You Say Bricolage, I Say Mash-Up

IMG_0835.JPG“It’s a badguy warship coming in…shphfffththththpphfff POW but WAIT here comes the rescuers with the light saber and now the camel will ride across the planet and argh… “

And thus do Caleb’s battles commence, every evening after school or after breakfast, or pretty much whenever. The time is always right, it seems, for an adventure, an explosion, or some sort of violent confrontation.

Playmobil figures are a pretty recent addition to this lego-heavy household; Caleb got a few different sets for his birthday in August and now it’s his latest addiction.  But this new love doesn’t mean that legos and star wars have been replaced. Oh no.

What it means is that all the worlds are linked, pretty much seamlessly: light sabers are wielded by Roman centurions riding camels against the medieval siege wagon manned by a police man carrying a double-headed battle ax. These figures are, collectively, known as “guys,” and Caleb adores them all.

Derrida said once that every discourse is bricoleur–from bricolage, a term that originally meant using found objects in ways very different from their original purpose.  In regular person’s terms, think “Killing Me Softly,” from the Fugees or, for that matter, lots of what gets sung on Glee.

Who knew that my five-year-old was such a philosophe, eh, creating his own narratives regardless of what’s pictured on the packages.

Those little bits of molded plastic offer him hours and hours and hours of play-time, almost always on his own (except when Liam deigns to dip a toe back in the world of imagination). I know Caleb is hoping that Santa has a direct line to the Playmobil factory–and I realize that when ‘the guys” get packed away for good, I’m going to be sad to see them go.

(And–toy alert–if you’re a playmobil fan, you might want to look FAST at the Momtrends website, where she’s featuring a Playmobil contest, among other goodies.)

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One Response to You Say Bricolage, I Say Mash-Up

  1. tracey December 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm #

    Legos are huge staple in my household but Playmobil may just be making an entrance this holiday season. Shhh… Don’t tell anyone.
    Glad to know they can all exist in such harmony. Aside from the light saber battles and all.

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