Friday, 19 July 2013

It's not as bad as it sounds - honest!

Ok.  A bit of a catch-up on my Lego buying frenzy.  This is going to sound like all I do is buy Lego, but it’s not really the case.  These were purchased over three whole months!

First up. The Technic Backhoe Loader.  Looking back over the models that have been released over the years, construction vehicles are a Technic staple, and this is one of the sets that make up the backbone of the current lineup.  We were in John Lewis, and I clearly thought I needed some digging done.  8069, come on down!

The 8069 Technic Backhoe Loader - a vision in yellow

(Image courtesy of

Shortly after that I benefitted from the kindness of (a) stranger.  Although I’ve (sort of) known him for about a decade, so he’s not actually a stranger - I’ve just never actually met him.  He is one of (as Mrs Boo puts it) one of my strange internet friends.

Anyway, over at Eurogamer, the kind soul that is ReGuRgIt8oR had purchased the LOTR game, and with it got a free 5000202 Elrond figure.

“Does anyone want it?” he asked one day, and fortunately I was the first one to say “Yes, please.”

Elrond.  Looking cross about something.

(Image courtesy of

High five to the GuRg!

After that came the Watford Grand opening, and all the purchases that came off the back of that, but they’ve been documented elsewhere, so we shall brush over that.

Meanwhile, in the background, I’d slowly but surely been collecting Series 7, 8 & 9 minifigs.  After a while, due to the fact that the distribution of figures is not completely random, but some are more prevalent than others, it became apparent that finishing my collection by just buying more bags was going to be a long and pricey business.

By the time the penny dropped though, I’d acquired a healthy selection of ‘doubles’.  I ended up doing a few swaps, or indeed just volunteering to send someone a minifig that they needed, as Mrs Boo was getting a bit fed up with all the little plastic bags that seemed to litter the house.

So I’d sent off one such minifig to a good home, courtesy of one of the Brickset members, who insisted on sending me something in return.  Thanks to that kind gesture, I became the owner of 30165, which any Lego fan will tell you, is one from the Marvel Superheroes range, namely Hawkeye with equipment.

Hawkeye.  With some equipment.

(Image courtesy of

By this time, March had rolled around.  Not sure what had happened on this particular day - I suspect I’d just been paid - but it resulted in a trip out at lunchtime, and I wandered back into the office about 30 mins later with the 9398 Technic 4x4 Crawler.  I wasn’t (as I’d previously mentioned) much enamoured with the bodyshell (1), but the chassis and suspension looked like a whole bunch of fun to build.

The 9398 Technic 4x4 Crawler.  It's good, but improvements are on the way.

(Image courtesy of

A couple of weeks later, and yay, me!  It’s my birthday!  For reasons which I may explain at some point, I was 27 this year, as I have been for quite a few years now.  Anyway, fortune shone upon me, and after some none-too-subtle hinting, I received some Technic shaped birthday pressies.  Mrs Boo bought me the 9396 Technic Helicopter, and our friend Richard got me the 9392 Technic Quad bike.

9396 Technic Helicopter

9392 Technic Quad Bike.  Not, in fact, bigger than the helicopter.

(Images courtesy of

I was also fortunate enough to receive some birthday money from my lovely in-laws, so that, combined with some John Lewis vouchers I had squirrelled away, and the fact that I’d been reading Sariel’s book about building your own creations out of Technic, meant that I treated myself (2) to a second 8110 Unimog, and broke it down for parts.  I have purchased a couple of plastic crates and some plastic bags, so that my parts collection stays neat and tidy (3).  It might sound a bit ridiculous, but trust me - there are people out there whose Lego rooms put my couple of crates in the shade!

The 8110 Technic Unimog.  The Biggest Technic set ever.  For now...

(Image courtesy of

Clearly at this point I had the bit between my teeth, as I was back to John Lewis a couple of days later to pick up some more sets.  In my defence, my records show that these were both on offer, so were below RRP.  That plus staff discount equals the sort of bargain that I’d be a fool to miss! (4)

So added to the collection went the 42007 Technic Moto Cross Bike and the 9394 Technic Jet Plane. (5)

42007 Technic Moto Cross Bike

The 9394 Technic Jet Plane.  It's all a bit red.

(Images courtesy of

Next up, and I refer you to a point I made some time ago :  if someone says you can’t have something, you usually find that you have a hitherto unrealised desire for said object.  And along those lines, if someone, say a member of staff in a Lego store, happens to mention that if you were thinking of picking up a 9397 Logging Truck, then you might want to do it sooner rather than later, because who knows when they might suddenly become unavailable (knowing look)… Well.  At that point I suddenly had a burning desire to get my hands on a Logging Truck.  

It’s almost like the two things were connected...

I think I ordered it from the Lego store, justifying it to myself because there was a double VIP points promotion on. (6)  Well, that and the fact that I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

9397 Technic Logging Truck.  Got it just in time, apparently...

(Image courtesy of

A while back, I mentioned the promotion that the Sun was running.  (I hesitate to call it a giveaway, as it’s sometimes referred to, as you had to buy the paper every day.  Cheap, yes.  Giveaway, no.)  After a few weeks of waiting, a parcel dropped though the door, containing the following…

30090 Pharoh's Quest Desert Glider

30160 Batman Jetski

30131 Jack Sparrow's Boat

30110 Harry Potter's Trolley

30051 Star Wars Mini X-Wing

Not entirely sure what I’m going to do with them, but I’m sure they’ll come in handy at some point.

