Welcome to a new fortnightly series – Monday Musings – devoted to random musings on the LEGO hobby, community, my collection and beyond. This is a new content series I’m trialing for the second half of 2021, and will be published every two weeks on Mondays.
Some of these musings will be long-form, or short bursts of whatever strikes my fancy, and be more traditional “blog-type” content. You may have noticed that I’m doing more news and launch posts, which I enjoy and still find ways to inject my opinions, instead of say, just drop a random gallery of images and call it a day, but I like writing, and want to give you guys a peek into how I’m perceiving things in the LEGO World – hence, Monday musings.
What are your favourite LEGO themes?
I get this question every so often, and it’s always a hard one to answer. It varies by day and how well my memory is able to recall all the LEGO in my collection. I have a decent-sized Vintage LEGO collection, one of the only “complete” themes I own is Lord of the Rings, I buy most Creator Expert & Ideas sets, and also have a soft spot for Marvel & DC Super Heroes.
Oh, and I also have a small Ninjago collection (mostly mechs), and I also have lots of LEGO Friends & Disney Princess because of my, uhhh, daughter.
And I like collecting large LEGO City Boats as well. And also LEGO Dinosaurs too.
Diverse LEGO Interests used to be a strength
This blog was birthed by the desire to review and evaluate sets, to help LEGO fans (new, old and aspiring) make better decisions when it comes to their hard-earned money.
Having a diverse pool of interests was infinitely valuable, as I wasn’t “wedded” to a singular theme and had a narrow focus when it came to LEGO.
I just liked (nearly) all LEGO sets and themes, and found it easy to look for the positives in them, and also had a sense of “hobby empathy” to be able to understand why someone would like a specific theme.
This is most evident by the state of one of my LEGO display shelves (Kallax from Ikea) – here’s a photo I just took. These represent sets I really like, and you can see everything, from Winter Village, to LEGO Batman Movie (woohoo Scuttler!), to ideas Birds and even some random Brickheadz.
Eclectic and messy, just like the state of my mind most days.
The ‘dream’ is no longer achievable
One of my ‘dreams’ in life was to be able to afford to buy every single LEGO set that came out each year – because I just enjoy collecting (or hoarding as wife calls it) LEGO, and suffer from overpowering FOMO when it comes to LEGO.
While LEGO has been incredibly helpful, sending me sets to review/write about that I’m incredibly grateful for, and my finances have improved somewhat that I could, kinda buy every set released by LEGO without going into crippling debt (thanks Dogecoin!), it’s just not possible any more.
It’s been a chief complaint amongst most veteran LEGO fans – LEGO have been going nuts with the number of sets released (check out all that’s coming out in the second half of 2021 catalogue) and it’s becoming harder and harder to keep up.
I remember the days when we maybe got… 5 Creator Expert sets a year? A car, a modular building, winter village set, large-scale Architectural set, and maybe a Fairground set.
Now, LEGO are dropping 2-3 Creator Expert-scale sets a month, and space is now the chief constraint of how much LEGO I buy – not just finances.
My advice (to myself too): Limiting the themes you collect
Which brings me to a tough choice – having to selectively choose and be extremely disciplined about the themes, sets I buy and keep for my own personal collection.
If you’re new to LEGO, it may be tempting to just jump at everything that catches your fancy – which is okay if you’re new to the hobby, and wanting to experiment and get a sense of all the themes available.
But my advice would to quickly find your “groove” and stick to a handful of themes, instead of just buying whatever that strikes your fancy.
Looking into the future, LEGO is only going to get bigger and bigger, as a brand, and a juggernaut in the toy industry, so this piece of advice is really for self-preservation. If LEGO brings you joy, and can see yourself enjoying this hobby for decades to come, just think about how many future sets will be released in themes that you like, and think about whether you’ll have enough space to display them.
I’ve also learned to be okay with not having a “complete” collection. I collect Creator Expert Cars but I’ve learned to find peace with not buying the Aston Martin and London Bus because they don’t strike my fancy, and I think they’re not that attractive.
For most of us collectors, the unfortunate fact remains that we tend to rotate sets on display – to make space, we either part them out, or dismantle sets and place them inside ziploc bags that will make their way into storage in the off-chance that “one day, I’ll rebuild them once I have more space”.
Spoiler warning: that day will never come, unless of course you decide to write a LEGO blog, and start a Retro LEGO Review series.
I’m not saying close yourself off completely, but just be more future-minded, especially with evergreen themes that will be around forever. If you think 2021 is crazy for LEGO releases, imagine what 2022 and beyond will be.
So I’d love to know, are there themes that you religiously collect, and are there themes that you used to buy, but have stopped?
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PS: or just get drawn to themes that are doomed with short livespans, like Nexo Knights so you never have this problem.