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How do you decide which set you'll buy next?

VithVith Member Posts: 31
edited April 2011 in Collecting
There are thousands of Lego sets and probably hundreds which we all want to buy. But let's face it, our pockets aren't deep enough to buy everything our heart demands. Our brain tells us to stop spending and start mending, but we can't! We must buy more Lego.

So we start to think how we can save some money while still getting at-least some of the sets we want. Should I buy the Imperial Flagship, or should I buy two cheaper sets? Hard to decide, right?

It's in light of this - widespread - problem that I start this thread! I hope this can lead to some interesting budget-saving discussions and shed some light in the dark - and often empty - crevices of our wallets.


  • niallskieniallskie Member Posts: 2
    I buy in accordance to what sets I collect and if the fit in it. I collect city so I buy City sets, modular and creator houses. I Also collect Castles so I get Kingdoms, Harry Potter, Prince of Persia. As well as what sets looks great to me specially with Star Wars sets.
  • cbowerscbowers Member Posts: 21
    I know what you mean with budget crunches. Unfortunately for me, with the recent recession, I have been left covering other costs, so I am going to have to limit what I can purchase, if anything, over the course of the summer. I have my eye on that Maersk Train set and really would want two for future Railroading. I also don't want to miss out on sets I've coveted for a while but have stocked up on smaller ones so I could get a taste of them. For example, I guess I could've not bought those racers sets, but I just thought the idea of having something buildable so close to hotwheels would've been a hit when I was a kid. Let's face it, we're all kids sometimes still.

    So I got those, but I could've put that towards the Emerald Night, which I am afraid is going out soon as well as the Imperial Flagship. Other sets that hinder me from getting those include the up coming Creator Houses (Lighthouse and Hillside House). I'd say if anything, I may do what you've said, buy the creator houses and may have to forego some of the others. I just don't know if I can let that one go though. I saw it put together in our local Lego store last weekend...
  • mkoeselmkoesel Member Posts: 97
    First, I limit myself to only collecting a few themes. Secondly, I skip most promotional sets or other items that are sold neither through typical retail outlets nor through Lego themselves. Third, I always wait for BOGO sales or other special offers.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    I have 3 mental lists;
    1. Will buy soon
    2. Would like to buy and will if they get cheaper but otherwise will pass
    3. Shouldnt even think about buying as its too big/ expensive

    Unfortunately they do tend to gradually move from 3 to 1.
  • yys4uyys4u Member Posts: 1,093
    I unknowingly have been following your train of thought as well!
    Once I find the time and funds, I get whatever is on list 1, consequently the 2 and 3 move up in ranking (I have a very specific taste so there aren't many sets that excite me frequently). Soon enough number 3 is at the top of my list, then I won't buy anything (excluding random ebay purchases, usually vintage sets) until LEGO releases something new.
  • SbowhiveSbowhive Member Posts: 8
    It is very similar to niallskie.
    My first priority is my city - so city, creator and modular houses sets.
    My second priority are castle / Kingdoms - so I by Kingdoms, Prince of Persia, PotC
    My third priority are great sets, like the Imperial Flagship, or the space shuttle (not City)
    My last priority are Star Wars sets. Mainly Basic sets from Episode IV - VI, like a X-Wing, Darth Vader'S TIE Fighter and some Battlepacks. Also some Clone Wars sets - I have many ideas for MOC's
  • LuciusMalfoy7LuciusMalfoy7 Member Posts: 107
    I think a great way to do it and really cement it in your brain would be to, right after New York Toy Fair previews all the new sets of the year for you, write down exactly which ones you want to buy. Set a set limit for yourself - say to yourself, I'll buy one LEGO Exclusive, one biggish set, two mediums, and four smaller ones throughout the year. This is just an example, I know that people have a lot more money and a lot less money to spend.

