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Opener's remorse

Cloud10000Cloud10000 Member Posts: 16
edited October 2012 in Building and Techniques
Hey brickseters.
I find myself stuck in a little bit of a pickle and turn to you lovely people now for advice. I have recently purchased 9469 'Gandalf Arrives' with the thought of opening it and drooling on it, however, now that have the set, I don't really want to open it! Gandalf and Frodo looked so pristinely happy in their lovely sealed box that I just can't bring myself to do it.

Just wondering what everyone else's feeling is on opening boxes? The avid collector in me loves having the product contained and in the best condition, but the child in me wants to build Gandalf just so that I can imitate Sir Ian McKellen by shouting 'YOU SHALL NOT PASS!' to people in work.

Does everyone keep sets sealed and then only open certain ones? Or do we all open everyone we get and then feel bad about it later?
First-world problem, I know, but any advice or similar experiences would be appreciated!


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,762
    If you don't want to open it, don't. Or maybe open it carefully, take the pieces out, then reseal it. Or just buy another one and built it.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    Always open, and never feel bad, it's Lego, and that set is probably going to be worth exactly the same as you paid for it for MANY years, best case you may make £3-4 in 5 years time. If you for some bizarre reason want to keep it sealed forever, go buy another.
  • Cloud10000Cloud10000 Member Posts: 16
    Thanks for the feedback guys. Right, I'm off to play with Lego...
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,977
    What is nice is that this set is a small one. Buy another and then have the best of both worlds.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 789
    Open the box carefully. The set inside is always worth it.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    My son got it not long ago for his birthday, and its a great, fun build, you won't regret opening it for the build experience. If you still need a sealed one, buy another, its one of the cheapest LOTR sets.
  • Try001Try001 Member Posts: 83
    I have a #6862 Superman vs Power armor Lex that I'm having the same problem with. I keep telling myself I'm saving it for when I'm bored but really just scared of once its been built then that's it at the moment I still get to look forward to it. (How daft is that) had it six months now. But in general I'd say lego is for building I don't think it's the sort of collection that does well mint in box (except for profiteering (which I don't have anything against either... Each to there own)) personal opinion only.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    crikey, openers remorse with Gandalf Arrives and Superman vs Lex??

    Try it with a pristine #10144 Sandcrawler. It's enough to make you ill.
  • fy222fy222 Member Posts: 182
    ^two types of origination... here it is not about money at all
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    I think Lego is sealed to be open, like rules are made to be broken. I was within the first 20-30 people to get the NYCC 2012 Mini Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder Tin last month and was probably the first to open it... I took one step out of the Lego Store they had in their booth, just to make room for the other customers, and popped those seals! The worst part for me was waiting to take pics to build it =-D

    Today I'll be facing a new one, I bought my first modular, the theoretically EOL'd Fire Brigade (I noticed it's not in the catalog that came the other day, whereas all the other modulars still at the Lego store are). It's waiting for me at home and when I finish building Helicopter Rescue it will be next. I think i'm more scared that I'll want to build the rest right after than anything =-) The easy way for me to handle the anxiety is to whip out a knife and slice those seals before the "I've had it sealed for 9 years" mentality sets in.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,762
    I've popped the seals on a box before even if I wasn't going to build straight away. Just to make sure it is mine, and not for resale.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 805
    Bill-build the FB ASAP! You will enjoy the build so much that you won't regret opening it. As others have said, buy 2 so one can stay sealed. What reason would one have to keep a set sealed other than to sell it down the road? Buying a 2nd one ensures you can enjoy building it instead of placing it in a box and then in a closet or basement for future selling. Unless you have so much space dedicated to displaying your MISB LEGO collection how else can you enjoy a set by keeping it MISB?
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    Open it and enjoy it! I have a collection of sealed sets from the 80's and 90's. I've also opened a few them just for fun. It was well worth it!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,649
    edited November 2012
    Going back to the original posting, it's absurd to agonise about whether or not to open such a cheap set.... Open it, build it, and if you really want a pristine, MISB one to look at then go buy another one. What do they cost in the U.S. - $15 ?! Please....

