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I Have Bad News For Myself - The Cost of Being a Lego Fanatic

Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
I just ran the numbers on the sets I would like to purchase and the answer wasn't good.

Not counting smaller sets, I ended up with a grand total of $2,700 in current Lego sets that I have on my "want" list. There's no way that it's going to happen, but it does speak well to the sets Lego is releasing these days. To make matters worse, Lego continues to release nice sets that are being added to the queue.

My choices are to 1) get a second job, 2) rob a bank, or 3) selectively prioritize. The majority of the sets I'm interested in will likely double in price after being discontinued, so if I don't pick them up while they're available it will never happen. I feel like I'm on a treadmill that's moving faster than I can walk (or perhaps faster than my bank account can walk)...

I wonder...are other AFOLs in the same boat or am I just being an undisciplined?
RedbullgivesuwindAndorMrJ_NYBrickDancerchuckpcloaked7T_LarsEKSamMorkManSteve_J_OMchibhawkBrickman
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Comments

  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,612
    I think a lot or most of AFOL's are in the same position. That being said, I would get a second job.
  • TarDomoTarDomo FinlandMember Posts: 515
    Only my number 1 wanted set UCS Millennium Falcon costs more than your all wanted sets... so yeah, I know the feeling.
  • BACbrixBACbrix AmericaMember Posts: 655
    Work from home! I work part time on freelancer writing javascript for websites. In 2 hours time you can make good money. Freelancer is great as a " second job "
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    I have a strict policy of only spending money on LEGO that I make from selling LEGO related items on eBay and BrickLink. This gives me around $100 a month profit, or $1,200 a year. This works for me as a budget, and only do it very part time. Selling LEGO is a business that could easily be tailored to your needs. Plus it gives you the excuse to spend more time in the hobby. :wink:
    TarDomoBumblepantsdougtsFollowsClosely
  • nicoyagomeznicoyagomez Member Posts: 24
    I would suggest option 3. Sounds like you have very broad Lego interests that spans across multiple themes. Even if you stuck to one theme, the cost could go pretty high very quickly. Having a narrow scope would make collecting more manageable and enjoyable.

    I would not worry about what you believe with "appreciate in value". If you like it enough, you'll probably never sell it anyway so who cares what the after market value is.
    TheBigLegoskiT_Larsbluemodern
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    I've recently significantly raised the bar in terms of what Lego sets we buy. They now have to be really great or they don't make it. There are so many mediocre sets I get and they just don't match .any of the others, by raising the bar its massively reduced the sets I'm wanting.

    Ive also reconsidered what I want to keep and that's led to getting rid of all my CMF and lots of Polys I was keeping for no apparent reason.

    It wasn't so much a question of money but just that it was getting silly, so much Lego that it couldn't be properly appreciated, played with or even used in mocs.
    dougtsRenegade007cjhFurrysaurusdimefield
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,431
    edited February 2015

    so much Lego that it couldn't be properly appreciated, played with or even used in mocs.

    Are you trying to say that there's such a thing as too much Lego that one can own? :-P
    carlqpharmjodAndorFurrysaurus
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ this.
  • BACbrixBACbrix AmericaMember Posts: 655
    See my problem is this. Minecraft, looks great, Scooby Doo, looks angelic, Star Wars, looks immaculate, and if I get one... I must get them all. This dilemma can be solved by getting a great score on a resell and aquiring said sets.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    Can you cut other expences? The most common example is that 5 dollar cup of Starbucks that you may get each work day. 5x5=25 dollar a week. 25x4=100 dollars a month. 12x100 = $1200.00 a year! And fast food for lunch? That adds up quick too.
    DrmnezPitfall69carlqGurooo
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 859
    edited February 2015
    ^^great idea!

    Sell Lego you no longer want.

    Or just realize what sets you really want and don't bother getting the others.

    It will take a grown up attitude, but when I did that I went from wanting about 100 sets to about 20 and a few minifigures
    Andor
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 672
    At the end of the day, it's just stuff, man.

