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The perfect Valentine's gift for an AFOL

Hello everyone.

I'm after your expert advice, if you have time to give it. I'm married to an AFOL (not one myself) and wanted some ideas for Valentine's Day. What would be the perfect Lego gift for you? I've tried (really tried) in the past, but don't seem to get it right (I've chronicled my efforts here):

What would you like from a loving (yet not overly Lego-loving spouse)? Many many thanks.


  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    Some great Lego gifts I've received from my other half recently; (She has an easier time than you will because she is also a Lego fan, just not as much as myself)

    - some old small sets (mainly late 80s and 90s) which were won on eBay - Good because they weren't expected or in my usual scope of purchasing but gave a great little bit of history to my collection.

    - That one* set I've been eyeing up that is just outside of my normal budgeting system (*one meaning one at that point in time)

    - A recently discontinued set that she managed to get from a reseller for a bargain price which fell under the category of 'the one that got away' for me

    Great gifts I've received from other people;

    - My brickset secret santa this year got me a great surprise in the way of this, which was something I didn't know existed but is entirely my sort of theme

    - A really recent set that I hadn't seen discounted yet (most AFOLs love a bargain but often the wait for reductions kills the anticipation of a set)

    Gifts I've given my other half

    - I snuck a load of Harry Potter minifigures into her Lego Friends advent calendar (she loves Harry Potter but missed the Lego)

    - Mixels - great as little filler presents - she loves the cute animals, I really like them as parts packs for other builds

    - Minifigures - the main point that our collecting overlaps

    Basically there is no perfect gift, tastes in Lego are massively varied. I recently picked up the #40120 Valentine's Day Dinner set which is a really nice little build, good value with a lot of rare parts and appropriately themed for the occasion - the only thing is you might have to go to a lego shop to guarantee getting one in time as they are out of stock on Lego's website at the minute with an expected ship date of the 10th.

    hope something in all that helps.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    edited February 2015
    Also side note having read the blog post -

    I get why you've gone for the keyring type stuff (gear) before and see a set as the "easy" or "meaningless" option but from a Lego fan's perspective it's the other way round. The Lego sets tend to be what we want and the gear is nice enough but not something we'd be that excited about. Think of it as the "I know you like golf so I bought you a tie with golf clubs on it" type gift, connected is good but not necessarily the same.
  • ChubblesChubbles Member Posts: 459
    I agree with Shib, I used to collect comics and people knew this. So for Christmas they'd give me weird stuff that was related to comics but I'd have no use for like t-shirts with huge comic scenes on it or bobble head dolls of the Hulk or something like that. Sure the idea is nice and it's the thought that counts but if you collect comics it's comics you want, not necessarily stuff just related to comic themes.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Member Posts: 7,534
    I agree with a lot of what has already been said. Architecture sets might be a good budget gift, especially if it is a place you both visited together. You could also look into ordering custom minifigures of a favorite band or sports team or whatever sort might be appreciated. Then you have the personal touch factor added in
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    @Chubbles hmmmm, think your first suggestion may be a little on the impractical (and uncomfortable?) side. Agree with you both about Lego-related accessories. Think that's where I've been going wrong. In previous times, I've accessed his I want/I own list, only to find the thing I've bought is the one thing he's forgotten to update! Still, it is the thought that counts...
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    If he does any freebuilding then sometimes duplicate sets are a good thing. If not then point out he needs to keep he wanted list up to date
  • thehornedratthehornedrat Member Posts: 87
    The Valentine's Bear of 2014 would be great, but I'm sure he already knows about that...give him something you built yourself: sneak into a Lego store or something, use PAB wall...then surprise him.
  • aldreddaldredd Member Posts: 203
    For birthdays etc, my wife tends to buy me 'that set' which I often mention I'd like, but perhaps doesn't quite fit with what I'd normally buy / never quite gets to the top of the list. That way, I tend to end up with a set a really like, but probably wouldn't have bought for myself
  • lordzaraklordzarak Member Posts: 329
    I've enjoyed the Lego books I've received as gifts. Some even come with bonus minifigures.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    edited February 2015
    The DK books can be a bit hit and miss though - the audience is more for children than adults, so while they can be interesting I find I generally flip through them once and then largely forget about them but some of the AFOL books published through No Start Press are really good. (Huw does have them listed on the main site with amazon links here )

    I really enjoyed LEGO Space: Building the Future by Peter Reid and Tim Goddard - who are both really nice guys, regulars on the show scene and always more than happy to sign books too.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,148
    Just buy him the #31031 Rainforest Animals set. Even if he has it once you can never have enough shitting parrots dotted around the place, I have 6 of them, the mechanism isn't perfect so I do find I have to clear up Lego parrot crap now and again. It's like having colourful pets, but without the responsibilities. What more could you want?

