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New AFOL (UK) coming out of a 40+ year Dark Age

Hi Everyone,

Well, after some debate on whether to raise my head or not, here I am. 

I have been feeling something strange drawing me to the Lego universe over the last year or so, though its really grown frantically over recent weeks. I think it was in part glimpsing Blocks magazine in WH Smith's on occasion and sneakily taking a peak hoping I wouldn't be seen (now I wish I'd bought those back issues). But then I kind of stumbled across a Lego Brickumentary which really got my juices flowing.

I remember (vaguely) playing with Lego as a kid some 40+ years ago, and watching my now grown up boys play with it during their childhood and since then have stored a reasonable sized tub of it Lego in the shed. 

I've been dying to get the tub out and have a rummage through it and did just that last weekend. There's a real mix of parts, many of which go back as far as 1957 and other dating around late 80's/90's. I have washed and sterilised it and am in the process of getting it dry and sorted.

My wife hasn't quite figured out why I'm doing this just yet, I'm trying to break it to her gently. 

Aside from sorting these parts I have purchased a small lot of lego pieces, and an Exo Suite kit (not received yet), as well as a few books. I can see already that this is going to get very expensive.

Note sure yet what theme I want to focus on, but am drawn to the Dr Who and Ghostbusters ideas sets as well as Star Wars.

I look forward to getting any guidance I can from you folks and will be doing some searching on the forum regarding storage advice.

Look forward to talking to you all on the forum.




Salamalexkiki180703klatu003TheBigLegoski

Comments

  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,034


    My wife hasn't quite figured out why I'm doing this just yet...

    Mine has been trying for the last 12 years or so.... doesn't get any easier ;-)

    Welcome to the Brickset forums. Hopefully you'll find some good resources here for your pending addiction :-o
    chuckpShibGothamConstructionCokiki180703TheBigLegoski
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684

    My wife hasn't quite figured out why I'm doing this just yet, I'm trying to break it to her gently. 
    ^ I thought this quote was great too, especially the end. If anyone has advice on how to break the news on one's LEGO hobby to their S.O. gently, I'm sure there are more than a few here who would appreciate such info.

    Welcome to the forum All_That_Rocks, you're in good company here. :)
    Shibkiki180703
  • nexandernexander Glasgow Member Posts: 872
    Welcome to the forum! As for the wife its a tough choice. Keep her at arms length and expect lots of disapproving looks and raised eyebrows. Convert her (I suggest WallE) and you get more understanding however expect your lego spend to be much, much higher and sets being mysteriously made in your absence!
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    A new hobby is better than a new woman.

    Sorry. Let me rephrase that. Having an "another interest" that is basically just a pile of plastic ought to be received a lot better than certain alternatives. It also means you'll still be in range to be summoned to do the washing up, fix the leaky radiator. or put up the shelf. As a bonus, especially if you develop an interest in more expensive sets, you'll no longer be able to make comments about the handbags and shoes.
    Salamalexkiki180703Angel_C
  • SalamalexSalamalex UKMember Posts: 273
    edited November 2015
    All good points @TigerMoth. Welcome @All_That_Rocks - just persuade her that a new role as 'Lego facilitator' and sorter is what she wanted all along. 
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    Thanks for the warm welcomes, comments and the advice. I'm sure there will be a few strange looks and some sniggering from friends and family as I move forward. To be fair though my wife's usually pretty supportive. Once she gets over the shock :)




  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343

    I'm sure there will be a few strange looks and some sniggering from friends and family as I move forward.
    Sniggering usually stops dead when you show them the change in value of even relatively recent sets that are no longer produced. It doesn't matter whether you have them or not nor whether you are interested in that aspect yourself.
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    TigerMoth said:

    I'm sure there will be a few strange looks and some sniggering from friends and family as I move forward.
    Sniggering usually stops dead when you show them the change in value of even relatively recent sets that are no longer produced. It doesn't matter whether you have them or not nor whether you are interested in that aspect yourself.
    ^ True, but then the "That's crazy, for a toy?" or "Why don't you sell that?" starts. ;)
    Salamalex
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 719
    Welcome.  Sounds like you are a fellow SFOL (senior fan of Lego).  I had many of the same concerns about my expanding Lego addiction, which started four years ago.  I never had Lego as a child, but had bought plenty for children and grandchildren before I got some of my own.  My experience has been very positive.  Mr. Klatu is a gem and has no problem with my hobby or the expense (and he is our cook, I am a very lucky woman.)  Friends and family think my Lego displays are very cool.  The grandkids get to play with the city setup and trains.  The only thing is some people have "calculator eyes" and remark "you have a lot of Lego - Lego is expensive."  I respond that I am a savvy shopper. (This from people who spend tons on attending sporting events and other stuff and experiences that I think are stupid.)

