Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Dignity vs Freebies. Freebies win!

Ok, there’s a fair bit that happened, Lego-wise, between me picking up the Unimog and where we are right now, which is a Tuesday lunchtime at the end of February, but I’ll come back to that.  

The salient points are:

a) I’ve got a bad case of collectivitus
b) I’ve joined a couple of Lego online forums
c) Everybody likes free stuff

Word started going around on one of the forums a few weeks back, of a Lego giveaway.  One of the national newspapers had done this on a couple of previous occasions, and looked like they were going to do so again.  It had involved buying the paper (obviously), and then in certain shops you could claim your gift there and then.  The gifts had usually been the small ‘polybag’ type, which contained a model made up of 30 or so parts.  Not exactly the Taj Mahal (1) but not to be sniffed at.  They were sets that would probably have retailed at about £3 - £4, for the cost of a 40p paper.

Many people had bought several copies of the paper and claimed multiple packs, or sent relatives out to get extras for them (Lego collectors are keen!), but this time round it seemed it was going to be a ‘collect the tokens and send off for five models’ sort of deal.

All well and good, but there was (or more accurately, is - I’ve only got four tokens so far) a problem.

Now for the most part, I don’t read a daily newspaper.  I do pick up the Evening Standard on the way home from work, but only because it’s free.  And even then I don’t read it half the time.  The only paper I regularly pay for is the Daily Telegraph on a Saturday.  Partly because I like the Motoring Section, partly because I like the letters page, and partly because it’s so huge that we’ve barely finished reading it by the time that Saturday rolls around again.

(People frequently make judgements about other people, based on which newspaper they read, and I’m about to do the same thing in a minute, so feel free to judge away!)

But an important part of the whole ‘buying the paper’ thing is that I’m happy buying it.  We get it when we do our weekly shop.  It’s the Telegraph!  I’ll put that down on top of my shopping and not care who sees it.

But it’s not the Telegraph that’s doing the giveaway. 

It’s The Sun.

Call me a snob, but there’s something about The Sun that makes me despair for humanity.  I mean, this is the most popular daily newspaper in Britain!  How can that be?
Quite apart from the ridiculousness that is Page 3, the actual news content of the paper is like the medicinal content of your typical homeopathic remedy.  It’s about one part news to a billion parts nonsense.

Quite frankly, I‘m embarrased to buy it.  But there are freebies at stake, so I swallow my pride and pick it up (at a newsagent that I would otherwise not visit) on the way to work.

Interestingly, chatter on the forum suggests that this is not uncommon.  So if most people wouldn’t normally be seen dead with a copy of it, who on earth buys it (apart from Lego collectors when there’s a giveaway happening)?  I didn’t think our economy was sufficiently robust to employ that many builders.

Still, only one more paper to buy tomorrow and then I can go back to being smug for a bit.

Many people are grumbling that the polybags that will be given away aren’t from 2013 series, and they may end up with things they already own.  Me, I’ve only got one or two, so chances are it’s all going to be new as far as I’m concerned.

Not sure what I’ll do with them.  Models of cool cars are one thing, but if you end up with the Lego equivalent of My Little Pony…

Still - always handy to have some things to swap.

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(1)  Set 10189. 5922 parts.  Biggest Lego set ever made.

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