globalbrick

Rant: the trend of hoarding LEGO and the pivot to showpieces

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I am what you can call a relaxed AFOLer. I lie to look, sometimes buy a set just for fun but not really going 100% for it. While people have been collecting for ages, I am seeing a trjnd on Instagram and Youtube where people are going to the LEGO store and buy the expensive sets as if they are bottles of water. I get that people are collecting LEGO but most of these people are more like hoarders. What is the point of spending so much money on instant gratification. Waiting for a new set and looking n the catalogue used to be part of the excitement of getting a new set, now it's just buy everything right away. 

The oether thing that bothers me about current LEGO is that there are more and more showpiece sets: sets you build and then put on display. What is the fun with that? Lego is meant to be built, taken apart, and then built again in a new form. Combined with the high prices, I wonder if LEGO is not losing its way as a creative toy. Sets like the Titanic, if I would buy it, I would be reluctant to destroy it and build something else. 

Anyway, it's a bit of a frustration I have with current LEGO, I fear it is drifting a bit away from its core. 

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5 minutes ago, globalbrick said:

I am what you can call a relaxed AFOLer. I lie to look, sometimes buy a set just for fun but not really going 100% for it. While people have been collecting for ages, I am seeing a trjnd on Instagram and Youtube where people are going to the LEGO store and buy the expensive sets as if they are bottles of water. I get that people are collecting LEGO but most of these people are more like hoarders. What is the point of spending so much money on instant gratification. Waiting for a new set and looking n the catalogue used to be part of the excitement of getting a new set, now it's just buy everything right away. 

The oether thing that bothers me about current LEGO is that there are more and more showpiece sets: sets you build and then put on display. What is the fun with that? Lego is meant to be built, taken apart, and then built again in a new form. Combined with the high prices, I wonder if LEGO is not losing its way as a creative toy. Sets like the Titanic, if I would buy it, I would be reluctant to destroy it and build something else. 

Anyway, it's a bit of a frustration I have with current LEGO, I fear it is drifting a bit away from its core. 

You do realize that not everyone takes apart their sets. The fun in display sets is that it’s the journey of building it, and then the satisfaction of displaying your hard work and effort. Also Lego is for everyone. So stop telling everyone that you’re fed up with display sets, and post it in the Unpopular Opinions About Lego thread. Not trying to minimod, good day to you. 

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23 minutes ago, globalbrick said:

I am what you can call a relaxed AFOLer. I lie to look, sometimes buy a set just for fun but not really going 100% for it. While people have been collecting for ages, I am seeing a trjnd on Instagram and Youtube where people are going to the LEGO store and buy the expensive sets as if they are bottles of water. I get that people are collecting LEGO but most of these people are more like hoarders. What is the point of spending so much money on instant gratification. Waiting for a new set and looking n the catalogue used to be part of the excitement of getting a new set, now it's just buy everything right away. 

The oether thing that bothers me about current LEGO is that there are more and more showpiece sets: sets you build and then put on display. What is the fun with that? Lego is meant to be built, taken apart, and then built again in a new form. Combined with the high prices, I wonder if LEGO is not losing its way as a creative toy. Sets like the Titanic, if I would buy it, I would be reluctant to destroy it and build something else. 

Anyway, it's a bit of a frustration I have with current LEGO, I fear it is drifting a bit away from its core. 

Ok....what, where or who are you trying to get at? With all due respect, that's what a lot of AFOLs do - myself included. All the things that you just spoke against. I understand it can seem a bit unusual or weird. But take note that collectors of similar things such as cars, dolls or model railroads do the exact same thing. So what's wrong with doing it with Lego? If you want to buy sets and then eventually take them apart, go right ahead. But let the rest of us AFOLs do what we want with our sets. 

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I think there is enough diversity in the Lego range to provide market access to all ages and budgets. For the builders who want the traditional creative experience, there are plenty of Classic sets & boxes that barely stray from the basic core experience.

