So I realized today that I've been on the forum, posting more and more regularly for nearly a year now and yet when I first joined up, I never did an introduction post. So maybe it's time to change that.
I've been into LEGO for as long as I can really remember, although I know that my interests didn't really start establishing strongly until I was about 5 or 6. As far as I know, I never had any Duplo as a toddler but I did start playing with the LEGO which my uncles had left at my grandmother's house at a fairly early age. The first set that holds really substantial memory for me is #6378
which I would have gotten at 6 or 7, although I know by that time that I had some other smaller sets of my own.
My biggest interest as a child was Town for sure, but I also had a strong affinity for both Castle and Space. Forestmen and M:Tron were big hits for me. I had a lot of police, fire, and hospital sets and had a large (to my small eyes) city set up in my room.
Then Pirates came out when I was 10 and it immediately became my favorite theme! One of my great regrets is that I didn't take better care of my Pirates sets over the passing years. #6276 Eldorado Fortress was my most absolute favorite set then (#6285 probably would have been, but I didn't have the luxury of owning it)!
Even as I progressed into my early teens I still maintained an interest in LEGO and kept building and buying sets and making my own creations all the way through high school (though at a slower rate as things like music and girls came into my world view).
The launch of Star Wars was another big hit for me. By this time I was in college but being a life-long Star Wars fan it was a no-brainer for me. #7191
were by first two big UCS sets and ones I still proudly own. Even the original Millennium Falcon #7190
holds a special place for me.
Not too long after this I met my wife, moved away from my parents and out of state and soon after got married (just a couple of weeks before 9/11). As adult family life took over, LEGO became much more of a side interest, but it was always present. This would be what I would consider the beginning of my Dark Ages "light". I didn't really buy sets for myself for quite a few years other than the super occasional small impulse.
My son was born in 2003 and that of course brought on a whole new stage of life. From the earliest age, I bought him LEGO sets, from Duplo and then graduating up to system and technic. For the next 9ish years I pretty much only bought LEGO sets for him and not for myself, just getting the joy of building and playing with him. I also (to my later regret) "gifted" all of my LEGO collection (except a handful of sets like the UCS sets) to him as he got older so he'd have more bricks to play with.
We went to LEGOLand for the first (and sadly, the only time so far) in 2012 which was such a fun experience for us all. Earlier that year was also our first time going to a LEGO convention (Bricks Cascade in Portland). This was a definite step in revving back up my passion for LEGO and started me back into buying myself the occasional set, but it was still pretty minor. Most of my collecting energy (for I am truly a collector at heart) and money was at this time still into music but LEGO was certainly a passion once again.
2014 comes and we have the LEGO Movie! This was another step in revving up my love for all things LEGO. The first big set I bought solely for my own enjoyment in quite a long time was Benny's Spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP! #70816
. I think it was around this time as well that I started watching LEGO YouTubers quite a lot, which also fueled my passion.
The large Creator Expert vehicles were what really caught my interest next. #10220
coming first and second. At this point in time I was starting to get the large "adult" sets for myself at the pace of one or two a year. I picked up my first UCS set since 2000 as well, #75060
I picked up #10237
at the end of 2016 which really kicked off another level. I had seriously regretted the fact that I hadn't bought the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sets when they were on the shelves (and on sale!) because I'm also a huge book nerd and an avid fantasy reader. Tolkien is one of my favorite authors of all times. Up until this point, the only LotR set I had owned was #9469
which was actually a gift from my son in 2012. The collecting fires were blooming and over the next year and a half I made it a goal to get all of the LotR sets at reasonable prices. So between a combination of Bricklink, eBay, and the Forum Marketplace, and with a great deal of patience, I made this a reality.
Last year I joined the Brickset Forum (having already been using the Brickset sight for quite a few years) because I wanted to start getting more into the AFOL community. I started working in earnest on my first real MOC
which I displayed at the state fair and then at Bricks Cascade. Attending Bricks Cascade last month was also another big step for me in becoming an active AFOL on the community.
And so here we are today. I'm buying LEGO regularly for myself (much to my wife's chagrin) and trying to figure out how to budget more for what is in truth a very expensive hobby. I have gone through and re-assembled quite a number of sets from my childhood and have added to the "classic" collection with other purchases. I have a significant amount of LEGO on display in my house. I try to build regularly, but my building still far outpaces my buying at this point, so this backlog of which you speak is still a mystery to me. As my son has hit his teenage stride (he's 15 now) I am very grateful that he is a very strong TFOL and that LEGO is a hobby we can share in together. I am super grateful also to have found the AFOL community a very welcome and enjoyable place to spend my time. I've absolutely loved participating in the Brickset forums. I also have started to participate in my local LUG though only online as of now since it's meeting schedule is at a conflict with mine.