    Show your wife some pictures of sophisticated MOCs by AFOLs.  Especially of something where she has an interest; flowers, birds, fish, modular buildings?

    Enjoy the community here on Brickset.  It really helps to not feel like you are a weirdo playing with kid's toys.  Beware of spending more than you plan for when reading the excitement others feel for upcoming sets or sets that you don't really like, but are a great deal.
    All_That_RocksTheBigLegoski
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366

    LEGO calms me. Specifically, building. Not that I'm an angry person (I'm not), but building really puts me in a calm state. I'm a collector as well. Nothing but LEGO, but I love the feeling of adding to my collection.

    Speaking of collecting, here's an article I read a while ago that I enjoyed. It's long, but a good read if you have the time: http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/07/09/how-to-start-a-collection-50-manly-collection-ideas/

    As for the wife, mine isn't necessarily a fan of LEGO and it took her a while to understand why I suddenly got back into it at 33 years of age, but she likes any hobby that I can participate in while sitting next to her in the living room. She'd much rather me do that than any of the millions of things I could get in trouble doing outside of the house. And so would I. I'm a homebody for the most part and like a nice relaxing hobby that keeps me at home. She likes that aspect of it a lot I'd imagine. And it helps tremendously that my oldest son is now getting into it. She didn't get it at first, but sees that I'm happy, so all is good.

    That said, I'm sure she could do without ever hearing again "Hey, baby, look at this! A new minifig version of [CHARACTER] is coming out! AWESOME!"

    TheBigLegoskiAngel_CBrickDancerBumblepants
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,288
    Hi @All_That_Rocks ;, welcome to the forum!

    I don't have much to say or add right now to all the funny, witty, and welcoming things other people have not already written here. I just want to say that I enjoyed reading it all.

    With regard what to collect, and what theme to focus on; it is hard to say what you ought to do. Up to this point I have just tried to focus on whatever theme I like most, and do some cherry picking on the side from other themes that I don't want to focus on that much, but sometimes have some sets that are just gems and too good not to get my hands on. Though this has often proofed to be very tricky, as I have the tendency to be somewhat of a completist. The danger is that it spirals out of control, with me ending up collecting yet another theme. Perhaps your wife will be more helpful when it comes to avoiding falling into that trap than many brickset members will be with all the unrestrained Lego enthusiasm you will encounter here. Having said that there are plenty of smart people on the forum of whom quite a few seem to have collecting strategies that work for them.

    Anyway, happy building and collecting times!
    All_That_Rocks
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    Thanks for the continued welcomes, support and advice @TheBigLegoski @Yodalicious @klatu003 @SumoLego ;.

    Its really nice to get such lengthy responses which demonstrates to me the genuine community spirit that is apparent here.

    I have come clean to my wife about my interest in Lego and whilst she did have a little chuckle, especially when I elaborated on the AFOL term, she has been supportive. And of course with Xmas on the horizon I wasn't too late to get some requests in.

    I do already feel myself being somewhat obsessive about it and I'm trying to resist the urge to buy everything (if only that were possible). 

    One of the things I'm finding difficult to evaluate is whether it is worth me buying mixed Lego in bulk. I imagine this is a great way to build up my bricks count so that I could someday create some MOCs but looks rather hit and miss. Likewise, if I were to get into the Bricklink side of selling parts is this a good approach? Is it a viable way of assisting helping fund the hobby?

    I am also considering attending Brick 2105 but could only go on the Friday due to other commitments. I've heard its not a good event to spend money at as most things are overpriced, but would be good to see some MOCs up close. 


