Monday, 26 February 2018


Welcome, or welcome back, depending on whether this is your first visit to my blog, or whether you used to follow it before I stopped updating it for a while.  And by ‘a while’ I mean 32 months.  Looking back at my last post, in July 2015, the opening paragraph related to the wonders of procrastination.

No little irony there, methinks.

Let’s just assume, for the purposes of expediency, that I came up with some valid excuse for not updating the blog, which you accept.  How about “I was pregnant.  With a Black Alpine Salamander.  Which has a gestation period of two to three years.”  That fits with both the timescale and the size of my waistline, so gender and species inconsistencies aside, we’ll go with that.

I have just completed a build which was crying out to be documented which is the main driver for me putting fingers to keyboard again, but I'll come to that shortly.  The purposes of this entry is simply to cover what's been going on in the nigh-on three years since I last posted an entry.  

I'll try to be brief.

Well quite a lot of new sets have been acquired, but rather fewer have been built.  It's led me to wonder (and this seems to be a not-uncommon theme among the AFOL community) whether I just like the 'collecting' thing rather than the 'making' thing.  Certainly I get a bit twitchy if I think there's a Technic set out there that I don't have, and I use all sorts of arguments (1) to justify picking them up 'before they go end of life' and I have to pay third party / scalper prices to complete my collection (2).

Anyway.  Looking back at my spreadsheet (3), it lists 149 acquisitions since July 14th 2015.  I will get in early with the 'many of those are small polybags / freebies / relatively cheap sets' excuse, which leaves some of the larger highlights as...

75827 Firehouse Headquarters:  Better known as the Ghostbusters HQ.  In 2016, Mrs Boo & I had a week in New York and we went and found the actual building (4), and the Lego design team have done a great job in replicating it.

42056 Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS :  As Technic sets go, this was something a bit special.  'Luxury' packaging and an official tie-up with Porsche made this a bit more than 'just another big Technic set'.

75060 UCS Slave 1 / 75095 UCS Tie Fighter : That was quite an expensive visit to the Watford Lego Store.

However, the two biggies are in fact variations on a theme.  Some time ago I talked about the many different versions of the Millennium Falcon, and how - one day - I'd get myself a copy of the legendary 10179 Ultimate Collectors Series version.  Well back in October 2016, an opportunity arose to buy, via a friend of a forum member on Brickset, a MISB one.  It wasn't cheap.  Hell, it wasn't even expensive.  It cost more than my first two cars combined!  Ironically, the second major purchase was (almost) the same thing, as about six months after I bought that, the rumours started circulating that the UCS Falcon was going to be re-released.

And you know what?  Those rumours turned out to be true!  Now we could sit and talk until the fires burn low about how a) the seller made one of the canniest transactions he's ever likely to do, and b) how I was a bit of a muppet, as the new one was only (5) £649.99.

On a) I'd agree with you.  He said to me that he'd bought it as an investment, and boy did it pay off.  Sir, I take my hat off to you.  As far as b) is concerned though, do I feel ripped off?  No.  I'd rather have paid the original £342.99, but the fact is I didn't.  I now find myself in possession of not one, but both versions of an iconic model of an iconic spaceship.

As I said to someone online a while back, if I could have the choice of a mint Fiat 500 from the 60's, with all its flaws, or a modern version of it, with air bags, ABS and whatnot, I know which one I'd take - I'll have the classic every time.

So I paid through the nose, but I ended up with what I wanted.

The end.

And it's the build of the new 75192 UCS Falcon that I've just completed.  I shall expound at length in an upcoming blog entry on that particular experience, but it's not giving too much away to say that the review is likely to contain the expression "WooHoo!".

Otherwise it was business as usual - keeping up with the Technic releases, a couple of Architecture sets that interested me, the odd Star Wars set and a few of the Ideas sets (6), but then something happened at Christmas to take me down a (potentially expensive) side road.

I'll save that for another day though.

I'm going to aim to have updates to this blog coming out fairly regularly from now on (7), if for nothing else than to keep my brain and fingers working.  So watch this space - review of the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy, coming soon!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(1).  'Man Maths', I believe this is called.  

(2) Naturally, the 'You could just not buy it at all.' option is rarely, if ever, given an airing, and when it is, it's dismissed with unseemly haste.

(3) Yes, I have a spreadsheet that documents my collection, including price paid, discount on RRP etc.  There's probably a way of describing it that doesn't make it sound nerdy and sad, but I can't think what it might be at the moment.

(4) Junction of North Moore Street and Varick Street in Tribeca if you're interested.

(5)  Only.  Only six hundred and fifty quid!  Only!  It's only an 'only' in comparison to what I paid for the original.  By any other measure, that's a lot of money.  I'm not loaded by any means, and I absolutely get that I've spent on two plastic toys what many families have to live on for months.  I'm very fortunate.  I know that. 

(6) I am becoming increasingly impressed with the sets coming out of the Lego Ideas programme.  From a few niche sets in the early days to the (looking back on it now) fairly clunky BTTF Delorean, it has progressed to bringing out some stupendous sets.  The Saturn V and Old Fishing Store are highlights, but high-fives have to be given for sets like the Caterham 620R, the Beatles' Yellow Submarine and the Big Bang Theory set.

(7) Yeah, I've said that before, and look what happened!

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