    Or for something personalised, I agree about heading to the Lego store and building some custom minifigs at the build a mini bar and base them on things he loves, or that mean something to the both of you. As someone else said you can even throw a pick a brick creation in too. At least that way you know he wont have bought it already because it's based entirely on your imagination, which is one of the things Lego does well.
  • beabea Member Posts: 227
    To echo someone above, I just like lego. I would be happy with just about any lego set I received as a gift (unless it was Star Wars) but I don't think I'd want any other lego-related dodads like key chains, mugs, t-shirts, or any other similar paraphernalia.

    Possibly one of the adult targeted lego books may be interesting but anything else would just be clutter for me. I know it may seem that buying a set is the "easy way out" and is not personal or thoughtful, but really, that is what actually I want.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    Who else is trying yp work out if we know this AFOL?

    The blog is very well written by the way. Very entertaining and perceptive.
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    @cheshirecat - They are on here, I can't remember who it was but they linked the blog before... a quick search and I think it was jmwardy
  • TarDomoTarDomo Member Posts: 515
    The valentines day set?
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    Thanks so much for your great suggestions, really so useful. I think it's going to be a Lego set. A quick look in our Lego Rrom and I see that we already have 2 of this year's Valentine's sets. I like the 2014 bear, so perhaps I'll look for that. @Xefan we have two small children, so I'm sure that a set of shitting rainforest animals won't seem too out of place - I'll have a look.

    He used to lust after The Black Pearl (is that the right name? Pirates of the Caribbean?) I know it's long gone in the shops, but is it still easily available from resellers? If anyone knows, I guess you're the people to tell me!
  • ShibShib Member Posts: 5,459
    That's gonna cost an awful lot especially if you're looking for a sealed one - check prices on or you never know someone on here might have one and do you a deal, but that's definitely a high bar to aim for.
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    A man with expensive tastes, just my luck... Pernaps that's why he lusts after it and doesn't actually own it!
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    Good Heavens, just seen some for sale. That is one expensive piece of Lego.
  • Jern92Jern92 Member Posts: 889
    As an AFOL, I'd agree with all the comments above. Something that he likes but can't bring himself to buy, or something he hasn't managed to find at a discount (but he probably knows the market better than you so this might be hard). And a definite no to Lego-related products, because most of us enjoy the building and display/play part of Lego, as opposed to being a diehard fan of it who must have pictures of it everywhere.

    While I'd love my family to get me Lego, I'm always torn between the fact that 1) I'm getting some new Lego yay! and 2) They'll end up paying more for it than necessary because they don't know where to look. But I guess if you have the Lego community on your side, it should make things easier.

    Focus on the themes he enjoys, and whether you'd like to get something he could do alone, or something you could both do together, is really up to you, based on your past experiences with him of what he enjoys more.

    Now one gift I'd really appreciate would be tickets to the Lego Inside Tour, and I suspect your husband may be the same if he hasn't been on it.
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,526
    A six pack of beer and an evening away from the wife so I can get some building time.
  • Jern92Jern92 Member Posts: 889
    I've just read through your entire blog between my previous comment and this one. It's fascinating and you're a very engaging writer! I do hope you keep on writing about your AFOL's exploits in the future :-)
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    @Jern92 you're too kind, but no worries - he provides me with an endless amount of material. The Lego Inside Tour? Is that the ultimate pilgrimage to Billund? I think the Black Pearl seems more likely than that.
    @CCC a six pack and a bit of peace sounds very do-able.
  • Jern92Jern92 Member Posts: 889
    brickwife said:

    @Jern92 you're too kind, but no worries - he provides me with an endless amount of material. The Lego Inside Tour? Is that the ultimate pilgrimage to Billund? I think the Black Pearl seems more likely than that.