I would have an issue with a scene of Comic-Book-Guy adult collectors & resellers hoovering up all the Lego on the shelves, leaving nothing for the kids or casual buyer. But in reality I don't think the 'professional' buyers have that much of a detrimental impact on the other groups' ability to source and pick up the sets they want.

As for hoarding Lego, I don't see any difference in this compared to all other collectibles in other walks of life.

Rather than losing its way, I think Lego is becoming more and more inclusive, and its enduring popularity is evidence of that.

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3 minutes ago, Bricky Steamboat said:

As for hoarding Lego, I don't see any difference in this compared to all other collectibles in other walks of life.

That's what I said above your comment. I don't see what the big deal is. 

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3 minutes ago, Poodabricks said:

That's what I said above your comment. I don't see what the big deal is. 

Agreed.

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Gatekeeping sucks.

I prefer to buy and build, then tear it down and build anew. I will forever encourage people to get creative and make, but I won't stop anyone who wants to collect sets and display. Not my cup of tea but each to their own. It does frustrate me when cool colours of parts and cool parts are stuck behind a high cost set (Like the Vespa, love the parts and colours, so not a fan of the price.)

Anyway, nothing wrong with either way, as long as you look after them! (BiL collects but leaves stuff lying around where it breaks and goes missing!!!)

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56 minutes ago, globalbrick said:

I am what you can call a relaxed AFOLer. I lie to look, sometimes buy a set just for fun but not really going 100% for it. While people have been collecting for ages, I am seeing a trjnd on Instagram and Youtube where people are going to the LEGO store and buy the expensive sets as if they are bottles of water. I get that people are collecting LEGO but most of these people are more like hoarders. What is the point of spending so much money on instant gratification. Waiting for a new set and looking n the catalogue used to be part of the excitement of getting a new set, now it's just buy everything right away. 

The oether thing that bothers me about current LEGO is that there are more and more showpiece sets: sets you build and then put on display. What is the fun with that? Lego is meant to be built, taken apart, and then built again in a new form. Combined with the high prices, I wonder if LEGO is not losing its way as a creative toy. Sets like the Titanic, if I would buy it, I would be reluctant to destroy it and build something else. 

Anyway, it's a bit of a frustration I have with current LEGO, I fear it is drifting a bit away from its core. 

You know, when I was a kid over twenty years ago I wanted Lego sets more for the main model than as something to take apart and make info something else. People act like it's a new thing but it's NOT.  How do you explain that it's possible to get a Galaxy Explorer from 1979 at a fairly reasonable price if not for people collecting sets as far back as 43 years ago? If everybody parted out their sets it would be impossible to get an old set - impossible to get the set your parents would never get you when you were a kid. And about waiting to see the new sets in the catalog being part of the excitement of getting a new set - web sites fill exactly that same role now. It's the 21st century. Get used to it. Excitement from seeing a new set in the catalog and waiting until you can finally get it, excitement from seeing a new set on Brickset and waiting until you can finally get it? Same thing!

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I will admit to being a “hoarder”.  I could build for a long time out of the unopened sets hidden away in what my wife feels is every room in the house(!). But, I’m doing that because I’m retiring soon and enjoying slow builds at that time is one of the things I’m looking forward to and don’t have the time to do now. I’m aware that if I don’t buy in the first year or so of a model’s availability, it will be hard to get later. So I buy and hide away for the time a few months from now when I’ll crack open the Old Fishing Store and finally build it. Then move on to the next one.

Just yesterday I went to the local Lego Con. I don’t think MOCing is going away any time soon. Was very envious of the skill and creativity in the awesome builds I saw there.  
 

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I don't display sets (other than technic sets - and I plan on getting the Titanic as a display piece above a fish tank), but any set can be taken apart and rebuilt, no differently to a small playset (which many people also display). Furthermore, buying sets instantly to me doesn't seem that bad, as with the internet people are more aware of upcoming sets and can plan beforehand more easily. I wouldn't call it hoarding, unless they are buying multiple copies, but rather excitedly collecting, no different to card games, action figures and other ridiculously expensive collecting hobbies.

