Even before coming out of my dark ages, I remember seeing some of the winter village sets and thinking how awesome I thought they were and how fun it would be to make a winter town out of them to display during the holidays. After seeing some displays this winter, something snapped in my brain and I've been obsessed with creating my winter masterpiece. I am wrestling with the best way to go about collecting the older released sets as well as how to introduce my own buildings. It really comes down to one main thing for me: COST!
I've added the following to my Wanted List on BL: #10222 Winter Post Office, #10216 Winter Village Bakery, #10229 Winter Village Cottage, #10235 Winter Village Market, #10245 Santa's Workshop, and #10249 Winter Toy Shop (2015 edition). First, aside from the train and the original Winter Toy Shop, are there any other Winter Village Sets I'm missing? The train will most likely make its way onto the list as well.
I figured I would try to leverage the collective brain power of the Brickset community to help me either fix whatever snapped in my brain, help me develop a strategy on collecting, as well as offer additional insights/photos/ideas/etc... on how I could make this a really special and memorable display.
I really see four possible ways to approach the procurement of the necessary bits: 1) Buy the completed sets (new or used doesn't really matter to me). 2) Bricklink the sets (considering cost is my biggest limitation, this is likely not the best route for everything). 3) Use resources like the PAB wall/site and local "bulk brick" stores. 4) A combination of all of the above.
There is a local Bricks and Minifigs store that has a great selection of bulk Lego that I've recently been picking through to complete some other projects. Unfortunately, on my last trip I had intended to go in and buy as many of the tan/dark tan/every variation of brown I could only to walk in and see a couple literally dumping those color selection bins into a massive bag. I had to talk myself off the ledge... I see this as potentially the best route for a vast majority of the pieces. They are constantly getting in new stock that is, for the most part, that is clean and in good shape. There are a decent amount of pieces that would likely never show up, and so I'd have to BL those.
Of the six sets listed above, the BL price for used sets minus shipping would be $713. The Bricks and Minifigs store mentioned above sells bulk bricks in a variety of bags up to $60 I believe. I'm just seriously wondering if I could spend ~$150 and get all of the "common" bricks, BL the rest for another ~$100 (no idea how accurate that is), and save $500 compared to buying complete sets. There would be additional charges if I wanted to make it a complete, living village connected by roads, trees, additional buildings, etc..., but that could come down the line.
Well, out of fear of losing the majority of readers, I'll make myself stop. I'd appreciate any feedback that could be given. Just knowing myself, when I've been bitten by similar bugs in the past, my tendency is to go WAY overboard and want everything immediately. I can see part of the fun of this type of project is amassing parts over time. So I have to remind myself to be realistic and enjoy the ride.