So all of this is to say, "hello, my name is Chris and I'm an AFOL."
I'm on the verge of 40 (later this year), I work as the lead mechanical designer (I'm a CAD specialist, especially in 3D CAD) and quality control manager for a small US based manufacturer of rock drilling equipment (side note, I also really got into Studio this last year and absolutely love it - I have used a lot of LEGO CAD software over the years, going back into the late 90s and LDraw to LDD and others but Studio is the first one I truly felt at home in)
. I live with my wife and son south of Portland, Oregon. Interests outside of LEGO have been mentioned to an extent, but would include books/reading, music (90s alternative, pop punk, singer-songwriter, classic country (Johnny Cash), and rock just to name a few of the eclectic genres I enjoy), geeky movies like Star Wars and the MCU, camping, and the beautiful Oregon coast. :-D
So it's possible we've crossed paths in different circles. I have run the MxPx fan club for about the past seven years, I used to run all of their social media, and do their website. I also have a huge MxPx collection (one of those things I used to spend more time and focus on collecting than LEGO). I'm still involved with the band to a great extent, but not quite as heavily as I used to be. My Instagram is like 95% MxPx content... LOL.
Being English I was more into Britpop back in the 90’s (Supergrass are still my favourite band of all time), but I was rather partial to a bit of Veruca Salt and Green Day back in the day.
I was in a car accident on my way to see Green Day in Newcastle as part of their American Idiot tour, which wrote the car off, but I jumped in a taxi with my friend and we still went to the concert with whiplash. It was absolutely worth it :-)
And my first car was a '72 Chevelle. I dislike camping (for the most part) and the only thing about Oregon I know, I learned from 'The Goonies'.
I've been to the Goonies house a number of times (you actually cannot visit the home any more due to a bunch of complete idiots who ruined it for everyone else).
This pic is from about five years ago...
I did love visiting Oregon in 2017 during the Great American Solar Eclipse. Got to see Crater Lake NP, Salem, Lewis and Clark NHP, Astoria, Fort Vancouver (WA) and Rogue River. The only thing I thought unusual was having someone refuel my vehicle for me (nice luxury though). For being a neighboring state, it’s a long road trip from San Diego.
I also grew up listening to alternative music.
We were lucky enough to live pretty much right in the best area for it, and literally only had to walk a block down to the local park to thoroughly enjoy it. I'm glad that you enjoyed visiting! (And yes, that is quite a long road trip, I've made it a few times southbound myself).
I have yet to make it to a Texas show that they've played, but I'm often at the ones up here in the Northwest. I've made the trek to California for some of them too. Luckily for you, Texas is one of the states that gets a fair amount of play, for as little as they tour nowadays.
I love the FiF guys (and gal) - some truly great people there. I've loved how much they've been playing together in the last 5+ years. Same with the Slick Shoes camp. I have some great friends in both.
Which of the Kickstarter perks did you get? I of course got... like, everything.
Buffalo is certainly one of the harder vinyl to come by, and it always fetches very, very high prices.
I was extremely pleased with how the Kickstarter vinyl came out. Jason and John did an absolutely amazing job with the design of it.
I also happen to live pretty close to John Nissen, the Pokinatcha Punk designer (from the original Pokinatcha days, through all the variants on TP, LIH, etc up through the self titled release) and we've been able to get together on many occasions to discuss his design work.
I was actually working on a MxPx stage MOC a while back, but was never able to really get anything where I liked it. Someday I might look at getting some custom print torsos.
They would be very cool but challenging— I’m thinking of the arm printing on Mike alone!
I thought you guys might enjoy a new project I've undertaken...
Check this out @Bumblepants and @KungFuKenny!
I'd forgotten to share these before. They aren't mine, but I thought it was a well done representation!
By the way , have you guys been watching Mike's live streams every Friday?
“Life in Quarantine” has been entertaining for sure- I guess he’s filming in Waco?
But like @Bumblepants said above, I already have some very expensive hobbies. I do collect all the Sanderson releases in hardcover and that's satisfactory for me.
I had forgotten that I stuck it on my kayak back when the guys did the Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago!