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Freedom from Collecting


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So I've definitely slowed my roll on purchasing LEGO in the years since high school mainly limiting myself to a couple large sets, some minifigures (while those were still affordable), and maybe a few others each year. But I always made sure one of those I got was each year's modular building. I had them all going back to the original Cafe Corner, and I wanted to keep up the complete collection. That was up until 2019. The garage just appealed to me less than the offerings up until that point. So I put it off. And then more modulars started being released...and I put them off too because I didn't have the garage yet.

Today I saw that there are a couple nice promotions coming up from the LEGO shop this month so I thought now might finally be the time to get that Corner Garage. But then I noticed it's been discontinued. It feels pretty freeing not having to worry about maintaining the complete set anymore. From now on I can just pick and choose the sets I want, even among the modulars. I might pick up the Bookstore later this month instead to celebrate.

So yeah, that was a little rambly and blog-y, but has anyone had a similar experience?

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Yeah, since hitting late high school and college I have been collecting less and less of the newer sets and themes and have focused more on getting an occasional set every now and then and have focused more on trying to find sets I wanted from when I was a kid but never got when they were in stores.

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5 minutes ago, Alexander123 said:

Yeah, since hitting late high school and college I have been collecting less and less of the newer sets and themes and have focused more on getting an occasional set every now and then and have focused more on trying to find sets I wanted from when I was a kid but never got when they were in stores.

This, so much.

It was a really slow process. I intended for years to get into Ninjago, I just never bought any actual sets. I always planned on going back and getting them, but now, with all the constraction sets, AND Star Wars, it would be ridiculous.

It's such a tempting rabbit hole to fall into. This is what my collection realistically looks like:

1) Anything BIONICLE G1 I can get my hands on: sets, media, toothbrushes, you name it. I still pick up what I can track down.

2) LEGO Star Wars. I don't think anyone has a complete LSW collection, but I'm proud of what I've been able to obtain, mostly minifigures and 2008-2014 era sets, though I do have some minifigures and parts of sets left from the very beginning.

3) G2. I have most of the mainline sets, but to be honest, I just don't feel nostalgic for 2015/6 the way I do for 2001-10.

4) Hero Factory. I have ten or so.

5) Various other City parts.

My favorite things to actually look back on are probably my minifigures and BIONICLE collectibles, like the Kanohi Masks.

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"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

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Click here to visit my library!

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I've never had the income and interest at the same time to truly collect: the first few years of Bionicle, when I had high school money and full interest in the sets was probably closest (and I never did get many of the larger sets), but I've definitely noticed a slowing of interest in new sets in the past few years, and it has been quite liberating. Not that there's been a loss of interest in LEGO, but the space I have for it is fairly well filled and I have ample parts for what I do, so it's been mostly a case of looking for used LEGO and filling in holes on Bricklink.

The used LEGO thing scratches my LEGO itch better for a couple reasons. First, it's generally cheaper. Second, it skews a lot closer to my childhood, which is where my locus of interests are (although LEGO's nostalgia-driven sets of late: Black Falcons, Barracuda Bay, etc.--are trying to distract me here. Third, and the real draw, is that it's kind of like a lottery: you never know what you've got and there's the thrill of the hunt.

Looking at the ever-cranking-up parade of multi-hundred-dollar sets LEGO is releasing, it is EXHAUSTING to think of trying to chase all that, or even some of it.

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Posted (edited)

Agreeing a lot with everyone in this thread so far!

For myself, while I'd never been a huge completionist on Lego themes besides Bionicle (usually being content to have either just one set to represent each theme I liked, or to at most get just enough sets to own each of the main character minifigures), I definitely hit that point in 2008. My interests had shifted drastically as I'd finished my compulsory schooling and entered Sixth Form, making Lego far less of a priority for me generally... but on top of that, I also found there were sets in 2008 that, for the first time in a while, I actively *didn't want* to get. I think that was really the point when I realised that I was done with fully collecting Bionicle, after I'd already mostly stopped buying other Lego themes a few years before; that, and the story wrapping up to what I felt was a satisfying conclusion that year too, gave me a comfortable jumping-off point. My Lego 'dark age' started not long after, when I started university.

Even since I've emerged from that, I've felt no inclination to dive back into serious collecting. Like the posters above me, at the times I do feel like scratching that Lego itch, I like to do so by seeking for some old set that fascinated me as a kid but that I never got - I have a few key late-90s / early-00s themes that I'll keep an eye out for. To me, Lego was really always about the themes and characters that I grew up with; so an old set that captured my imagination as a kid is far more enticing to me than the even latest and greatest of modern Lego, to which I don't have that emotional attachment. Finding old sets for decent prices often isn't easy, but that just makes it all the more satisfying on the rare occasions I can find something cheap - and if it isn't fully complete and needs a bit of Bricklinking to get the remaining parts, that's a kind of fun in its own way too. I just find it a lot more enjoyable to be casual about it, just indulging a little here and there without pressure, rather than feeling a need to keep up with everything.

tl;dr version: Yeah, me too.