We move on a few weeks…

Regular readers will know that when it comes to Lego, in order to not bankrupt myself by trying to buy everything that catches my eye, I have a strict rule.

Technic only.

Well, apart from the minifigs.
And the polybags, I suppose.
And ok, the UCS R2-D2 isn’t really Technic. (7)
And the VW Camper Van. (8)

But apart from that, it’s Technic all the way.

You’d be silly, though, not to just have a look at the other stuff when you’re in the shop.  I mean, you never know when there might be the mother of all bargains.


And as a gentleman of un certain âge, there’s almost an obligation to check out the Star Wars sets. (9)

So back in April - this is before the UCS X-Wing Red 5 was out - there were a couple of sets.  The 9492 Tie Fighter, and the 9493 X-Wing.  The Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Supermarine Spitfire of their day.  Yin and Yang.  Black and White.  You get the idea.

Anyway.  These two sets were of a sufficient size to have a reasonable amount of detail on them, but no so big that you’d have to take them apart again as soon as you’d finished, because you didn’t have anywhere to put them.

But they were both a penny short of £50.  Obviously you couldn’t have one without the other (10), so that was £100 all bar the shouting.  Staff discount would have got it down to £75, but that was still a bit too rich for me…

But then one day the price came down, as John Lewis matched a competitors price.  It was better, but still…

Then one lunchtime I was out and clearly someone, somewhere must have been practically giving them away, because I looked at the price tag, did some mental arithmetic, and realised that our discounted price, plus staff discount meant that I could buy not one, but a pair, for the princely sum of £45.

I did what anybody with any sense would do, and bought two of each. (11)  For reasons which are explained below, those two spares can’t be sold on for a profit (or indeed, at cost), which means that I either keep them, and start building two opposing space fleets (12), or they become gifts.

9492 TIE Fighter

9493 X-Wing Starfighter

(Images courtesy of

There’s a good chance that someone’s getting some Star Wars Lego for Christmas!

Bear with me - the end’s in sight!

At the beginning of May I happened to be going past our local TRU, and thought I’d stick my head round the door.  On the whole, TRU aren’t what you’d call competetive when it comes to Lego pricing, but that does have one advantage.  It means that they’ve often got EOL stock, long after other, more price-conscious retailers have sold their last box.

And so it was, that after a bit of rummaging, I found a pristine 8067 Technic Mini Mobile Crane.  And because I don’t have nearly enough Lego construction equipment, into the basket it went.

8067 Technic Mini Mobile Crane - for mini building sites.

(Image courtesy of

While I was there, I also noticed that there were a couple of 8081 Technic Extreme Cruisers.  I’d seen these before, and I still couldn’t decide whether I thought they were very cool, or in fact a bit rubbish.  The other thing that I was (and still am) puzzled about, is that the box is marked up as being a ‘Limited Edition’.  This is the only set I’ve seen like this, apart from the upcoming 41999 Crawler mod.  And that’s expected to sell out in a matter of hours, rather than hang around on dusty shelves for months.

Anyway, the inevitable happened, and a couple of weeks later I popped back and picked one up.  And had a nice surprise when I found that the price had dropped by £5.00.

Every little helps, as a supermarket that’s not nearly as nice as Waitrose is known to say…

8081 Technic Extreme Cruiser.  The jury's still out on this one.

(Image courtesy of

Which just about brings us up to date.  There was the Rescue Helicopter (mentioned elsewhere) that I picked up on our holiday in Cornwall, and I recently grabbed another 9396 Helicopter to break for parts after JL did a price match and I was able to pick it up for around half the RRP.

The only other stuff I’ve acquired are a couple of polybags, as the Daily Mail did a ‘Buy the paper, get a free Lego model’ promotion a few weeks back.  Thanks to everybody’s favourite crazy paper, I now have Gandalf At Dol Guldur, from the Hobbit range, and Little Car (does what it says on the tin) from the Creator range.

Gandalf.  At Dol Guldur, apparently.

It's a car.  It's little.  It's a Little Car!

(Images courtesy of

And that’s me up to date!

Well almost.  

Had a message from a friend on Eurogamer yesterday, but more about that later... 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(1) Roll on August 1st, and the limited edition 41999, which is the Crawler mechanicals with a much cooler body on top.

(2) I’m very good like that.

(3) Large, resealable, zip-loc freezer bags - ideal for storing Lego! 

(4) That’s my defence and I’m sticking to it.

(5) I must confess I thought long and hard about the plane.  It’s just so… red!  Something about the fact that it’s almost entirely one colour put me off.  In the end, the fact that it was a bargain, plus the fact that I knew the completist in me would demand one, one day, resulting in me paying over the odds on ebay, was what swung it.

(6) When it comes to justifying things to myself, I’m a pushover.

(7) Insomuch as it’s not Technic at all.

(8) That was a present, so doesn’t count.

(9) And by Star Wars, I’m talking about the holy trinity - Ep IV, V & VI.  That’s the important stuff.  The rest of it, not so much…

(10) Like, duh!

(11) A serious point here.  At John Lewis, if you claim discount, it has to be because the purchase is for you, or as a genuine gift.  In other words, I can’t go and buy something cheap, and then sell it.  You break the rules, you get fired.  Anyway - I’m a co-owner of the business - anyone abuses discount, that’s my money they’re stealing.  I take discount abuse as seriously as anyone in the company.

(12) Tempting, I’ll admit.

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