Friday Squid Blogging: Lego Squid

Actually, it looks kind of dorky.

Posted on May 11, 2007 at 4:06 PM • 27 Comments

Comments

Chris SMay 11, 2007 4:44 PM

Well, of course it looks dorky. It's mechanical, a robot.

But more to the point - it's only got eight arms. It's an octopus, not a squid!

...and we all know, compared to squid, octopi are dorky!!

nzrussMay 11, 2007 4:51 PM

I have a feeling that scene is photoshopped. Even under water, there is no way you could hold up a chest of gold with one arm.

J. John JohnstownMay 11, 2007 5:48 PM

"Once again, Captain Murphy, your stupidity has killed us all!" -Marko, SeaLab 2021

cdMay 11, 2007 5:58 PM

Yet another Lego set that demands custom bricks and pieces... sadness.

tcliuMay 11, 2007 6:03 PM

Wanted: Any kind of Lego nowadays where the characters aren't armed, and where they only encounter nice animals / extraterrestrials / etc.

Seriously, what is this? Rotary harpoon launchers, shooting what looks like a M-388 Davy Crockett nuke at a giant (presumably baby-eating) squid?

I know people think the whole world is dangerous and that they must arm themselves to the teeth lest the terrorists or "someone bad" will kill them, but am I the only one who thinks Lego shouldn't be about propagating that scaredy-ass world view? Must every toy be about war?

Next Lego set: Like the one shown, but the octopus has a turban, is Muslim and its American Christian baby-eating is made explicit on the packaging.

DaveKMay 11, 2007 6:11 PM

"Next Lego set: Like the one shown, but the octopus has a turban, is Muslim and its American Christian baby-eating is made explicit on the packaging."

Hmm, I feel a Photoshopping session coming on...

Rob MayfieldMay 11, 2007 6:33 PM


Not to mention it would melt if you tried to deep fry it, the standard litmus test for squidness - fryable? no - fail.

tcliuMay 11, 2007 6:38 PM

Aqua Raiders vs. Octosama bin Laden.

Finally, a Lego set for the national security-conscious among us!

AnonymousMay 11, 2007 6:39 PM

To a small child it wouldn't be dorky at all.

You were thinking of amusing yourself with it in the tub?

SalMay 11, 2007 8:23 PM

>>You were thinking of amusing yourself with it in the tub?

Lego squid vs. my Moby Dick.

bjimbaMay 11, 2007 9:35 PM

Wait a minute -- that thing is a squid, now? Last year, the same thing was Aragog the giant spider in the Harry Potter set...

mud and flameMay 11, 2007 11:15 PM

>we all know, compared to squid, octopi are dorky!!

Eight legs bad, ten legs good?

RichMay 12, 2007 4:23 AM

@cd I agree. When I was a kid my pre-school got several garbage bins full of surplus 2x8 white blocks. That fostered imagination! Now they do it all for you, and little creativity is involved.

Richard BraakmanMay 12, 2007 9:06 AM

@tcliu: This is not a new thing. When I was young I had a set of "space lego", with pieces for spaceship wings, cockpit canopies, and of course laser cannons.

I remember putting all of the cannons on one ship in order to make it really cool.

tcliuMay 12, 2007 3:23 PM

@Richard Braakman: I had them, too. The difference is that the ol' space lego was never advertised with combat situations. They did have lasers, but there were no "bad guys" in the sets and no explicit conflict in the scenario provided by the kit.

While us kids would of course play spacewar, the scenario provided by Lego was never pitched as that. For example: You had spaceships named "Galaxy Explorer" and "Starfleet Voyager". In the next generation you had "Alienator", "Invader" and "Renegade". Do you notice the difference?

Classic Lego was by default peaceful, modern Lego is by default war.

FrancesMay 12, 2007 9:32 PM

But all those custom pieces get used in other ways eventually and sometimes they are just what you need to make something work. You-all are far too pessimistic about Lego use. Try Googling Lego and visiting some of the sites that come up. There's some amazing stuff out there. And a huge adult fan base.

Vincent GableMay 13, 2007 6:48 AM

@tcliu

I don't know when you were a kid, but when I was back in the 80's LEGO had the Space Police as mortal enemies of the Blacktron. I also had
* Pirates armed with muskets pistols and cutlasses
* Some sort of knights/castle thing. Of course they had swords, spears, etc.

I don't understand why it is a bad thing for the LEGO sets to have bad guys. Good guys and bad guys are a staple of children's stories, dating back to the earliest folk tales. Most of the stories that have stood the test of time generally involve conflict between good and evil. Wooden swords and other play weapons have been given by parents to their children for literally thousands of years. And generally when the kids are given toy weapons they make up bad guys to fight.

