It is my pleasure to host the Bonusball this week.
On my occasional lurks elsewhere I've seen folk sharing when they've acquired their White Whale
I obsess about LEGO, I have been very lucky and have obtained many of the sets I have wanted in any prolonged way. You could say I've hunted down a fair few White Whales.
My 'White Whale' does seem to continually return to the sea to haunt me however, and there seems to be a whole family of them currently.
My first White Whale was the #928
, it was the thing I wanted most as a child, I was always sad that I hadn't managed to get one, I remember the kid down the road taking his to school to show it off, I rememer the ugly jealousy my seven year old self felt. I remember the pain of discovering the last one had gone from the local toy shop, not that I could afford it, but you know, the security of it being there meant that I might one day be able to buy it.
But that was it, my hopes of ever owning 'Galaxy Explorer' were over.
Fast forward twenty odd years.
I took about a year of looking to get my #928
and I wanted one with a box, I couldn't quite afford a bricklink one because even then they were £90+ with box. So that narrowed the options mostly to ebay. I missed out on so many, each failure was a new re-opening of those childhood wounds.
Finally I won one, iirc it was £74 and right at the top of the budget I had set. It was incorrectly listed in its title and the box looked a bit battered in the photos but from what I could see the LEGO looked nice and it was complete, including the all important aerial (unbroken)!
When it arrived, the box was a bit crushed, it was missing a flap but the plastic tray and lid were there and the LEGO was in amazingly good condition. I carefully repaired the missing flap, I wouldn't call it a restoration but it's definitely a reasonable fix.
The instructions were okay too, a few taped tears and quite a few folds but I downloaded scans to use instead so that I wouldn't damage them any further.
When I came to build it for the first time, there were a handful of pieces that I decided to replace, the odd bite mark or nick and one sun damaged plate.
All the other parts were in astoundingly good shape, especially the trans yellow pieces and printed elements. The gold is missing from the logos on the spacemen, but it's there on the bricks.
I know I'd have enjoyed building the set as a child. As an adult there was a heavy dose of nostalgia in building a set I'd wanted so much, but even taking that into account, it's an impressive model and a really fun build.
Interesting too is how different LEGO's approach to designing the models is and how instructions have changed in the intervening years.
In order to take these photos this time, my son and I built the #928
Anyone else seen the 'error' I'd never noticed until my son pointed it out? I suspect this is well known amongst other AFOLs.
If not, there ^, see it? That's right, four trans red 1x1 landing lights on each side of the baseplate in the photo, but only enough bricks provided to do three per side (as per the instructions).
I still love it, perhaps not quite as much as my original #918
but it was my heart's desire between the age of six and seven (the age my son is now). It really is a great set, because building again this weekend both my son and I had a fantastic time building it. For a set that is just about 40 years old, that's incredible longevity and reminds me why I have such a high regard for LEGO.
My next White Whale was #7190
, then it was #6990
, then it was #4483
, then #6901
, then #924
, then... you know how these things go, you see a set, you think you need it, and then you begin to hunt for it, and it becomes a daily search, a constant consideration until you need it so, so bad, it dominates your every waking thought.
Now then, before the White Whales that currently taunt me drag me down to the depths, I'd like you to tell
your White Whale/s.
You can take it a number of ways.
- What set is your current White Whale?
- Which set is/was your all time most obsessive need?
- Which of your White Whale acquisitions has the best story behind it?
- Even the tale of the many White Whales that have swam in the oceans of your thoughts.
For what it's worth, I don't think it has to a full set, a single minifigure could be a White Whale, as could Grangemouth marbled pieces.
You know the drill by now, the first 59 (unique) posts get a numbered entry for Saturday's UK BonusBall (24th November, 2018). Post number matching the bonusball wins. Please try to only post once until the 59 spots are full.
One more rule this week, I do want a story, no simple sentences, "mine was #999" or "dude, I always wanted the 'force grabber' from that theme
back in the day". I'd like a beggining
, a middle
and an END
! Preferably more than two paragraphs, with as much heart or humour as you can manage please! To give you enough time to write, I'm starting the bonusball very early this week.
Sadly I don't have a custom Captain Ahab minifigure for a prize (very little could follow last week's prize courtesy of @stlux)
but I do have a new, unused Mountain Police Key-chain
for the winner and a 'good as new' and original '98 Johnny Thunder
for my favourite entry (photos may help here).
