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Lego Addiction

Lego_loverLego_lover Member Posts: 4
I've seen the words 'addiction' and 'obsession' so many times on discussion threads in jokes. I was just wondering if anyone has ever actually seriously considered themselves addicted or obsessed, or been a little scared or worried that they might be? What lengths have you gone to, to ensure Lego can stay in your life, or to expand your collection and fit it in your house? What do you think is so addictive about these amazing bricks?! I always want a new set even though I already have a lot!


  • Bluefairy_56Bluefairy_56 Member Posts: 320
    There are sets I'd like, but there are sets I wouldn't like at all. I'm not interested in wanting everything so I guess I'm not addicted or obsessed. I'm picky about what I'd like to own. I'll get them someday but not in a rush to get them unless I can afford them.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,469
    There's an interesting similarity between the mentality of a collector and a hoarder and any collector of any type is always likely to walk a fine line against falling into the hoarder category.

    I also find studies of additions very interesting, with chemical addictions (drugs etc) there is a clear way to measure a lot of addictions, but with behavioural addictions it's harder to note. I remember seeing an interesting interview with a guy who called himself a professional gambler, when asked if he was an addict his response was in the way of 'if I'm making more money than I'm losing then no'

    Personally I'd say I fall into the obsessive category, that being I know I spend a lot of time thinking about Lego, looking at pictures of Lego, Checking prices etc but I wouldn't say I was addicted until I started choosing to buy a Lego set over buying essential items like food or paying the bills.
  • RennyRenny Member Posts: 1,145
    I'd say I was addicted to collecting Star Wars Lego when I got back into it around the end of 2011. My entry drug was the UCS Imperial Shuttle. I made a massive checklist of all the sets ever made in that theme and began buying, buying, buying. In just a couple of months time my closets were packed with sealed Lego product. It was a great feeling winning auctions, opening shipping boxes and checking a set off my list. I remember spending so much time just searching for good deals on particular retired sets online, that's all I did in my spare time.

    I think for me, buying a set and keeping it sealed made me feel like a kid again when all I worried about was what game to buy or cartoon to watch, silly I know. Luckily I broke my Lego addiction for 4 reasons. First, I found myself paying a LOT of money on sets I really didn't care for ($900 on Cloud City for example) just to "complete" my collection. Second was purchasing the 2nd or 3rd remake of a set that had undergone no changes (Y-Wing vs TIE, X-Wing, etc). Third, was space, I just didn't have anymore. Finally the straw that broke my addiction's back was the renewal of the license with Star Wars for another 10 years realizing that this completionist mentality was basically me on a never ending hamster wheel.

    It's really hard to do but once you realize you can't have it all (without sacrificing a ton of space and money) and you get rid of or sell that first set it's gets so much easier. At that point you get back to what got you into Lego, building sets that you enjoy. Bottom line, I think if you find yourself buying sets you don't really care for just to own it, then you may have a problem.
  • bellybutton290bellybutton290 Member Posts: 453
    ^ah seems we both fell for the beauty of the IS. What a set!
  • RennyRenny Member Posts: 1,145
    Indeed. I only have 3 sets on display nowadays. UCS Imperial Shuttle, UCS Falcon and the latest Sopwith Camel.
  • gratefulnatgratefulnat Member Posts: 431
    edited March 2014
    Renny said:

    . Bottom line, I think if you find yourself buying sets you don't really care for just to own it, then you may have a problem.

    To paraphrase a famous historical quote:
    "Houston, I think I (SIC) have a problem."

  • Lego91Lego91 Member Posts: 86
    I'm partially addicted or it is more a compulsive thing. I have to buy every Creator set. I normally wouldn't buy all the cars and planes, but I have too. Nothing too serious so I just buy them. (I build them too, but they are my least favourite sets).
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    edited March 2014
    It appears that most people that have a Lego obsession continue to feed the obsession until they hit the wall (sometimes literally) of space constraints. Once you run out of space, you have to face your Lego demons and start making hard choices. It doesn't matter how much money you have then really, because then it becomes a matter of logistics, storing, maintaining, displaying, dusting! etc. All that stuff really can take its toll, and given that you are only a person, and there are only so many hours in a day, you get to a point where you just can't handle any more.