    I can certainly sympathise with those trying to decide whether to open a valuable MISB retired set, however - I had the same dilemma with my sealed UCS X-wing, and will face the same question with the carousel and a couple of others. I think that if you want to build it you should, but those who are more investors +/- collectors than builders may have a different view.
  • sadowsk1sadowsk1 Member Posts: 124
    If you bought it to keep you shouldn't feel bad about opening it. If you can afford to purchase a second copy of the set, do it and have yourself a hold out copy.
  • DeadareusDeadareus Member Posts: 264
    Carousel would be hard NOT to build. Good luck drdave!
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    I second the suggestion of build one and buy another. Just get two of every set. problem solved.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited November 2012
    My opinons are:

    Regarding current sets: If you are really that conflicted, just buy two if you can afford it (just like many others have stated). If you can only afford one copy, I think you're the only one that can make the decision whether it's worth it to open the set or not. For me, it's straightforward- if I bought the set for myself, I open and build it. If I bought it for resale, then I leave it sealed.

    Regarding retired sets: This seems pretty simple to me- take a look at bricklink and ebay and get an idea of the approximate difference in value between a sealed version and a used version of your set. If, for example, the approximate difference in value is $100, then you simply decide if it's worth $100 to open the set or not. I realize values can vary a bit, but you can normally obtain a good general idea.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,762
    edited November 2012
    I doubt these cheap sets will go up that much anyway. The Gandalf set can be had for about £8 / $10 fairly often, sometimes cheaper. Even if it doubles price, once you have paid selling fees, postage etc, you are talking about maybe a fiver profit. No dilemma there.

    Frodo is available in a cheap poly. Gandalf is going to be in many forth-coming LOTR and Hobbit sets. The horse is appearing in more sets too. There will not be the demand for this set from minifig collectors, which will keep the price down.
  • fy222fy222 Member Posts: 182
    the op just wants to emphasize how peacefully and 'happily' those Lego pieces are lying in the original box. Getting them out and play will disturb the original harmonious state.

    That is the conflict... why every body is talking about money and profit?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,762
    edited November 2012
    I guess some see it as being stored in perfect condition. Others will see unopened lego sealed in it's box as sad, inexperienced bricks, that have never had connections with other bricks. Just like children never allowed out to play.
  • icey117icey117 DenmarkMember Posts: 509
    Ha... If you are going to buy another by another set instread, and open the first. If you cant get yourself to open the second - buy a third and open the second. Etc. Dont stop the water feom flowing. ;-)
  • Cloud10000Cloud10000 Member Posts: 16
    Well guys, thanks for the interest and the advice. I suppose a topic like this really separates the collector from the builder. And I know my example was a cheap set, but the question could easily be applied to any set.

    I suppose one other reason to not open some boxes, or to put off opening them, is to do with a space issue as well. For example #7965 stores well inside the box, but if built it would consume much more space. Living in a small apartment and trying to compete with the gf's shoe collection leaves very little room!

    Anyway just for some conclusion, I opened the set and I'd do it again in an instant!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,762
    That's not a conclusion, it's just the start. Now you NEED another LOTR set to go with it.

  • crazycarlcrazycarl USAMember Posts: 392
    Open it! They are toys. To the ones that brought value into it; Down the road they are only worth what someone is willing to pay, open or not. You want an investment? Buy gold and silver!!!!!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,762
    Gold is only worth what someone will pay for it too.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited November 2012
    ^Thanks for pointing that out, CCC. To add to that, practically anything that can be bought and sold is only worth what someone is willing and able to pay.

    Btw, gold can be a very risky (read: terrible) investment. Just look at gold prices in 1980 ($600+/oz). Gold prices didn't reach that level again until about 2006 (and that doesn't even include inflation). Gold can also be a great investment, but timing your entry into the market is generally too risky for the ordinary investor. There are also obvious additional risks to storing your own gold or trusting someone to store gold for you.

