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How do you choose which sets to buy?

AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,610
edited July 2013 in Collecting
I have come across that 90% of my collection I own is because I wanted the minifigures.

Who also has a problem when the minifigures draw you to a set rather than the build??

Comments

  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    I usually buy sets for both reasons, but there are several times when I'm buying for the minifigs alone (most superheroes sets for example).
  • BeavBeav Member Posts: 297
    I have bought many sets for the figures alone, usually because it works out more worthwhile to get them and a set for more or less the same price as people sell the figures for separately.

    It's a great time to be honest, the sets I love have quality figures too.
  • luckyrussluckyruss UKMember Posts: 859
    Buying sets for the minifigures is a much newer thing for me, maybe this is a reflection of either the quality or appeal of the new figures, or the fact that TLG have shifted their emphasis as a marketing ploy (in reality, I think it's a bit of both)

    Ultimately it depends on the set, but there are some general themes for me:
    New star wars sets - generally for the minifigures (eg I already have two republic gunships and a sail barge)
    The large scale models, sculptures, trains etc - for the build
    There are other themes - Friends might be a good example - which I buy primarily for some of the interest parts / colours.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 4,772
    Hard to say. One one hand I love collecting the LotR, Superheros, and Star Wars figures that I like along with CMFs and other minifigs like the Monsters of Monster Fighters that catch my eye. On the other hand, I also really want to build so sets like the Maersk Train or the UCS R2-D2 are what make Lego fun for me. I think it ends up being a symbiotic relationship where the desire to have minifigs and build fuel one another until I am out of pocket change.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    edited July 2013
    I'm a set guy, not really a Minifigure collector even though I have a bunch of the CMF's. As close as I have got was buying the DINO T-Rex Hunter #5886 when I saw it on clearance because I thought the T-Rex was cool.
  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    I used to buy the set for the set. Then minifigs went too detailed and I just sets for figs, mostly Iron Man and/or Star Wars
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 831
    edited July 2013
    Both. Modulars obviously for the build. Accessory city sets to populate the modular town with cars and people. Star Wars for both, though figs are persuasive on the prequel sets. LOTR for the sets mostly but the figs on smaller sets or on sale sets. DC heroes for the figs.

  • rancorbaitrancorbait Manitoba CanadaMember Posts: 1,850
    Well, I mostly buy Star wars which are fun to build, the minifigs go up on display with all my other figures (which isn't very many) but i'm happy with what I have :-) I have bought a few sets just for parts though.

    So I guess you could say I buy for the pure enjoyment of building the whole set.
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    I was at a Toys R Us a few weeks ago and there was a woman in there with a scale weighing the Minifig packages...
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,131
    It's the build. Minifigs have almost zero appeal to me.
    Adzbadboyfitzyfitz
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,351
    I think pretty much any non-creator or under $100 set I've bought lately was pretty much for the minifigs.
    CapnRex101
  • beabea Member Posts: 225
    It never occurred to me that the figures could be more desirable than the sets they come in until I found various AFOL forums. It has always been about building for me.

    In fact, in cases where the figures and accessories come in a separate bag (like haunted house and unexpected gathering), I haven't even opened the figure/accessory bag even though I've built the sets.
  • orodesorodes Member Posts: 95
    I personally buy sets if I like the look of the final model, if I like the look from a display point of view, there is a good chance I will think about buying it.
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 641
    Licensed sets for the minifigs, non-licensed for the builds.
    CapnRex101legofanfromleeds
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,217
    ^ Nailed it I think. All but the largest licensed sets are more for the Minifigures than for the build and the actual set for me. The Tower of Orthanc and Star Wars UCS sets for instance are about the model rather than the figures in my opinion.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 16,214
    Most of the time it's for the minifigs. Sometimes I don't even bother building the official sets, as I prefer MOCing. The bricks come in handy for that...
  • augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
    With the exception of Star Wars, I always buy a set as I would like to build it. The second main reason is because it has a lot of the colour or parts that I like.
  • tedwardtedward CanadaMember Posts: 163
    Neither, I usually buy the sets for the parts.
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    Chances are if theres an exclusive figure- I'm there. I've found myself doing this more and more recently. But yes exclusives to me are to DIE for and I absolutely love having it displayed
  • gold682gold682 UKMember Posts: 189
    It's the build for me. Seeing it (slowly) come together is the thing that floats my boat. Hence I like the larger sets (Modular's, UCS).
    Having said that I enjoy collecting the minifigs and "free" polys.
    I've narrowed my Stratford store AFOL day this weekend to one of two sets - Tower of Orthanc or Palace Cinema (UCS R2D2 eliminated due to Argos selling it, so banking on it being discounted at some point!)
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,429
    It's definitely a mix of both for me. Generally, build comes before minifigures, but I might be less likely to buy a set if all the minifigures are ones I could obtain from other sets that offer me more non-minifigure content I like. I don't always mind duplicates but if I can get figs that AREN'T duplicates, I prefer that. I also never buy a set JUST for the minifigures if I can avoid it.

