This morning I finished building a 2nd hand UCS AT-RT (10174) that I bought via eBay a few days ago and received yesterday. Although the box was rather beat up, all the parts were complete and the sticker sheet was pleasingly unused. It arrived in about thirty or so chunks and as I had a day to myself, I took my time totally disassembling and checking the parts before starting to build again. It is a most impressive beast when completed, far better than I was expecting as photographs simply do not do it justice.
I am increasingly finding myself drawn only to the larger sets and in particular the UCS collection. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy building any set. Like many others here, I imagine, I find it very relaxing to build and click together our beloved bricks. However, often upon reaching the end of any build of less than 800 or so bricks, a number of thoughts are reoccurring.
To start, the thoughts "is that it" and "that was too quick" raise their ugly heads. With a small or medium sized set my building hunger doesn't seem to be sated and this can lead me to look at the model in a different light, injecting doubt as to if I actually should have bought the set to start with. Thankfully these doubts are generally fleeting as most of the time I now only buy the sets I really want. Nonetheless, these thoughts do occur and I cannot ignore them.
I can tell you the exact time this started to occur and before this I was blissfully ignorant of such thoughts. The Death Star (10188) which I was lucky to receive for my last birthday changed everything. I think I knew this, subconsciously, the moment my wonderful fiancé handed me the box while I was still in bed. This was a massive game changer and in the future opening a humble battle pack or receiving a new mini fig simply was not going to give the same buzz ever again. We spent days building that wonderful objet d'art, sometime together and sometimes alone. I would arrive home from a late shift to find a couple of hundred extra bricks in place and I would add a few more the next morning. We built the last few bricks as we started, together. This was the beginning of the golden age!
We quickly followed the completion of the Emperor's super weapon with a UCS Imperial Shuttle (10212) procured for 25% off during a small window of opportunity on [email protected]
and our dizzy jig with large piles of bricks continued. Our dining room table was no longer being used to eat from as it was constantly full of ABS. Maybe we were too quick getting the Imperial Shuttle so soon after the DS, maybe we spoilt ourselves? Did we learn though? Of course not and as soon as there was a double VIP points promotion, the Executor (10221) was added to our stable. Boy oh boy did we gorge ourselves over these few short months.
These were not the first large sets we had purchased. We greatly enjoyed building the Venator (8039), our first 1000+ piece set and the Tantive IV (10198). However these did not create nearly the same sort of "large count brick lust" we experienced after the Death Star and the following UCS sets. Finishing the AT-RT this morning cemented my feelings. On completion I sat there and stared at it for a full ten minutes or so. Then I made a cup of coffee and stared at it some more, from various angles. I couldn't help but think, "Wow, wow, wow!"
I presume I am not alone in this afflicition and that there really is not any cure except for more UCS and large sets? It also occurs to me that purchasing the smaller sets we do want only when they reach DDDT and not before will not only save money, but also build the anticipation so much that I won't be so disappointed with the quick build?
I am an SW addict and I have caught big set fever. Hurry up and let me buy R2-D2, please LEGO.
The first shift came when I stopped buying all the SW sets that came out. I'm totally a completist, but around 2007 something happened. These days I find that I'm interested in really big sets (for display) and polybags. Mid-size sets rarely appeal to me.
So now I'm trying to sell some of my old stuff to pay for the new ones. Unfortunately that's the only way I can afford the sets I want. But I'm not complaining. I've kept all the boxes, and the sets are in mint condition, so lots of stuff I bought ten years ago has doubled in value (or more).
I'm aiming for a complete line-up of Modular Buildings, along with some SW UCS and other really big stuff. And polybags :)
I actually love the X-wing fighter and think it's the perfect Lego kit, but it (and the Millennium Falcon) are the only two smallish sets I have. I have noticed a big difference between the big kits and the little ones. For me, one 3,000 piece set delivers way, way more raw joy than three 1,000 piece sets possibly could. The bigger the better, at least for me. After years of building only smallish sized kits as a kid, I now realize how special the huge and expensive kits are. In fact, I don't think small sized kits could hold my interest as an adult. Having said that, I do love the X-wing, and that is a relatively small, cheap kit.
But it is fairly easy to figure out what the "Special" Lego kits are, and for the most part, they are the ones that cost a lot, have a ton of pieces, and build into physically large models.
There are also some 'smaller' sets that are very appealing: Imperial Flagship, Emerald Night.
Finally, if you like the techno aspect of Star Wars sets, perhaps the larger Technic sets, Unimog, etc, might be fun for you.
Imagine trying to find the next building 'high' after making this http://www.fbtb.net/2011/06/01/marshal-bananas-incredible-ucs-sandcrawler/
On the larger sets, I find my oldest (9) son's problem is that he doesn't always pull out the page-by-page inventory becuase he's used to the smaller sets that don't always show what you need on each page, just where it goes in the build.
One of the reasons I cite for prefering larger sets (not quite up to UCS size yet) is because of cost per piece and resale value. Does that factor in for you all as well?