Monday, February 6, 2012

4 Collections

I realized the other day that I have 4 separate Lego collections that I do not mix.  They vary in size, but they are all there and each is actively growing. 

The Sets
This first collection is the longest running.  My sets span 3 decades now and constitute not only the oldest but the largest collection comprised of 283 complete sets.  Currently about 50% of them are sorted into bags waiting for assembly when my kids come of an appropriate age.  Alas the other 50% remain, despite my best efforts, parted into a variety of bins arranged in my own sorting method.  I have been trying over the past 3 years to get them all sorted into their respective inventories but 283 is a lot of sets and I have not been able to get them all done. 

The MOCing Pieces
This collection is the runner up in terms of size.  It consists of my extra pieces which are not associated with any of my recognized sets.  This collection came into being first through extra parts left over from Bricklink purchases and then was added to intentionally by purchasing Lego lots on eBay by the pound (for the record there is no more satisfying way to buy Lego than by weight!). 

A past by the pound Lego purchase!
These are the parts I use for MOCing.  When I MOC I like to keep my creations permanently so I don’t want to use parts from sets.  Ergo I have another whole set of bins, sorted in my same system, which I never mix with anything else so I know all those parts are extra.  Yes, I have a lot of plastic bins.  And yes my wife is a saint!

The Spare Parts
This is the smallest collection and also the most exclusive.  Through the years I have learned which parts are prone to breaking, wearing out (hinges!) or which ones would be disastrous to lose (whether due to exclusativity or importance).  So I have set about storing extras of these parts away in a special box that is off limits for MOCing.  A perfect example of the type of piece you can find in this collection is the door for 6195 Neptune Discovery Lab.

Photo credit:
Those beautiful blue doors are exclusive to this set alone and have been discontinued now for almost 15 years.  Should one of the clips which holds the door to the station break I would be up a creek without a paddle should I have to rely on The Lego Company to replace it as that part stopped being produced before many of today’s young Lego fans were born.  I have a wanted list on Bricklink that is populated entirely of pieces that I want to have extras of.  Every purchase I do I check for these parts before completing and add them to the order whenever possible.  Hopefully I will never need them, but in the event that I do I have a decent little bank of extra parts that I can call on. 

The Office
No I am not referring to the TV show.  My final collection is the small ensemble of sets that I keep at the office.  Technically this rotating display is counted as part of The Sets collection but since I don’t keep any other sets together outside of the three to four models I put on display on top of my bookshelf at work I think of them as their own category.  As I work at an engineering office much envy is expressed when my coworkers see certain sets.  More than once I get the response of: “You have that set!  Not fair I sooooo wanted that as a kid!”

My current office display, several M:Tron sets

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