    Yes it is. Probably most Lego lovers' dreams to go on it, but few can afford to, or even get registrations in before hundreds of others do. I'm slowly saving up for mine, but will probably be a while before I manage it. Wish I had a rich significant other :-P

  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman Member Posts: 1,524
    The first rule of AFOL day is you don't talk about AFOL day. ;).
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    @theLEGOman and everyone else. So sorry, didn't know. Have removed said post. Sorry.
  • bluedragonbluedragon Member Posts: 506
    What about a mosaic of a photo of the two of you or of an experience you shared together?

    May be to late to get it ready in time but you actually just have to come up with the photo and the instructions. He is the AFOL so he gets to build it! Check out or explore the mosaic thread on this forum.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,677
    I would also suggest the #31031 Birds Set as it sounds like you would both like it. My wife also really liked it and even asked me to buy it for her, which I did. It could almost pass as a display somewhere prominent in your home if you would allow it.

    I also think you should show him this thread because I think HE owes YOU a lovely Valentines Day dinner, with or without the children, whichever you would prefer.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Member Posts: 993
    I have two non-set suggestions if you're looking for something different:

    LEGO Slippers

    Build-on Brick Mug
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    I'm agreeing with those that say to avoid any LEGO themed non-LEGO items. As an AFOL I love LEGO blocks, I love LEGO sets and enjoy flicking through a few LEGO books. Thats my hobby.

    I really don't want every aspect of my life to become LEGO themed. As it happens I have a LEGO keyring that my wife bought me so has special meaning, but thats it. No LEGO t-shirts, no LEGO cups, no LEGO slippers. I might have liked LEGO slippers when I was 10, but not in my 30's.

    How about a Black Sea's Barracuda rather than a Black Pearl. Its proper old school.
  • wayneggwaynegg Member Posts: 394
    I would suggest this:,or.r_cp.&tch=1&ech=1&psi=exHSVLeABYiHyASyvoDgDA.1423053183160.11&prds=paur:ClkAsKraX-Qcs9ZPyjWuIVKsCop3DKjRcS5HsJHI-RAdL0SQRS5B-OJf4lESqwnEZnYVZUMJxiPRvyvnKFYMaFcNoV10QuMzssmyEnRME0ZyXKmGruP8NZ_qGRIZAFPVH70yDHalRf9OEkvxkfEicXdsqplTSg&ei=1xLSVIrENNT_yQSTkIKoCQ&ved=0CLcDEKYrMBE

    And possibly a link to your brick wife blog. Even not knowing you, reading it I feel a bit of the disappointment and heartache you have over what we're very meaningful, presents which were cast aside without another thought. Until someone learns to be truly grateful, nothing you buy for them will fill that void. It's futile to try.

    And before this comes off high and mighty, on our third year together I dismissed the third consecutive shaving set my wife had gotten me for Christmas thinking only about my wants. I didn't stop to consider how much thought she put into the gift and how meaningful it was for her to give. Since then, I've only gotten exactly what was on my list of stuff. Once I realized how much of a slight it was to her, I set the goal to be more loving and considerate to my spouse and came across this book. It changed a lot of how I viewed the world and, especially, how I act in our relationship. Hopefully, one day, she'll surprise me again with a nice shaving set that comes from her heart instead of Off a running list of thing I'd like to have.

    Good luck
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Member Posts: 993

    I'm agreeing with those that say to avoid any LEGO themed non-LEGO items. As an AFOL I love LEGO blocks, I love LEGO sets and enjoy flicking through a few LEGO books. Thats my hobby.

    I really don't want every aspect of my life to become LEGO themed. As it happens I have a LEGO keyring that my wife bought me so has special meaning, but thats it. No LEGO t-shirts, no LEGO cups, no LEGO slippers. I might have liked LEGO slippers when I was 10, but not in my 30's.

    It depends on the person; some people like to have other aspects of their life LEGO themed. Also, as AFOLs we tend to know the current catalogue inside out and backwards, which makes me, for one, enjoy getting something completely out of left field and that I didn't know existed.

