Police Military Firefighter
There are two facts about LEGO: they are really really fun, and they are really really expensive. Even a small LEGO kit starts at 10 dollars now, and being a full time LEGO enthusiast will cost you an arm and a leg, especially the bottom of the foot part of the leg. LEGO is not a toy to past casual time with. So what are we to do when we want to build, but feel bad about splurging?
Works With Other Brands
This writeup is not about LEGO though. Such a company only might exist as much as the packaging of this Best Lock set suggests that other interlockable block companies exist. Apparently, Best Lock has had to undergo a number of legal fights to get the right to sell their interlocking block models. None of which I knew, as I stood in the aisle of one of my town's two Dollar Trees, wondering whether I should splurge on an impulse purchase. I had originally gone to that Dollar Tree to investigate scurrilous claims on this very website that string cheese was made from processed cheese. Unfortunately, I failed to realize that this Dollar Tree, the less cool one in our town, lacked a refrigerator and thus I couldn't check up on the purity of Dollar Tree's string cheese. But there I was in the store, and to paraphrase Prince, it was a Friday night, I guess that makes it alright, I decided to take a chance on spending a dollar plus tax to see if what are called "knock off Legos" could amuse me.
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The set has 72 pieces, in three minisets, or about 2 dozen pieces per. The models built are what would be referred to, by fans of that other brand, as "subminifig" scale. They consist of a firefighter helicopter (we know this because it is red and yellow), a police hovercraft (its blue), and a military tank/rocket launcher (which is green). They package also contained an instruction sheet, which I found to be both clear and accurate. Snapping together two dozen blocks shouldn't be a challenge, but it was surprisingly involving. The pieces fit together smoothly and evenly, and all the pieces listed were there, even the small ones, like the headlighs on the helicopter. Also, surprisingly, the sets include a lot of what fans of that "other brand" refer to as SNOTs: Studs Not On Top. These are pieces that have hinges, wheels, and levers so that things can move. These minimodels were surprisingly complex for the small amount of pieces and the small amount of money involved. I was, indeed, pleasantly surprised and diverted.
The one notable difference I noticed was that the models were a little bit more flimsy than what I had noticed from "the other brand". While the models looked fine and could be posed, actually moving them around might cause pieces to fall off. My experience with other, more expensive brands of block-based model toys had accustomed me to snapping a few other pieces into place to secure the entire thing. Out here, we are flying by the seat of our pants, which is good that we are flying by something, because the tail rotor of our fire fighting helicopter comes off easily. However, that is a small complaint, since of course I can build other models with these 72 pieces.
So, to sum it up, my purchase of Best Lock 3 in 1 Multipack left me with a feeling of pride that I had managed to pleasantly divert myself in a thrifty fashion, and not with the type of creeping shame and futility that came about from trying to get drunk off the last of the cooking wine. Once again, the life advice of Prince and the findings of antimonopoly law have triumphed to make my Friday night fun.