Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Next Project?

I was 9 years old in 1993, and like most I don't have a lot of clear memories from that long ago.  Among the few that I do have is one that happened in the long defunct K-Mart store that used to be on the west side of the Indiana town I grew up in.  Not sure what brought us to that store as my mom almost never shopped there (the town’s Target was much closer to where we lived) but for whatever reason I ended up in the Lego aisle that day and can distinctly remember, with photographic clarity, holding 6286 Skull's Eye Schooner in my hands. 

At $126.50 in 1993 (which is equivalent to just shy of $200 today in 2011) this set was well beyond even the most remote chance of ever being added to my collection.  I dreamed of owning it there in the store and then put it from my mind to instead focus on the plethora of sets which were within the realm of possibility.  But as attested to by my razor sharp memory of holding that box, the Skull’s Eye lodged itself in my consciousness.   

Through the years I have kept an eye out for it.  I remember looking at auctions in the early days of eBay, and have also checked for it through the years.  After over a decade of this searching I can say with certainty that I am not the only one who has been haunted by that set as I have never, even if the model was incomplete, seen it sell for less than $200.00.  Still sealed I have seen it go for over $1000.  Its rarity is further demonstrated by the fact that I have never seen it assembled in person.  Whether in Lego stores, the Mall of America, store displays or friend's houses there a very few sets that I have not seen in person at least once, but the Skull’s Eye is one of them. 

The other day I was contemplating different Lego projects I could do.  Having recently scored some excellent eBay purchases which have added to the already fairly large stash of extra pieces from past Bricklink orders I have been feeling the itch to start a project.  As different options came to mind I suddenly had the thought "I wonder if it would be possible to resurrect the Skull's Eye?".  For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo to resurrect a set means that you purchase the raw pieces and assemble the needed collection of parts yourself rather than buying the set whole.  I have done this previously and found that, depending on which set you do this with, it is possible to sometimes obtain an old set for less than its original MSRP and it is almost always possible to do it for cheaper than buying the whole thing from eBay or Bricklink provided the set is more than about 10 years old and does not have too many specialty parts.

The Imperial Trading Post was a past set I have resurrected
I am going to look into this and I will let you know if I think it can be done.  If it is possible and I decide to do this I will blog in detail about the process to serve as a rough guide to anyone who would like to try and resurrect a set themselves, the Skulls Eye or other.