    That's when you really start to determine who's an addict. Addicts will alter their situations to feed the need, rather than altering the need to fit their situation. If you're dipping into the kids' college savings, or risking your job or your personal relationships to feed the addiction, then that could be a problem.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,827
    6 years ago I talked myself into the (at the time) current UCS sets followed by then going after the ELO'd sets. Having secured them all and to satisfy my hunger for more, I then sought satisfaction by purchasing the odd large format set. Little did I know that would evolve into all exclusive 10*** sets. :o/ Only when I joined the Brickset forum did I then go after the rails and start collecting themes.!!! [shakes head]

    It's funny (or not), had a long chat with a mate last week who was unfortunate enough to be made redundant 3 weeks ago. Prior to being given notice a few months before, he, like may of us here was spending vast sums of money on crap he really didn't need nor want. He was hooked. The choice to quit spending and kicking the habit has been made for him. On the basis he wasn't holding out on me, I was amazed to hear how little he'd bought over the past 6 months. Barely anything - less than I'd spend on an average day!!! Despite his situation, he has found it a huge weight off his shoulders in light that he no longer feels the urge to buy the sets he doesn't really want just because they're cheap or because it has the one exclusive fig he just has to have. Hats off to you mate.

    Now having woken up a bit, I have decided to reign it right in and concentrate only on the large format sets and Winter Villages. Fortunately that still includes my beloved UCS, which to be quite frank are not a scratch on what they were 5 years ago, but there you go. Now that exclusive sets have adopted a new numbering system which seems to be random at the moment, am I now in a position to drop the undesirables? Probably not. Cue:- Sea Cow!! :o/
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    last year, I found myself addicted to buying more lego then I really needed. Sets that just became part packs or sitting around, CMFs that looking at them now I realize I don't even need them, and a lego organzing method that was morphing from " kind of organized" to "getting pretty messy"

    well, i'm working on getting that problem turned around now.

    I am being WAY more careful on BL orders, ebay auctions, and in store buying. I'm still buying a little bit but not as much as b4. And as far as CMFs, I bought 2 series 11 and that's been it since then.

    over the course of 2 months, I got 6 of the 12 inch by 12 inch 6 drawer sterelite units, a 10 drawer rolling cart, and shallow plastic containers and baskets and have been doing a lot of organizing.

    Only problem is this: I'll need to start saving up money ASAP since I REALLY need 2 more drawer units(down to the last few free drawers) and the drawers seem to be getting harder to find. ARRRRGGGGGGH!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 Member Posts: 11,454
    Legoboy said:

    ... am I now in a position to drop the undesirables? Probably not. Cue:- Sea Cow!! :o/

    That is no way to talk about your wife ;)
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,543
    edited March 2014

    To paraphrase a famous historical quote: "Houston, I think I (SIC) have a problem."

    One which is also heard at AA meetings.

    'Houszeszston, I thinkk I (HIC!) havve a problem.'
  • CrowkillersCrowkillers Member Posts: 757
    edited March 2014
    I've only built 2 official sets in the last 15 years and I am probably one of the biggest Lego junkies on this planet... Everyone I know both family and friends along with many people in my town know what I am into...

    Lego is almost like crack...
  • DrmnezDrmnez Member Posts: 855

    There are sets I'd like, but there are sets I wouldn't like at all. I'm not interested in wanting everything so I guess I'm not addicted or obsessed. I'm picky about what I'd like to own. I'll get them someday but not in a rush to get them unless I can afford them.

    great outlook. Also, Nice to hear financial responsibility
  • DrmnezDrmnez Member Posts: 855
    I forgot to say:
    when I came out of the dark ages and even about a year ago, my collecting was not guided so I would buy/want things because of rarity and just cuz I thought it was cool. Now, I know exactly what type of Lego I want to collect and if Lego ever stops making what i want i guess i will go into the dark ages again until further notice
  • zipsforbananaszipsforbananas Member Posts: 250
    Renny said:

    Bottom line, I think if you find yourself buying sets you don't really care for just to own it, then you may have a problem.

    A great conclusion that's worth being quoted twice! ;)

    There was a bit of a ruckus in the new collection pics thread just last week about this sort of thing, with collections of boxes seeming like a hoard rather than a collection to some (sorry if I came across that way!).
    Is it worth saying that everybody will appreciate and enjoy Lego their own way? So some people enjoy building and displaying coherent and intentional collections (I said it first coz that's me!), where others enjoy building and playing. Some enjoy adding rare parts to MOCs, where others enjoy completion and the thrill of the purchase enough to not even need to open the boxes.
    Of course, to the player, the box-buyer will seem uncaring; and to the displaying-collector the MOCer will seem aimless (And I'll leave others to tell me what my type looks like! Judgemental probably! :P). When judged by their own standards though, the box-buyer isn't uncaring and the MOCer isn't at all aimless. But however we enjoy Lego, when collecting becomes the goal, I think what Renny highlighted can be a danger to anyone.

