Even before coming out of my dark ages, I remember seeing some of the winter village sets and thinking how awesome I thought they were and how fun it would be to make a winter town out of them to display during the holidays. After seeing some displays this winter, something snapped in my brain and I've been obsessed with creating my winter masterpiece. I am wrestling with the best way to go about collecting the older released sets as well as how to introduce my own buildings. It really comes down to one main thing for me: COST!
I've added the following to my Wanted List on BL: #10222
Winter Post Office, #10216
Winter Village Bakery, #10229
Winter Village Cottage, #10235
Winter Village Market, #10245
Santa's Workshop, and #10249
Winter Toy Shop (2015 edition). First, aside from the train and the original Winter Toy Shop, are there any other Winter Village Sets I'm missing? The train will most likely make its way onto the list as well.
I figured I would try to leverage the collective brain power of the Brickset community to help me either fix whatever snapped in my brain, help me develop a strategy on collecting, as well as offer additional insights/photos/ideas/etc... on how I could make this a really special and memorable display.
I really see four possible ways to approach the procurement of the necessary bits: 1) Buy the completed sets (new or used doesn't really matter to me). 2) Bricklink the sets (considering cost is my biggest limitation, this is likely not the best route for everything). 3) Use resources like the PAB wall/site and local "bulk brick" stores. 4) A combination of all of the above.
There is a local Bricks and Minifigs store that has a great selection of bulk Lego that I've recently been picking through to complete some other projects. Unfortunately, on my last trip I had intended to go in and buy as many of the tan/dark tan/every variation of brown I could only to walk in and see a couple literally dumping those color selection bins into a massive bag. I had to talk myself off the ledge... I see this as potentially the best route for a vast majority of the pieces. They are constantly getting in new stock that is, for the most part, that is clean and in good shape. There are a decent amount of pieces that would likely never show up, and so I'd have to BL those.
Of the six sets listed above, the BL price for used sets minus shipping would be $713. The Bricks and Minifigs store mentioned above sells bulk bricks in a variety of bags up to $60 I believe. I'm just seriously wondering if I could spend ~$150 and get all of the "common" bricks, BL the rest for another ~$100 (no idea how accurate that is), and save $500 compared to buying complete sets. There would be additional charges if I wanted to make it a complete, living village connected by roads, trees, additional buildings, etc..., but that could come down the line.
Well, out of fear of losing the majority of readers, I'll make myself stop. I'd appreciate any feedback that could be given. Just knowing myself, when I've been bitten by similar bugs in the past, my tendency is to go WAY overboard and want everything immediately. I can see part of the fun of this type of project is amassing parts over time. So I have to remind myself to be realistic and enjoy the ride.
I think more often than naught people forget two things when bricklinking a set: Shipping costs, and more importantly time. How much is your time worth to you?
Buying a used set may cost more, but by how much? Is it worth that to go bl all of these sets? At least you can get Santa's Workshop, Toy shop and holiday train for a somewhat inexpensive cost. The others you have to weigh the pros and cons, and only you can do this.
Friends has a winter sub-theme coming out. If you bought all those sets and the winter toy shop it is $225. If you spent extra on just pieces and an extra Friends chalet ($40) , you might be able to create a very interesting and unique winter ski village.
I have all the winter sets sets beyond the first train. I have made my own bunny ski hill and skate pond, and am thinking of buying into the Friends sub theme, maybe changing some of the colors out to a more muted color, and creating a small ski village scene.
This method might give you a quick way to get into a winter scene, and yet have a fair amount of fun trying to modify these base sets into something you want. In my case, $145 buys me into the entire Friends sub-theme.
Also, do we know if they plan to do a winter set this year, and what that will be?? Perhaps and other redo set, or else something new. Just the toy shop, train, and if they do a new set that would give you a fair amount to get started. You could add a $40 Friends chalet and modify that fairly easily to add an extra building or two into the scene.
Another option.. I have my Christmas sets, but in January I put out winter sets. This includes Lego Creator Mountain hut. I basically added snow to the house and ground to make it look like a nice cabin in the winter. Lakeside Lodge is small, but I actually just ordered it due to this thread because it is a nice price on Amazon right now. I will add some snow to it and it should add in nicely with my modified Mountain hut.
Point. There are lots of ways and choices to make a very cool winter scene display, and it does not have to involve trying to buy or bricklink all the old sets. You might just need to look at some of the sets out their differently.