You can still find LEGO-men being nothing but obedient citizens in the online catalog:
http://shop.lego.com/ByCatalog/onlinecat.aspx?...
Check out the City line (fire-trucks, trains, plains, boats, etc), or the a construction line.

--Vincent

tcliuMay 13, 2007 9:47 AM

@Vincent: I think I just about missed the space police / Blacktron theme. I was raised on classic space.

There is a difference between giving kids swords etc. to play with in addition to other toys, and giving them nothing but weapons to play with. As it stands now, I can't help but thinking that Lego frames everything in a militaristic fight-the-bad-guys story. Nothing wrong with such stories - but if it is the *only* story you tell, then it's no good.

"You can still find LEGO-men being nothing but obedient citizens"

As opposed to obedient soldiers?

Look, I'm not saying that Lego is to tool of the devil, but I am saying that their marketing has shifted from mainly peaceful scenarios (classic space was all about exploration) to mainly conflict scenarios. In an age of FPSs, I suppose that sells, but as a pedagogical tool, it isn't very good.

----

PS: Obedient Lego Citizens flying planes into twin towers:
http://shop.lego.com/Product/?p=5524&cn=301

:)

bobMay 14, 2007 6:48 AM

Lego seems to have lost its focus. Originally they were generic modules in various sizes and the child's imagination filled in the cracks. Now they have 10,000 different custom pieces which can only be used for one purpose (for example a head or cockpit canopy).

@tcliu: omg it does look like that. lol

Clive RobinsonMay 14, 2007 7:23 AM

@Rich,

"garbage bins full of surplus 2x8 white blocks"

Can I have some please I am building a Space Shuttle with my 5year old son and we have run out...

JeffMMay 14, 2007 10:12 AM

I have to admit, when I saw this two things came to mind: (1) The squid is actually a Mech from some bit of anime... look, the guy inside is the pilot! (2) Why does everyone have guns? There is a little guy with a big chest of gold and a huge gun, a rotary gun, etc. What happened to lego sets that don't shoot things? When it was more about building? Or, in this case, exploring the ocean? Where is the neutral or friendly critter instead of the squid-robot with talons? Why do they not have cameras for exploration instead of rotary shooting missles?

I am glad that other people also feel this way.

I neither hate nor are scared by guns... but this all seems a little much to me.

SqidwardMay 14, 2007 10:29 AM

Is he really aiming at the octo-squid, or firing upon the terrorist in the one-man submersible (who looks a little like Bruce Schneier!)?

anopresMay 14, 2007 2:41 PM

I think a lot of people here are being a little harsh on Lego. This is part of a line of toys based on a dangerous underwater theme. They still have lots of vehicle sets, racing sets, StarWars, Batman, Duplo for the little ones, etc.

Most adventure stories are based on conflict of some type. That's what gets the adrenaline going.

I have to agree though, that it's not a very good squid.

JasonMay 15, 2007 6:46 AM

Vincent, I must be older than you (70s baby). My lego space sets were mostly grey and blue and white and yellow, and were premised on lunar exploration, with lunar crater baseplates, etc. I can't believe my parents let my babysitter toss much of it out. The current stuff pretty much sucks.

BTW that looks like a water spider or some crustacean with too many arms, not a squid. Not even a mechanical squid.

crispinMay 15, 2007 8:53 AM

@tcliu and others: At the moment, lego have a number of 'non-franchise' lines (http://shop.lego.com/ByTheme/). These include some good-guy/bad guy ones (like the new castle sets, alpha-team/aqua-raiders (i.e. the sets with the octopus), and Bionicle) but also a lot of exploration/imagination themes as well: Mars Mission, MindStorms, City, Trains, Racers, Technic, Creator, Belleville, Factory and Duplo.

The franchise themes of course, depend on the particular subject - Harry Potter, Star Wars, Ferrari, Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder etc...

Unfortunately, global marketting being what it is in the Western World, Lego make a substantial portion of their income from point marketted products, and this is where you see most of these combat type images.

Oh, BTW, Lego (being a Dutch company) is unlikely in the extreme to pander to the more base anti-Islam imagery.

FrancesMay 15, 2007 9:50 PM

@ Bob, How do you know a cockpit canopy can't be used for anything else?

@Crispin, Lego is Danish.

Joakim BaunachMay 16, 2007 1:30 AM

LEGO (should be spellt with capital letters) is Danish and has been around since the 70's. It the past there was an uproar among parents when it was discovered that the red (yes, only red) pieces contained Cadmium... So all red pieces ended up in the garbage fairly quickly... How's that for enviormental friendly.... For all things "Squid", try this:

http://squid.us/

;-)


Joakim B.

Leave a comment

Allowed HTML: <a href="URL"> • <em> <cite> <i> • <strong> <b> • <sub> <sup> • <ul> <ol> <li> • <blockquote> <pre>

Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.

Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Co3 Systems, Inc..