    There are many different ways to care about a set, so let's be careful that we don't trample on each other's cares, but careful ourselves that we always keep on top of our collections. If collecting overpowers all the other cares, whether we open the boxes or not, we might end up being care-less hoarders.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    edited March 2014
    ^ I dunno about that. From my extensive research on hoarding (i.e. watching 3 or 4 partial episodes of Hoarders and hearing the rest on Opie & Anthony), hoarders tend to care a lot about their hoard (be it old National Geographics, newspapers, cat droppings or Lego boxes) more than anything in the world, sometimes even their family.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,469
    There is a difference between hoarding and collecting but there is a definite overlap in behaviour and a hoard can sometimes start as a collection. You are right that hoarders do care a lot about their hoards but its deeper than that, it's having an emotional connection to the items.
    Being completely honest as a collector I know I have an emotional connection to my collection, be it the thrill of finding something I've been longing for, the frustration at not having the space to display the pieces I want or the stress at the idea of losing any of the pieces I care about the most.
    Hoarding is an extreme, often without the focus of a collection mentality but they are similar character traits and I think that collectors do have a higher risk of becoming hoarders, but I think it'd take a really serious life event to push most over that line.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    But don't most hoarders happen gradually? I.e. it's not like one day to the next looks all that different as far as "the horde" goes, which is why it's not immediately apparent to the hoarder. He doesn't see it as something that is out of control, because today's pile isn't really all that much different than yesterday's pile.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,469
    True but there is still a line to be crossed, even if it is not an obvious one day it just happens type thing it can still happen to anyone. Generally the decent into being a hoarder starts long before the hoard is established so a hoard could start as a collection that grows and becomes unfocused (though not necessarily to the person accumulating the stuff)
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,099
    edited March 2014
    My mother is a hoarder. I think it's somewhat hereditary because her aunt was a hoarder. My brother exhibits some hoarding tendancies as well. I feel the pull but thankfully I can't stand clutter. That's why I will start selling off stuff when I realize that I no longer care about it or I need the money. I've sold off sets that I like because they no longer fit what I'm interested in or I just don't have the room.

    So I feel like I have a good grasp on this whole Lego Collecting/Hoarding/Addiction thing. I call it as I see it so of course that is going to offend some people.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,469
    with any sort of psychological disorder it is really hard to separate genetic and environmental factors. Personally I think its much deeper than just genetics but I do thing that genes play a part in it. I think that what people tend to inherit is a genetic risk rather than a faulty gene that gives the behaviour, its still an important factor but I do favour explanations of nurture over nature in psychology.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,148
    The problem is that we sometimes treat hoarders as heroes, because what some person is hoarding has been determined to be a sign of success, but others we're told to treat as freaks because they've hoarded something that's not determined to be a sign of success, even though I suspect both are just as happy or unhappy as each other.

    If I have a nice Lego room more than any Lego an adult should reasonably have and enjoyed it and still enjoyed the rest of my life including having a happy family life, someone may call me a hoarder with a problem but I couldn't care less. If worked my way to becoming a billionaire and my relationship with my partner had fallen apart in the process because I'd spent all my time away from home making money I couldn't see how I could objectively view myself as anything other than a hoarder with a problem - I'd gathered money with an unhealthy obession for no end purposes and at the expense of everything else, though society would probably put me in some rich list stating how "successful" I am and how others should aspire to be like me.

    Long story short, whether you're a hoarder with a problem should probably be determined far more by how healthy your life is rather than by some arbitrary societal declaration that having a lot of one thing is good, but having a lot of another is bad. Currently society doesn't do a good job distinguishing between healthy and unhealthy hoarding.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,469
    ^very true
  • Indy24LAIndy24LA Member Posts: 6
    It seems hoarder gets thrown around like OCD. Anyone with a big collection is labeled a 'hoarder' like anyone that likes it very clean and neat is called OCD. Far as I know, compulsive hoarding is pretty rare, so I'm not too worried about that.

    There's not a definite rhyme or reason to what I buy, if it looks appealing and like a fun build, I will be interested. I'd Rather buy what I want than to be limited by a line or theme. Of course that means my collection looks mismatched and not as organized as some. But I don't buy just to complete or "have", I buy to build... then to complete and have :)
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