Saturday, 12 February 2011


My right thumb hurts, and so does my index finger. I've spent a couple of hours continuing to build Tower Bridge, obsessively aligning 1x1 plates and various types of 1x1 bricks to make the build as neat as possible, and now the pads of my thumb and index finger are sore. It even hurts to type this. It got me thinking about other occasions when my beloved LEGO had caused me pain, and whether others had suffered similar fates.

My most serious LEGO-related injury can't really be blamed on the LEGO itself, to be fair. It was when I was a small boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old. The family was going on holiday in the UK, and I was in fine spirits having been permitted to load up the car with a huge amount of LEGO, presumably to keep me quiet during the long evenings. Over the course of the holiday I painstakingly constructed a huge ship - a supertanker which was six or more 16x32 baseplates in length. So when the holiday was over we gingerly manoeuvred my behemoth into place on the back shelf of the car so that it would survive the journey home in one piece. Big mistake. On the drive back we crashed into the back of another car, and my angular masterpiece launched itself forward like a guided missile and smacked into my head, injuring me and showering the other occupants of the vehicle with hundreds of bricks. One can only wonder what onlookers made of the aftermath - an upset, dazed boy with a LEGO-induced head injury standing by the side of a major motorway surrounded by bits of LEGO strewn around the tarmac.... The trauma was such that it would be 30 years before I would contemplate building another ship - Set 10152 Maersk Sealand Container Ship.

Set 10152 Maersk Sealand - therapy
Other than that incident it's just been sore fingers and painful feet really. While there's little to compare with the exquisite pain of treading on LEGO bricks in your bare feet (and haven't we all done it at least once ?), it could hardly be described as life-threatening.... Help is at least at hand for the fingers, however - the risk of LEGO-induced finger injury plummeted with the advent of the Brick Separator in 1990. Up until then, LEGO builders had to rely on a combination of brute force, fingernails and teeth to separate stubborn pieces, with the predictable painful accidents that come with such activities.

All hail the LEGO Brick Separator....

So what of other people ? Well, a quick Google search reveals that I'm not the only one to have been injured by my favourite product. I found numerous reports of cuts, choking, trips leading to injuries and scarring, fingernails being pulled off, broken toes, head injuries caused by models falling off shelves, grazes and various puncture injuries. Thankfully for the LEGO company, almost all of these incidents seem to fall into the category of 'human error', crass stupidity or just plain bad luck, with no responsibility falling on the product itself.

But what of LEGO's restorative properties ? LEGO has surprisingly been credited with almost miraculous healing powers. Consider for instance TV presenter Richard Hammond, who was nearly killed when the jet car he was driving crashed at almost 300 mph. He sustained a number of serious injuries but has thankfully made a good recovery, and said in subsequent interviews that LEGO saved his life, helping him to regain brain function during his rehabilitation.

And with healing properties like that, I'm sure my sore fingers will recover in no time.....


  1. I got a 1x1 round brick, yellow it was, stuck up my nose when I was a kid. Can't remember how it was extracted but I must have survived the ordeal.

  2. Well I have had too many lego injurys in my three year lego buying and building. Three of the most painfull are: A 1x1 trans-blue round brick from the city set 7206 going into my mouth and nearly down my neck: Set 3222's limo and set 7990 rolling down from my city and of the table, then onto my head and a box of 975 cheese slopes falling onto the floor when I was asleep, then walking down past my city and stamping on them in the dark, at 6AM GBT.

  3. ^ouch
    975 cheese slopes?!
    that is a lot of slopes...
    anyway, i slept on a few cheese slopes and a 6X6 plate last night after staying up until 4 AM MOCing. i just fell asleep while i was building my micro starship fleet, LOL

  4. and also my foot was kind of bleeding a few weeks ago when i stepped on nuju's crystal spikes