Edited by That Matoran with a Vahi

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"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

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On 6/5/2022 at 7:16 AM, Hau1 said:

I've never had the income and interest at the same time to truly collect: the first few years of Bionicle, when I had high school money and full interest in the sets was probably closest (and I never did get many of the larger sets), but I've definitely noticed a slowing of interest in new sets in the past few years, and it has been quite liberating. Not that there's been a loss of interest in LEGO, but the space I have for it is fairly well filled and I have ample parts for what I do, so it's been mostly a case of looking for used LEGO and filling in holes on Bricklink.

The used LEGO thing scratches my LEGO itch better for a couple reasons. First, it's generally cheaper. Second, it skews a lot closer to my childhood, which is where my locus of interests are (although LEGO's nostalgia-driven sets of late: Black Falcons, Barracuda Bay, etc.--are trying to distract me here. Third, and the real draw, is that it's kind of like a lottery: you never know what you've got and there's the thrill of the hunt.

Looking at the ever-cranking-up parade of multi-hundred-dollar sets LEGO is releasing, it is EXHAUSTING to think of trying to chase all that, or even some of it.

I've got to agree. There was a time when I'd always intended, maybe once I was more established in life, of picking up all the expensive sets, and then I just realized, where would I put them?

That being said, I am still committed to one day have the Death Star II. LSW from that era is going to be what's going to bankrupt me if I ever actually come into contact with money.

On 6/6/2022 at 2:10 PM, That Matoran with a Vahi said:

Agreeing a lot with everyone in this thread so far!

For myself, while I'd never been a huge completionist on Lego themes besides Bionicle (usually being content to have either just one set to represent each theme I liked, or to at most get just enough sets to own each of the main character minifigures), I definitely hit that point in 2008. My interests had shifted drastically as I'd finished my compulsory schooling and entered Sixth Form, making Lego far less of a priority for me generally... but on top of that, I also found there were sets in 2008 that, for the first time in a while, I actively *didn't want* to get. I think that was really the point when I realised that I was done with fully collecting Bionicle, after I'd already mostly stopped buying other Lego themes a few years before; that, and the story wrapping up to what I felt was a satisfying conclusion that year too, gave me a comfortable jumping-off point. My Lego 'dark age' started not long after, when I started university.

Even since I've emerged from that, I've felt no inclination to dive back into serious collecting. Like the posters above me, at the times I do feel like scratching that Lego itch, I like to do so by seeking for some old set that fascinated me as a kid but that I never got - I have a few key late-90s / early-00s themes that I'll keep an eye out for. To me, Lego was really always about the themes and characters that I grew up with; so an old set that captured my imagination as a kid is far more enticing to me than the even latest and greatest of modern Lego, to which I don't have that emotional attachment. Finding old sets for decent prices often isn't easy, but that just makes it all the more satisfying on the rare occasions I can find something cheap - and if it isn't fully complete and needs a bit of Bricklinking to get the remaining parts, that's a kind of fun in its own way too. I just find it a lot more enjoyable to be casual about it, just indulging a little here and there without pressure, rather than feeling a need to keep up with everything.

tl;dr version: Yeah, me too.

I remember 2008 being the first time I thought the Bionicle offerings weren't as good as previous years (I'd been collecting for five years at that point). And yet, I still loved them and bought as much as I could. I remember taking all three of the Makuta Phantoka on vacation with me, and even though they took up a lot of space, it was just nice to have them and play with them. I still have them in storage. Their joints, if they're still functional, are probably all dusty and creaky now. Even if I know there was a lot to dislike about them, there was a lot to like, too. There's really nothing from Bionicle (G1) that I'd actualy call bad; I enjoy thinking of every individual set I ever obtained.

It really is all about Bricklink now. I recently bought a pair of huge Lego containers, but they're quite modern (past ten years-ish) and I realize that I want my Lego collection to have an older feeling, so I'm going to try tracking down some Lego tubs that were collected from earlier eras. Maybe give my containers a more classical vibe. Before, I could dig through and recognize all the nostalgic old themes--Knights' Kingdom II, Exo-Force, Aqua Raiders--but now the most noticeable theme is probably Friends. Not that I hate Friends, I'm just not nostalgic for it. Friends makes me think of the end of G1.

"You are an absolute in these uncertain times. Your past is forgotten, and your
future is an empty book. You must find your own destiny, my brave adventurer.
"
-- Turaga Nokama

nichijou2.jpg

Click here to visit my library!

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