With the high prices, I think that's hard to define, Lego has always been a premium - and expensive - product, and some sets are still great value, others not, and I think wage stagnation may be more of a problem than inflation.

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I can see where the OP is coming from, I also have no interest in the 'look at the several thousand dollars I just spent' haul posts on Youtube and Reddit. Maybe it's just jealousy from me; I try to go for a quality over quantity approach with what I get - or at least that's what I tell myself. Also, I don't think they are trying to tell other people how to enjoy Lego, just that that's not how they prefer to enjoy it. It's an opinion, although apparently an unpopular one. 

Personally I tend to display rather than rebuild, but I fondly remember the days of trying to recreate all the alternative builds that Lego sets would display on the back of the box. Although nowadays I tend to even keep my MOCs permanently built in my display - it would certainly be a lot cheaper to break them down for parts for the next MOC - but I like how it personalises the display.

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Honestly I've done less MOCing lately than I used to. Part of that is still being in a bit of a creative rut after college, part of it is my twin sister (and longtime collaborative partner) moving away, and part of it is the lack of pressure to do so given the pandemic making in-person conventions and events less advisable. But I still buy sets and enjoy them, and still fiddle around with MOC ideas on Stud.io or with less "intensive" physical creations like Dots patterns.

I think people enjoying building and displaying "official" sets is a fine way to enjoy the hobby, and that larger, more challenging sets that suit builders like that are perfectly fine. People keeping particularly large and nice-looking sets and displaying them as-is isn't a new phenomenon—look at the modular buildings, which have been going for well over a decade and encourage collecting and connecting the "official" models even if you don't go the extra mile to come up with your own.

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I think people are free to purchase things to decorate their home.  LEGO sets, paintings, swords, vases, posters, whatever. It's their castle.

MOC or no MOC, do what you enjoy. No need to worry about what other people like to do.

It's not really hoarding until you run out space.  Not sure how many more AFOL con bricks I can add to the collection before it is unwearable at conventions. :pir-classic:

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42 minutes ago, Lyichir said:

I think people enjoying building and displaying "official" sets is a fine way to enjoy the hobby, and that larger, more challenging sets that suit builders like that are perfectly fine. People keeping particularly large and nice-looking sets and displaying them as-is isn't a new phenomenon—look at the modular buildings, which have been going for well over a decade and encourage collecting and connecting the "official" models even if you don't go the extra mile to come up with your own.

That's what I do with my City sets. Yeah I'm weird in that regard. I think I might be the only City set collector that does that. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/14/2022 at 9:36 AM, dr_spock said:

I think people are free to purchase things to decorate their home.  LEGO sets, paintings, swords, vases, posters, whatever. It's their castle.

MOC or no MOC, do what you enjoy. No need to worry about what other people like to do.

It's not really hoarding until you run out space.  Not sure how many more AFOL con bricks I can add to the collection before it is unwearable at conventions. :pir-classic:

 

Wow! That's nice man! Did you build that yourself?

Edited by Darkdragon
please don't quote pictures

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On 3/14/2022 at 3:52 AM, MaximillianRebo said:

I can see where the OP is coming from, I also have no interest in the 'look at the several thousand dollars I just spent' haul posts on Youtube and Reddit. Maybe it's just jealousy from me; I try to go for a quality over quantity approach with what I get - or at least that's what I tell myself. Also, I don't think they are trying to tell other people how to enjoy Lego, just that that's not how they prefer to enjoy it. It's an opinion, although apparently an unpopular one. 

Personally I tend to display rather than rebuild, but I fondly remember the days of trying to recreate all the alternative builds that Lego sets would display on the back of the box. Although nowadays I tend to even keep my MOCs permanently built in my display - it would certainly be a lot cheaper to break them down for parts for the next MOC - but I like how it personalises the display.

