Over a year ago, I posted on how we were taking a step back from LEGO, looking at what is normally called a Dark Age among fans. In truth… the last set I bought for myself was just about a year ago: the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 version of the Milano, a set which I really didn’t like. I grabbed a couple of small sets on clearance for my daughter since then, as gifts, but that’s been the only LEGO purchases.
Since then, there are some nice looking sets, and there have been moments where I’ve thought about grabbing a set or two… yet I’m going to be honest: I don’t miss the hobby anywhere near as much as I thought I was going to. One thing I’ve come to realize about LEGO for me, at least over the last few years, is that what I liked the most was building a set. Once the building was done… it just sat there. It sat on a shelf, it sat in a storage bin, or it sat in a bag inside an even bigger bin. I enjoyed doing reviews… but after that review was done… yeah, that was it.
A lot of this was amplified by the fact that my “office,” where almost all of my LEGO stuff used to be kept except for a few big things, became my son’s room. All of my shelves, dust collection devices (display sets), bins, etc, had to go somewhere else. So did my desk, computer, etc… and the house honestly wasn’t big enough for anything other than the desk having a spot. My shelves got claimed by kids, my sets and parts all went into a climate-controlled storage unit, and most everything was packed up.
There was a realization several months into this “dark age” that I wasn’t likely to exit it any time soon. Is it really a dark age if that’s the new normal? Sadly, I’m fairly certain this is for good… I’m just done with LEGO as a hobby. Maybe, at some point, I’ll pick up a set that looks fun, and I most certainly will keep buying some stuff for my kids as they get older. When the LEGO Movie 2 comes out in a few weeks, I’m certain my daughter will be wanting some of the newer stuff. That being said, she already has the figures from the first movie, and is usually not too keen on getting duplicate characters.
I was honestly down on LEGO when I stopped buying… there had been a noticeable drop in quality and an equally noticeable increase in pricing. Once upon a time, there was huge excitement around seeing what was coming and the new interesting things… but that’s really given away to seeing how much is redone and how the minifigs have been updated to try and get us to buy. The cycle between re-releases has gotten painfully short, with reskins of some sets becoming some sort of perennial that they just go back to so there’s always one on the shelves somewhere.
Even before I stopped purchasing sets, it’d been awhile since a set just blew me away at the first glance. The last sets I really loved were probably the LEGO Batman Movie line, and that burned me out pretty quick after the initial wave hit. The LEGO ideas set for the Saturn V looked fun, but the price (and availability) wasn’t fantastic so I never ended up grabbing it.
At this point, I’m mostly just trying to figure out how to get rid of the majority of a collection I spent almost 20 years building up. I have hundreds of sets, more minifigs than I care to count, and enough loose parts that opening Bricklink to try and list things cause physical pain. Honestly, the real issue is that individual LEGO parts are rarely worth enough to list on Bricklink, let alone finding and packing the orders and managing inventory.
If it was just parting out a set, sure, that’s easy… but when you have tens of thousands (or more parts) and most parts are listing for 5 to 10 cents each (and a lot of them less than that). You have to have pretty big bulk to make it worth it, already sorted… and that also means those parts will sell for less. Still trying to figure out what I want to do with these… I have a lot of relatively rare sets and things that have been out of print for awhile, and all they’re doing is chewing up space in my storage unit right now.
So what does all this mean? To be honest, I don’t know. I didn’t set out with much point to this article other than to do a bit of sharing of things. I’d mostly been covering things other than LEGO for some time, so the only real loss were my reviews. I do miss doing the reviews, but unless LEGO decides to provide us some sets (which is never really likely, unfortunately), or they are provided other ways, I won’t be doing them again soon. I have been planning to do a whole walk-through of reviews for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and may go back and do some reviews for DC stuff as well.
So, I guess what it means is that the dark age, for me, is here to stay.