    In saying that, I have just now read the OP's blog post and my suggestions are probably along the lines of those that weren't received particularly well.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,331
    edited February 2015
    @Steve_J_OM yep appologies if it came across as if i was poopooing your suggestion, rather I was just replying in the context of what had been said (and given as gifts) before. Although you're absolutely right, there will be plenty of AFOLS that like to wear LEGO watches for example and equally plenty more that wouldn't.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Member Posts: 993
    @cheshirecat no worries.

    @brickwife The Art of the Brick is a great experience, and there is indeed a gift shop (assuming the set up is the same across all cities it is in). Some of the art is breath taking, and you don't need to have an interest in LEGO itself to appreciate it.
  • BlakstoneBlakstone Member Posts: 11
    One thing I would recommend is that you build minifig representations of your husband and yourself as a gift. That is a way of including your self in at and it is more from the heart than any particular set.

    To get the right hair for my wife, I had to buy a Friends set. Otherwise, there is not enough variety for female hair in LEGO.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Member Posts: 3,639
    ^^A ticket to Art of the Brick was what I got from my gf as a V-Day gift last year. And in hindsight it was the perfect choice.
  • MorkManMorkMan Member Posts: 900
    Lego socks.
    I got two sets, four pair, for Christmas. They are my new go to sock whenever I have to leave the house. Subtle. I love them.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    As someone who buys socks as souvenirs wherever I go (think I bought six pairs on my last US trip) I neeeeeed those socks!
    Never seen them in the UK though.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    As someone who buys socks as souvenirs wherever I go (think I bought six pairs on my last US trip) I neeeeeed those socks!
    Never seen them in the UK though.
  • luckyrussluckyruss Member Posts: 872
    @brickwife I'm afraid I don't have any other suggestions for gifts but it's an awesome blog which is a really good read. Thanks for sharing and best of luck with whatever you decide!
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment and suggest things. It's good to know that just buying a Lego set is actually a good present and what's wanted. It's made me think a lot - my own particular interest is the Golden Age of murder mystery(!), but if my AFOL got me a duvet cover with Agatha Christie's face on it or a statuette of Dorothy L Sayers in chocolate I might be a little bemused. It's probably the same principle!

    And I do want to get him something that he really wants. He has a lot to put up with - he can identify any episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot at a glance, even though he'd really rather not have this knowledge. AFOLs are a tolerant lot...
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation Member Posts: 5,572
    edited February 2015
    You can't beat a bit of Poirot or Marple. Now I'm imagining a Christie inspired MOC vignette.
    Oh dear. I already have too many ideas!

    (Think my favourite Poirot story is Murder On The Links and for Marple, The Body in the Library).
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor Member Posts: 3,937
    Buy her a brand new R2-D2, but the box must be pristine!
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    edited February 2015
    @LostInTranslation, believe me, we've already had those conversations. If there was anything at all that could get me in to Lego... I'd be the first in the queue to buy a Death on the Nile set. Oh yes. Or A Murder is Announced.
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
    edited February 2015
    @TheLoneTensor We have an R2-D2 already built - it stares at me every time I sit at the PC and work from home.
  • ProtProt Member Posts: 22
    Hey, loved your blog, read the entire thing :)

    Luckilly I don't have that problem. I dragged my girlfriend down into the lego pit, although I'm not as fanatic as your AFOL. boxes are ment to be opend, as are polybags. (in my opignion) Your own suggestion of the lego birds set is a very good idea by the way. My girlfriend and I got it together, and build it together as well. Our problem was, we both wanted to build them all. (our funds are not sufficient to buy two). If you go for the 'build it together' option, go for the hummingbird, and you might just finnish in time with him building the other two ;). It is definately the easyest one, and the flower is quite nice to build.

    Have fun, and good luck getting the gift!
  • doodlebirddoodlebird Member Posts: 88
    anything with actual real lego inside of it. a gift receipt can't hurt. i know it's boring, but i LOVE it when my wife gives me gift cards for the lego store. that's really all i want. the fact that you are even writing this post is an amazing gift to him.

    and one thing you can't buy? ...pretend to be interested. i know my wife doesn't really care. but i still get warm fuzzies when she asks me about what i'm building, or feigns excitement at the tiniest little play feature i've incorporated for the kids. :smile:
  • brickwifebrickwife Member Posts: 15
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