Sheffield businessman joins Beckham and Pitt as his Lego collection grows

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It’s one of the world’s biggest selling and most popular toys, hailed as the perfect way to stimulate imaginative play.

But Sheffield businessman Jem Hager says the classic Lego brick can be just as valuable an aid to imagination in the office.

He is among the growing group of adults - including celebrity fans David Beckham, Brad Pitt and Britney Spears - who are discovering that Lego has its place way beyond childhood.

And he insists that a session with the Lego bricks can actually help the creative process.

“When I was a kid everyone had Lego and I was no exception, I think it was part of the whole imaginative process for me, encouraging me to think for myself and be creative,” says Jem, the Creative Director of GDA Creative Marketing in Sheffield.

“I suppose I forgot about Lego for a while as I grew up but then I had my boys Frankie and Charlie - who are five and seven now - and that was my excuse for getting back into it and finding out how much it has all changed.”

And it didn’t take long for Jem’s interest in Lego to spill over from his home to the office, where he now has several sets by his desk.

“A friend of ours gave us a huge pile of Lego that his children no longer wanted and I found I just loved sifting through it, sorting it into colours and categories,” he explains.

“Some of it was the old traditional stuff but a lot more of it was sets from around 10 to 15 years ago that needed sorting and rebuilding and I was completely hooked.

“I’m desperately trying to get them all completely rebuilt because I’ve been online to check them out and they are worth a fortune if you can get them back together properly!

“Of course, I’ll take around a week to build a set and the boys will have demolished it within a few hours but that’s all part of the fun of it - you just start building it all over again.”

Jem is very interested in some of the Lego chess sets the company has created but his favourite at the moment is his Beatles Yellow Submarine which he keeps on his desk at the office.

“It really is true what they say about Lego helping you to switch off completely for a while, which is why I have some in the office,” he says.

“I find playing about with Lego for a while can actually help with the creative process.

“Although I am aware of the value of some of the sets, I collect Lego because I like it and the value is really secondary. It’s nice to know it might be worth something but that’s definitely not the reason for doing it.

“And when the boys grow out of it - which I suppose they will for a while - I can see I’ll have to bring it all to the office and just admit that after all these years I’m not very likely to grow out of it myself.”