One final thing, if you've got this far, please take another couple of moments to consider if you would be willing to host a future Bonusball... and then please do send @snowhitie
a little PM to register your intentions ;-)
I'm a collector of both Lego and of G1 Transformers, and to be honest, most of the White Whales I lusted over have more often been Transformers rather than Lego sets. But a Lego set I did completely lust over back in 2003 when it was released, was 4483 AT-AT (https://brickset.com/sets/4483-1/AT-AT). I was still a student back then, getting ready to finally graduate, but being pretty much skint at the time. Still, I always loved the AT-AT in the movies, and I was so glad that a Lego AT-AT would finally be released. So I had to have it, no matter the cost and the sacrifices I would have to make.
Even just acquiring a big set like that was a hassle back in the day: I wasn't too keen on internet shopping back then, and sites like Amazon were mostly directed at the US and the UK, with few options of international shipping to me in the Netherlands. Finally, I was lucky enough to find it in a toy store, and man, did it feel good to have it and to build it, even though it meant quite a few evenings of pot ramen dinners... I still have that first AT-AT built up. I actually bought a second one a year later, when I was properly employed, just because it is such a great set, and even that one I had built up until earlier this year. But that first one most definitely was a White Whale for me!
My current 'White Whales' are #10196 - Grand Carousel and the #7477 - T-Rex vs. Typhoon. I'm not particularly motivated to get either, but someday...
Mr. Gold is partially what brought me into this Forum. And I am very thankful for this Forum (and Brickset) for giving me direction in narrowing my collection and also being the bane of my existence in sharing with me all sorts of LEGO stuff I didn't know I wanted or needed.
So the set in question was the retired #3180 Octan tanker truck. I loved Octan and the original Octan filling station in '93 was a highlight of my childhood Lego. (Green pieces!). But it was out of stores by then. After awhile I decided to get a Bricklink copy but it came missing a ton of parts and sent it back for a refund. That put me off trying again.
Eventually #60016 came out and replaced it but I was living overseas by then and busy and never got a copy of that while it was out either. Again, I realize these are both cheap, common sets but I think that was part of the problem, they didn't inspire urgency the way a modular might.
Fast forward to about a year and a half ago and I am living in Bulgaria and Carrefour (supermarket chain) is going out of business here. Their stores became really weird with 300 copies of one type of suitcase spread out across the entire back wall for example. The Lego was also frozen in a time capsule and was just a few random sets from five years or so earlier still unsold. Most were junk (Construct-a-Zurg!) but I found a pristine #60016 in a plastic security box still priced right around RRP. Nothing amazing but it really made me happy and checked a box I had open in the back of my mind for years.
1. That circa 1980 toy Big Team - really wanted one for about 3 Christmases in a row never got one.
I see they revived it a few years back - a tiny and cheap version, not so fussed now I'm 43, so didn't buy one.
2. Devastator combined Transformers set. You couldn't get it in the UK, but my Uncle was travelling straight after Uni and his last destination before home was Japan - They sold it and with all of my 10th birthday money wired to him, he bought one. His suitcases were lost/stolen en-route to the UK and I never got my Devastator.
I finally decided a year later to start my pursuit all of the past WV sets. The only problem was my wife didn't know my search had started. I honestly thought it was a long shot that I would have even one of the older sets before the first year was over. Much to my surprise, within a few weeks of starting to look, I ran across a deal for the Bakery and Cottage. The deal was too good to pass up, but the realization that I had to then tell my wife hit, and the deal seemed a little less sweet. I summoned up all the courage I could muster and started the conversation.
Much to my surprise, I was met with excitement! My wife said I needed to jump on the deal right away!
I slowly acquired all of the previous sets with the exception of the Post Office. I figured I would have to BL the pieces over time to make it a reality. And that is when I met my Lego Angel on Facebook Marketplace. After buying the WV Market from her, we started talking. She informed me she had previously bought all the WV sets for her and her kids to enjoy, but they had long been forgotten and were collecting dust somewhere. I asked if she had the Post Office, to which she replied yes. I then stated if she ever found herself in the position of wanting to sell it, I would be very interested.
She stared at me for a few moments, and then replied, "I'll just give it to you if you want it?" I think I nearly fell over! I thanked her for her kind and generous offer, but, wanting to be polite, offered to pay her for the set. She firmly refused and said it was her gift to me and my family.
A few weeks later, we met, and the Post Office was in hand. My White Whale had been conquered!
I have a few other sets/themes that float through my mind from time to time. However, I think my WV project will always remain top of mind.
