Some of us have a problem with having our playtime regulated by The MAN.
Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
It’s that time again! The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of Hoosier pride, farming, food, and 4-H, with amusement park rides, cooking demos, concerts by musicians that other people love, and farm animals competing for cash prizes and herd bragging rights. My wife Anne and I attend each year as a date-day to seek new forms of creativity and imagination within a local context. Usually we’re all about the food.
…but sometimes you need other things to do for fun, activities to pass the time between feedings. Lucky for us that one of the commonest sights in their exhibit halls is Lego, the preferred medium for sculptors of all ages, from childhood to adulthood, whether enlisted in 4-H or freelancing for fun and wonder.
Some Lego dioramas are perfectly normal situations, such as this Lego small town, much like you’d find all over Indiana except not Lego style.
Here in the Hoosier State, and especially at the State Fair, farms are of course part of the landscape, sometimes even in the expressions of our imaginations.
That doesn’t make these dioramas a cinch to assemble. Imagine the hours spent to create a Lego cornfield of this magnitude.
Local fair fans will recognize the Glass Barn, one of the newer buildings at the fairgrounds…
…which the artist has faithfully rendered.
It might not be easy to recognize if you haven’t seen this particular set before, but that’s the Millennium Falcon, whose licensed Lego version has a flip-top roof for easier access with human hands.
…but not this one: the Decatur County Courthouse, not available with instructions from Toys R Us.
Ditto (presumably) this Asian kingdom. Also, I think that’s Will Turner at far right because why not.
Another frequent scenario in the 4-H competitions: Lego wartime! In this case, ship versus fort.
Less common: Pink and Purple Legoland From the Toy Aisle That Just So Happens to Contain Lots of Boxes With Girl Faces on Them.
I like to pretend this is Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. in the long-awaited sequel to Air America.
Giant’Sized Ant-Man reenacting his airport shenanigans but without the other Marvel heroes around to blame as his enablers.
All of the above were strictly display models only — no touching, no repairing, no rearranging pieces to suit your own architectural preferences over the artist’s, and definitely no swapping heads between Lego characters even though that’s half the fun. As an added bonus, the Indiana Arts Building set up a Lego playland for kids to have a blast indulging their own impulses using the materials available. As our lead photo implies, Anne and I arrived shortly after the building opened, and on a school day, thus ensuring we had all the Legos to ourselves for a while. I like to think the kids who followed in our footsteps put us to shame with their own expert craftsmanship and hopefully didn’t demolish everything we tried to accomplish, by which I mean our big Red Babel up there.
The pieces were segregated into two large piles: one with all the basic colors of the Lego rainbow, which is what 80% of all kiddie Lego creations tend to look like anyway…
…or dive into a sea of red, all of them 2-x-4 bricks, and see what shapes and images take hold within that singular weird boundary.
To be continued!