Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
Am I entering a Dark Age or just losing interest in a theme?
Like many others, I bought everything and anything when I came out of my Dark Age (around 2012) but quickly realised that cash and space were going to become an issue rather quickly. I decided restrict my collection to Star Wars and some classic stuff like pirates/castle/space (mainly for nostalgia reasons!) and sell off the rest - although I haven't quite got around to actually selling that much of it yet!
In the last couple of years though, I've seen a steady decline in the stuff that I actually want in the Star Wars theme and apart from Kylo Ren's Tie, there's not much from the last wave that I'd consider "must have". Some of the smaller sets I'll probably pick up if there's a big enough discount, and even then probably just for the minifigs, but the rest I'm not going even remotely interested in and won't bother with. None of the leaked stuff I seen for later in the year has me overly excited either.
I'm not sure if this is a reflection on the sets themselves, a bit of over saturation with the theme or if I'm just losing interest. I still visit Brickset daily and still love to build when time permits so hopefully just a "blip" with the theme.
Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com • Amazon
Recent discussions •
Do you MOC? I find that keeps my interest up.
I've been losing interest in Star Wars stuff too. Over saturation and inflated prices plus the quality of the films has helped fuel this.
I hear you about Star Wars getting over saturated with rehashes. I mainly collect original trilogy, but the new OT sets like the Cantina and the new Sandcrawler coming out are like poor man's versions of the ones from a few years ago. Yes, I know the Sandcrawler from a few years ago was UCS and this is a retail set, but why would I want to get both? I've mostly moved on to other themes - Modulars, some city sets, some Superhero sets, and concentrating on collecting older themes like Western, Vikings, Ninja, and Adventurers. I've found that variety keeps things interesting, and Lego has such a rich back catalog of interesting themes.
Think @MrJackson hit the nail on the head in his first word: over saturation. Personally, it’s no longer affordable to buy all of the latest sets, even if you concentrate on one theme. I will now only buy the sets I really want and pass on weaker (or way too expensive sets).
Now I’ve really got in to MOCS - but that’s a slippery slope. BrickLink being the drug dealer of an expensive habit!
This is why I am still collecting one-off sets like the IDEAS sets, i.e. Back to the Future, Beatles, Ecto 1, Doctor Who, Wall-E. They still retain a sense of 'specialness' and to quote Marie Kondo, give me a sense of "joy" when I pick them up.
I also bought a lot when I came out of the dark ages and slowly but surely ever since the purchases slowly get more infrequent. This is for many reason none other than other priorities take a higher stand.
Easy picks are modular and UCS sets (including UCS-like sets such as #76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier) as there are "few" of these a year.
For me, the problem is mainly Star Wars, City and Super Heroes. I will keep buying trains, but should stop buying a "city" for them (which I have no place to display). The most appealing aspect (to me) of the Super Hero sets are the minifigures, so these also have to stop. Most of the movie-based sets seems too basic/simple in my opinion (This from the guy that bought multiple Black Panther sets and all the Juniors Cars 3 sets... see how well this non-buy thing is going for me?). And then there is Star Wars; I find #75180 Rathtar Escape just ugly, but there it is, sitting on a shelf unopened. If I manage to stay away from #75201 First Order AT-ST I will call it a win.
Now add the several Friends, BrickHeadz and Architecture sets I have and I really really really need to put a stop to this.
*sigh* ...this is depressing... I wonder if there are any LEGO on sale at Target today?
Yeah... about those... (points to the closet) :-P
I don't tend to MOC on my own very often, either because I don't spare myself very many loose pieces as I can't bring myself to dismantle sets, or I simply feel like I don't have the time when I'm not building sets. Guess it's one of those 'wish I could do more' things, but I do MOC with family from time to time.
However, I have come up with a couple of ways to keep things fresh that have worked for me, one which has been mentioned loosely and the other not at all yet:
1.) Dabble in different themes - I'm a bit of a completionist so I find it hard not to collect everything - but some themes, subthemes or even specific sets really grab my interest. There's a dearth of unlicensed space, (normal) castle and pirates at the moment but some of the Ninjago Movie sets, and the entire City Jungle subtheme really reinvigorated my interest in different themes. Even the bucket wheel excavator was an unusual purchase from me but I loved the challenging build and trying to nurse it into life!
2.) Find diamonds in the rough - I feel like I'm in the minority here (and I know I am when I visit auctions) but I find it really satisfying to restore sets that have been loved, played with, stored away and eventually auctioned off. There's something really exciting about finding a couple of key parts in a loose Lego box for sale and then building up the complete model. I've managed to recreate the Mega Core Magnetizer, various early 80s Space sets, the Airtech Claw Rig, the Pirates Sea Vulture, the Castle of Morcia and the Black Knights Castle from '87 in this way. I didn't restore them with the intention to sell them off, but if I did in the future for money or space, I wouldn't generally be so precious about them than sets I'd bought from new. Some of the sets named above might break this convention though!
I second the opinion of many others here, try to get into some other themes or start MOCing (although I'm not quite sure I'm ready for that particular Pandora’s Box myself yet...).
Sensible would also be not buying stuff that I don't particularly want when I have a pile of unbuilt LEGO, lack of funds/space and a wife that moans about LEGO every time postman visits. I don't do that either!
