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I still buy every Marvel set, every modular, and finish off select themes (Jurassic World for instance), but I'm much better with everything else. Especially when it comes to minifigs. I trade for ones I want a lot more these days vs. 5 years ago when I just bought sets with no second thought.
Buy everything I like plus anything else that has a decent discount -> Buy everything I like -> Buy what I like if it's got a good discount -> Buy nothing because I've run out of money/space -> decide to sell everything apart from a couple of themes -> Buy only what I really like from 1/2 themes but wait as long as possible for decent discount.
Only problem with that is, one of the themes is Star Wars and there's A LOT i really like/want!
I also found that when after forced myself to stop buying, when I did start buying again it felt like coming out of a mini dark age and had the urge to pick up the stuff I'd missed in my self imposed ban!
...so basically: when I had the expenses that go with having your own place.
(disclaimer: this is not an acurate representation of various opinions in this household)
(As I show my wife photos in a desparate attempt to distract her from the Lego 14 bags sitting on a couch in my garage.)
As my re-emerging into the hobby came about from the love of building with Lego, to keep on buying for the sake having stuff I want at the cost of enjoying the hobby made me take stock and slow down so I give myself time to actually build.
As per Brickset I only own 168 of 828 "sets" TLG released in 2016, so I respectfully disagree ;)
My solution to running out of space for Lego is constructing a house with a dedicated Lego room. And an overflow room for Lego. And a man cave :)
Personally I think I have been selective since Day1 coming out of my DA, unlike my childhood when we seemed to have practically 100% of the contents of the Lego catalogue. The sheer volume of sets released today simply makes that impossible for most people.
But yes, selective is in the eye of the beholder, and to other people it might seem I buy Lego indiscriminate. I have never bought Lego though just because it was at a deep discount. Even at 90% off I still wouldn't buy a set if the theme/set doesn't interest me.
Not letting @SumoLego being the judge of that though, as just like he shows pictures of my shopping sprees to his wife to get her of his back, I do the same with the pictures of his shopping orgies ;)
Suffice to say, the shelves are now full. And since my second child came along eight months ago, I even have sets that aren't built now, which I didn't think would ever happen because I always used to open the box within minutes of getting home.
Currently saving up to buy the Grand Emporium and Town Hall modulars, which will be displayed out of the closet, so that shouldn't be an issue :-)
Finally, mentally picturing my cupboard of unbuilt sets (and if that fails checking those flagged as 'sealed' in my Brickset collection ) has slowed my purchasing, though I'm still buying more than I have the time to build at the moment...
It's an evolving process... :)
So far so good.
my biggest issue is buying sets and having time to build them.
I cant wait for the summer (I'm a teacher).
Sorry; back on topic, I stick to city/3-in-1 buildings/modulars (have all 12), big technic sets, and the large scale vehicles like the Creator cars. Though I did just finally nab my White Whale and got a Super Star Destroyer.
I started buying things like mad in 1999, when I got a job, had no debt, and there didn't seem like all that many LEGO sets were out there. And sure, there were more sets introduced in 1998 and 1999 than ever before, but it didn't seem like the start of an ever-increasing trend at the time. I'm not even sure we (in the hobbyist community) really noticed.
Back then, people frequently posted about being "complete" in broad themes like space, castle, and pirates-- sometimes even town and train. So it seemed pretty reasonable to guess that I'd pretty much just buy EVERY LEGO set (in minifig-themes, I should note-- I didn't care about Technic, DUPLO, etc).
But surprisingly, the 1st road block was Star Wars. Here I was, a Star Wars fan, and there weren't that many sets at the time. So being complete in Star Wars seemed like a no-brainer. But then they released this in 2001:
Try as I might, I couldn't justify spending $150 on essentially a bunch of black and red bricks. I wrestled over it for a while. I think that was the first inkling that maybe I might NOT buy at least one of everything.
I was off-and-on until about 2003, when I eagerly bought up one of ALL the Orient Expedition sets, but didn't want to buy a lot of the Racers, and wasn't excited about the World City sets. Buying them seemed like more of an obligation than something I was interested in.
Also in 2003 was my first LEGO Tent Sale (sadly, I only got to go to 2 of these ever). They had #4731 Dobby's Release (normally $7.00) for about $1.00. Another bin was full to the brim with small sets for $0.25 per set, which were usually $5.00 or so. Someone else (not me) noticed that they had #1255 (Shell set) with windows that wound up being cheaper per piece than if you bought them in the window accessory set (#3508). $2.00 per set maybe?
