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Do people 'specialise' when collecting, or just grab what takes their fancy?
I've just rediscovered Lego.
My wife bought me the 8070 Technic Supercar for Christmas, and since then I've bought the 8110 Technic Unimog, plus a couple of small technic trucks (9390 Mini Tow Truck and 8065 Mini Container Truck) as I want to have a crack at making some Stop motion build videos, and thought I'd better start with something small!
The thing that's struck me is the breadth of themes / ranges that are available. It's incredible. The Technic stuff has grabbed me at the moment, but obviously, being a teen in the 70's means that I now want all the Star Wars stuff, plus the LOTR sets all look cool and...
Well, you get the idea.
Being child-free, I'm probably going to concentrate on technic for now (though with staff discount I can get an X-Wing for £37.50, so I might have to have one of those), but I just wondered whether people restrict themselves to collecting within a certain range or theme, or whether they just go for what appeals at the time?
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I wouldn't have discovered proper technic sets if not for a pricing error which tempted me to try them out. I had always assumed they were more meccano like than lego like, but now enjoy technic sets.
I generally pick and choose the sets that interest me and my five kids.
Sets you should consider:
#10214 Tower Bridge
#10197 - Fire Brigade (There are many in this line, but this is the best for the money)
#10212 - Imperial Shuttle (If you are a star wars fan, this set will be gone very soon, if not already)
#8043 - Motorized Excavator (This is a fascinating build)
#31004 - Fierce Flyer (Even the small sets can be interesting)
These are all still available at or below msrp. I would start there before going into retired sets.
But most importantly, I only collect or invest in what I wouldn't mind getting stuck with should the aftermarket bottom out.
At the moment I have a relatively understanding wife, but then there are only four sets in the house...
As opposed to sets, I'm a minifigure guy, and try to keep within that specific set of guidelines (I am quite partial to larger UCS sets though). However, when it comes to which theme of minifigures, I do just sort of grab/buy what takes my fancy! Unfortunately that than leads me to wanting to complete a full theme... because considering I already have one, I just have to get them all now right?
I mainly attempt to stick with promotional/exclusive figures.. but there are occasional/many lapses as you can already tell.
This year there were 9000+ bricks under the Christmas tree. Half for him and half for me.
I too have an understanding wife... but she's expressed some frustration at the amount of lego that seems to be taking over our house.
As far as what to collect. I initially started with Star Wars.
Then moved on to some Superheroes.
Then the UCS Star Wars Sets.
Then the Modulars.
Then Monster Fighters.
Most recently we just purchased a couple of Ninjago sets per the boys request and I must say I too am REALLY enjoying them. The dragons especially.
My advice would be to grab what may be gone relatively soon if you 'think' it may be something you are interested in. Like the Imperial Shuttle UCS set. Or the Fire Brigade Modular building. These sets will be gone soon if not already and you may find yourself regretting not having purchased them at retail when you had the chance.
Enjoy! I haven't dipped my toes into the world of Technic yet. That Unimog looks pretty awesome though.
Other than those, I'll buy other sets which I like the look of if they go enough under 5p per brick, and I'd probably buy pretty much anything (except 'fun with bricks' sets) if it goes under 4p per brick.
This should hopefully keep the amount I spend down to a manageable amount each year.
A handful of years later and I have an entire room dedicated to all my loose pieces for MOCs and official sets. I have two huge metal shelves that are almost filled with sealed sets that I'm either going to build or part out for my building inventory. The rest of the room is crammed full of storage containers, shelves, and drawers for all the loose pieces.
Its not a hobby, its a disease. Looks like your infected to:)
I do also 'dip in' to themes based on individual models, e.g. I like World architecture so I have Ninjago Fire Temple and Star Wars Jabba's Palace.
I made a list of available sets in an ascending order of release date (that I think I want). I purchase them when I see a large discount. Looking to buy OOP sets is a minefield I don't want to step into.
1) Is it a theme with minifigs (or other aspects) I like for themselves? I've been a super-hero reader for four decades (!), so the advent of the Superheroes lines has put them at the forefront of the must-haves. However, I won't spend more than £20-£30 on a set, which may have no more than 4 or 5 minifigs in it (especially if I've already obtained some of those figures in cheaper, or promo, sets), so for the denizens of the expensive sets I haunt eBay, Bricklink, and - now - all you wonderful people here. The same applies to the LotR/Hobbit lines; I love the figures, I love some of the sets, I refuse to shell out for the larger and more expensive sets. I started in the 70s with the Castle and Space series, as the fantasy/scifi elements have always attracted me more than the everyday-ness of the City series.
2) If not, are there elements in other themes I can use for my own creations? To use just one example, I've always designed, written and drawn my own super-heroes, so the plethora of new minifig parts (I'm looking at you, CMFs) available is a godsend to me. Capes; masked faces/interesting helmets; suitable torsos, hands, arms, hips & legs (or easily adaptable ones); and accessories can fire my imagination for new storylines and characters. For instance, the Chima helmets, printed heads, torsos, and (yay!) wings are too useful to pass up, even though the characters themselves - and the Speedorz sets - are otherwise not that interesting to me.
3) Is it a cost-effective way to buy minifigs? Step forward Sun promos, other polybags, and my beloved CMF series.
4) Conflicting with all the above, I'm now addicted to Watford's PaB wall. My Precioussss.....;-)
Until recently I was a bit haphazard in my purchasing, but I'm now trying to make a concious effort to only buy what I really want and not just jump into a purchase whenever there is a 3 for 2 or a 25% off sale. As whatsinaname says above, make a list and prioritise or things can soon get out of control. Ok if you have money to burn, but if you're like me, with kids to support, you'll want to choose your purchases carefully.