This is what I meant: what gratification do you get out of spending 1000s of dollars and then not having time to build the sets. Building y LEGO city took years and the excitement was from doing lots with a small number of sets. If you can buy the whole store in one go, there is no excitement anymore. 
On display pieces: in the past, sets were part of a theme. You had an amazing castle, or an amazing pirate ship but they fit a theme. Nowadays, I feel LEGO is releasing lifestyle objects like the typewriter. It's just my opinion but I feel that that kind of sets take away some of the experience that is LEGO: build and play. 

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17 hours ago, Poodabricks said:

Did you build that yourself?

Huh? Of course he did - it carries his signature!

Which in turn tells me exactly that. Otherwise, there would be for sure a reference. The old school way, you know.

Best,
Thorsten 

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Also: Technically I am hoarding LEGO, as I have not had a chance to go and build for a while (Colder in my build space, lack of room to work etc) but almost all of my collection is in boxes sorted by element or element group.

Plus, some of my collection is in MOCs I do not plan to take apart ever, or for a very long time at least. Certain of my MOCs have been built for over ten years now and I like them as they are and don't need the parts so on display they will stay. 

Is that any different to buying a large or complex set to build and display?

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12 minutes ago, Peppermint_M said:

Is that any different to buying a large or complex set to build and display?

Not really! MOC or buy, if you're doing it to display, they are one in the same. 

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Social media has really dumbed things down across the board. I certainly enjoy it because I’ve met some really cool people through it. But too many are focused on views & likes & that “have to be first” mindset. Not bad...but unnecessary & attention seeking to me. But I get it for those whose income is social media related. 

I don’t have a problem with showpieces. Most of the sets I buy are just display pieces, whether they go on a shelf or into my town(that’s sorta playing I suppose). My problem is the showpieces are pretty much always huge expensive sets. Yes, yes...I don’t have to buy them all, but I’d like to. When LEGO pumps out so many, it’s impossible to keep up. 

Its just a different time...

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I suppose LEGO sets can also be like buying expensive fine wine, storing it, and opening years later to be consumed. :pir-huzzah1:

 

On 3/14/2022 at 10:55 AM, Poodabricks said:

Wow! That's nice man! Did you build that yourself?

Thanks.  Yes, I built it from event bricks I got in the registered attendee loot bags.  Every now and then, people would come up to me trying to turn my crank and grind my gears.  I should put some of those event displays-look but no touch-signs on me.  :classic:

 

11 hours ago, Toastie said:

Huh? Of course he did - it carries his signature!

Which in turn tells me exactly that. Otherwise, there would be for sure a reference. The old school way, you know.

Best,
Thorsten 

Yup, I am pre-historic school.  :laugh:  

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I agree that its much more fun to create, but the people getting and building sets to display are nonetheless helping the hobby by keeping the manufacturer afloat. Some MOCers may not acquire anything new for long stretches as once a collection of pieces is amassed it can be reused indefinitely. I don't think I've gotten any new Lego in over a year (the shopping algorithms probably assume I died) while those that are regularly scooping up sets and displaying them are helping sustain and grow TLG. From what I've heard talking to other builders they enjoy the therapeutic aspects of building from instructions and having nice, cool looking things in their place.

However the trend of posting giant piles of unopened sets is weird. I can appreciate the ones where they say they can finally afford the things they want or never had Lego as a kid so they splurged, but the repetitious "look at my recent haul!" posts are a bit braggadocious and should be downvoted or ignored.

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I don't really see what the issue is. When I look on lego.com under themes > classic, there are 23 items, 17 of which are "Classic Boxes". That is plenty of sets in different sizes and styles to get basic bricks. And that is not including the Creator series of sets.

The number of object sets like the typewriter is still small. Personally I don't like the typewriter, but I don't mind that it exists for the people that like that sort of thing. Are they really that different to Star Wars ships, or Classic Space ships, or Castle sets? How often do AFOLs actually swoosh their 1980s sets around? My castle sets are on display and I might change the poses of minifigures every so often, but rarely break the sets down and even if I do, I tend to rebuild them exactly as they were. They are just display sets to unless you play with them.

