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How has your Lego passion affected others?

stagusstagus Member Posts: 256
edited June 2012 in Everything else LEGO
Ok, a question for you AFOL's out there. I have noticed since I came out of my dark period that people react differently to my hobby (obsession).

When I started building there were cries of derision and general slaggng off of what I was up to. As I started posting pictures on Facebook there were some nice comments and quite a few not so nice, to the point where I removed the pictures.

Next stage - I started tagging my friends in some of the pictures and they loved it. The doubters then started to ask when they would be in a Lego things can change!!

Things have progressed so much further that now many of our friends are buying Lego for their kids and asking advice from about what to get and where.

Have other AFOL's had similiar experiences? From laughter to advice?


  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    I still haven't worked up the courage to mention my LEGO obsession on facebook...aside from my family most of my friends would probably just troll my posts/pics lol... Sad I know.
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    ^ Haha, I'm in the same boat. Close family, yes, everyone else, no way.
  • stagusstagus Member Posts: 256
    Interesting responses guys. I thought about it for a while before I posted on FB but decided I didn't care about the response....I BUILD and I am PROUD. LOL
  • chakinochakino Member Posts: 159
    Most people know about my obsession it actually helps when people tell you about lego sales. I found that if you put a lego minifigure infront of most people and the are hooked. There are things people don't understand like paying nearly three hundred quid for the deathstar but i got only positive comments on facebook of it and other lego. My main stumbling block is my girlfriend who is not too keen on my lego expenditure and i was sure i had talked her into using our second bedroom in our new flat for lego. I have also tried posting pictures with funny comments like the clown minifigure in a pose from american pie with "mmm just like warm apple pie " . You tend to find that most males still have that toy fascination in them .
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,635
    Great question..... I touched on this very topic in a blog entry last year :

    Most people humour me until they actually get to see some of the stuff that AFOLs build. Then they generally eat a fair bit of humble pie....
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    My friends and family (except my bro who's an AFOL too) all think I'm bonkers to spend so much on Lego but are in no way malicious about it. (And despite that actually it was my dad who told me about an Argos 3 for 2 a few months back.) I never hid my obsession at work but the cat was definitely out of the bag when I had the death star delivered to work; so many of my coworkers wanted to see what was in the huge box and I couldn't resist opening it up and showing off my new baby :) My friends often send me links to Lego-related articles and I think I've convinced one guy at work to get back into Technic too.

    My friends with kids are grateful when I hook them up with polybags or specific CMFs, and think its great when I can tell them where a set is cheapest or which store has an upcoming sale. One of my friend's mums even bought me the ultimate Lego book the other day from a charity shop as she knows how much I love Lego.

    I haven't done much moccing yet but I'm sure when I do they'll be supportive, not mean (they'd better be nice or I'll be giving them cupcakes with my special arsenic icing :)
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    Most people I know accept the fact I'm into LEGO, but they don't understand why...
  • stagusstagus Member Posts: 256
    @drdavewatford brilliant blog.

    @LostInTranslation work has been interesting for me too. There is an intranet at work and I have picked up some sets that way. The chat is interesting to say the least! They get interested when you start discussing Ebay mind you.
  • LostInTranslationLostInTranslation UKMember Posts: 5,594
    @stagus: I'm debating putting a "Lego wanted" sign up on our company noticeboard. I managed to flog 60 quid's worth of Sylvanian families (20 yrs old I might add) to a woman at work who was looking for some for her daughter. Good times...spent it all on Lego before the day was over :)
  • legonut80legonut80 UKMember Posts: 314
    i've had a few funny looks when i say that i have my own Lego, but then i also have good friends who love Lego as much as me. My husband is great with it, he spends over £100 on a kite so when i say i've seen some Lego... he's quite happy that i go get it :-)
  • stagusstagus Member Posts: 256
    My wife has a passion for vintage clothes so that gets me a bit of slack!
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    My friends and family all know about my obsession. None of them share my interest with the exception of my kids and my wife to a lesser degree.
  • Rollo_TomassiRollo_Tomassi Member Posts: 113
    I've never had any problems with people. I bought a huge bulk lot on eBay a couple years ago and it had a large chunk of some off brand bricks. So I gave them all to my friend's son. Now he's hooked on Legos. Recruiting future AFOLs is very gratifying. ;-)
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    See I understand if your making MOC's cause then its almost like your posting art just preformed on a different medium, me however I'm still just a set collector, trying to get bricks organized so I can start MOCing, so I would never imagine myself posting a pic on FB of my recent purchases lol...

