I got to help with making a classic X-Wing Fighter last night. I have to say that the amount of thought and engineering (notice I mention them separately as they are not always the same thing <snicker>) that goes into Lego kits these days is simply amazing.
The pictures on the box and even the finished product, simply do not do it justice as the eye and our familiarity with the real thing, fool our brain into recognizing it, for the most part, as single solid object.
The sheer amount of tiny parts was very surprising to me. Especially on the inside where you don't always see them. Some of the most imaginative things were how they dealt with moving parts, gears,cogs and making room for all of those while keeping structural integrity out of a mass of tiny parts.
At times we found ourselves building a component and trying to guess what the heck it could possibly be and how it could ever possibly result in the finish product. Next thing you know, it snaps into place with something else and, to be honest, I was amazed sometimes.
What's even more amazing is how well Lego has mastered the art of the visual instruction booklet. Without a single word spoken (saves on language reprints too I bet) it took all this complexity and visually described each step broken into smaller, just right, size components.
Ya, those of you with kids are probably scoffing and saying that this is nothing new. But for those of you who haven't tried one of the bigger Lego kits since you were young, like me. You should really try to muscle in on a friend's, kid's build like I did, or hell, buy your own. It's worth it to see whats in the guts of that deceptively simple and toy-like model that you see and probably took for granted, like I did.