  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    edited December 2015
    In response to buying mixed lego in bulk, your decision has to be based on what amount of time you have.  If you have loads of time for sorting and researching, rebuilding or mocing, then these bulk lots are an awesome way to go.  If, like me, you have other time commitments then it can be hard work to get through a huge load of random bricks and it might be better to just buy sets or required parts so you can get on with building!
    I will always pick up bulk lego if the price is right, but quite often I just skim it for what I want (minifigures and interesting bricks normally) and then pass it on to the other lego fans in my life (my children or sometimes other peoples).
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343

    One of the things I'm finding difficult to evaluate is whether it is worth me buying mixed Lego in bulk. I imagine this is a great way to build up my bricks count so that I could someday create some MOCs but looks rather hit and miss. Likewise, if I were to get into the Bricklink side of selling parts is this a good approach? Is it a viable way of assisting helping fund the hobby?
    Bear in mind that some bulk lots are pretty disgusting - you might put yourself off for life! But that depends on the individual.

    As for selling parts, you need a reasonable stock otherwise, with postage, there'll always be somewhere that's cheaper. All of a sudden you're going from nothing to a lot.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    MattsWhat said:
     If you have loads of time for sorting and researching, rebuilding or mocing, then these bulk lots are an awesome way to go.  If, like me, you have other time commitments then it can be hard work to get through a huge load of random bricks and it might be better to just buy sets or required parts so you can get on with building!

    I appreciate the drain on time. I guess my concern comes from the fact that it takes relatively little time to build a set so your likely to have large amounts of time between purchasing and buying sets. Therefore buying, sorting, rebuilding has some appeal. 


  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637

    TigerMoth said:

    Bear in mind that some bulk lots are pretty disgusting - you might put yourself off for life! But that depends on the individual.

    As for selling parts, you need a reasonable stock otherwise, with postage, there'll always be somewhere that's cheaper. All of a sudden you're going from nothing to a lot.
    Yeah I know its hit and miss. After all my own lego had been sat in the shed for probably 20 years and was very disgusting (full of spiders etc). Cleaning and sorting (still underway) has been hard but interesting uncovering some items.

    I know I am probably trying to run before I can walk (a personal trait), but there are so many interesting aspects to the hobby to throw yourself into, and I have a LOT to catch up with.


  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    All_That_Rocks said:

    full of spiders etc
    I'd worry about the etc rather than the spiders!
    All_That_Rocks said:

    Cleaning and sorting (still underway) has been hard but interesting uncovering some items.

    I know I am probably trying to run before I can walk (a personal trait), but there are so many interesting aspects to the hobby to throw yourself into, and I have a LOT to catch up with.
    If you want to sell parts, it's probably not a bad idea if you know something about them. You could start off by trying to catalogue, precisely, what you have, and dividing it into sets (whether that's what you want or not). Doing so will force you into the arcane world of slightly different colours and different versions of what, on the face of it, are the same piece. And then there are the different numbering and naming schemes.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    TigerMoth said:
    If you want to sell parts, it's probably not a bad idea if you know something about them. You could start off by trying to catalogue, precisely, what you have, and dividing it into sets (whether that's what you want or not). Doing so will force you into the arcane world of slightly different colours and different versions of what, on the face of it, are the same piece. And then there are the different numbering and naming schemes.
    Definitely lots to learn. Is there a dummies guide anywhere with regards the numbering and naming etc. I have seen various colour charts around. Or is it best to just dive into the catalogue?
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    All_That_Rocks said:

    Definitely lots to learn. Is there a dummies guide anywhere with regards the numbering and naming etc. I have seen various colour charts around. Or is it best to just dive into the catalogue?
    No.

    There are two sets of colours. TLG's and those that tend to be used by most fan sites. But the inventories here use the former not the latter. This might give you some idea what you're up against in terms of the sheer number of colours:

    http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Colour_Palette

    There are two sets of numbers - the "long" one  the "short one". It used to be that the former was just the latter with a colour number added on the end, but no longer, but it still does uniquely identify a part and its colour; the short number is only the part shape, if you will.

    Then life gets complicated. TLG only uses numbers. Different versions of a part may or may not get a different number. The AFOL numbering uses a letter suffix to identify different versions, but doesn't necessarily change it at the same time TLG does.

    These days, TLG uses different parts number for each print. That means that TLG's number for a printed part isn't the one that's moulded into it (which is that for the unprinted piece). Assembled parts also have new numbers. What confuses some people there is that something like a minifig torso might get the same number as another with a different print because that is the number for an assembled torso of any pattern or colour, because assembly is the last operation. The AFOL number is completely different with things like this because it uses a suffix for the most significant part in the assembly.