    And like others have said, close friends and family know but don't quite understand. Except one local friend who convinced me to set up a youtube account. We have our man-dates once in a while so I don't have to be nerding it up with my girlfriend who hates how much I spend hah.
  • RobbRobb Member Posts: 144
    Before my son started to get into Duplo earlier this year (which brought me out of my Dark Age this summer), I had posted to Facebook a couple links about LEGO articles which were well-received my my extended family and friends.

    More recently, I have shared the odd link or status update about LEGO, and at first I think some of them may have reserved any critical comments since they knew that my summer obsession with LEGO resulted as a form of coping with the grief of losing our baby daughter this spring (I figure the nearly $1000 I spent this year on LEGO is still cheaper than grief counseling, and this way my son will have an awesome LEGO stash when he's ready for it).

    Now, any of my Facebook friends who also use Pinterest also know that I *only* use Pinterest as a cache for MOCs and other LEGO-related articles/ideas. I have only gotten "hey cool" remarks about this from family/friends and even strangers who stumble upon my pin boards.

    Just yesterday, my brother sent me a link to an article (that made reference to an AFOL documentary and the new "Cult of Lego" book) and he said, "Have you ever heard of the term 'AFOL?' I'm not saying that you are one of these, but you might find this article interesting..."

    He then went on to explain that he loves LEGO building with his sons and just bought the Millenium Falcon for his 14yo for Christmas. "I can't wait to build it with him!" he said.

    So, my LEGO interest has been very well received by those I know. But I think it would be VERY different if I were not a dad.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 502
    I use them to teach with, so I think I'm given a bit of slack (plus, I've convinced other college English instructors to bring Lego into their classroom)... though I know a few folk that heckle me.

    I have to say, though, that the pattern was the same for me. First, questions on why I was "wasting" my money on kids toys... to "you have sets I haven't seen when shopping for my kids ;) , where do you buy them?" I'm not sure, but I think the economic crisis in Europe and the U.S. is allowing non AFOL adults to realize they might be a great form of entertainment. Plus, I'd like to think the lego video games help a bit too.