    I don't think many people, if any, invest in Lego to secure their retirement or to build wealth. Many, such as myself to a small extent, simply resell Lego as a way to make their Lego hobby profitable or minimally expensive.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 597
    I'd feel "remorse" if I accidentally caused the death of a beloved pet, not if I opened a Lego set that superficially looked good sealed-in-the-box. For a Lego-related analogy, I'd feel true remorse if I did not have any Lego sets at all, whether due to economic circumstance or theft.

    At the end of the day, sealed or not, you still have a Lego set. That's a positive no matter how you slice it (unless it is a Galidor set, lol).
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    @nkx1 I actually think the similarities between Gold and LEGO are more pronounced than many other investments. Just for fun I have written about it in a new thread:

  • crazycarlcrazycarl USAMember Posts: 392
    Now look what I started.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @bmwlego, oh there was no doubt... though I did look up the lot numbers of the missing bag sets first... seems the one I bought for a friend to give to her firefighter bf last xmas was one of them... working on figuring out what he's missing so I can call TLG and get him straightened out... he didn't open it for a few months but then he got stuck and didn't even tell me... I texted him to say I got it too and he goes yea i wish i could have finished it ?? It was a fantastic build, it's sitting next to the Twilight in my living room now... I really need to get on the shelving thing. I do, however, hate you all, as I bid the starting bid on a Market Street on ebay the other day (price doubled in a day but hey you never know) and am now thinking "well i can get TH/GE/PS anyday, maybe I should get GG & CC =-(
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    of course I could also be sad because I'm drinking the last beer I have in my apartment too ;-)
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 805
    Murphquake...if you have the money available for the first three modulars then go for it. I'm glad I was just getting into LEGO when this line started otherwise I'd be hunting these sets down myself.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    When I have the money to waste on Lego like that first I'm getting every Star Wars set... ever... times 7 =-) You definitely got lucky, was part of why I grabbed FB now. Stared at all these great SW sets last year but didn't buy (AT-OT & Dropship? were dozens in Queens!)
  • plantmanplantman Member Posts: 97
    I have never experienced regret for opening a set. The whole point of Lego is only realized through opening, assembling and enjoying. You can't put a price on that. Unless it's the UCS Falcon, then... just... damn.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 674
    ^I agree with you all the way, except for the UCS Falcon. I opened mine and assembled as soon as I could (what a build!). If I were concerned about resale value, then this would be a sub-optimal move for sure, but I collect Lego for the building and display enjoyment rather than for investment value. Being able to recoup a sizable portion of the initial purchase cost somewhere down the road after I've had my fun is merely a pleasant side effect!
  • thorniethornie Member Posts: 245
    Oddly enough, I have a harder time opening polybags than fully boxed sets. Something about ripping that bag seems so final.
  • crazycarlcrazycarl USAMember Posts: 392
    plantman said:

    I have never experienced regret for opening a set. The whole point of Lego is only realized through opening, assembling and enjoying. You can't put a price on that. Unless it's the UCS Falcon, then... just... damn.

    Oldfan said:

    ^I collect Lego for the building and display enjoyment rather than for investment value. Being able to recoup a sizable portion of the initial purchase cost somewhere down the road after I've had my fun is merely a pleasant side effect!

    This pretty much sums it up right there!
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    just an update I had absolutely no trouble opening #79000 Riddles for The Ring or #30212 Mirkwood Elf Guard, my first two The Hobbit sets and my first set with the new 5 digit numbering system for standard sets =-D
  • dr_tengdr_teng Member Posts: 101
    Toys are meant to be fun, go for it. :) Just like with action figures, yeah some MIGHT go up in value...but they're meant to be played with/displayed.
  • PicopiratePicopirate Member Posts: 318
    I struggle more with joneses than remorse. Shortly after finishing one set I want to start on another. We decided to do the advent calendar for our kid but I am thinking that I should get one for me to help limit my daily lego dosage.
  • shadowhearthshadowhearth Member Posts: 6
    i got 4x4 crawler 9398 and tow truck 9395 sitting on shelf looking at me since wensday... in a way i dont want to open them, but i damn will on xmas morning! :D misses shadowhearth will be cooking and i will be building those 2 bad boys! its a shame my supercar did not came in before xmas :(. 27th estimated delivery date :(
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