Thursday, April 13, 2017

Leaving Lego Behind?

Welcome to my 900th post. This means that I am only 100 away from my goal of making it to 1000 before the end of the year. Once I reach that that milestone I will have another giveaway. This one will be bigger than the last. Stick around and be sure to read today's offering and the next 100 posts. There will be a quiz (insert high school teacher flashback here) but it could win you a nice prize. That's just a bit of a tease. Now post 900.  

I realize that this post is about an issue that really has no effect on anyone but me. However being aware of the changes in your own life allows you to accept and adjust to them. That said, here's one of my changes. 

Last month, I went to the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville. I stopped by the Lego Store, as I try to do almost every time I visit Music City. 

I went in and looked around at the various products they stock there. I hadn't been there since the start of the year. But when I walked out I did it in a way I hadn't in a long time. I was empty handed. I bought nothing.There wasn't anything I wanted.

 Two or Three years ago that would have never happened. Back then, a trip to the Lego store was so exciting and special I would have left the store with a bag full of stuff. But on this day I did not. This got me wondering about just how and why my attitude toward this hobby has changed. Am I tired of it? I had to evaluate for myself just what has changed between Lego and me.  

Ever since the fall of 2012 I have been an avid fan of Lego and all it has to offer. It would be safe to say that there have been times when I have been obsessed. I just had to have them all.  Well, not "them all" but the ones I liked I had to have. 

I started out building what ever I could think of using a 405 piece set (Lego product # 6166)
to occupy my time in between customers at the last call center where I worked at the time.

The "brick bug" bit me hard that fall and by spring I was focused on buying Lego's Creator and Technics kits. In the last 4 1/2 years since I have amassed a collection of close to 200 Lego products, not including the nearly 10 sets of mini-figures. 

Currently I have 35 sets on a shelf in my storage room waiting to be assembled. Some are easy like the Bubble Packs.   
Others are 3 models in one. 
Some will take some time to build and expert skill to put together. 
 As you have seen in my past posts I assemble a lot of Lego kits. When I'm in, what I call, "The Lego Zone" I average about 1-2 models a week. Over the last 6 months I have trailed off just a little bit.   

Since my birthday last September, I have only put together 10 Lego kits. Not my usual pace at all. 

Does this suggest a waning interest in what has been my number 1 favorite hobby for almost the last 5 years? Have I finished my journey down the "plastic brick road"?  

Well, with all the sets I still have to build I'd say the answer to that is, not for a while. But my preferences and attitudes toward Lego have changed. Here are some of the reasons why. 

After buying and building Lego kits for such a long time, I have reached a saturation point in regard to places to display them in my house. I have over 100 models being stored in boxes sitting on a shelf. 

Before the holidays last year, I inventoried and reorganized my collection. I have them in about a dozen boxes holding 125 models. That means 2/3 of my collection is put away out of sight. 

I keep some of my favorites such as my VW van, Mini Cooper, White House and Eiffel Tower permanently on display. 

One day in the near future, I will have my den finished. My plans for that room is to have plenty of Lego models on display.  

But for now it's a little discouraging to build a model that you really like and have to put it in a box. I'm not going to spend money on a Lego product that I'm just going to assemble and then put it away a week later. So now I'm selective when it comes to buying sets.

On the other side of the same coin are the sets I've already written about; those that are to put together. When I see a set in a store (usually Toys R Us or the Lego Store) I have to decide its value to me. Here's how I do that.  

I have to decide if I like it enough to pay for it and have it sit on my self for a year or more. (I have sets that I bought back in June 2015 in my "to be assembled" queue) If it is then I buy it. 

There are some sets, I have not purchased based on that standard. The Lego Idea Maze and Yellow Submarine sets are just a couple of them. 

Another reason I decide not to buy a set is if it is a lot like another set I already own. I have a lot of car, airplane, and robot sets. I don't need any more.  

There's one last thing I need to tell you about that's now affecting my buying decisions. It's the assembly challenge. I want to build something I've never built before that's not your typical Lego model. I am drawn to something that has new or unusual pieces and is a bit more complex than just clicking 3 or 4 pieces together. This is why I am drawn to the Lego Ideas brand.  

The easy sets I choose these days are usually those that I know my granddaughter will like them and want to play with them. 

The problem with larger and more detailed sets is that they usually require a bit of an investment. The one recent example that currently sits on my shelf is this Disney Castle set. 
 I know I've written about this before but only to announce that I now owned this set. This set is a dream come true for me. It is by far the most detailed and complex set I've ever owned. It will also be the most challenging. 

The cost of this Disney Castle set is in the upper echelon of the Lego price point. Because I have a personal limit on how much I will spend for a Lego set at one time, I saved up for several months before I bought the Disney Castle. But I am so excited about having this displayed on my shelf some time in the future that it was well worth the wait. 

The next big high priced Lego set I am really looking forward to getting is one that is coming out in June. It is the Lego Ideas Apollo 11 Saturn V rocket set. 

Except for the announcement of a release date of "sometime in June" and a these pictures on their Facebook page, no other details for this set have been announced. 

 The main thing I'm interested in is the price. With it rumored to be 43 cm tall it will be a large set and probably priced accordingly. Unless it turns out to be an outrageous price I am not that concerned. I just want them to take my money and give me this set. 

So those are the reasons I am not buying as many Lego kits these days. The reason I am not building them at the same rate as I have in the past is simple. I've got goals that I'm working on that have a higher priority for me. There are only so many hours in the day and sometimes other things come before "Play". 

To answer the question that I have used for the title of this post, "No" I am not leaving Lego behind. I may be slowing down a bit but I've got plenty of sets to keep me involved in the hobby for at least another couple of years. 

Will I still be assembling Lego models when I reach my 60s (Geez, that's only 2 1/2 years from now) I don't know. That may be a subject I'll address in another 900 posts.  

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