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More than you could possibly want to know about my interest in LEGO products
I had Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys but no LEGO. Whenever we would visit my cousin's house; we always played with LEGO bricks. I can't say when my dark ages started, but I must credit my children for bringing them to an end.
- Spring 2005: When my daughter was 18 months old, a coworker told me how much fun his baby boy was having with his blocks. His favorite thing was to pour them out of the bucket and watch them crash on the floor. Sure enough, when I brought home a bucket of DUPLO for my daughter, she did the same thing, but her favorite thing was to climb in the bucket and bury herself with the bricks. That first bucket of bricks kept her well entertained for several months.
- Christmas 2005: my daughter was three years old and my son was nine months old. At their day care provider's house I saw a big Thomas the Tank Engine set. It was being offered exclusively at ToysRUs that season, and I snagged a copy for my daughter. On Christmas morning, it had the desired effect. She was very excited. I abruptly ceased collecting Fisher-Price Little People and began collecting DUPLO sets. If I had known that DUPLO made a farm and a zoo and a town, I never would have collected all those Fisher-Price Little People sets. (Someone notify marketing.) One at a time, I bought all the Thomas sets from ToysRUs and FredMeyer, but you know how train sets are: more pieces = more fun. In addition to tracks and trains, we needed lots of basic bricks for building trestles and the like, so I started trolling garage sales and classified ads as well
- Spring 2006 I saw a documentary on the five most beautiful churches ever built: the Hagia Sophia, St Peter's Basilica, la Sagrada Familia, Notre Dame and the Crystal Cathedral. The producers of the show were not very specific about how these five were chosen, but I remember being particularly interested by the explanation of how the Hagia Sophia supports its large stone dome. I thought that if I were able to build a model of the church, then I would get a better understanding of what they were talking about. I went online and started looking for models that I could build of the Hagia Sophia. I found paper models that looked very nice, but I really wanted to build a model that I could take apart later (instead of throwing it away). It didn't take me long to realize that LEGO bricks were what I was looking for. Of course I found the [Abston church of Christ by Amy Hughes] and several other models but none that I could buy and build myself, so I started collecting basic bricks. I drew some plans of some models I might be able to build someday, and I read the Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide, but I didn't really start anything for fear that my children would destroy anything I was working on, and they could choke on the tiny pieces.
- October 2006 was my daughter's fourth birthday. I discovered DUPLO Castles at LEGO Shop@Home. I ordered the Black Castle. It's still the biggest set I've ever bought ($140) to date (06/04/07), but I wanted to have lots of pieces so that we could all play together, and my son was just 18 months old. He wouldn't be choking on these nice big pieces. The day it arrived, I opened the box and put it together while they were sleeping, then I took it apart and wrapped it up. It was a big hit at the birthday party. Even the cousins enjoyed playing with it. The other adults teased that the toys were more for me than for the kids, but I maintain that the toys children love best are the ones their parents play with them, and this was perfect: far more interesting (to me) than all those buckets of basic bricks.
- Christmas 2006 was a zero LEGO Christmas. Partly because we were traveling out of state, and partly to appease the other parent in the house who thinks these toys are taking up too much space. Shortly after Christmas, I was scoping out the LEGO shelf in the toy department of my local discount department store (FredMeyer), and I saw the Batmobile Ultimate Collector's Edition on clearance from 69.99 to 55.99 and then discounted another 50% to 27.99. I couldn't believe it, and I couldn't leave it on the shelf. It had over a thousand pieces! It took me five hours to put together. I had to wait until my children were in bed, but I loved every minute of it. I was hooked. I had to have all the Batman sets.
- March 2007 was my son's second birthday. He got several Bob the Builder sets. I had to go on eBay to get some of them because they were at the end of their production run and difficult to find.
- April 2007: I attended the public expo at BrickFest in Portland, Oregon. It should have occurred to me already, but I realized that without a doubt, I prefer Castle to Space; although, my favorite display was the model of the Convention Center.
- June 2007 was my birthday. I added Café Corner, Batmobile, Arkham Asylum and Wild Hunters to my collection.
- October 2007 will be my daughter's fifth birthday, and she will graduate from DUPLO to City. I'm starting her off with the fire station featured on the cover of the catalogue this season, but I think I might try to surprise her with the police station and maybe the airport. That would be a really nice start on a City layout.