    FurrysaurusT_Larsbeemo
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited February 2015

    I've recently significantly raised the bar in terms of what Lego sets we buy. They now have to be really great or they don't make it. There are so many mediocre sets I get and they just don't match .any of the others, by raising the bar its massively reduced the sets I'm wanting.

    Ive also reconsidered what I want to keep and that's led to getting rid of all my CMF and lots of Polys I was keeping for no apparent reason.

    It wasn't so much a question of money but just that it was getting silly, so much Lego that it couldn't be properly appreciated, played with or even used in mocs.

    @Cheshirecat - You are so "tough love," and of course you're absolutely correct on all accounts. If I had an angel and a devil sitting on each shoulder whispering into my ear, you would be the "angel" telling me the practical/right way to go. :wink:

    The biggest hurdle for me is the process of selling sets. It's easy to purchase (relatively speaking), but a headache to deal with selling the sets. The best approach probably would be trading sets I have for sets I want...kind of along the line that @akunthita mentioned. I've already done this a couple time through other Brickset members and it turned out very well.
    ecmo47 said:

    Can you cut other expences? The most common example is that 5 dollar cup of Starbucks that you may get each work day. 5x5=25 dollar a week. 25x4=100 dollars a month. 12x100 = $1200.00 a year! And fast food for lunch? That adds up quick too.

    Actually, we run a pretty lean ship at our house. My wife has a naturally "low maintenance" personality, and I have to make an ongoing effort to provide surprises and gifts for her (usually chocolate) because she seldom gets anything for herself. It's actually harder than it sounds... :smile:

    We cook in and seldom eat out, neither of us drink coffee (but do drink gallons of hot and cold tea), we drive older vehicles, etc. Really, we have very few vices...Lego is the biggest one by far!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,154
    Pick a theme, or a couple, is what I did.
    I typically only focus on collecting train/city/mod. While not cheap, it is a heck of a lot cheaper than keeping up with all lines. I buy each Mod regardless of how pricey it is (what helps is if it is available for 4-5 years); same with creator houses and 'special' sets (like fairground mixer and the winter sets), and train. With City, well I only buy the stuff that peaks my interest. I do not buy every fire and police vehicle or station as they are just going to make more for example. I also tend to avoid the sub lines of city, like arctic and divers.
    I only buy those sets on sale when I can. Also helps that I can get bulk new parts from LEGO or BL. I stopped buying a whole set for a handful of parts for example.

    As for the sets I miss out on?
    I know that these sets could rise, but I just do not really need them (like I really need any LEGO) and need to be able to purchase other things I want, like a TV, PC, Sofa, house, food, transportation, etc.

    But I will say LEGO may be hurting themselves with all of these lines available at once as you will have those that want multiple lines, but will not be able to afford. This will mean less sales for LEGO in the long run I think.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772


    But I will say LEGO may be hurting themselves with all of these lines available at once as you will have those that want multiple lines, but will not be able to afford. This will mean less sales for LEGO in the long run I think.

    I don't think lego cares that much, if one person doesn't buy everything they might want, then someone else buys up the slack. Lego is on a high right now.
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    With all the New York Toy Fair hype I looked at my wishlist for 2015 I found that 75% is for the licenced minifigures with no interest in the actual builds and 25% is for display models that I would never tear apart, which include: Detective's Office, Kwik E Mart, S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Darth Vader, Flatiron Building, Double Decker Couch.

    ...Yeah all the other sets that got unveiled on Saturday I really don't care about besides the licensed minifigures. It really goes to show that LEGO is hunting for intellectual properties because that is what sells quickly these days. LEGO models and sets are getting better but some still don't stand well isolated from the minifigures. I really try and buy a set for decent display models these days.