I got into collecting the Winter Village sets in 2013 when I picked up the cottage and the market. The following year I got the retired sets, post office, bakery and toy shop off of ebay and the holiday train #10173 off of bricklink. The sets on ebay set me back about $120 each and the train was $300 and it was missing the minifigs, though I've slowly started trying to get them. So trying to get the retired sets might be a little expensive. It's possible you might still be able to find Santa's Work Shop still in a LEGO Store, I saw a few around Christmas time this year.
Like @tamamahm I've started looking at other sets that might fit into the winter theme, Like the new friends sets. I've also started collecting some of the older house sets to fit into my display.
To clarify to my original post, the Bricks and Minifigs store has several tables full of bulk bricks. One can shop them just like a PAB wall in that you get to take what you want and leave the rest. Their largest bag option fits, in my estimate, roughly 2500-3000 pieces. At about $.02/piece, that seems like a decent price. In my last trip I pretty much picked all of the non-train pieces for #7722 and it only cost me $8.
As an example, there are 133 unique Black part types among the 6 sets in the original post. There is a very real chance, based on my last two trips, that 65-75% of those pieces could be acquired through their tables. Looking at the other colored pieces, there is probably a strong likelihood of 75% of the pieces coming together off their bulk tables alone. I realize shipping and cost, even on 25% of the remaining pieces, from BL would be fairly steep.
@tamamahm, thank you for your creative suggestions! I'll have to start looking through that sub theme and get put my creative hat on. I think that would make a great addition to the village! Do you have set numbers for any of the Friends sets you mentioned? Or for the subtheme?
@catwrangler, as I'm still just getting back into Lego, I need to learn to think outside the box. Although I do love the tan/brown color palette, I would seriously consider swapping out those pieces for different color combinations. There would certainly be a uniqueness to the village compared [email protected] t of the box" sets.
Lots to chew on and consider. I likely just need to focus on one set at a time instead of all 6, plus sub sets, plus other sub themes that could be modded...
Here is the small lakeside cabin. It is small, but think with some added snow, it will make a nice little wood cabin in a scene, especially with the moose.
Also... I do keep my eye out for animals. For example, I bought one of the Disney sets just to get the three bears from Brave. Friends sets often have white rabbits. I have accumulated some dogs and polar bear. The Lego minifig collectibles are always worthwhile to check out for figures that go well into the scene.
At first, I was intent on buying older sets although this was beyond my Lego budget. I've accepted now that I won't be able to have all of the winter village collection back dated. So I began to focus on creating my own Christmas builds using multiple copies of newest sets. I bought 3 santa's workshops to create a larger version.
My one word of advice on buying (as I was caught out myself): don't assume that buying Christmas related Lego is cheaper to buy out of season. i bought lots of my Christmas sets last summer, assuming that I was saving money as the prices would inflate closer to Christmas. I was wrong. I reasoned that winter prices would be higher as more people would be thinking of buying such sets. What actually happened was that prices were cheapest in November, when people were in their lofts. I guess it's all about supply and demand. You've only got to look at the winter train, which is currently bobbing around £110. Lego will inevitably make it available again in November for £70.
going the friends route will be a good option for sourcing great pieces. You could always sell the friends dolls if they don't fit your theme.
#40139 Gingerbread house (was the freebie 2 years ago)
#40138 Holiday Train (another freebie from 2015)
And the rest of the holiday vignettes from 2015.
Just looked at the prices of the Gingerbread house and yikes.... Granted, it is one of the most visually appealing sets Lego has done, IMO.
I love that Gingerbread house!
Thanks for another suggestion!
Maybe this too.
Interesting question Mrs. Switch. Interesting question...
I see no reason our dining room table can't support the entirety of the village?! I'll likely need to give this particular area some thought prior to going all out on add-ons as it will significantly impact the design.
Second, now that that is out of my system, this sounds like the typical response of someone who is trying to limit a dreamer such as yourself.
Last, and most serious--can't you just invest in a lot of white slopes and build those onto literally the roof of any building?
@BillyBricks84, I had the same thought with the white slopes. I like the iconic sets that Lego has put out, but there is nothing stopping me making my own structures for less.
The Bricks and Minifigs store I mentioned in my original post currently has a 25gallon bucket full of nothing but white pieces. Some are a little yellowed, but could likely be brought back to life. I see this as one of the easiest ways to build a bunny hill ski slope, snow covered roads, snow accents, etc...
