LET THE GAMES BEGIN
JULY 29TH, 2012
The first Olympics I can recall are the Lake Placid Games of 1980. Those games, of course, are most remembered for the "Miracle on Ice" - the United State's Hockey Team's victory over the the favored Soviet Team in the Medal Round.
For me, however, the thing I most remember about those games are the bobsled races and my attempts to build a bobsled and bobsled track out of Lego. My collection was not substantial enough to create the entire track, but I was nine and, well, had a better imagination then. It was awesome! I can't tell you how many iterations of the Olympic Games I've built out of Lego since then: ski jumps, hockey rinks, curling lanes, track and field, gymnastics - too many to list.
Since Lake Placid, the Olympic Games have held a place in my heart that has only grown with each successive event. In 2010, I was lucky enough to make it to Vancouver, Canada to attend the Winter Games. It was the experience of a lifetime!
You can only imagine my excitement when I read that Lego was producing limited edition minifigs for the London Games. Yesterday (the first Saturday after the opening ceremony) my Team GB minifigs arrived in the mail!
Below are some pics from my Olympic openings. Click any of them to view a larger image.
JULY 21ST, 2012
Check on more pictures in the Gallery.
Lego Tub Forensics
JULY 16TH, 2012
A couple weeks I acquired three giant tubs full of Lego from a seller on Craigslist. Over the years I have acquired much of my collection this way. Countless hours have been passed sorting, identifying and cataloging.
Much can be learned this way - not only about the Lego system but also about the previous owner of the collection. I have found everything from cash to dog poop (YUCK!) in big abandoned tubs filled with Lego.
There are two kinds of sellers:
1. The parent who has been keeping said collection in their basement or attic for twenty years and is finally ready to unload the albatross that is the Lego-filled bin.
2. The tween boy who is ready to unload his collection quickly for cash to buy a car, computer, or other coveted item.
My haul from a couple weeks ago was of the latter variety. The kid appeared to be about fourteen and was ready to get rid of his Lego fast (he even helped carry the three huge bins to the car)!
Once I got home and started picking through the collection I began to piece (pun intended) together its history.
From the few trace amount old old grey (light and dark) I surmised that this collection began to come together in late 2003 to 2004. These were the last years that Lego produced those colors. In 2004 they completely switched over to the now standard (bley and dark bley). In addition, there were a number of sets from Star Wars Episode III which was released in 2005.
The newest elements in the collection were from the Pharaoh’s Quest and Alien Conquest themes which rolled out last year. This was easily surmised by the presence of the Jake Raines and the flying mummy minifigures. Sadly, no aliens were to be found. Those were either kept as tiny mementos or blown up with M80 firecrackers.
So, the collection spanned the years from 2003 through 2011. That means this kid’s Lego phase lasted a long time but abruptly came to an end. Seemingly overnight he tired of his Legos and decided to sell them. There was no period of time while the collection languished in a corner of his room as he made up his mind about parting with it. This kid was decisive. Perhaps he wanted the latest iteration of the iPad.
Enough about the context of the collection. Let’s get to the content. The majority of the pieces were from Star Wars sets including: the Sandcrawler, the Clone Turbo Tank, the Death Star II, Star Destroyer, Dooku's Solar Sailorand more.
All of these sets (every one of them now retired and highly coveted) came with a high MSRP. This tells me that the kid was probably an only child. The collections I usually acquire are typically are made up of one or two big sets, and a number of small to mid-range ones.
Parents with multiple kids have to economize across two, three or even four siblings; but only-children benefit from the entirety of their parent’s toy budget. This allows for the acquisition of such gems as the Alien Mothership or Hogwarts Castle (2nd Edition) Yes, this collection was massive.
Overall, it took two weeks of constant sorting for me to absorb this haul into my personal collection. I now have plenty of reddish-brown, tan, bley and dark bley for MOCs. In addition, I’ve culled out a number of sets from my own want list including: The Batboat: Hunt for Killer Croc and The Temple of Doom