Personally I'm now focussing on getting all of the green Ninjago sets before they disappear (and a couple of the red ones, #2507 Fire Temple etc), although mainly for my son to play with, and picking up some of the creator expert line for me.
Welcome to the world of AFOLs though, and have fun with whatever you choose to lay your hands on.
Since then I have branched out, got into the modulars, trains, ships and especially mini-figs.
This keeps things interesting and dynamic for me. After all, variety is the spice of life.
2. Sets that could fit into my modular town. Things like specific City vehicles I like, the small Super Hero sets that contain the S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicles, some of the CMFs, and some discounted sets that I buy solely for parts.
3. Star Wars - But not nearly all. Only what appeals to me. Love the Star Wars universe, but I only buy the sets I truly want.
4. LotR/Hobbit - All. This is my one true completionist collection. I will get every set released.
I've liked some of the other lines and definitely some other sets, but I stay away unless it's one of the above.
My brother is just getting back into the brick and is sticking to Technic.
I just get what I like, let it be UCS, WV Van, LoTR or Modulars.
Actually I haven't really liked the two modulars I built.
I more or less focus on four major themes - Star Wars, City, LOTR and Super Heroes but I'm far from a completionist. I'll only buy sets from these themes that I like - Lego is way too expensive for me to be buying sets that I view a poor just for the sake of completing the theme.
In addition, I'll pick up a few sets from other themes that catch my eye as well. I always buy the Modular set as well as the Creator House for that year. I'm expecting that I might pick up a set or two from TMNT and Lone Ranger as well this year but with kids to support, you kinda have to be a little selective.
One thing I just began doing is to only have one or two sets built/displayed at a time. Once I'm done displaying and admiring a set, I tear it down and store it away until EOL, at which point I'll sell it. Prior to my self-imposed two-set display rule, Lego sets were starting to be displayed all over the house. It was a little too much clutter for me, despite my affinity for Lego.
I think I've come to the realization that if I were to keep and/or display every set I own/owned, I would quickly run out of storage room (considering I also store some sets for resale). Further, given that Lego releases so many new sets every year, it's unrealistic that I would ever actually want to, or have the time to, build an old set again. I barely have time to build the new sets I buy! For me, it's best to move on to newer sets and make a meager profit selling the older ones. If I really miss an old set that much, I figure I can likely repurchase it. Or, I can simply reminisce by viewing pictures/videos of the set online.
I actually like it now where I choose from different themes because I've discovered that there's a lot of different building techniques between the various themes.
Now I am quite shocked at how many sets I currently own. Modulars are now what I enjoy and am waiting for the new cinema modular. In a span of one year, I have dabbled in star wars, superheroes, LOTR, Harry Potter and modulars, growing my minifig population.
My focus is actually more into having complete mini fig collection of key themes.
Around the same time in 1999, the Star Wars theme was released and it was a foregone conclusion that I would collect that. Within a few years, TLG rehashed some of the sets and I decided to skip those, which I now regret since I've obviously realized I'm a completist at heart.
Anyway, in case you're not aware, Brickset has a Collection Analyzer that will analyze your set inventory and display your theme completeness. http://www.brickset.com/mySets/analysis/
Here are the themes in which I am 50% or more complete:
In composing my previous post, I was finally prompted to seek out and purchase some of the polybags that are preventing most of those 80s and 90s from being 100%. Those are the low hanging fruit, though... that missing 16% from 'Advanced Models' is going to be very expensive :/
I mean, I enjoy them, but I'm not too impressed by them. I like the looks of Market street though. Too bad it's out of my range.
Star Wars: I am of a certain age, which means SW is episodes IV-VI only, but I am not a completest. I collect mainly the minifigs, a few of the ships if done well, and I MOC my own buildings / scenery.
CMF: but only ones that interest me, normally in heavy multiples. Again mainly for MOCs. I like mainly the historical ones ... spartans, romans, aztecs, conquistadors, etc or space. It means I can build buildings, scenery, ships, spaceships, etc to go with them. I also get random characters from other themes, such as Atlantis, PQ and AC, as they can also be good for MOCs, especially the enemies.
Superheroes: only the minifigs. I'm not impressed at most of the construction in the official sets and I prefer to display SW stuff. So mainly the minifigs, with the occasional MOC.
LOTR: same as with superheroes. Minifigs only, with the occasional MOC'd building. Haven't gone into Hobbit yet, I'll wait until it is cheaper.
City: I enjoy making randomised minifigs, and then using them in a city (again MOCs only). I'll add a train at some point.
Lego instructions are good for learning techniques but I often find the buildings (except modulars) leave something to be desired. So I learn from them, then build my own.
But I have a completist urge for certain themes:
SW (substantial, but will never be 100% complete)
UCS (missing only 10129)
Modulars (purposely excluding MS)
Sculptures (missing only Statue of Liberty)
2) I'm not sure I believe you, if this was a brand new sealed set. It is possible that a part is missing from a set. It does very occasionally happen. Minifigs are usually four parts - legs, torso assembly, head and hair / hat. These are four separate components. For one minifig to be missing, you have to have those exact four parts missing from the set. Chances of this happening? Incredibly small.
The only other way would be if it was a customer return - so the box would have had to have been opened, the bag opened, the parts removed. The bag resealed in such a way that you did not notice before you opened it. The box resealed so that you did not notice and the store did not notice. And the store reselling a customer return.