Sunday, 21 February 2010

Shanghai Chase 7682

It's not often that I stray away from my favourite Lego themes and sample the delights of others but these vehicles from Lego's Indianna Jones range were just too gorgeous to pass up.

I'm sure the detailing isn't absolutely accurate and the sense of scale is a little off but given the restrictions forced on the designers by the palette of bricks they had at their disposal they are amazing. Restriction, after all, breeds creativity.

Many of you I'm sure will recognize these vehicles from the chase scene in the openign vignette of Indianna Jones And The Temple Of Doom. Don't they just make you want to push them around a tabletop making car noises and emulating gun noises?

Nope? Ah well. Just me, I guess.

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188



Saturday, 13 February 2010

That's No Moon!

Lego Death Star 10188 is the biggest and most expensive Lego set that I own to date. Comprising 3803 pieces and costing £250 this was a Christmas present beyond my wildest dreams from my wife a couple of years ago (back when we had money to spend). It is the ultimate Star Wars Lego set and took me the best part of a month to build. Employment and life got in the way somewhat and I had to make do with a couple of hours after work each night once the kids were in bed. To be honest this allowed me to savour the experience.

It came in a huge box that was in turn comprised of 4 smaller boxes each containing more Lego that I had ever seen in one place before. As always with Lego I was amazed and impressed with their quality control. All the pieces were there - none were missing - and there was even the usual array of spare extra pieces.

I must say that in my many years of building / buying Lego I have only ever had one experience of pieces being missing from a box and Lego's famous customer service excellence made sure those pieces were with me, free of charge, within a matter of days.

But back to the Death Star... you will see from the photos (click for a larger version) that the set is divided into several quarter spheres on each level and each depicts a famous scene from each of the three films (original trilogy). You get Luke's duel with the emperor as well as Luke and Leia's rope swing across the chasm. You get Obi Wan deactivating the tractor beam and trash compactor scene. The model is full of them - I'm sure you can figure the rest out from the photographs.

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Death Star 10188

Unbelievably this is not the biggest Star Wars set available. Lego are currently selling (though they are not making any more) a huge model of the Millennium Falcon. Totalling 5195 pieces and costing £342 it is the biggest set ever. Would I like it? Hell yeah. But where the hell would I put it? One has to be realistic and let the occasional set get away.

Maybe if I win the lottery...?

In the meantime, I can dream...


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Galaxy Explorer 928

This is possibly the king of the Classic Space sets. This is the set that as a kid I yearned for painfully but never ever got. It was simply too expensive and way out of my parent’s price range – even for a Christmas present. They had three kids to provide for so I don’t blame them in the slightest. Instead over two consecutive Christmases I received the two smaller models of the fleet, the 918 One Man Space Ship and 924 Space Transporter, both of which I will no doubt review at a later date.

Released in 1979 these first Space sets designed in Minifgure scale heralded a whole new theme for Lego and the new elements created for these sets eventually bled into the Town sets of the time and enhanced building techniques and the overall aesthetic design – very much a win-win situation. I fell in love with this new theme immediately and would spend hours poring over Lego catalogues and leaflets imagining what it would be like to own such amazing Lego for real. The Christmases I received sets 918 and 924 were good ones – by then I’d amassed enough of the smaller pocket-money models to have quite a space fleet at my command – these new additions were the icing on the cake.

But 928 was the one that got away.

Hence when I restarted collecting Lego again in my 30’s 928 was one of the first sets that I set my heart on acquiring. When the set was first released I think it went for something like £25 – which was a helluva lot of money for a toy in 1979. In the mid 2000’s it was being sold on eBay for upwards of £50. Lego, for those of you who have a mind to make money, is a wise investment; it holds its value and in a lot of cases increases it. I managed to buy a complete model complete with instructions and box for about £55 in 2004 and considered it a bargain. At last the secrets of the model’s interior was mine!

It’s a great set – featuring a roomy cockpit and a compartment at the back accessed via a pair of swing doors that contains a modest surface vehicle. Finally owning it brought the memory of those Christmases back to me and I felt that I had at last realized a long held boyhood dream.

Lego


Lego
The fact that I now own two (as you can see from the photos) merely augments my enjoyment of this set all the more. I didn’t set out to buy two but one came up on eBay a couple of years ago, incomplete and in a very poorly condition. I managed to get it for a mere £25 and then spent a good deal of time sourcing replacement parts of the right age with which to renovate it. It was an enjoyable project and, checking out recent prices on eBay, a lucrative one as the model – complete – can now sell for anything up to £150. Not a bad investment.

And yes, I now own two 918’s and 924’s too – purely to balance the fleet, you understand. One has to be even handed after all.


Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Inner Sanctum

Few people get to see The Inner Sanctum. Even those of my friends who know I collect Lego have rarely gained admittance to this holy of holies. Not sure why. I'm certainly not ashamed of it. It is, however, my refuge and my temple. A place that is indelibly stamped with the things that I like. When people do get a rare chance to peek inside the reaction is usually one of shocked awe. "Oh we knew you had a big collection but..."

The photos below may give you a little idea as to the nature of the "but...". As you can see four themes dominate my collection: Classic Space, Classic Town, Star Wars and (modern) City though I do occasionally dip into other themes if I like the models - hence the new Space Police models.

Feel free to browse and leave a comment - this blog is purely for my own amusement - but all are welcome to have a look around and offer an opinion. I am an active collector so please check out the advert on the right if you have any Lego (in good condition) for sale.

Click on an image to download a bigger version.


Lego


Behind the door - modular buildings and Tantive IV.

Lego

On the windowsill - some classic Town and City buildings plus one of my own creation.

Lego

In front of the window - a hodgepodge of models: lots of Star Wars, some Classic Town and Aqua Raiders.

Lego

Another shot of the modular buildings and a hint of my depth of feeling for Classic Space.

Lego

Star Wars and Classic Space - my hardy stand-bys.



Lego

Some of the bigger Star Wars models and the gorgeous Medieval village scene plus the Christmas Shop...

Lego

More Star Wars stuff: the fabulous Dropship - one of my favourites - has pride of place atop my computer.

Lego

A good array of some of the most aesthetically pleasing Star Wars models.

Lego

Oh I do like Classic Space!


I shall be focusing on specific models over the coming months but for now this is a mere glancing overview of part of my collection - a collection currently valued at just over £10,000. That's a lot of moolah - but it stops me drinking, gambling, drug taking and (sin of sins) getting into football! ;-)