I am a 44 year old male. I am a family man in a wonderful marriage which has produced two fantastic girls (2 and 5). I have a pretty good job with relatively impressive title (Principal Consultant). I’m an investor and while maybe not a pillar of my community, I do play a small role in it.
And I’ve recently decided, with approval from my darling wife and daughters, to give into my desire to play with LEGOs.
After few months of slowly looking into this I have realised that this world is both larger and more complex than I would have ever dreamed of. This has prompted me to kick the tiers of my old blog as a way to share my findings, builds and wonders. For now this is what I can promise:
- Never to post unless I want to
- Never to post because I feel I need to
- Riddle the posts with spelling mistakes, and clear 3rd-language-idioms-..errors
- Only write and share stuff that I find interesting
- Have no agenda what so ever
- Fight my inner structure-rules mentality for as long as I can, and just post stuff
- Potentially have some fun
Story so far…
Through (sometimes wonderful) Social Media I expressed my intention of going AFOL! and within a day the local AFOL reached out in a friendly and helpful way. To my surprise there is an active community of AFOLs in NZ, and even here in Canterbury. Since few months ago, I have been invited to 4 private events (attended two), and attended one brick show.
There are so many things I do not understand or know yet, and each new information just reveals how much more there is to discover, try and experience.
What I know so far (or think I know):
Being an AFOL can feel like a cult. This is somewhat scary. The local AFOL have not made me think like that, but reading comments and posts around it seems people can be pretty heated, protective and righteous, when it comes to what AFOL is.
Oh, and the acronyms!: Sort of important it seems, and clearly so as I have used one now in a way that suggest EVERYONE should know it. But I had to look it up even after making my decision. These are the ones I know so far:
- AFOL = Adult Fan of LEGO
- MOC = My Own Creation
- ‘Brick’ = LEGO pieces
You can buy what ever bricks you like: Ok, this one I still don’t get, and only know of its existence. When you need specific bricks, in specific colour, in specific quantity, apparently you just go to Bricklink. I have yet to figure out the protocols for purchasing these, the pitfalls and even more importantly, how do these people get all those LEGO bricks to sell?
Used LEGO is harder to find than expected: It seems that the general public has caught on the fact that LEGO is popular, so used LEGO is not as easy to find as one would have thought. After three ads on Facebook I finally found 10KG of used LEGO for $25 NZD p/kg. Best purchase EVER! Took me weeks to sort. Had to buy several containers (I have a weird fetish when it comes to containers, so having a reason to buy those is never a bad thing).
You need to wash LEGO: Having purchased 10KG of used LEGO, that frankly smelled a bit of a free-spirited pot-smoking, introduced me to the fact that you might need to wash your beloved LEGO. My approach was; NapiSan in warm water for 20-30min, and dry in the sun. Takes time but really worked well for most bricks. I also put a toothbrush among by LEGO for additional brushing requirements during washing.
There are so many ways to be AFOL: Originally I thought you just enjoyed LEGO. But now I see that one almost has to pick a speciality. Not so much to fit in, but mostly to realise where you want to spend your time (and money). I have as yet to define or research if there are official categories, but I have a suspicion those are very clear to hard core AFOL.
What I suspect so far (but might be totally wrong):
You are either a collector or builder or both: The sense I get from my few weeks of exposure to AFOL is that one can “genuinely” love LEGO and both be into building it while also getting excited about purchasing (and building) all the sets that come out – at least in the specific area of LEGO design you enjoy most. From what I see, this is one of the most common thing. The second one is the builder. Those are people that ignore most official LEGO design (beside unique bricks) and create fantastical designs (MOC) of their own. And the third one is the collector. My feeling is these are not a loved group by many AFOL. This group purchases official LEGO sets in the 100s and sit on them, until they become valuable – at which time, they sell them for big profit.
There is money to be made: Just today I found several pages where you could:
- upload your own MOC for sale (I think)
- provide bricks to complete yours/others MOC for set of money
Well, isn’t that interesting. I have NO IDEA how that works, but it seems that you can make a really cool MOC of your own, collect the bricks for it (for 100s of sets), then set the price for them and… sell them.
And this is not to mention any YouTube videos of builds, or selling MOC instructions or ….
That’s all I have time for this evening. Feel free to comment etc…