    I would say see how much of the sets are licensed or that you want for minifigures, in most cases you will find that 25% of that figure is non-IP or minifigure heavy.
    BuriedinBricks
  • VenunderVenunder Nottingham, UK.Member Posts: 2,571
    I agree that buying too many themes is a problem.
    I started back into Lego and grabbed every deal I could find, to increase my stock of lego for MOC'ing.
    Now I have enough Lego for that goal.
    I am going to have to be more selective with sets that I buy and just buy the new unusual or new colour parts that I desire or need for MOC's.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,144
    Don't have a ton of time to find them myself, but there are other threads on the forum that go into depth about nearly everything talked about above (plus some). At the end of the day everyones situation is unique to themselves. You can only collect what you can afford, have time for and have space for.

    Ultimately, I think most roads reach one conclusion, focus, focus, focus. Buy what you really want and let go of the rest. You will enjoy what you have that much more and feel a bit more sane, oh not to mention you will still have a positive balance on your checking account...well...one can assume eh?
    madforLEGOAndorTheBigLegoskilego007Mordoor
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,083
    About two years ago, shortly after I got back into Lego, I realised that I'd have to seriously limit what I bought. So I decided to only buy the Modulars, Winter Village, and other Exclusives that I really liked. Since then I've added trains to the mix.

    This means that, now I've caught up on all previous modulars (except CC & MS, which I'm not bothered about) and WV sets, I'm buying about two or three sets per year. In theory. Even if I buy a couple more, it's not a big deal.

    These days, my Lego money mostly goes on bricklink for mocs...
    VaderXMorkMan
  • KazJYKazJY Member Posts: 67
    Never do the math! lol. When I cashed in my VIP points, I realized what I had roughly spent. Yowza. (I'm sure not nearly as much as many other AFOLs. Lots of fun, but only really being into this two years, I am learning to be more selective.

    I had put a hard stop on several themes and then the Scooby stuff was announced. I'll probably get all of those, but I have no extra hours in the day to take on a 2nd job.
  • llanowarsoldierllanowarsoldier Ohio USAMember Posts: 357
    I myself stopped on the SW and Super Hero sets as way too many of those around and now keep it to City Great Vehicles, Creator sets that I like, WV sets, and of course Modulars and any other exclusive that I deem awesome. It used to be that I would amost buy everything I could, how quickly I learned.
  • monkeymonkey Member Posts: 235
    edited February 2015
    Never do the math for me too. If you can afford individual sets when you're ready to buy them, then buy them. Who cares how much they are going to cost together?

    The brilliance of lego hobby is little to zero opportunity to lose money. So worst case scenario is you sell your sets and recover all your spendings. And in most cases, with interest.
  • wrangler6915wrangler6915 USA - Lincoln NEMember Posts: 514
    Let the power of compounding work for you and be patient. Five years in, my growing collection is entirely self funding. This means I sell of sets regularly and use the proceeds to obtain more. There is a downside of course...you end up selling sets you probably later wished you'd kept. That's the trade off, but over time, you can make enough extra to start buying and keeping sets for yourself. For example, I found two 41999 at a Lego store. I figured one for me and one to trade. I traded one set to a fellow brick linker for a new DS. I then put the DS together once, decided it wasn't a set I wanted to keep so listed on eBay where it sold for about $360. So, after the fees, I had about $300 left. So, I got enjoy putting together a brand new DS and basically pocketed $100. This was all in the span of about three months. I know this is an isolated example but there are countless others. MF zombies that target couldn't get rid off, the FB's that were on Amazon for $125, SSD that Walmart had for $260, etc. So while not everyone wants to take the time to do this, and that's understandable, if you have the time and enjoy it, it's not work.
  • DrmnezDrmnez USA, Planet earth Member Posts: 859
    edited February 2015
    GIR3691 said:

    At the end of the day, it's just stuff, man.

    Real talk ^^

    Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and really limit yourself. They are just toys and there are more important things to save and spend for.
    FurrysaurusBOBJACK_JACKBOBMorkManjuggles7
  • goshe7goshe7 Columbus, Ohio, USAMember Posts: 515
    I follow #3. The key aspect to my prioritization is patience. I rarely buy a new set/theme in the first few months of release. Both my initial excitement, and the excitement imparted by others on forums such as this one, generally subside shortly after a set is released. I am then better prepared to evaluate if I really have a long-standing desire for the item.