    When I made the big jump to revealing my Lego passion, I broke out a couple PAB cups at a party filled with 30 somethings... people chuckled at first, but as the night went on, the Legos ended up on three seperate tables... and they became a centerpiece for the night's fun (though a number of pieces went home with people too :).
  • stagusstagus Member Posts: 256
    My friends will post anything Lego on my FB page now. The most recent being the street art. The use of Lego at work is interesting. Have any of you heard of the Falkirk Wheel....have a look.... . This was originally engineered using Lego to figure out the counter balance ration and rotation!
    BTW - I have been asked to recreate the wheel next year for it's 10th anniversary. I might have to give it a go!
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,931
    i cant say i have ever had a problem. Mum and girlfriend complain about space but I havent encountered any hosility but then personality wise im not someone who holds back
  • JasenJasen Member Posts: 283
    This is a great thread :D
    I came .out of my dark ages with a few little sets a few years ago then my Mum sent me all my old Lego when I decided after watching a few You tube vids, that I'd animate it.
    I had an arguement with my sister who wanted it to play with (aka leave it in a box until one day... haha). I made my case and made my films haha. Since then I've never looked back.
    I kept it "publicly quiet" for a year until I discovered You Tube and then it all came out.
    I got a bit of flack but I put that down to mainly jealousy :D
    Once my animations got better I realised I had become addicted to Lego again.
    Now I use animation as an excuse to buy. ;)
    Turns out I'm making a Star Wars one next hehe.
    It has become a complete circle for me with new jobs. Currently I bought some SW stuff a few weeks ago and the reciept fell out of my bag. Next day I got hassled "Adult with Lego - social problems much?" haha.
    Once I show some animations they changed their tune.
    My collection is now justified :D
    It can now become massive in direct conparison to my money getting smaller..... haha
  • bellybutton290bellybutton290 Member Posts: 453
    Family obviously know of my rediscovered hobby. The wife doesn't get it at all and I think wishes I moved onto playing golf or something else as a hobby. Encountered much ridicule and commenting at first from friends and colleagues but after a while people have now come round to it and now talk to me about it quite openly and in a positive way. I had posted elsewhere that I was initially embarrased by it all but over time this has changed and I think secretly everyone is impressed with the ucs shuttle I bought and now proudly display at home. I think when non AFOLS realise that for me and others it is about model making and collecting and also when they see the ucs type sets out there it opens minds a little (and possibly a few wallets too) to the fact the it's not just for kids.
  • MattPetersenMattPetersen Florida, USAMember Posts: 282
    My Lego obsession has caused two of my close friends to start building as well. They get pick a brick cups of pieces they want and build things they come up with.
    They were both sucked in when I showed them my Green Lantern mini fig and pics and news for the dc and marvel sets coming out in 2012.
  • vortexdragonvortexdragon Member Posts: 24
    edited November 2011
    Since I came out of my dark ages (at the same time as my boyfriend actually, we decided to one day buy some Star Wars sets at Walmart and never looked back) I haven't gotten any weird looks or comments from anyone. My mom had saved up all my Lego from growing up so she was pretty happy when I took it off her hands. I post pictures of my MOCs on facebook, and my armies of minifigs, and everybody thinks it's pretty cool, even my non-toy buying friends. I've even had people post links to cool articles on my wall.

    When my friends visit my house, they always want to take a tour and look at all the Lego sets I've build, and play with my Imperial Flagship.

    Overall my experience has been positive and it's a great way to spend time with my boyfriend :).
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    I really like this thread! :)

    I'm similar to most of you. I came 'out' slowly, first to my family, then to friends who stopped by and saw the increasing number of sets on display. And then when we had a big party in the summer, I must have talked to 10 diff people, very earnestly (until we were all too drunk) about the joys of lego.
    Now even the ones who took the piss at the beginning are plain jealous about the lovely sets I have (and that I have the cash to get them).
    I must get 3-4 lego links on my FB wall a week. And of course everyone with kids asks me for advice.
    I even had a lego stall at a recent roller derby bout. That was me really coming out! and loads of the team bought lego and ordered custom minifigs from me :)

    I'm not even a moc-er. Though I do try and take cute pics of scenarios (like halloween layouts)

    Also, my hubby will never be as into it as me, but I'd say he's at 80%. For his birthday today he got: millenium falcon, city transport, padawan menace and the star wars character encylopedia. He's very happy with that! And his parents got him the ewok attack! Birthday and christmas are so much more fun now :D
  • doodlebirddoodlebird Austin. Texas. Member Posts: 88
    i do take a fair amount of ribbing from my wife and her girlfriends, but after many years... pretty much anyone who knows me, knows i love the brick. last christmas, my inlaws gave me a gift card to a local toy store! that was awesome. i always worry about appearing to childish to them. that gift let me know it was ok for their daughter to be married to this kid who is a kid at heart.