- Christmas 2007 will be a very LEGO Christmas. My son will be 2 ½, and I'm planning to complete our DUPLO Castle collection with the Defense Tower, the Black Dragon and the Knight's Castle. Can't seem to find the Jousting set anywhere in America. My daughter has expressed interest in the DUPLO Princess Palace sets. I think she’ll get the palace and the stables. As much as I like to keep our collections complete and get every set in a theme, the other sets just don't have enough pieces.
- March 2008 will be my son's third birthday. He's getting all the DUPLO Pirate sets. I can't wait
I've really just started collecting LEGO sets. At first I tried to get every set in my favorite themes; Thomas the Tank Engine, Duplo Castle, Bob the Builder, Batman and Knights' Kingdom, but then I realized that I really had the most fun building the biggest sets, so at present I'm trying to collect some of these (bold face indicates acquisitions).
|3450||Statue of Liberty Sculpture||2882 pieces||0 minifigs||released 2000||$600 @ BrickLink|
|5526||Skyline||2749 pieces||0 minifigs||released 2005||$260 @ BrickLink||LEGO Factory|
|10182||Cafe Corner||2056 pieces||3 minifigs||released 2007||$139.99 @ LEGO||LEGO Factory|
|5525||Amusement Park||1344 pieces||0 minifigs||released 2005||$34.98 @ LEGO||LEGO Factory|
|7783||The Batcave||1075 pieces||7 minifigs||released 2006||$89.99 @ LEGO||Batman|
|7784||The Batmobile Ultimate Collectors' Edition||1045 pieces||0 minifigs||released 2006||$69.99 @ LEGO||Batman|
|7019||Viking Fortress against the Fafnir Dragon||1019 pieces||6 minifigs||released 2005||$69.99 @ LEGO||Vikings|
|7094||King's Castle Siege||973 pieces||10 minifigs||released 2007||$99.99 @ LEGO||Castle (2007)|
|8877||Vladek's Dark Fortress||967 pieces||8 minifigs||released 2005||$65 @ BrickLink||Knights' Kingdom II|
|5378||Hogwarts™ Castle (2007)||943 pieces||9 minifigs||released 2007||$89.99 @ LEGO||Harry Potter|
|4757||Hogwarts™ Castle (2004)||928 pieces||8 minifigs||released 2004||$160 @ BrickLinnk||Harry Potter|
|6286||Skull's Eye Schooner||892 pieces||9 minifigs||released 1993||$195 @ BrickLink||Pirates|
|6285||Black Seas Barracuda||876 pieces||8 minifigs||released 1989||$190 @ BrickLink||Pirates|
|10040||Black Seas Barracuda (same as 6285 above)||873 pieces||8 minifigs||released 2002||$250 @ BrickLink||Pirates|
|10176||King's Castle (inspired by 6080 below)||871 pieces||11 minifigs||released 2006||$99.99 @ LEGO||Knights' Kingdom|
|10159||LEGO City Airport||867 pieces||12 minifigs||released 2004||$94.99 @ BrickLink||City|
|7785||Arkham Asylum||860 pieces||7 minifigs||released 2006||$79.99 @ LEGO||Batman|
|375||Castle (can be constructed from basic elements)||779 pieces||14 minifigs||released 1978||$150 @ BrickLink||Classic Castle|
|6075||Castle (same as 375 above)||779 pieces||14 minifigs||released 1981||$192 @ BrickLink||Classic Castle|
|6090||Royal Knight's Castle||743 pieces||11 minifigs||released 1995||$88 @ BrickLink||Royal Knights|
|7419||Dragon Fortress||732 pieces||8 minifigs||released 2003||$130 @ BrickLink||Orient Expedition|
|6093||Flying Ninja Fortress||687 pieces||9 minifigs||released 1998||$99 @ BrickLink||Ninja|
|6085||Black Monarch's Castle||665 pieces||12 minifigs||released 1988||$95 @ BrickLink||Black Knights|
|6080||King's Castle (similar to 10176 above)||664 pieces||12 minifigs||released 1984||$95 @ BrickLink||Classic Castle|
|8781||The Castle of Morcia||632 pieces||8 minifigs||released 2004||$99 @ BrickLink||Knights' Kingdom II|
|7029||Skeleton Ship Attack||628 pieces||7 minifigs||released 2007||TBD||Castle (2007)|