    Additionally, patience can help as I can wait for a deal of some sort to lower the out-of-pocket cost.

    There have been a lot of sets and themes I have passed on due to this approach. To this point, I have had very minimal regrets about missed opportunities.
    lego007hkcrazy88
  • dragon114dragon114 United StatesMember Posts: 640
    im limiting my self to stuff that will fit in my leg city. having a hard time brick linking the green grocer in sand blue
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,144
    dragon114 said:

    im limiting my self to stuff that will fit in my leg city. having a hard time brick linking the green grocer in sand blue

    What's the arm look like?
    matticus_bricksminicoopers11bobabricksOmastarMordoorAndor
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Marking the SOH #10234 off my list will reduce the total by almost 15%, but I do love the Architecture sets. I'm expecting the SOH to be gone by the end of the year. The question I have to ask myself is will I regret not getting this set as much as I regret not getting the Taj Mahal set #10189 when I had the opportunity?
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    No, because it's pretty ugly and certainly no taj.
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545

    No, because it's pretty ugly and certainly no taj.

    That's your opinion of course. I think the SOH looks amazing with its angular/curved contrasts, and it was a great build as well. I would put it up there with Taj Mahal, but that is my opinion of course.
    Xefan
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    @Farmer_John I don't have SOH yet but do have the Taj. Because I know of how great Taj is first-hand, it is a must that I get the SOH. Building experience on the Taj was only so-so due to the 4x repetition. Its the sheer size and visual impact (the glowing white aura of magnificence) of the finished product that is the allure for me. Thus SOH fills that aspect nicely with it's huge size, plus has variety of build and visual color that the Taj was missing.
    AdeelZubairnatro220Xefan
  • TechnicNickTechnicNick Berkshire, UKMember Posts: 279
    SOH was certainly a more interesting build, but the Taj is the most beautiful thing (Lego or otherwise) in my house. I've never dismantled it, yet the SOH was taken apart within weeks for my moc stash. Moustache ? There's a joke in there somewhere...
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    Hmmm...on BBT, Raj was made fun of for pronouncing moustache "moo-stache"...sorry, only thing I could think of.
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,318
    I've limited my personal collection to Marvel & aim to get all of the first round Ultra Agents, depending on the money situation, I may do the second batch of UA sets, but as for anything else, I have to really want it, to consider it (still weighing up getting the Jedi Defender-class Cruiser).

    As for my boys, we tend to look at what sets interest them, but the TMNT are off the list, as they already have the action figures.
    xiahna
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    @Farmer_John you can borrow my SOH if you just want to build it.
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    Jenni said:
    @Farmer_John you can borrow my SOH if you just want to build it.
    I would love to do that!
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    @Adzbadboy Come and get it :). Farmer_John lives half an hour from me.
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    edited February 2015
    Oh, as much as I want to, but I live in Leyton, London.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    One major problem I see facing most collectors is the space limitation, which has been widely discussed before here. At some point, it will become too difficult to play with your LEGO because you have too much for your space. Having gone past that point, I am now selling off some sets that no longer hold my attention. I agree with those who say sell/trade stuff as you acquire more to keep your collection size "under control." As your tastes change, it is okay to sell even the majestic Taj if it no longer brings a smile to your face and there are other sets you crave. Life goes on...
  • VaderXVaderX Member Posts: 220
    I never understood the Pokemon approach to Lego.  You don't need to own every set they produce.  Complete theme collection is kinda of silly to me because half of the sets in a theme feel very basic and lazy.  Buy only the the lines/sets that you enjoy for not only the pieces but also the minifigures too.  I think also being realistic on only trying to follow one or two themes will make you a lot happier with your collection. Hoarding is not collecting.
    CircleKDrmnezcheshirecatAndorFurrysauruscatwrangler
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,697
    VaderX said:
    I never understood the Pokemon approach to Lego.  You don't need to own every set they produce.  Complete theme collection is kinda of silly to me because half of the sets in a theme feel very basic and lazy.  Buy only the the lines/sets that you enjoy for not only the pieces but also the minifigures too.  I think also being realistic on only trying to follow one or two themes will make you a lot happier with your collection. Hoarding is not collecting.
    "Gotta Catch Em All!"
    VaderX
  • Peter1975Peter1975 DeventerMember Posts: 166
    I'm short a bit over 8000 dollars, before completing my wanted list.....

