The street value of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is going up. ABS is the plastic used to make the Lego bricks. It lends itself to precision moulding and most parents will know only too well the sharp spasm of agony felt when treading upon a carelessly abandoned brick while creeping out of a child’s bedroom at night.

There may be enough Lego in the world for every single person to own 86 bricks, but demand still beats supply. This week, the announcement that Lego cannot meet its Christmas orders will inflame hysteria and inflate prices. Plastic bricks may be a better investment than gold.

Lego lust has already stimulated an international crime wave. A New York woman was arrested for stealing 800 box sets. A syndicate of thieves specialising in Lego emerged in Phoenix. There have been Lego-related truck-jackings in Watford Gap and armed burglaries in Australia. The once innocent children’s toy has become a vulgar object of feverishly traded novelty among adult mouth breathers.

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