    the only MOCs i've posted on facebook were the two that i've had displayed in my local lego store as part of the LUG window. i do have 2 kids, so maybe that makes it ok? the comments i got were all positive, including some from childhood friends who remember me as a lego-obsessed kid. my how little times have changed. :)

    but to address you original question, how has it affected others?
    1) i think it's made my bond with my son a little bit stronger. he's 7. loves lego. i can honestly share this with him, and not just pretend to be interested for his benefit.
    2) my wife likes when i build because she can watch whatever lady-crap she wants on tv while i do it, but it allows us to be in the same room while enjoying our respective interests. if i'm not building, i can't tolerate some of the trash she watches. i have to leave the room. real housewives??? i think i lose IQ points just by listening to it. ugh.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 531
    I actually had a girlfriend break up with me because this hobby. Or as she put it, I'd rather play with some dumb toys (put a new set together) rather watch TV with her. To be fair our relationship wasn't in good shape at this point and any little spark have burned the whole house down. Even at the time I thought this was funny.

    For the most part my family and friend are pretty supportive. A lot of my younger cousins still talk about seeing my collection for the first when they were kids. When I turned 21 one of my uncles joked that he hoped his kids would only be asking for LEGO when they turned 21. And one of my aunts blames me every time my youngest cousin builds some huge thing that takes over their dinner room.

  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    edited November 2011
    but to address you original question, how has it affected others?
    1) i think it's made my bond with my son a little bit stronger. he's 7. loves lego. i can honestly share this with him, and not just pretend to be interested for his benefit.
    This is a great statement, and I totally feel the same way. Kids are smart and won't be fooled for too long with mum or dad pretending to have fun with them. (Sounds awful, but you know what I mean!) My sons only 2, and he loves it when I get in there with him and either build with him or just listen to him tell me what his 'man-mans' (minifigs) are doing.

    My wife on the other hand is fed up with all the LEGO around the house, but tolerates my obsession. She can see how much our son loves it and how its helping his development, especially with learning about common objects (wheels, seats, propellers, helmets etc).

    I finally gave up caring what others thought last Christmas when I openly asked for LEGO as a gift!
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 488
    This is a great thread. I got back in to LEGO through my daughter and the collectible minifigures S1 which she was made about.

    My daughter got LEGO ( well Duplo) from 2 and LEGO from 4, she absolutely loved it, so I bought more for her. The more I bought the more I got interested. The daughter is now 6 and gone off LEGO a bit, not sure if this is because she sees the LEGO is now shared with DAD. The wife was also semi interested in LEGO and sorted out all the current LEGO we have, however does not build anything and indicates the daughter has enough LEGO now. You can never have enough LEGO, so that is where we differ.

    However things may change, the Death Star popped through the door the other day ( figure of speech), the daughter was reading all the names and asking which ones are the bad guys and which ones are the good guys, she has asked can she help to build it to which I replied yes. Death Star build planned for December as we are currently decorating the daughters new room and moving her. Spare bedroom will also become LEGO room, so will have room to build it and display it.

    I work in an engineering firm, and work collegues make fun of my hobby, however when I moved jobs internally they all chipped in and bought me the creator lighthouse as a leaving present. Several people in work, used to take the micheal until I took in the technic Unimog, no micheal taking now, in fact one guy was so impressed purchased the spare UNIMOG I had form the Argos 3 for 2 deal.