I also disagree with the instant gratification side is a problem. So what if someone has the money and can buy $500 or $1000 worth at once. What difference does it make to me? Jealousy maybe an issue here, that they can buy all they want in one go, whereas someone else might have to take years to build a collection. 18+ sets are not really toys like the sets of old, they are designed and sold for the adult collector market. So there is no wonder that adult collectors buy them.

I think a major problem is social media, both those that use it AND those that watch it and then complain about it. I'm not a fan of haul videos where someone buys load and just shows the boxes. If I want to see boxes, I can view images in seconds without sitting through 20 minutes of "action" sitting in the car in the car park, walking to the store, entering the store, taking the sets from the shelves, buying the sets, walking back to the car,  then taking them out of the bag in the car. But then I don't watch those videos. If you don't like seeing people doing hauls, or showing their sealed in box collections, or their videos of sets build according to the instructions, then don't watch them. Some people do like watching them, just like some people like building fairly static display objects out of LEGO.

14 hours ago, Vindicare said:

My problem is the showpieces are pretty much always huge expensive sets.

Anything can be a showpiece if it attracts people to look at it. Unless you define a showpiece as something that attracts attention because it is big and expensive, then they are all big and expensive.

There are plenty of other display quality pieces at much lower prices. Brickheadz, Speed Champions, even down to Collectable Minifigures - all cheap. There are so many good quality small sets, that none of them are showpiece in the sense that they are all just normal. To get people to look at something in a LEGO store window it typically has to be big and therefore expensive. Otherwise it is just a normal set. Whereas if you take it home and display on a smaller shelf, whatever you enjoy enough to display is a showpiece set.

 

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11 hours ago, MAB said:

I don't really see what the issue is. When I look on lego.com under themes > classic, there are 23 items, 17 of which are "Classic Boxes". That is plenty of sets in different sizes and styles to get basic bricks.

Well. That is what I did in the past (the past, which is +30 Years ago). These "Classic Boxes" did not exist - there were "Window frames" or "Black bricks" - you know them all. Today's "Classic Boxes" are - well - a couple of things you can build using the "Classic Boxes Instructions". I never get any of these to get basic bricks. It is a waste of money. Color vomit for one; I am color blind, so that vomit is less of a threat to me. But then all these weird pieces (weird in the sense of a person wanting to build basic things, which require ample of 1x1, 1x2, 1x4 plates and bricks, maybe even in standard colors. Yes, I agree colors don't matter to children; but so don't all these ... "nice" pieces.

Example: https://www.lego.com/de-de/product/bricks-bricks-plates-11717, clocking in at €70. To be honest; I believe the "models" shown were done first - and then the bricks were thrown in. Plus a few others. But what do I know.

Example 2: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=4259-1#T=S&O={"iconly":0} Not surprising: "FreeStyle" is my thing. That "thing" they are showing (a friendly monster :D) is no way a beauty, but it is crazy - showing the free style way of LEGO. Not the kitties with appropriate eyes ... looking up and down ...

I know, the past won't come back, for sure not. But just because classic boxes have the tag "Classic Boxes" does not mean, they create classic ways of building. As far as I am concerned, they ask for instructions to make the nice models shown.

But then again: Past 60 now. Surely lost ground. The world has (multiple times) changed. But that >is< an issue to me.

Best,
Thorsten

 

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10 minutes ago, Toastie said:

Example: https://www.lego.com/de-de/product/bricks-bricks-plates-11717, clocking in at €70. To be honest; I believe the "models" shown were done first - and then the bricks were thrown in. Plus a few others. But what do I know.

Not sure that's good evidence of your point. Bricklink has that set containing 1,504 pieces. Of those, 785 - more than half - are standard bricks or plates (791, if you include the handful of double-height bricks).

Of the remaining 713 pieces, there's only 10 - a selection of pearl-gold cones and reddish brown facet bricks - that aren't in what I'd call the 'standard range' of other parts (arches, slopes, headlight bricks, jumpers, basic SNOT, etc.)

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