Who knew you could make so many shapely things out of simple interlocking blocks — everything from castles to dinosaurs to heroes and villains?

The LEGO System of Play was introduced 50 years ago, and has been a staple of childhood ever since. In honor of this anniversary, LEGO has introduced some limited-run buckets and tubs featuring a handful of "gold" bricks sprinkled among the classic brick shapes.

LEGOs may be traditional, but they do keep up with the times. This year, among other specialized building packages, you can also get "Star Wars" kits that let kids build everything from the Droid Tri-Fighter to the Clone Turbo Tank.