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Zen and the Art of Bricklaying: LEGO Targets Stressed-Out Adults to Help Them Reduce Anxiety at Home

Not many kids have made it through childhood without ever snapping two LEGO bricks together, but now they get a second chance: the most popular and profitable toy company is building a bridge to reach frazzled, stressed-out adults.

LEGO has endured wave upon wave of high tech gadgetry vying for kids’ attention, from video games to mobile phones and the internet, but now the Danish company is structuring a whole line of sets with instruction manuals for adults who need to give their minds a rest from the daily grind.

LEGO sets like the Ghostbusters Headquarters, the Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, and a vintage Batmobile, are all being produced to target Generation X nostalgia.

Architecture sets like the Eiffel Tower, the Disney Castle, Buckingham Palace, or Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater or Guggenheim, allow more mature LEGO enthusiasts, affectionately called adult fans of LEGO or ‘AFOL’, to enter an almost Zen-like state snapping the bricks together in their offices or basements.

“It’s fun to zone out and follow someone else’s instructions,” Elisabeth Briggs, a math teacher at Olympic College near Seattle told the Washington Post. “It wasn’t until I got older — and had a job and more money — that I saw value in that”.

LEGO sees many benefits to their new marketing strategy, especially when business culture in America is embracing the idea of mindfulness moments—taking a time-out during the day to recharge. Based loosely on Zen and Buddhism, the practice of mindfulness has been clinically proven to help reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety with its laser focus on the present moment, while shutting out concerns about the past and the future.

Of course, with the company’s release of an $800 Star Wars Millennium Falcon kit, it’s not hard to see the added benefit of speaking directly to the only group of people who can actually afford an $800 LEGO set.

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