I made the long trek out there and they had 3 or 4 on the shelf. I grabbed one and waited in the long checkout line. When it was finally my turn to pay, I told them I wanted to PM with the Lego shop. They said they don't do that but I pointed them to the PM page on the TRU site, which explicitly stated Lego shop as an approved vendor. The cashier calls over a manager who repeated the same thing. I then repeated what I said before and showed them the page that said Lego was an approved vendor for PM'ing. They just kept saying they don't do that without even looking at the page.
After a little while trying to explain but realizing I wasn't going to get anywhere, I just paid full price for it and left. I was glad I finally got it after my efforts in searching for one, but not getting it at the sale price since that store wasn't following their own policy really dampened my enthusiasm for finally getting that set. Lugging that thing through Times Square didn't help either. However, when I finally got around to building it, all of those negative feelings went out the window. Thinking about it again now, though... Well, that store's not around anymore and I have my Unimog, so bygones will be bygones. :)
For quite some time now, my personal white whale has been to re-acquire #6378 which was the first LEGO set my grandmother ever bought me as a kid and the first LEGO set for which I have any real memories.
I actually still have many/most of the pieces in my collection to this day, but of course they're all very play worn and more importantly the stickers are pretty much non existent any more.
For now, I shall leave the story at that, because I just happened to *fingers crossed* hopefully acquire a complete set in excellent condition with all of the stickers present and accounted for. We shall see once it arrives.
To be continued...
A few years ago I found a boxed one for £20 via GumTree. Great price but it turned out to be missing quite a bit, which I've been gradually acquiring from Bricklink (I have so many more pressing projects that this one could stay on the backburner!). At one point I thought I had completed it, but some pieces were missing from the sanity-check count...
I should really get the last 2 or 3 bits soon so I can finally build it and cross it off a long standing mental list!
Quality #928 @Mr_Cross, I'm guessing we're of a similar age!
Interesting question - I spent a lot of time looking for a sealed #6880 Surface Explorer which was one of the few sets I'd wanted as a kid, but never owned. My best friend was equally obsessed with Classic Space whilst we were growing up and he was given one - it had one of the first Yellow minifigures, which was pretty exceptional in 1982 or so!
Anyway, I thought I'd finally tracked down one on Ebay a couple of years ago; the photos were a bit blurry, but I thought I'd give it a bash. It transpired that they were deliberately so for a reason, and in reality the set was in a poor state (and it didn't smell that great either); so I returned it. Truth be told, it's rather tainted my fond memories of it and I haven't looked for once since.... but maybe I'll get the bug again.
Let me preface this by saying that, yes, I have purchased #75192. Still, there's something about the allure of the original that makes me want to have it. Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope was the first movie I actually remember seeing as a kid. There were probably plenty of others before it, but it's the one that seems to be first in my memory. So of course I latched on to the most iconic ship in that movie, that being the Millennium Falcon.
While I wasn't in my dark ages when it first came out, I was just starting college and that was taking up most of my time and any extra money I had. Unfortunately I simply had no way of purchasing the set. I would still see in the catalogs and online for months after its release, just wishing there was some way I could finally get one. Then of course it disappeared from standard retail outlets.
While the release of #75192 has taken the sting away a bit, the allure of the original still has me hunting after #10179. It just feels like the missing piece of my collection despite the many other sets I have.
I also want a UCS A-Wing, but I figured white whale stories were reserved for stuff that actually exists.
1. #6372 Townhouse - one of my favorite sets as a kid but had to leave behind. I’ve checked it’s availability every couple of years but can’t quite pull the trigger. Love the pigtails on the lady.
2. #6842 Small Space Shuttle Craft - had as a kid and rebought maybe 10 years ago from Ebay. It was used but was in good shape and for less than $15. This was the first I ever owned and it was from my Dad.
3. #6683 Hamburger Stand - so cute...never had this but it will be mine someday.
4. any postal service sets from the early 80s...really like the yellow mailboxes
5. Unexpected Gathering and Barrel Escape - really waffled whether I wanted LOTR/Hobbit sets or not. When I decided yes, it was too late. Isn’t that always the case? Don’t think about it...just buy it!!!
6. Not really a set but the giganto Super Mario moc/statue...I need that in my life.
I'm not sure what my white whale would be at the moment. I have pretty much every Lego set I really wanted now, lol. If I were to pick one though, it would be the Forestmen River Fortress.
After much searching, I finally managed to get a complete set with fully intact aerial. Also managed to complete sets that had missing pieces so I could rebuild my Classic Space collection.
