Toy Envy Makes the World a Better Place

This post starts with a little toy envy and ends with (spoiler alert!) an act of kindness. Its a story about a great act of kindness and the joy of Christmas shared across the globe. But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Nicole and I’m fairly new to the Toy Photography scene. I may be new, but I’ve been enjoying every minute of the journey.

I started my toy photography IG account,, back in July and I’ve been embraced and encouraged by this community. Thank you! I’ve yet to join the G+ community but I have plans to! I simply need to find the time and patience to figure out another social media platform. Meanwhile, in my journey through the many Instagram feeds of wonderful toy photographers, I stumbled across Shelly’s feed. I immediately became a fan. Here is where I should confess that amongst all the various collections of tiny toys I had up to this point, Lego had not yet entered the picture.  After seeing how they can be used so creatively, I quickly became interested. And so another collection begins. 🙂

Enough about my journey into toy photography, I’m here to talk about toy envy.  

Toy ENvy

One type of toy or figure I’ve always been drawn to are robots. This began a few years ago when I started collecting toys for photographing. Some of the first toys I purchased were a Wall-e and Danbo figure. I love that these types of toys lack a specific facial expression. With their ambiguous expressions,  it’s up to the photographer to use the setting, lighting and props to express the emotion of the photo. 

So, when I was browsing Instagram a couple months ago I came across a unique little lego robot on Shelly’s feed; enter the toy envy. It was love at first sight! I commented on the photo asking Shelly about the robot and she directed me to her friend and the robot’s creator Luigi Priori, @priovit70. Through some comments and direct messages I connected with Luigi and explained that I was new to toy photography. After several conversations (and pleading on my part) he offered to make me one of his little robots. Luigi is a very generous and kind hearted spirit. He shipped a tiny lego robot all the way from Italy to Canada just because I asked. His only request in return was that I send him a Christmas card. He also requested that I not tell anyone what he had done. Ooops! But don’t worry, I checked with him before writing this post. 

It wasn’t long after he shipped the robot that I learned a bit more about Lego. It seems you can actually order individual pieces online (who knew? not me!). This helped me understand just how big a deal this was. Luigi payed to ship this small handful of lego pieces from so far away to a toy photography newbie when he could have simply sent me the instructions! This act of kindness towards a virtual stranger was completely unexpected and I was so grateful.

The effects of one small act of kindness

This small act of kindness had a bigger impact on me than anyone can imagine. What Luigi didn’t know is that the person he was reaching out to was feeling quite hopeless at the condition of the world these days. I was in desperate need of a reminder that ultimately the world is still a good place despite all the evil we hear about daily in the media. Luigi’s act of kindness and reach of friendship across the globe lit a spark of renewed hope in me. I now have proof that there are still good, kind hearted people in this world and I should continue to strive to be one of them.

Processed With Darkroom

With my  new found knowledge of the Lego world, I quickly ordered the pieces to build a lego Christmas ornament. I wanted to photograph a one-of-a-kind Christmas card to send to Luigi. When I sent the card, I included the lego pieces so that he could recreate the ornament for himself. I hope this ornament will be a tangible reminder that he has made a difference in someone’s life across the globe. 

My thanks to Shelly for asking me to write this post because selfishly I wanted to acknowledge Luigi’s kindness. My hope is that this message of kindness and sharing a little Christmas joy reaches all of you and motivates you to be kind also. Always keep in mind that no matter how small the act of kindness might seem, it can make a big difference in someone elses life the way it did in mine. 

Happy Holidays



  1. This is a beautiful story and a heartwarming post. It brought a smile to my face. I agree with you that Luigi is a wonderful and helpful person. I’m looking forward to seeing more of your photos of this cute robot 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!


    • Hey kelcey are you talking about joining the G+ community? If you’re having problems I can help. If you are on G+ reach out to me and lets connect. If Im following you I can invite you into the group directly. If you’ve already asked once and you weren’t approved (you had a blue head for a profile pic, or no toy photos posted) it will be hard to add you. We had to close the group while the folks at G+ were promoting our community. We were getting people joining who only wanted to sell stuff or promote their youtube accounts. So if you want to join, I can make it happen. I simply need to know what your account is on G+. You can also leave a link here in the comments and I will come find you and bring you in. Thanks for reaching out, but please don’t get frustrated!! 😀

  2. Julie Blair

    Loved reading your story, Nicole. It resonates with me, as the Toy Photographers community add brightness to these darkened times. I hope you continue to enjoy your Robot (Yay Luigi!). And as a special incentive, you should definitely join the G+ community as we have a special hashtag for robots that Tony Tolluch just started: #mechanoidmonday. There are sure to be robot making instructions and robot posts galore. 🙂

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