    Then, really think hard about each of the sets you want. Compile a list of possible sets, then narrow it down. For me, all three new HP sets for this year is going on my list, because I live for HP LEGO. If its a big theme, like Star Wars, don't try to collect the entire theme. There's no need. Also consider sets from last year that are soon to go, or the possibility of getting that one old set you really really wanted but couldn't get five years ago, and putting that in one of your slots with the intention to eBay or Bricklink it. BE MINDFUL - if you do have the intentions to buy off these, set yourself a price maximum for what you'll pay. Rationalizing buying a Hogwarts on eBay is different from rationalizing shilling out $500 or $600 on one set.

    I hope this helps.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    Just keep saying to yourself over and over, "I will not add any new themes, I will not add any new themes.". Please note, though, that it doesn't work. TLG knows they have you when they release sets like the Queen Annes Revenge, Imperial Shuttle, Mill Attack, or that wicked blue ATV / spaceship launcher from Mars Attacks er .. Alien Conquest.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,756
    Town/train first, including creator.
    Kingdom sets
    Thanks to Lego's ever rising SW Lego prices and really 'blah' set selection I am not worried about SW.
    But really I buy the expensive ones I really want first.. at least one, and usually, like others, only via BOGO's or other sales.
    This way if anything should happen financially and I needed to sell (GASP) my Lego then I could and break even on most of it...
    Also, by buying the most expensive ones first I limit the damage of any sets I forget about getting that become sold out.. The cheaper sets are usually rather easy to pick up after the fact, whereas the ones like Fire Brigade and Emerald Night are more likely to double in price after selling out.
    I know the logic sounds bizarre but I feel it is the best way to ensure I have the sets most likely to double in price if gone.
    Also I use sites like Brickset to find out what sets are coming out, and account accordingly..
    My battle plan for this year (although I kinda forgot about POTC) is Maersk train sets, The Lego City Harbor, The Lego Creator Light house, the Kingdoms Village attack (goats AND Spotted pigs and Chickens?!) The Grand Emporium, and at least 1 of the new 'creator' set (Pet shop). Now I do get side tracked (see Technic Super car and Excavator) But I got those on BOGO as well. Mercifully there does not appear to be too many smaller sets I really want. I do not like the Marina,but I may get one of the Launch control and pad sets.... Plus the new Unimog.. It is hard to stay on Point but I think I am almost done buying for the year....
  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    I collect all sets, not completely but if something I like comes out I buy it. If I am on the fence I will typically go with the set that is more than likely going out of print first. Then I have more time to save for the newer set. The only time I got bit using this philosophy was the limo and helicopter set recently. That was in and out so fast I missed it. Now I cannot justify the price of it as it was more of one of those "catch it on sale" sets. I wanted to limit myself to just a couple series but two guys in hooded masks stole my willpower a long time ago, so now I just tell myself that I would have not bought the set, but its not my fault now :-)
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    edited May 2011
    I have a lengthy process. I try to get info on all the new sets coming out for the year as well as for sets from previous years still in production and that I am interested in. From there I eliminate sets/themes I know right away are not of any interest to me. I put the remaining data into an excel sheet and do some calculations (the total price is scary enough to motivate me to whittle down the list). I keep the excel workbook handy and modify it regularly and using it to calculate the worthiness of various deals and sales.

    Once I have eliminated the sets I don't want that much I sort the remainder into mental categories:

    (1) must haves, regardless of price
    (2) wanted, but willing to wait
    (3) wait for a sale to buy

    Usually the sets move through the categories as more are purchased, but I make sure not to let them all get into (1) or I'd be broke :) Usually newer sets get put in (3) if they are going to be out for a while or if they are close in price and can be bought on BOGO. Gradually these sets make their way into (2) along with sets unlikely to be worth waiting for a BOGO or to be put on sale. Some ridiculously priced sets remain in (3) and do not ever move up because the retail price is just not worth it.

    My must haves are always those sets that I just want so badly for one reason or another and won't risk not getting; this year they include the Fire Temple (2507), Queen Anne's Revenge (4195) (ordered today!), and Darth Maul's Sith Infiltrator (7961), but more may make it in as more information comes out-I need pricing on the Lightning Dragon Battle (2521) as well as a better pic-and as I buy sets, making room for more on the list. There are some other sets (a lot of POTC and SW) I also really want.
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