    Often before I collect the sets from any theme, I make a chart. On the X axis I list all the minifigures, and on the Y axis I list all the sets. I mark which figures come in which sets. And then I go through and tally what minifigures I will get from the sets I want the most. After that's done, the rest of my collection for that year will probably be whatever I consider the most efficient way to get the minifigures that I won't already have gotten from those sets.

    As an example, my twin brother and I decided the sets we wanted the most from Ninjago in 2011 were the sets containing the four dragons, and after that whatever sets would get us the remaining minifigures. Thankfully, the sets containing the dragons already netted us 13 of the 20 characters that year. After that it was mostly just a matter of filling in the gaps.

    In 2012, there were far more figs. My brother and I decided that we wanted all four sets including the Ninja's magical vehicles (including Zane's snowmobile in the Fangpyre Truck Ambush), the Destiny's Bounty, Epic Dragon Battle, and then whatever sets it took to fill in the gaps in our minifigure collection (except the Kendo ninja, which we didn't particularly care about). In the end, we didn't end up getting Destiny's Bounty or Ultra Sonic Raider (our younger brother got both of those, and as a result we have neither a Pythor minifigure nor a Slithraa minifigure), but we did get all the ZX and NRG Ninja, Samurai X, Lloyd Garmadon, Lord Garmadon, and four of the Serpentine generals.
    AdzbadboyPepper
  • TheOneVeyronianTheOneVeyronian Help me, I'm inside the M25! (UK)Member Posts: 1,340
    I buy sets for both reasons, but mainly for the build if the set doesn't have any exclusive minifigs. A good example is my LOC collection. First off, I figured out the cheapest way of collecting all the minifigures in the winter/spring wave. A few months later, after buying sets for the minifigs, I looked back at sets X, Y and Z and thought 'Well, actually, I fancy building that, I'll buy it'. So I did. And I always sell my duplicates onto minifig collectors, which in turn drags the original purchase price down and gives me more money to spend on buying different sets

    It's basically a win-win situation. All the figs, all the sets and no duplicates for less than what I originally paid for. And with minifigures, regardless of theme, commanding a small premium at this time, why not sell your duplicate figures that don't make good armies and make some children/other collectors happy at the same time? :-) At least, that's all imho.
    Adzbadboy
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    First priority is mini figures and second is the Set. But in a lot of cases like Helms Deep, Tower of Orthanc, the Trains, and Modular buildings I put the mini figure chase aside :P
  • chuxtoyboxchuxtoybox Member Posts: 711
    I'm usually just attracted to the particular license and buy the sets I can afford. The only time I really looked into what figures I would get with what set is when I had it in mind to collect all of the Legends of Chima figures. I don't particularly care for all of the sets. This goal has been put on hold, perhaps indefinitely.

    Two of the sets I would definitely buy if I could afford it are Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley because I could obtain a bunch of HP minifigures at once. Once upon a time I had a dream of collecting all of the HP minifigures, but I missed the HP boat and actually have sold some of the figures I did have in order to help pay bills.
  • youpunkyoupunk Member Posts: 11
    Usually whatever sets are on clearance at 50% or more. Needless to say I don't buy to often.
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,610
    youpunk said:

    Usually whatever sets are on clearance at 50% or more. Needless to say I don't buy to often.

    That is were I loose out, by spending money on little sets or sale items is my weakness, as I pick them up for fun thinking I got a bargain then opening with no interest in the set!!

    I have wasted over £300 on little/cheap sale items and now I don't want them and its hard to sell them as I have opened all of them!!

    It doesn't help that I have a long list of Lego direct models that I want including: #10234, #10225, #10226 and #10220!!
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    Aanchir said:


    Often before I collect the sets from any theme, I make a chart. On the X axis I list all the minifigures, and on the Y axis I list all the sets. I mark which figures come in which sets. And then I go through and tally what minifigures I will get from the sets I want the most. After that's done, the rest of my collection for that year will probably be whatever I consider the most efficient way to get the minifigures that I won't already have gotten from those sets.