I did below MOC last year with only 1 Winter set in it (I do have all the Winter sets but only opened 1 so far). The rest of the buildings are alternate models of official modulars and MOC builds. You can just make do with what you have for the buildings, though obviously will need lots of white bricks and plates for the snow base.
I just saw a Toy Shop pop up on a local selling site for a reasonable price. Maybe I'll start there and then expand around it.
Lucky for me, as I was sorting through the other bits, I stumbled across the small wood shop from #10229. It's only missing one of the 8x8 white plates. It's a small first step, but somehow a very meaningful one. Plus it gave me something to show my wife in person so she could get a feel for some of the sets styling. She's a fan!
There are several other bits in the bin that I wonder if they're also from one of the winter sets or vignettes. I know there's a decent amount from the 2012 advent calendar.
I reached back out to the lady I bought from and told her that if she had any other sets and wanted to sell, that I would love to buy them from her. I mentioned the few winter parts I found in the box and asked specifically if she had any of the winter village sets.
Turns out the bits I got weren't meant to be in the bin...oops! However, she apparently has all of the winter village sets and is wanting to sell them. Based on what she let these others go for, I have my fingers crossed that I can knock out a huge portion (if not all) of the sets for a VERY reasonable price.
So by "all of the winter sets" she really meant she has the Cottage and Bakery. They're complete (minus the pieces I got already) and she's only asking $150 for both..........
I've pretty much maxed my Lego budget with the Mrs. as of late along with several other larger household purchases. Not sure she'll go for it. But $150 for both!? The cottage alone is worth more than that.
I'll have to be strategic about how I approach this one. Maybe the seller would consider a payment plan?
EDIT - Looks like it also includes #3300014.
So a conservative used BL value for all three would be $310?
In my word that's basically a green light! @mustang69, your logic of it being below RRP was a good selling tactic too. Plus additional appreciation on the sets (assuming no remakes like the toy shop). I let her know that I could always recoup the $150 pretty easily.
The main thing I'm wrestling with is several other large expenses we're dealing with at the moment. It's difficult to justify the money, even for Lego. Looks like I'll have to sell some Lego to buy some Lego. So off to post some sets I guess!
I'm a little ahead of schedule now I guess! The only things missing are one minifig from the Cottage set, one hair piece from the boy in the sleigh, and the small brown sled for the Cottage set. There are a few other minor things like the lights over the ice pond not being the correct trans studs and half the roof of the workshop in the center back not being a full 8x8 plate, but for $150, I'll take it!
Now to dust and do a detailed inventory!
It just seems as if there aren't a lot of "rare" pieces in the winter sets, with a few exceptions mixed in. I guess it honestly makes me question my recent purchase of the three sets a little bit. I have NO BLing experience, so it's very likely I'm missing something that is obvious to most others.
Another example would be #3300014. At 93 pieces, you're telling me I couldn't get them for less than $30?
I'm spiraling a bit, but just some thoughts that were on my mind.
I think there are many ways you could go with this. The nice part is that it does not need to be solved at once, or even several months from now.
Don't mind me while I cry here in the corner...
I have to admit that when I first posted this less than two months ago, I didn't anticipate having three full sets already with a fourth right around the corner. Not only that, but getting them for the price that I did.
I'm excited to start doing some initial layouts and filling in my scene with additional items!
Perhaps the most exciting part for me is how supportive my wife has been in my desire to put together a village. It has made the whole process that much more enjoyable.
One year she built her own ski slope with pub
What are those longer curved pieces slightly behind the bunny hill?
My son and I recently went to a model train show and saw a pretty huge winter display. Several of their buildings were the "official" sets presumably doubled or tripled along with some other MOCs to fill it out. I'll upload pictures soon, but the road they build through it is definitely the direction I'd like to take things.
Glad you like them :)
The curved pieces are actually from the roof of sydney opera house. My wife took it apart so she could use those pieces to give the snow effect.
As suspected, I did receive the #10249 Toy Shop for Father's Day!
I still certainly have my sights on the other official sets both past/future. But I have a solid base to build my Village from. Now I can start designing a few additional pieces to fill in the gaps between buildings!
Is it too early to begin the speculation????!!! Here we are basking in the hottest day of the year...
I will be interested as well to see what they do this year, but almost prefer a remake because I have too many large sets I already want to buy, plus with the Friends sets coming out I already have a few sets I want for our scene.