Reminiscing on legos Zoomers grew up on

More stories from Winter Heffernan

April 3, 2023

Lego, the forebearer to Minecraft, the modern age’s caltrops, the giant tub in your parent’s basement, were my brother and I’s toys of choice for most of our childhood.

I was the type who would take apart the sets and make strange abominations, while my brother was more of a purist who would keep the sets intact. 

We would haggle over the Lego crystals and diamonds like they were as precious as the objects they represented, and create stories and worlds with the Minifigures we collected. 

Legos can be many different things to different people by their very nature; today we shall be reminiscing on three Lego “themes” from 2005 to 2011.

The first theme of sets came before my brother and I were old enough to buy 

Legos, and given the current age demographic of UWEC, I assume that this is the same for most of our reader base; I am talking about Lego Vikings.

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It makes sense that a Danish company would celebrate its heritage and mythical history. 

These sets were just discontinued when I started to get Legos for my birthdays; much like the myths they represented, these sets dangled in the past, always out of reach, but undeniably present.

Running for two years from 2005 to 2007, Lego released seven sets in the theme. From viking longships fighting sea serpents to Danish fortresses guarding against a dragon, this theme was very very metal.

Speaking of metal, the lego vikings were one of the only themes to feature one of the coolest lego colors ever, Speckle Black Silver. This color was only really featured during this era. The axes and “viking helmets” in this given “color,” are dappled and look like actual metal.

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Image from ReBrickable

I can’t imagine that every one of those lego viking ships survived their battles with the vicious sea serpents of the lego sea. 

A few of these ships certainly sunk and with them their ancient treasures. What kind of looters would disturb the watery graves of the fallen? The aqua raiders would do this.

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Image from Brick Insights

The aqua raiders only ran for one year (2007), however, they have this distilled essence of the late 2000s that oozes nostalgia. In this theme, we had deep sea divers fighting gnarly sea creatures and retrieving sunken treasures.

I’m starting to notice a nautical and monster fighting theme to my reminiscing, so with this final theme, I am going to try and break that. 

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Image from BrickSet

Nevermind. I forgot how cool Atlantis was. Running from 2010 to 2011, these sets can be seen as the spiritual successor to aqua raiders.

 These divers are collecting keys to open Atlantis. On the way to finding these keys, our intrepid crew must fight humanoid sea creatures, and even more gnarly sea monsters.

In addition to the cool designs, this theme had a complex storyline that connected with additional Lego themes that ultimately culminated in an alien invasion theme. Yes, Lego had a cinematic universe before it was cool.

I don’t really have a thesis statement for this OP/ED, but I wanted to reminisce on some nostalgia from my formative years. 

Please let me know what your favorite lego themes are in the discussion below. Are there any sets that mean a lot to you from a nostalgia standpoint? Can you update me on the current lego “lore?”

Heffernan can be reached at [email protected].