Madman. Lunatic. Diseased person. Sufferer.
All synonyms of the word “maniac” according to various dictionaries and reference guides; however, we tend to make light of and even glorify the image of a maniac:
“He’s a maniac when he plays sports!”, or
“Mom is a maniac about our homework.”
We have come to use the word lightly, but the sad truth is that millions suffer from maniacal impulses on a daily basis. While most do not act on these tendencies, there are a few who give in to the urges.
Zack was one of those few. Let’s take a look at what he now refers to as “his darkest hour”:
While Lego was “marketing”, Zack was suffering. He didn’t eat, he skipped school, he lashed out at his loved ones. He wouldn’t sleep for days at a time, and while this might be attributed to the surplus of neon lighting in his absurdly decorated bedroom, it didn’t help his mindset. The television ads did not exaggerate- Zack was in fact “Lego wild, out of control”.
In 1989, Lego authorities saw the writing on the wall. The 80s were about to come to an end, and Zack was expendable.
“He wasn’t that cute little psychotic Lego freak we originally fell in love with,” said Grady Bavin, senior Lego executive. “Market research indicated the general public was tired of Zack.”
Zack was tired too. Tired of being held psychologically hostage by what the rest of the world viewed as a traditional, benign toy.
“Legos were my drug,” admits Zack, “and the Lego Corporation was my dealer.”
“I had a shit ton of Micro Machines, a Cabbage Patch Kid, Wuzzles, Popples, Pound Puppies, you name it. But none of them possessed me like Legos did.” confesses Zack, “Lincoln Logs and Construx did nothing for me, that’s how I knew it wasn’t just a problem with building toys in general. It was Lego-specific.”
In 1991 Zack’s mother began hiding her son’s Legos in a storage unit across town, and cut off his allowance so he couldn’t purchase any new sets. Soon after, Zack was arrested for shoplifting from a local Kmart.
“I just couldn’t get enough,” uttered Zack, “I was insatiable.”
“His addiction completely took over our house,” acknowledges Zack’s mother. She is known to many as ‘Bricks4Less’ on eBay and Amazon.com, where she continues to sell off the remaining vestiges of her son’s troubled childhood. “Those TV commercials? They paid him in Legos. Like he needed more. If we’d hired an agent we might have been able to avoid all of this.”
Throughout the 80s and 90s Zack sought the help of multiple therapists and toy-related specialists. Chark DiFalesco, founder of Far From Huggaland: A Shelter for Victims of The Hugga Bunch, said that Zack’s case was unlike anything he had ever seen.
“We’ve had some F’ed up little bastards come through our program,” revealed DiFalesco, “but that kid was on another planet.”
Encountering obstacles at every turn, Zack only found solace in his awkwardly large collection of Danish construction toys.
World-renowned toy-addiction specialist Dr. Roddy Steitch cites Zack’s case as one of the most advanced he’s ever seen. Steitch was unavailable for comment but mentioned Zack in a medical journal: “Legos were originally designed in the 1940s in Denmark,” wrote Steitch, ”You know what’s close to Denmark? Germany. You know what Germany had in the 1940s? Nazis. I’m sure they had something to do with this.”
A victim of Nazi mind control?
Steitch continued: “The word ’LEGO’ comes from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means ‘play-well’. Unfortunately in this case, the subject was trapped in a personal ‘play-hell’.”
Zack is currently working on an autobiography with the help of Dan Bobander, co-author of “Teddy Ruxpin Raped Me: The Sabina Ribbits Story”. He hopes that by spreading awareness regarding his plight, he can prevent other youths from spiraling out of control the way he did.
While Zack tries to downplay his erstwhile fame, he realizes that it provides a platform for him to help others. In December he began a 12-city speaking tour.
“My plan is to create a better tomorrow, and I’m starting at the Ft. Wayne Airport Marriott,” asserted Zack.
There is currently a Facebook fan page for “Zack the Lego Maniac”. It has 74 fans.