For the first time, the question was "how many do I really want?" I mean, sure, we all joke about getting 100 copies of some set we like-- but ... do you really WANT all that extra fluff in terms of extra bricks and minifigs that you won't ever use? (FWIW, my friend bought maybe 60 copies of the Shell set, I only got 10 copies of Dobby's Release)
So, after having a lot of more serious thoughts around what my hobby was becoming, I finally accepted that yeah, I probably shouldn't buy one of everything, and I should just focus on the things that were "must-haves". It was definitely no longer "buy everyhing", but turned into "buy the stuff that I really want".
When I came out of my DA in late 2009, it felt as though I could be a completist - the first series of CMF hadn't hit, it'd be another two-and-a-bit years before Marvel and DC Superhoes hit the scene, and there seemed to be fewer blockbuster D2C sets to drool over.
After a while I was forced into acknowledging that I just can't afford everything, nor do I/will I have the room for everything. And I've found it really liberating - once that concession is made and you realise it's okay not to have everything, it becomes a more enjoyable hobby IMO. It's less about collecting something because you have to have it, and more about what you actually want. I checked out of the CMF years ago, because at what point will I run out of wall space for framed series of minifigs? Now I just get the minifigs I actually want to own, and it means I'm not shelling out money on minifigs I didn't want for the sake of being a completist.
I'm very picky these days about the themes I collect (and even which sets within those themes). In the near future I can see the same logic that changed my CMF collecting habits begin to apply to the modulars; I've collected them all since the Fire Brigade, but that town can only get so big. My backlog is currently from the Detective's Office to Assembly Square, and I plan on getting the three missing sets, but eventually something will have to give there too.
In general, I'm just really over buying things that will involve me wanting to recoup any of the outlay later on, so I'm trying out Nextflix rather than buying DVDs where I'm liable to want to Ebay them, and I really can't be bothered with swapping CMFs, because you need to be swapping multiples for it to be worthwhile postage-wise for a lot of collectors, and I've never bought enough to have enough doubles for that to work in my favour.
So basically time is as much a factor as money and storage...
When it came to selectivity regarding used Lego, going through a 40-gallon tub of dirty, hairy bricks and finding a brooch with the pin sticking out was a point (literally) of realization.
I really slowed down with purchases this year. Although there is nothing wrong with collecting, it is not what I want to do. I see this with so many people and hobbies: accumulation eventually trumps activity, and getting becomes the hobby. I want to build and not collect. My personal stuff gauntlet is that I have to say yes to one of these three:
1) Will I use personally?
2) Will I use it at work?
3) Will I share it?
I break the rule a lot, but it helps me put stuff back.
Other than money issue, the lack of space also stopped me from buying more. Toys are visible everywhere in my house. My toy room had barely a narrow path for me to walk into.
Moving forward, probably will target CFMs and very specific individual sets.
I'm much more centered today and I can honestly say that I enjoy the hobby much more than I ever have. I don't have to own all the things. I go several months between purchases now. I only want two sets from the summer waves for example and they total $55 rrp. I still have a weakness for CMF, but even that has started to tapered off. At a certain point, enough has to be enough.
But yes, I've only been collecting LEGO for a few years and already display space is becoming an issue. I really only buy sets if:
1) I think they are totally amazing designs/builds
2) They are small and contain accessories/minifigs/etc. that can be incorporated into my town layout
3) My daughter will play with them
And my daughter's going to grow up, so sadly reason 3) will soon be defunct!
I decided not to buy any modulars because I knew it would be a slippery slope. Instead, I focus on designing and building my own mini modulars. They're cheaper to build, easier to display, and more fun! (for me).
Joking aside, I already try to be selective. I currently collect:
The Winter Village line - We'll have to see if it continues, with the last two offerings not being the greatest (though I did get both).
Modulars - Still dont have the Corner Cafe, Green Grocer or Town Hall but I may try to piece them together over time.
Fairground - I only have the ferris wheel and the new carousel. If I get any new ones down the road will depend on how good they look. A roller coaster will most certainly be a purchase but I'm not holding my breath for one.
Star Wars - I have a few of the older sets but since I've come out of my dark ages in 2013 I've only picked up a handful of the ones that really caught my eye. If there is a new UCS Falcon that is a definite, otherwise I dont foresee me getting any new ones.
Other than those I will occasionally pick up a house type set for my winter village layout or something else that looks good, like the Penguin Mobile. I also have been getting some of the CMF line but only the ones that I like, not complete sets.
I will have a proper layout for a city setup as well as much more shelving for storage and display once the basement is done.
I have about 18 sets waiting to be built, including three modulars, one UCS set, three Ideas sets and several other City and Star Wars sets.
For the next couple months, my money will have to go to finishing the basement and not more sets.