collection stopped growing very quickly. I got only a few sets every year since I had to fund everything by myself and when you’re a student without very much money, that doesn’t work very well.

By the time I was 14, I was borderline in the Dark Ages. I only built with LEGO a few times a year, mostly in the summer, and I hadn’t bought a LEGO set since just after Christmas when I was 13 because my parents, particularly my mom, was so disapproving of it, especially since my younger brother had given up LEGO all together. I also didn’t know anyone else my age that still built with LEGO (I didn’t know about the TFOL and AFOL community at all) so I even started thinking that maybe I was kind of strange because most people my age thought they were too old to be building with those plastic bricks.

When I was 16, this all changed over Christmas break. I was on my public library’s website when just out of curiosity to find out how much LEGO had changed since I stopped following it as closely as I once had, I searched to see what LEGO books they had. LEGO: A Love Story by Jonathon Bender showed up amongst the search results. I thought it sounded interesting because it was a book about LEGO for adults so I placed a hold on it. I got it a few days later and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I read it in two days. It reminded me of how much I loved LEGO when I was a kid and all of my fond memories that are associated with it. It also introduced me to the fact that there was a fairly large number of adults that build with LEGO all of the time which made me realize that its not that strange that I was still building with LEGO in high school, even if it may seem strange to my parents. This book made me decide that I wanted to be one of those AFOLs and become a part of the LEGO community.

In January, I got The Cult of Lego by Joe Meno from the library. On one of the pages in the book, it listed a bunch of LEGO websites. That’s how I discovered MOCpages. Ever since then, I have come back from being on the brink of my Dark Ages. I have built a lot more MOCs than I ever have in the last year since I joined MOCpages. I also visited the LEGO booth a few times at Star Wars Celebration VI and the LEGO Store in Downtown Disney last summer. I still get funny looks from my mom when I buy a LEGO set since she still doesn’t understand why teenagers and adults take up the LEGO hobby but oh well. I have sorted all of my LEGO pieces so I now build better MOCs than I have ever built before since I can find all of my pieces easily.

Even though I can’t bring my LEGO to college with me, I still plan to stay active on MOCpages by building things on my computer using LDD. I will also build with real bricks when I come home on breaks. I am really looking forward to attending BrickCon every year after I graduate from college. Even though I am an AFOL now, I still don’t have a lot of LEGO pieces compared to other AFOLs so I can’t build big elaborate things like they can but that will change after I graduate from college and get a job. Currently, I have just over 18000 pieces that include about 200 sets.

I still have fond memories of playing with LEGO at my aunt and uncle's house. After all, it was the first place that I discovered standard LEGO bricks. Since my cousins are significantly older than me, the LEGO that they had is from the 80s and early 90s. Their collection includes sets from the castle theme, pirates theme, town theme, the forestmen, Paradisa theme, and also a few newer sets that my aunt bought for my brother and I to play with when we were at their house. If someone asked me what my favorite memory that involves LEGO is, this would definitely be one of them. For a kid who mostly only had specialty pieces, I really liked building with my cousins' LEGO since it had a lot of standard pieces along with other specialty pieces and A LOT of baseplates. My brother and I used to build a large LEGO town all of the time when we were at their house.

Here are some of the sets from their collection. I would have pictures of the castle sets too, but I'm not sure which ones they were because we only had instructions for the one Paradisa set.



Some of my favorite sets that I have that I haven't mentioned yet:



















To conclude this post, here's a picture of two of my MOCs that I built when I was 8 compared to some of my MOCs that I posted here on MOCpages in the last year and a half:

























And just for fun, here's two collages I made using a program on my computer. The first one is of my MOCs and the second one is of some of my favorite LEGO sets.





I am very excited that I am finally an AFOL and I look forward to all of my years of MOCing to come!