My brother and I had more LEGO than most of our friends, so there wasn't all that much envy going on. We had (I still have!) plenty inherited from cousins, and family connections in Denmark so had been to Billund twice in the early '80s. If anything rankled with us back then it was amount of spend per person. The only people I can really remember having sets were only children or had significant age gaps with their siblings whereas we are only 2 years apart. So if £20 was going to be spent on toys we would get £10 worth each while friends would get the whole amount to themselves. So while there was a slight feeling of unfairness that they may have had the larger spaceship or massive Technic car, we had three or four smaller ones (and each other) so could actually play properly rather than being on our own. And looking back now I have a much better understanding of how much my Dad may have earned compared to some of theirs.
The only thing I used to really dream of was building an enormous LEGO railway. This was mostly because the 1980 relaunch sets were all over the place in 82-83 when my Dad decided to sell off his old Hornby three rail collection so we lost the ability to play trains in the school holidays. But they were so expensive I could never manage to save up before getting distracted and buying something else, and then fell into the dark.
I've thought about getting some now, but have nowhere to set them up.
When I started collecting the Winter Village theme though I did become a little bit obsessed, in particular because I was generally unwilling to pay much abover RRP for the sets I’d missed in Dark age. Thanks to a bit of trading and dealing I’d managed to get all but the first Winter Village Toy Shop (this was well before the rerelease) and any time I looked at the prices I ultimately decided to just accept the gap in my collection.
That was until Huw of all people listed one for sale at a very good price with collection at the Great Western Brick Show (STEAM) which was coincidentally the first event I was planning on attending to help Fairy Bricks. So that year I completed the Winter Village collection and started helping Fairy Bricks at events, which I was subsequently told I’m never allowed to give up!
That set, while one I do very much appreciate, is however no where near the top of my collection favourites, most of my favourites are more harder to come by things like the business card minifigures etc which I’ve acquired, but I never set out to chase them, just happened to be given a few when meeting the right people.
For the next few years at every Birthday and Christmas I asked for #924 the Space Transporter but it never arrived. I was as obsessed as any child could be with this set, I looked whistfully at the little leaflets of other sets at it, if had a lifting element with an actual spring in it, fantastic, but I can’t seem to recall ever seeing it on a shelf. Time wore on and I stumbled off into my dark ages.
When I emerged from my dark ages I decided to rebuild all my old classic space sets, obviously starting from #924 and the itch returned. #918 was reassembled but the absence of #924 started to niggle me. The fleet was incomplete, yes I managed to purchase lots of other sets I did not have but it did not scratch that itch.
#924 was not cheap and nor was it very available, Bricklink was prohibativly expensive so it would have to be eBay. Some came up and went for more than I was willing to pay, the sticking point seemed to be the spring lifter element it had not aged well and in old grey it was a hard part to find.
Then it happened, one was listed for a very good starting price, I engaged stalking mode and watched it insesntly, with less than a minutie to go I placed my maximum bid and crossed my fingers - I won! I was elated. Once the set arrived I built it with all the joy of a seven year old again. At last the fleet was complete.
Yes they need an overhaul and the faded parts replacing, a project I am sure I we’ll get to when the children have gone to university in fifteeen years or so but it was done I had the classic delta V inspired trio. Ahhh perfection.
As a little boy I was http:// a huge into Classic Space and Castle with off course Blacktron I and Wolfpack as the must haves.
However I never had the chance of getting any of the Wolfpack sets. So with the birth of my first son and him getting on his 4 also into Lego we decided to make a Wolfpack castle together. I really wanted to have set #6038 into it, so I started searching various sources for it. One day I got a Bricklink email someone has put some online. A little store in Malta had 4 in pristine condition.
Mmm could this be the stories to good to be true?
They were in prisitine condition according to the store (even after all these years), but the store hadn't had any sale before, so it just had opened...and the price wasn't very high.. ALARM BELLS everywhere.... They also had some other vintage sets for sale, like the Wolfpack Castle...but that price was a bit too steep just to try out my luck.
So I ordered two Renegades carriages, and to my suprise they were exactly as described. The little store in Malta delivered a great service and the two boxes arrived like they were never been on any shelf.
But when my disbelief was gone away, and I checked the store again to get myself that Wolfpack castle the 2 they got were already gone.
So yeah, I'm really happy I've got my White Whale in this condition, but still, if I didn't had hesitated I would have got another White Whale.
Blacktron is still a White Whale today. I just can't find any set in a good condition which doesn't cost a little fortune. As a kid I've been lucky to have had #6894 and it was a set for which I have some fondest memories. I played with it all the time.
But for now...it is my White Whale.
Edit: Completely happy to be disqualified on the grounds of being an idiot and posting this in the first place.