    So to get back to the orignal question, YES it has affected others.
  • macmonmacmon Member Posts: 80
    My little 5 year old has been "infected" with the LEGO bug and helps me out in building sets. From SW to Xmas themes. Anyway, my wife is very impressed with her since now she makes MOCs just by imagination. In reality, sometimes, she makes MOCs better than I. hehehehe
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Oh, forgot to say, the sun promo sets were a great way to show work peeps the fun of lego. I left one on the coffee table each day and let them build it. At the end of the week all the sets had been morphed into a harry potter vs ADU guy battle scene. And still gets fiddled with regularly. :)
    I also have a lego laboratory on my desk, starring me and my zebrafish. They all want their own microscope and scientist minifig :)
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 867
    I get a lot of crap from my coworkers who see it as a 38 yr old man playing with toys. My wife Is ok with it, bu still gets annoyed (I think) when I take a long time at the PAB wall. I think that my parents and her parents are kind of weird with it, but now that we have 2 boys (4 yrs & 23 months) it is making it easier to swallow. I, too, think that my Father in law wishes I played golf, not Lego, but hey I'm me, I'm not him.
  • kempo81kempo81 Wiltshire, UKMember Posts: 961
    I got a load of crap from my brother when he first found out... Let's just say he now frequents brickset from time to time to catch the "current deals" around, and has a bit of an OT Star Wars collection building up in the bottom of his wardrobe...!!! lol
  • Brewer51Brewer51 Member Posts: 248
    edited June 2012
    This thread makes me feel a little better. My parents and grandparents have been very supportive about it. They both comment on how good the sets are that I have, talk to me about the 'Lego market' etc. They even offered to buy it as a birthday present, but I told them I felt like it was my 'own' hobby and wanted to keep it that way. My 30 y/o uncle still has all his old Technic sets and spent a week building them when he was off work, so that helped.

    My close friends know about it too, as they've been round and seen the sets on display. One of them loved Shuttle Expedition, and the others just sort of accept it. I gave my friend who's training to be a Surgeon the CMF Series 6 Surgeon, and he loved it.

    My girlfriend started out with 'how much money are you spending', 'it cost HOW MUCH?!' until she got to 'I'll buy you the UCS R2-D2', 'lets go splits on the VW Camper' and yesterday when she saw the Haunted House: 'WOW! We need to go splits on that and then we can build it together!'

    I also have a 4 year old brother that had a stroke when he was very little, and has to have physio on his right side to build up the strength on it. The physio said a couple weeks ago that the number one activity for helping to build up arm strength is....building Lego. I was absolutely thrilled at that news, and can't wait til he's old enough so that we can build sets together. I also have a 14 y/o brother that's got back into it since I have, and loves the Superhero sets.

    I wouldn't dream of putting it on FB yet, though. There's people on there who definitely wouldn't be as understanding.
  • pricey73pricey73 UKMember Posts: 352
    <blockquote rel=@MorkManget a lot of crap from my coworkers who see it as a 38 yr old man playing with toys. My wife Is ok with it,

    I'm pretty lucky as my co-workers are great with me rabbiting on about the virtues of Lego, to the point (like many others here) where they ask me advice for their kids.
    Looked like a nice day today so took in 6982 (explorian starship) to build and no-one batted an eyelid, but a few, "oooh that's nice" comments!
    Just shows that we are just big kids after all.

    Carol (the wife) has joined forces with me and is actively building, she also joined Brickish a couple of months ago and knows the Liverpool Lego store staff(as do I)on first name terms.
    My bosses liked my trucks (lego Veolia trucks on flickr) that much that they wanted to put them in a glass case but I couldn't bring myself to give them, but they understood when I told them they shouldn't be viewed through glass. I'm doing a couple of shows with them anyway. I might loan them, but not sure yet.
    Will try and get them in the company magazine though.

    btw I`m 39
  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Bristol, UKMember Posts: 141
    edited June 2012
    My workplace office is very minimalist and clinical. I had a mini Lego X-Wing on my desk and a couple of mini-figs (imagine stark white walls, glass furniture & iMac's).

    Over time, and after a bit of good natured ribbing, I noticed little figures appearing on my colleagues desks. Now our office (the creative suite) is populated with everyone's 'secret' hobbies, stuff like: classic Transformers, Gundam Robots, Superhero models, and of course... LEGO!

    The rest of the office pop their heads in from time-to-time and make noises to the effect of incomprehension - probably despairing at the realization that most guys have an inner-child waiting to resurface : )
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,290
    I can't believe I never thought about it until I read this thread, but it just never occurred to me that I shouldn't be vocal about it. I love video games, travel, photography and Lego (and of course the fam and friends and my bf) and pretty much everyone knows it. I think maybe I've been lucky, I get a few odd looks but it's been accepted by all. Even my boyfriend's parents got me the Star Wars Lego Encyclopedia for Christmas, and I hadn't even been dating my boyfriend a year when I met them (at Christmas). I don't think I've really affected anyone with it tho, other than my friends will post cool Lego related things on my wall sometimes.

