So I was building a little (40-odd piece) lego kit with the elder boy, and instead of being something fun to do after supper, it pretty much ended in tears. Not for the usual reason that modern lego kits are evil: we pretty much knew when we bought it that the pieces would be useful only for building precisely the thing pictured on the box, in precisely the configuration shown.
What I hadn’t understood was that they wouldn’t really be useful for doing that either. Half a dozen times the kid almost got some subassembly together, only to have it come apart because he pressed on an unsupported flange, or the tolerances of the fancy curved pieces were too loose. And then when we managed to put the whole thing together, he picked it up to play with it — it’s a spaceship, fercryinoutloud, it’s supposed to be whizzed through the air — and it fell apart again. Designers: if you are using a minifig as a primary structural element, your design sucks.
So I explained to him that some toys are made for display only, that you build them in order to put them on a shelf and look at them. And he said: “The reward the designers should get for this is a big thumbs down.”
Y’know, I was looking forward to doing the whole lego universe thing with him and designing kits that we then would be able to build. But eek.