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A Question Of Hobbies & Funding

MattDawsonMattDawson Solihull, UKMember Posts: 1,203
Brickset members!

I have a conundrum - and I haven't even discussed this with my family yet...

I have a moderate collection of US HO scale model trains which I don't do anything with, because I don't have the space to construct the modular layout I designed, not the time and inclination to go out to the garage (or garage space to move stuff around) to make progress. It is unlikely I will move out of my parents house anytime soon due to lack of funds or a well-paid job, and unlikely I can find somewhere to set it up elsewhere.

So, I have a question: should I retain these models, in a hope that several years down the line I will have the inclination, time and funds to complete what I want, or should I sell them all now, scrap whatever isn't saleable and use the recovered storage, shelf space and funds for other things (including Lego)?


  • tecjamtecjam Germany / SwitzerlandMember Posts: 255
    This is a question only you can answer.

    - How important is this hobby to you?
    - How valuable are the model trains? (Will you get close to what you expect when you sell them now?)
    - Is there any sentimental value to you?
    - How realistic is it that you can re-buy the trains in say 5-10 years time and will they have gained much in value?

    Answering these questions should give you an idea if you should or shouldn't sell these trains.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 268
    Why not build some buildings using Lego as a part of a layout?  I'm considering doing this myself, as HO scale buildings are often expensive. 
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Speaking as a person who would give nearly anything to recover the trains et al I had as a child/teen/young adult, unless keeping them stored was causing me some kind of hardship, there's no way I would get rid of them.
  • DonDon San DiegoMember Posts: 63
    What @TheLoneTensor said!

    If those trains have any sort of sentimental value, hang on to them if there is any chance you might get back into that hobby. And even if you see zero chance of that happening, hang onto them anyway!  :-)

    Over time, my hobby interests have waxed and waned, and my track record for predicting what would resurface has been poor. I've been very glad on occasion that I kept things even though doing so seemed silly at the time.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    With most stuff, I go by the 6 month rule. If I haven't thought about it, used it, or done anything with it in 6 months, it's time for it to go. Luckily, I never followed the rule when it came to LEGO and it survived two dark ages. But for everything else, I've stuck to it pretty strictly and so far I have no regrets.

    Sure there are times where I think I would like to have my G.I. Joe collection back, or even more so, my Transformers, but in the end I'm happy I stuck with the one thing I kept coming back to. Now, with two kids, a job, etc. I like that I have one true hobby that I can dedicate a lot of time to as opposed to lots of hobbies I can dedicate a little time to each.

    But that's just me.
  • goshe7goshe7 Columbus, Ohio, USAMember Posts: 515
    ^ & ^^^ are both very good points.  Being the moderate person I am, I of course think of the compromise.  Could you consider a few of your trains your "favorites" which have more value (price, sentimental, other) to you and just keep those?

    I did this with my childhood LEGO collection.   From the ~20lb box of parts, I pulled the parts for a few sets which had a higher sentimental value (first set, the one I played with most, etc.)  The rest I donated to a local school.  Zero regrets about my choices.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,422
    From what I know of the model train market, consumer-level HO scale trains are not particularly collectible, and if in your later life you want to replace them - they won't be difficult to find.

    Lego, on the other hand, is more valuable than gold!  (I read it on the internet, so it must be true.)
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,960
    I was in a similar situation once upon a time. I realised I would never have enough room to do justice to a OO model railway layout (unless it was rather small and boring) and so I got rid of it all and instead built a T gauge layout inside my coffee table!

    As I already had a coffee table, it meant I could have a dust-free model railway layout without taking up any extra space. This also meant that I had more room for Lego :)

    Here it is with the lid off:

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,242
    And it seems you even have a minimal storage space for the cat too.

  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,960
    ^ Heh, yeah, he loves cardboard boxes, no matter what size they are!
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 994
    edited April 2016
    i say:
    if its lying around more than a year, get rid of it! decluttering is a must! ask
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,960
    brumey said:
    i say:
    if its lying around more than a year, get rid of it! decluttering is a must! ask
    "You must be new here." :D
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 994
    i should've added that this doesnt count for lego!
  • MattDawsonMattDawson Solihull, UKMember Posts: 1,203
    @akunthita You paint a very bleak future! It's not as bad as it sounds; I'm almost guaranteed a renewed contract at work, and I'm going to begin applying for new work anyway (including looking abroad!)

    @goshe7 Well part of the reason for selling it is I am duplicating my HO stuff with Lego trains, and I'd sooner have the Lego trains...

    @Yodalicious That's also another reason I'm selling. I don't have time for it. I would do if I didn't play PC games, but that would defeat the point of having spent so much (over several years, I might add!) on Artemis... I mean, computer components...
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,823
    Your second comment paints a clearer picture - it sounds like it'd be worth selling because there's not the depth of feeling for the model railway stuff that might make it painful to do. Plus, I get the impression that even if you do get to move out to a place with more space, you'd be more likely to use it for Lego train display than for the models you have now. 

    I'm finding this thread helpful in clarifying my feelings about my Sylvanian Families collection - it's been sitting unsorted at my mum's for years, and now our house is so close to finished it's becoming clearer how much display stuff I might have, so I'm going to bring it over here and sort/clean it to decide whether to sell/how much of it to sell and how much to keep for sentimental/display purposes...
  • DonDon San DiegoMember Posts: 63
    I think the logic looks somewhat like this:

    1) Sentimental value? Then keep. (within reason, and in some cases a photo can suffice)

    2) Value increasing markedly? Then keep. (cheaper than a potential re-buy, and/or it is an investment)

    3) You know from your history that your interest comes and goes. Then keep (at least until you know that interest is not coming back)

    4) If no real history to base #3 on, due to youth perhaps, then hold onto the stuff until you have a valid sample of how your interests fluctuate. Caveat - I am very much not young, and still not sure I grasp just how my interests wax and wane!  :-)

    5) Else - move on!

    Truly, the only *real* concern is #1 above, and if you aren't the sentimental type, giving stuff up isn't a huge risk.

    For a long time I kept quite a magazine collection, on topics from programming to cars and general interest like Smithsonian magazine. My wife finally convince me (for the most part...) that I was *never* going* to go back and read those again. Always something new coming. So I kept a few select issues here and there to jog memories and let me take the flavor of those days, and off went the rest!
    As @goshe7 said - keep a little bit that really matters, and letting the bulk go is often the best compromise.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,422
    Um, the one who dies with the most stuff wins.  

    (I read that on the internet, so it must be true.)
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,883
    Correction - whomever has the most sausage, wins.
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