Comments

 I like it 
  August 16, 2014
No way, that blue and grey dinosaur was one of my first sets, too!
  July 15, 2013
Happy belated birthday! Thanks for sharing your story. LEGO for many people is less of a toy and more of a hobby or even an art. Through LEGO, we are able to imagine and create. -LB Senior
 I like it 
  July 5, 2013
Happy birthday Kayla! I´m AFOL too and your story reminde me my story. My mom and my friends don´t understand why I still build LEGO when I´m adult. Fortunately there are AFOL groups where we can meet and share mocs. Keep building, your mocs are awesome.
 I like it 
  July 5, 2013
I hope it is not to late to congratulate. Some parts of your story reminded me of my own. The wierd looks and things people say. It's a free world, I always think, just let them talk. ;)
 I like it 
  July 4, 2013
Happy Birthday!
 I like it 
  July 4, 2013
Happy birthday, and welcome to the club!
 I like it 
  July 3, 2013
wow! you re brilliantly thorough Kayla, a beautiful mind, and great artist, your mom does nt know that there are thousands of us fighting for recognition as a true art form on this planet, namely Sean Kenney, have her look at his studio to see if she could afford that, lol, as a woman, you shine brighter than most here, congrats!
 I like it 
  July 3, 2013
Great story Kayla, we need more female builders out there! ~DK
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Congrats!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Welcome to the world of the AFOL! It's a strange place full of strange people but we're alright, really :-)
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
welcome to the old folks club!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Welcome to the ranks AFOL builders and a happy birthday to you.
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Congrats on AFOLhood!
 I made it 
  July 1, 2013
Quoting Jared . Well, that's kind of funny because those Bionicle sets used to be my favourties as a kid, and my favourite set used to be that dinosaur too, which in fact I still have. He's right here next to me on my desk. Congratulations on becoming an AFOL!
Quoting David the Fire Ninja Jedi Awesome! Congratulations! I actually have that T-Rex set too and still have (most) of the pieces!
Thanks! The T-Rex set is an awesome set! I still have it too. I put it back together a few days ago.
 I made it 
  July 1, 2013
Quoting Nick white a great story!! it made me cry! :) well my dad doesn't understand why I'm 13 and still like lego! well happy AFOL or AFFOL!
Thanks! It's interesting how a lot of parents seem to think that once you turn 13, you shouldn't like LEGO anymore which of course is not true. Just keep on building though, even if your parents don't let you buy a lot of LEGO sets like what happened to me because they think you're too old for them. Remember that just because you can't buy LEGO sets doesn't mean that you can't build with the LEGO that you already have. Once you become an AFOL in 5 years, it won't be such a problem anymore.
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Happy birthday!
 I made it 
  July 1, 2013
Quoting Marshall H Thank you for sharing your Lego journey with all of us. Now that you're an AFOL, come look up a great group of people: "Grown ups with plastic" Oh, and a great group of people in the state of Washington: SEALUG Seattle Lego Users Group. Most LUGs are officially recognized by The Lego Group. LUGs are a great way to meet other FOLs and share your MOCs. Hau'oli la hanau! "Happy Birthday" in Hawaiian
Thanks! I actually am planning on joining SEALUG after I graduate from college. I didn't know that LUGs were recognized by the LEGO Group though, that's really cool!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Well, that's kind of funny because those Bionicle sets used to be my favourties as a kid, and my favourite set used to be that dinosaur too, which in fact I still have. He's right here next to me on my desk. Congratulations on becoming an AFOL!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Awesome! Congratulations! I actually have that T-Rex set too and still have (most) of the pieces!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Congrats Kayla! May you have many more years of LEGO building fun! :)
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
I find it surprising that you were able to remember the LEGO sets you got and in which order! (or maybe I just have a lot. Yep, I think that's it) Congrats on becoming an AFOL! (:
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
a great story!! it made me cry! :) well my dad doesn't understand why I'm 13 and still like lego! well happy AFOL or AFFOL!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Welcome to the dark side, young one...
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Congrats!! I didn't read through all the story yet because I am pressed for time, i will have to come back later. Congrats once again and may you continue to build Legos!!! =]
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Congratz on becoming an AFOL! I hope you will continue to build and become a better builder. If you want to check out my AFOL initiation moc, go here. http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/362711
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
I totally remember getting those sets! Thanks for reminding us why we love LEGO =D
 I like it 
  July 1, 2013
Congrats! Great post! The cruise ship caught my eye. I'm looking forward to more of your creations!
  July 1, 2013
Thank you for sharing your Lego journey with all of us. Now that you're an AFOL, come look up a great group of people: "Grown ups with plastic" Oh, and a great group of people in the state of Washington: SEALUG Seattle Lego Users Group. Most LUGs are officially recognized by The Lego Group. LUGs are a great way to meet other FOLs and share your MOCs. Hau'oli la hanau! "Happy Birthday" in Hawaiian
 
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