Just so no one thinks I'm actually that good at building, the above build belongs to Brickset member and MOC thread regular @vitreolum .
Credit where credits due and all that. :)
It had just been retired when I started collecting and foolishly my excitement for Lego in general got the better of me and to start with my collecting had no focus, I just bought what was reduced. In hindsight I should have saved that cash and bought HH while it was still knocking about.
Can I also add the turkey drumstick from the S1 CMF zombie as well please? I found the fig in a mixed lot and I have many many drumsticks, just not that slightly longer one. It's cheap on BL, I want to find one though.
My first WW was the MF set "The Zombies" ( #9465 ). After reading about its limited release and the price it was going for I thought it would be ages before I found one for a reasonable price, imagine my surprise when I searched my local area on Gumtree and found a complete but without box set for a mere £12...!
Couldn't believe it, phoned the lady and whizzed over like a loon to purchase said item... Happy Day. ..
A couple summers ago I managed to get (just) the track for the Airport Shuttle from an ad I actually saw on Brickset, and the guy happened to be right in my corner of Pennsylvania. I also got it for a song, IMO - a flat hundred bucks, mostly cause he wanted the new Creator F40. Later that night I was telling this to my old roomate who had come over for drinks, and I was showing him the exorbitant prices on monorail sets and track on eBay, and as I was scrolling, there was a Monorail Transport Base for a Buy-It-Now of $175. He looks at me and says "Mark, click the button." Fast forward a week, and there it was, probably 95% completed. Missing a couple easily replaceable pieces, but all the track - including the exorbitant switch track pieces - was there.
If I had to pick a more modern one it would be the Super Star Destroyer. It's my favorite Star Wars vehicle ever, despite its lame demise, and had retired not long before I started working at Lego. Then I began collecting modulars in earnest and BL/PaB/B&P/my own parts bin'ed Market Street and Cafe Corner. It reached the point where the only one I needed was the Grocer. One of my coworkers had one he had bought, still sealed, and I gathered quite a number of sets to trade him for it. After well over a calendar year of him flaking out every time we were supposed to meet, a guy who had since started at Lego mentioned that his sister had had the Grocer (along with the Eiffel Tower and a number of other big sets) and he'd just dig through the parts bin and grab the bricks I needed. Got 49 of the 50 1x8 sand green bricks, all but three of the grooved 1x2s, all 4 blue archs, two of the three Viking tiles, and most of the other hard-to-find pieces. So I did a Bricks and Pieces order the next double points promo, and finished the Grocer.
I took all of the sets I had bookmarked for my buddy's sealed copy of the GG, and flipped them to a reseller who I'm friends with for a SSD. I still have my SSD sealed, waiting for a shelf to become available. So it ended up being the best of both worlds.
But then, one day, a box of bricks arrived at my house from a trade. Inside was a little gold jewellery box and inside that a wonderful Bricksetter had managed to get one for me anyway. Still smile every time I think about it and since the golden box actually lives on the mantelpiece (with Bilbo safely inside) so that is quite often! 100% completion rate for Hobbit/LOTR - whoohoo (remember how I said above I'm not a completionist).
I am still looking for some more WV sets and would love the Medieval Market Village but not sure they are classed as White Whales.
The closest I have to a White Whale set would be the current Hogwarts Great Hall.
It was advertised by Target AU for $119 - about 30% off Australian RRP. I went into my local at 8:30am the day that the sale started, and all of the sets had disappeared from the shelves (not that they'd had a lot of stock to begin with...)
I tried to buy one online, but all of the Targets near me were showing as 'Out of Stock' and the set was nowhere to be found in any of the usual places.
On the last day of the Target sale, I found a single set in K-Mart - the only time I had ever physically seen this set - and managed to get a price match.
I finally had my Hogwarts....
Cut to 2 months later, the set is still in the cupboard (under the stairs) and remains unbuilt.
To simplify things, you don't need to add a story, just give us an idication of why the set is so important to you.
The list then, is as follows (currently):
My favourite story, looks to be the most "liked" story also, congratulations @Captain_Eyebrow
Please PM me your addresses and I'll get your prizes in the post asap. Thanks to all who entered.
What a great thread, with some great stories.
Just one thing though. Looking at your original post, you mention there not being enough landing lights. You've spread the 12 out to have three on each side. Looking at the box photo, it has four along the sides, but only on three sides. The edge nearest the camera doesn't have any...
Clearly I need a new pair of eyes or a replacement brain. If only I was made of LEGO, it would be a simple case of ordering the parts from Bricklink!