    In a rush... Sorry.
    All_That_Rockskiki180703
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    Thanks @TigerMoth very useful! Certainly sounds complicated and shows just how much I have to learn. 

    I really need to get my head around the numbering and how to identify parts. I have looked at a small number of bricks but couldn't see a correlation between anything stamped into the brick vs the part number in Bricklink. 

    I'll take some time to absorb the information you've provided and investigate further. I'll reach out to the forum with any questions.

    Thanks again for taking the time. Didn't seem rushed at all.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    The easy method is not to set out to learn it.  When you are ordering parts from bricklink, working your way through a bulk lot and finding them, working on LDD or browsing brickset.com etc.  That's when you start to work out how it all fits together and end up just absorbing the bits of information.  Take a quick look at the identifying parts thread to see just how much there is to learn...

    For the record, instead of remembering part numbers (which does come over time) at the start I simply remembered the inventories of sets I had built.  Not intentionally, but like - oh I saw that bit in #****.  Then you can browse the pieces of that set on brickset, find the part, see what colours are available, what set it was in, what codes it has etc. This will sort you out for the majority of pieces.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    Thanks @MattsWhat ;

    I can see that learning will be a gradual and continual process. And as for the parts, I know exactly what you mean and can see my knowledge developing as I go through the numerous parts I already have in order to try and identify sets. My approach will be to pick out unique looking bricks, for instance with a printed graphic on them, identify them and then look up which other parts that make up that set. 

    Its no doubt going to be a little bit tedious to do so and in order to allow me to find those parts as quickly as possible I need to sort out what I already have. I'm sure there are some sorting threads on here which I may need to look though.

    My current approach is to sort into categories and then circle back on these to separate further. While this involves re-sorting it keeps the categories (and therefore boxes needed) to a minimum initially.

    So for instance I have categories for specific coloured Basic Bricks, special printed bricks, wheels, mini figure related, windows/doors, tiles etc

    Still researching suitable containers. Difficult to know how many compartments I'll need and how big the storage will need to be. Till then, the containers I'm using are somewhat makeshift. 

  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,902
    Welcome to the forum @All_That_Rocks, as @MattsWhat mentioned in his post, I heartily recommend downloading LDD, even if you do not use it for building it will give you an idea of the level of parts and categories that Lego parts come in (even if it has not been updated for a while).

     I would also recommend spending a bit of time getting to know bricklink and its inventories before diving in and staring to sell. Just buying parts on the site can be an eye opener (parts variance, price variance, shipping costs, packing costs etc) but with a bit of time and research getting what you want in the levels/ price required can be quite satisfying. 

    I would also recommend utilising the sets lists on the main Brickset website to keep track of your wants, haves etc. And also to check out rebrickable if going into parts buying / bulk lots as that can be a great way of keeping track of what parts you have and what you can build with them (and letting you know what parts you want), although do be aware that as @TigerMoth stated AFOL sites colouring terminology and Lego's differ greatly but you will soon get the hang of the LBG / MSG types of reference.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    Thanks for the additional advice @bandit778 . I have downloaded and installed LDD on my Mac and am trying to figure it out. 

    I'm certainly still finding my way around Brickset and Bricklink. Both sites are excellent and I'm continually staggered at the amount of information available within the Lego community.

    I haven't really checked out rebrickable too much yet but will try and put that right in the next few days. I need to turn my attentions to getting my wife's Xmas presents to keep her sweet :)


  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,902
    I recommend something shiny and expensive for the missus, won't do any harm to get a few apologies in before you get too deep in the rabbit hole. :)
    All_That_Rockskiki180703
  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,509
    bandit778 said:
    I recommend something shiny and expensive for the missus
    Like a UCS Tie Fighter?
    tecjamAll_That_Rockskiki180703bandit778
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    I have looked at a small number of bricks but couldn't see a correlation between anything stamped into the brick vs the part number in Bricklink.
    If you're looking at old bricks, you won't. They usually had numbers which indicated what part of a mould a particular piece came from, but not the part number.

    More modern pieces usually, but non always, have a 4 or 5 digit Part ID somewhere; the inventories in the instruction books have the 6 or 7 digit Element ID. If you haven't got any of the latter, download the PDF version from lego.com for one of the bigger sets.

    The numbers on the parts themselves are usually readable with the naked eye - but they can also be incredibly small. If possible, it'll be somewhere unobtrusive like inside the part.