Don't you mean straight white males with Posh English accents?
I think Disney are pushing the female angle to get more girls interested in Star Wars as any other political/social agenda - get the girls on board and that's twice as many kids to sell merchandise to.
Disney are gong to milk Star Wars hard to get their $4Bn and then some. 3 new films out:
An ok OT remix, an excellent OT supplement and then a SW film that most people over the age of 7 don't like, the forecast for Solo isn't looking too good either (although there were a lot of worries with Rogue One reshoots and that turned out fine).
I'm only collecting OT UCS sets now (or supplementary sets - the Jawa battle pack goes well with the UCS Sandcrawler, so I got 2, mainly for 2 Tusken Raiders ), I've ran out of room and everything new I get means something else has to be put away - next to go is probably GB Headquarters, or perhaps UCS Tumbler.
The UCS series is running out of steam for me too. We're well into rehashes now, once the ISD, Y-Wing, Vader's Tie and Tantative IV come around for remakes, i'll probably be done (maybe add the AT-ST that I nearly bought after coming out of my dark ages. Don't think we'll see a Cavegod style AT-AT unless TLG find a way of making the build sturdy enough for their stability standards - maybe doing the legs in the same structural style as the Imperial shuttle wings (holed bricks and technic liftarms with rods running through for reinforcement?
I'm starting to get Lego Fatigue - as much as I love the new UCS MF, after building it, at the back of my mind I was thinking "wow, £650 I spent on that" - first set I have ever bought without a discount or an amazing/valuable freebie to offset. I still haven't put it on display yet as i'm waiting for parts to build a stand.
MOCing is great, but you need an incredible amount of time to do something substantial - everything you build gets pulled to bits and retweaked 6-8 times in my experience.
But I'm pretty sure Daisy Ridley is a straight white male, and Adam Driver is a gay afro-latino-asian disabled woman. Amazing what CGI can do.
Last time I checked, Star Wars movies were made to generate money and tell a story to as many people that will pay for the privilege.
But whatever - if you don't enjoy the story, don't see the movie.
It's a trap! That sautee pan is fully operational!
I came out of my Dark Age in 2013 and while I love building and collecting there's also a realization that space is an issue. My modular lineup is presenting landlocked without space for some brewing MOCs or the Downtown Diner, and Ninjago City is currently living on the dining room table. It's slowed my progress substantially, but not for lack of interest. Add to it that there is a huge number of sets every year and those of us without dedicated LEGO rooms have to be a little more judicious with what we acquire.
As far as SW as a theme - I think others have nailed it. Disney's new-film-every-year cash grab is over-saturating the fan base. How many over-priced versions of the same sets do we need?
If they don't do a mid sized MF for the Solo movie but instead do some obscure ship that they haven't done before from, say, the PT, then are sales as a whole likely to be better or worse? Clearly worse. They need to keep re-doing key ships as that is what buyers want. There is no point telling someone they cannot have a MF as they should have bought one 6 years ago, or a 3 years ago.
Both of them made money world wide (although the domestic haul on TLNM was disappointing), and from what has leaked around (including in the release) the Ninjago theme did very well. TLBM sets seem to have been a pretty big drag on profits, according to quite a few sources, and the biggest reason for it was likely saturation and a profusion of low quality sets in the theme. I really hope the take away for them was to condense their offerings to fewer sets, and increase the quality of those sets, since the theme that did well did so and the theme that didn't... didn't.
(I have a #4504 MF, so maybe? Even though it's the second version.)
I look at these frequent sets as essentially disposable. Don't let it bother you that another version of the same set is coming...
Combine that with the increase of sets I want that cost more and my spending has decreased.
I have to admit I have been somewhat burned out (well maybe only 'singed') on LEGO for the past year now; getting sets I know I want vs buying a lot of secondary, buying for parts, or figures.
I have also started concentrating on clearing out used LEGO in my apt and finally selling a bunch of the older used sets I have that are sitting around waiting to be built and getting back to sorting.
PS I love the Elves design work. I would love to see some big set take its cues from the stylings often used there, but with fewer pink/purple overtones. That series' design style is everything I was waiting for in a Rivendell or Lothlorien set that never happened.
I don't focus on any 1 series in particular. I take the mind set of if I think it will be an interesting build or if I think it looks pretty cool, I'll buy it. (pending budget restrictions that is)
I've also moved more in that direction, and it's been really good. After the TLBM fiasco (so many sets, and trying to get the whole theme was... not fun) I was going to stay away from trying to get whole themes, and just go for what I like. Of course, as soon as I made that choice, TLNM came out, and all the sets looked great. So I've ended up going for all the TLNM theme sets... but I learned an important lesson. It's fine to go for a whole theme if you like everything in the theme. But if you like some, and feel ambivalent about others, it's not worth getting the ones you have mixed feelings about just to finish the theme. And, second most importantly, if you're just buying a set for because it includes the only version of some minifig... just get the minifig off Bricklink, don't get the whole set. In general, you'll feel a lot better and not end up with unwanted clutter. (Certain mini/big figs excluded from this calculus, of course. If it's something like the Hulk bigfig in the Arena battle set that costs roughly half the cost of getting the set, I might just consider getting the whole set.)