    Brilliant. LEGO + charts = goodness.
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42
    I'm probably in the minority but for me its the quality of the model rather than the minifigures that is usually the decisive factor in deciding whether to buy a set or not. From my perspective the mini-figures are a nice bonus but nothing more. For example, I no longer buy many Star Wars sets because the minifigures seem to be the primary attraction to the majority of the sets being produced. Of this years sets I intend to only buy the Republic Gunship and the Jedi Defender because they are excellent models. Those two sets also include some exclusive and desirable minifigures but even if they didn't this certainly wouldn't dissuade me from purchasing them.
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,548
    I don't choose what LEGO sets I buy, LEGO do. I have come to learn that I only exist to serve LEGO. I must buy LEGO.
    BumblepantsCapnRex101margotYellowcastleHarryPotterLoverAdzbadboy
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ Good points, Locutus. ;o)
    Legoboy
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,202
    I buy sets either because I like the build, or the licence (used to be Harry Potter, now it's Marvel, LOTR/Hobbit, and once in awhile Star Wars). The only problem with this is that I tend to find most of the smaller licensed sets I don't really like the build, but the figs are cool! I like having them, but the sets just don't do it for me - I think it's because they're mostly vehicles, and don't hold my interest. Unfortunately, getting figs this way, combined with CMF collecting, is quite expensive. I know that I could use the parts in MOCs, but some completely crazy part of my brain needs to keep sets together as sets. MOC-ing is usually done with separate, bulk purchased parts, because sorting parts back into sets afterward is the most incredibly annoying thing ever (but I will totally do it).

    I try to buy sets where I like the builds more often than sets where I like the figs, but those are usually on the expensive side, like modulars (though I own not one, save for the mini!). Doling out the cash in a big lump sum is painful, which is why I turn to small licensed sets instead. It's a horrible cycle! Thank goodness for the Creator houses, it's a good balance for me.

    My absolute favourite, no-regret buy, though, was Diagon Alley. Even though it cost a lot (and like five months worth of LEGO budget), it was really the best of both worlds for me - figs I love AND a great build.
  • EKSamEKSam Member Posts: 348
    When my daughter was very little, I used to buy sets randomly. Sometimes because of how the build looked or it was a good deal. Over a period I realized just having sets was not enough, they had to be displayed properly a) where babies and toddlers could not get to them, b) they go together as a theme.

    Now we have Harry Potter sets on one table, all the Lego friends on another, creator houses in bookcases and winter village in another area. Super heroes sit unopened:-). So display space is what decides for us.:-))

  • GoldchainsGoldchains Member Posts: 793
    I started only buying OT Star Wars sets(with Palpatine's Arrest being the only PT one-though the Geonosis Duel calls out to me), including the bad ones, because it is about the sets and not the minifigs to me. However, I am now into DC and Marvel Superheroes, and buy those sets mainly for the minifigs(although Arkham Asylum was for the set, because it's awesome). I have also started buying some other sets for the build(i.e. T1 Camper Van), and plan to buy the BTTF set for the build and nostalgia.
  • youpunkyoupunk Member Posts: 11
    Adzbadboy said:

    youpunk said:

    Usually whatever sets are on clearance at 50% or more. Needless to say I don't buy to often.

    That is were I loose out, by spending money on little sets or sale items is my weakness, as I pick them up for fun thinking I got a bargain then opening with no interest in the set!!

    I have wasted over £300 on little/cheap sale items and now I don't want them and its hard to sell them as I have opened all of them!!

    It doesn't help that I have a long list of Lego direct models that I want including: #10234, #10225, #10226 and #10220!!
    Let me clarify my statement. I don't buy every set that is on clearance that I see. I look at the inventory of set to see if I will need the pieces. This strategy has worked out for me pretty well.

    I do buy modular creator sets but I try to get a least 5% discount on those sets before buying.

    Prices heavily influence the sets I buy.
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 712
    @khmellymel - we share that slightly OCD thing where sets are sets and MOC must use non-set bulk parts. Very limiting. However, at one point I went on a mad MOC raid from all the sets and then wanted to rebuild the original sets and it took forever to find the parts. Never again. Is there a name for this condition SDF (Set-Dismemberment-Phobia?)

    I bought #9499 just for Queen Amidala and broke my no-Star-Wars rule. Small Super Hero sets have snagged my dollars just for the minifigs. I like to build all the sets in a theme to display together, then put them away and build another theme.
  • RomanticWarriorRomanticWarrior United StatesMember Posts: 248
    I prioritize purchases based upon a 'fun factor.' Basically, a mesh of uniqueness and play features. So this usually means the build moreso than the minifigs. Of course, sometimes the minifigs are inseparable from the play features. (What fun is Frankenstein's lab without the monster to zap and the doctor to shout, "It's alive"?)

    Sometimes minifigs bug me when they are just expediently tossed in a set. Like Princess Leia in the Y-Wing, or Queen Amidala in the Gungan Bongo.
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