    Something I omitted in my brief description of Part IDs is that parts which appear to be the same will have different IDs if made from different materials or using different processes. Transparent pieces are generally made from polycarbonate; those with solid colours are made from ABS - so a bright red 1x 1 plate will have a different number to a transparent one. The also applies to some of the chrome or metallic colours (some just use metallic plastic; others are lacquered, which is a totally different process - and number). Confusingly, many fan sites don't bother making the distinction and use the same number for both.

    The reason I've said starting going through inventories is that'll you soon have questions. It's a lot easier answering the questions than trying to remember good examples!
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    TigerMoth said:
    I have looked at a small number of bricks but couldn't see a correlation between anything stamped into the brick vs the part number in Bricklink.
    If you're looking at old bricks, you won't. They usually had numbers which indicated what part of a mould a particular piece came from, but not the part number.


    That explains a lot as many of my bricks will originate from my (or even my older sisters) childhood. Others will be from the 90's I would imagine when my kids would have been playing with it.

    As you suggest, I'll continue with my sorting and checking inventories and I'm sure the questions will start flowing. Probably time for a new thread :)



  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    As an example of what you're up against, have a look at this:

    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/398461/#Comment_398461

    Two, almost identical parts, with one (possibly) being 250 (no typo) times the price of the other. And we're talking the last seven years, not ancient history.
  • All_That_RocksAll_That_Rocks UKMember Posts: 637
    TigerMoth said:
    As an example of what you're up against, have a look at this:

    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/398461/#Comment_398461

    Two, almost identical parts, with one (possibly) being 250 (no typo) times the price of the other. And we're talking the last seven years, not ancient history.
    Wow! I see what your talking about now.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Wow! I see what your talking about now.
    As I said, it's difficult to think of examples, especially ones where there are pictures that make it obvious. That one just came along at the right time.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,251
    those parts are noticeably different, the old one will bend easily.
    there are way more subtle differences, for example the 1x4x5 arch, the new version has 2 anti-studs (at the base and at the top) while the original had only one at the base. or bricks which actually look identical on the outside but not on the inside. for example some bricks have holes on the bottom which allow to attach very small items like friends hair accessories.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Fauch said:

    those parts are noticeably different, the old one will bend easily.
    To the unsuspecting, they're the same piece. Once you know about the difference, then you know to look. Then it's obvious.

    That is the problem, knowing where to look.
    Fauch said:

    there are way more subtle differences, for example the 1x4x5 arch, the new version has 2 anti-studs (at the base and at the top) while the original had only one at the base. or bricks which actually look identical on the outside but not on the inside. for example some bricks have holes on the bottom which allow to attach very small items like friends hair accessories.
    Sorry, but those are about as subtle as a brick in the teeth. You can see them from the other side of the room - if, as I said, you know where to look.

    As for arches, there's an article on http://www.newelementary.com/ about changes in their shape.

    There are a couple of DOZEN different variants of the humble 2 x 4 - some more obvious than others. Obvious isn't the right word.

    Then there are things like 3941 / 6116, where the biggest difference is in the shape of the stud notches and the axle-hole. Mind you, I think most people know about axle-hole shapes, but probably not the stud notches.

    There's at least two different profiles for 50950 Brick W/Bow 1/3. How different? About the thickness of a sheet of paper. The only way of spotting it is to put two of them side by side - and your fingers are a better guide than your eyes.

    Does it matter?  Sometimes. There are plenty of bricks where there are variants with different type of stud. Most of the time it doesn't matter - unless you want to put some sort of rod in it. There are a number of bricks that have what appear to be offset anti-studs underneath. However they can be shaped differently, even on something that appears to be the same brick - some are anti-studs; some take axles.

    A good way of finding some parts than had variants used to be to compare TLG's part number with those generally used by AFOLs - if the numbers were different there was usually a subtle change in design which had essentially gone unnoticed (although you need to take account of what I said about ABS / polcarbonate earlier). However, there are now new numbers for a lot of parts.
    All_That_Rocks
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,829
    Subtle variations are common in a lot of my other collecting hobbies as well. Thes slightly different coin reverses come to mind - http://coins.about.com/od/Eisenhower-Ike-Dollar-Coins/tp/Eisenhower-Dollars-Key-Dates-Rarities-And-Varieties.htm

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