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Hi! I'm Michael Gale, the creator of brickdimensions.com. I currently reside in Canada's beautiful national capital city of Ottawa. I have a wonderful family with two young boys and the entire family enjoys building with LEGO® bricks! I am a relatively recent AFOL (Adult Fan Of LEGO®), building seriously since 2010. I joined a LUG (LEGO® Users Group) in 2013 (ParLUGment). I have been building with LEGO® bricks and playing with model trains on and off throughout my life. If you can indulge me, I would like to recount my biography through the lens of LEGO® sets and experiences...
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I was born on the Isle of Wight, England, a beautiful little island which I also consider "home". It was here that I got my first LEGO® set–I'm pretty sure it was #612 "Tipper Lorry"...
This was followed by some of the following sets (these probably date me very well!)...
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I then received my first LEGO® train set (#171)...
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I had my first experience with "big box" toy stores after my family moved to Canada. I was told to "choose whatever I want" on my birthday and I remember choosing these...
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Christmas 1979 came, and I can still remember how desperately I wanted what I still consider to be one of my most favourite LEGO® sets...
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The Galaxy Explorer. I loved that set and the classic space theme in general. So many great memories! Around this time, I discovered this book from LEGO®...
The 6000 Ideas book was wonderfully imaginative and inspiring. I read it cover to cover more times than I can remember. It was based on a clever narrative of two minifigures (the red-haired woman and blue/white striped shirted man) travelling through various LEGO® themes. Along the way, they would show all kinds of models and themed locations. For many of the models, you could recognize the combination of sets used to construct it. What I liked most about this publication was that it did not assume children were unable to build what they saw in the book, whether or not there were instructions. The few instructions that were included in the book were very brief–there was a lot you had to work out between steps. That was part of the fun: the implicit challenges of building from summary instructions. I also liked the blending of bricks from different themes into new creations. The creations felt more accessible since you could identify elements from the various Town or Space-themed sets that you were likely to have. Lastly, the book included a comprehensive sticker sheet full of various graphic elements. Some of these stickers were not used in the book's creations, but were just "extras" for our own creations.
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One interesting memory from this ideas book was a spaceship on page 56...
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I'm pretty sure it influenced the design of this spaceship creation of mine from 2010...
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Then came an interest in Technic...
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which also had another awesome ideas book...
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Adolescence came with a corresponding decline of "playing"-with-LEGO®! However, there was a brief rekindling phase in university when I received this Town set as a Christmas gift. I really loved that little Pizzeria set and it has become a bit of a "classic". Shortly afterwards, I went on a shopping spree acquiring most of the Space Police II and Ice-Planet 2002 theme sets. I also added the 8865 Technic car chassis to my collection.
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This biography concludes with a key moment in some AFOL's adult life: "The Girlfriend Disclosure"! At some point, you have to admit (either intentionally or accidentally) that you enjoy playing with LEGO®! I remember the moment that I revealed this to my girlfriend (now wife). I remember picking up this spaceship set at the Bay (Canadian department store) after buying pots and pans or something equally domestic and unremarkable. "Um, yeah, didn't I mention that I like LEGO®?" (smile)
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Soon after, she picked up this set as a surprise birthday gift... (I knew she was a keeper!)
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An interesting footnote to this is that, 13 years later, my wife has become a proper AFOL. At first, she wasn't sure what to build. I suggested "build what you know and love." She chose her medical profession. The operating room MOC (on the right) is now being followed by an epic reconstruction of her hospital (you can follow her progress on her flickr page).
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