Thursday, December 13, 2007

Buy Legos, Not Lasers!

I remember, one Christmas long ago, when my sons were small, seeing a group of well meaning parents on a television news segment protesting that Toys R Us sold toy guns. They paraded around the store, carrying signs declaring "Buy Legos, not lasers!!" trying to convince parents not to buy play guns. I had to laugh because, as I never bought my sons play guns, it didn't stop them from making them out of their Legos! Maybe they were just ahead of their time.

This story entitled Legos — they're not just for good kids anymore begins

A book written by two former employees of the Danish plastic-brick giant is burning up the sales charts — and raising eyebrows on the other side of the Atlantic.

"Forbidden LEGO: Build the Models Your Parents Warned You Against" was published in August by No Starch Press , a small independent publishing house based in San Francisco.

"You'll learn to create working models that LEGO would never endorse," the book's page on the publisher's Web site promises. "Try your hand at a toy gun that shoots LEGO plates, a candy catapult, a high voltage LEGO vehicle, a continuous-fire ping-pong ball launcher, and other useless but incredibly fun inventions."

Americans have embraced the idea in stride, putting the title at No. 244 on the Web retailer's (Amazon) book-sales chart as of midday Thursday. But in Britain, the constantly hysterical press added the book onto its ever-growing pile of Things That Threaten Society.

"Lego is set to turn slightly more sinister with the launch of an unofficial book that teaches children how to make weapons out of the iconic plastic bricks," warned London's Evening Standard.

On commentator stated:

"This is a very dangerous idea," he wrote with tongue firmly in cheek. "Kids could make atomic bombs out of Lego, and just think what would happen if some Islamic terrorist get hold of a copy. The possibilities are terrifying."

Indeed! But as someone training to be a librarian all I can say is that no one had better try to ban the book!