  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,144
    I think space, time and money all ultimately spell "bad news" if you run out of or find you cannot use more of any of them.
  • QuentinBrickQuentinBrick STLMember Posts: 21
    I agree with the wait a bit after the set comes out it will usually wear out its excitement or become a keeper.

    I also find the sale items helpful to my budget.

    I do like to get at least one of most series as it helps with judging over all interest too.

    Basically I have no real strategy...and bricks everywhere.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Jenni said:
    @Farmer_John you can borrow my SOH if you just want to build it.
    @Jenni - I may take you up on that! It's the one set that I struggle the most with regarding "to purchase or not to purchase." We need to meet up at the Lego store for a visit again sometime. Perhaps during the double VIP points deal next month?
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    VaderX said:
    I never understood the Pokemon approach to Lego.  You don't need to own every set they produce.  Complete theme collection is kinda of silly to me because half of the sets in a theme feel very basic and lazy.  Buy only the the lines/sets that you enjoy for not only the pieces but also the minifigures too.  I think also being realistic on only trying to follow one or two themes will make you a lot happier with your collection. Hoarding is not collecting.
    Well I used to collect more of the SW theme, but those days have long since gone. My problem is not collecting all the sets, but having my tastes (as an AFOL) get more expensive. I'm not as interested in the small, uninteresting sets as I am in the larger, more complex sets. Unfortunately, the larger, more complex sets are also more expensive. And over the past year I've built up a list (really not that long) of larger sets I'm interested in building.

    At least that's my story, and I'm sticking to it...
  • JenniJenni JapanMember Posts: 1,390
    @Farmer_John Well obviously I was going to get it.

    You can take it apart first though :).
  • KazJYKazJY Member Posts: 67

    VaderX said:
    I never understood the Pokemon approach to Lego.  You don't need to own every set they produce.  Complete theme collection is kinda of silly to me because half of the sets in a theme feel very basic and lazy.  Buy only the the lines/sets that you enjoy for not only the pieces but also the minifigures too.  I think also being realistic on only trying to follow one or two themes will make you a lot happier with your collection. Hoarding is not collecting.

    I have been into this about two years now, and just went overboard.  We don't even use our dining room table for anything but building now.  (We eat in the kitchen anyhow).  We either have to get another table for the "office" in the basement to display everything, or just cut back.  I'd love to get the SOH, but "where to put it" is already a concern, never mind the DS.

    That said, I don't want to sell my modulars, but we've already filled the dining room table, the coffee table in the living room is full, and we spend more time organizing or moving stuff around than the kids do playing with everything. 

    So many cool sets though.  it's tough!

  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    There are a lot of great sets these days. Since coming back into the hobby, you definitely need to look at what sets/pieces you want the most. Money adds up too quickly.

    This year, I have cut down a little bit on some areas, like Star Wars. I have the main cast pretty much so I should be all set. Some of the sets look decent, but then the licensed price tag gets added and it hurts.

    In house themes are great for kids, but I haven't been that interested in them, until recently when we found a whole bunch on clearance for 30% off. That's the other problem...finding sets you wouldn't normally buy on a good sale and buying them for the pieces.. It adds up too quickly.

    I'd say get out of the hobby now while you still have your sanity!
  • cavegodcavegod Member Posts: 806
    Only 1 set on my wanted list so far this year, ive also not spent a penny on any sets yet!
    AdeelZubairAndorVaderX
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