While Legos have become more specialized, and more specific (i.e. The Hobbit, Superman, Batman, etc.) and actually gone down in price (adjusted for inflation), they're really as universal as they used to be. It used to be that you bought a Lego castle, or pirate ship, or space ship, or robot and you played with it. If you wanted, you could rebuild your creation into something else, but even if you didn't, it would still be a fun toy castle/ship/boat/robot. You could really do whatever you wanted with those things.
Now...it's more about "playing the movie". With a few exceptions, a typical Lego set includes a few characters from a movie scene, and some strategic background set pieces. It makes for a great desk display, but you're really limited in how you can play with them. If all you get in a Lego set is a portion of a castle wall, two guards, and two invaders (a true story in the case of one Hobbit Lego), then the only thing you can really do with that set is re-enact that one scene from the movie where the invaders try to get over the wall. The wall isn't really anything by itself, and the characters have no function otherwise. It's more realistic...but less free at the same time.
While my Lego camp won't complete change this, I hope showing the kids some more "old fashioned" Legos will give them a greater sense of storytelling ability rather than just copying the movie. I remember my brother and I once had a nine-part series called "Space Invaders" in our heads which we acted out over the summers of 1995 and 1996. The title wasn't very original, but the plots were so complex that they rival Guardians of the Galaxy and Insterstellar today. Hopefully our future storytellers can learn by doing, rather than simply watching.