    My current boyfriend doesn't get the Lego thing at all but he helps me get whatever I'd like, lol. We spend a lot of time in airports (due to the travel thing which we both love, plus we used to be long distance), so sometimes he'll pop off "to use the toilet" but then he'll come back with a CMF or two for me. He was so taken with the Hazmat Suit guy that I gave it to him and he keeps it on his desk at work.

    I did get him into Gears of War tho so I guess 3/4 shared obsessions is okay :D.
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    Hubby started building with Lego in '09 after symptoms of Parkinsons made building with K'nex (rollercoasters) too difficult. He didn't take too much flak because he's always had one collection or another of toys. Most usually trains of various gauges. Now building with Lego serves as both hobby and therapy, and even his neurologist thinks it's a great idea.

    The first picture I posted was the large statue of liberty #3450 in progress and a few people were a little less than supportive, but when I posted a picture of it completed including a fan designed base that has more pieces than the statue we received nothing but positive comments.

    We even found out a cousin and her hubby have been closet AFOL's for years. Their recent visit to our 16' X 20' Lego shop ellicited a "Now I'm jealous" from her husband who can afford more Lego than us but has little space to display his builds.
  • seonadancingseonadancing Member Posts: 92
    I have been made fun of by friends who didn't understand why i was still playing with Lego bricks in college and after that, that is until they saw the buildings that I have created with it. I can freely post my MOCs now on facebook and everyone of my friends and relatives are amazed at the collection that i have. I have 4 close friends that have started to buy Lego sets in past few years, so I'm getting to talk about the hobby more. I'm 35.
  • seonadancingseonadancing Member Posts: 92
    I forgot to mention that my wife has been supportive in her own way and has brought me a CC when we were just going out, and she took home two 25th anniversary tubs with the 8 gold bricks in it, from the US to the Philippines. That's when I really knew she was the one for me. We recently spend time putting together the petshop and grand emporium, and she really enjoyed it. Hopefully my two young kids will grow up to like the toys also.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 594
    I think I helped bring my best friend out of the Dark Ages. It all started last year when I showed him a picture of the Super Star Destroyer on display in a Lego Store. He was entranced. When I came to visit him over the holidays, he had recovered all his old Star Wars Lego sets and was meticulously trying to rebuild them (Jango Fett's Slave I took highest precedence, since I told him that set and the figures that come with it are worth quite a bit). Later, he had them on display, and for his birthday I "bought" him the SSD via a Lego Store gift card for $400. The guy snatched it up and it is now the centerpiece of what was once his dining room table (much to his wife's chagrin). He is currently saving up for the UCS R2-D2. I'd like to think I was responsible for all this (his wife probably thinks so!).
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^To bring joy without reciprocation and to inspire others through one's own passion, now that is a good friend indeed.

    My new hobby has raised many eyebrows amongst my friends and acquaintances. Work colleagues think I'm immature, friends think I'm losing my sanity, my gf thinks Lego stole me away and is the reason I've neglected her of attention for the past 7 months. But she's happy I found a new and safe hobby that I enjoy so much. And my immediate family (mom, dad, sis) thinks its cool and a throwback to my childhood, bringing them back memories of our family when I was a little lad playing with bricks.

    Dealing with all that input, my final conclusion is: Lots of time, tons of money, but it makes me truly happy. Life is short, build it to the fullest...
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 867
    ^ Lots of time, tons of money, but it makes me truly happy. Life is short, build it to the fullest...
    @BrickDancer You hit the nail on the head for me and (I'm sure) for a lot of other people on here (and not yet on here). Thank you for that quote!
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