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  • Confessions of a LEGO Junkie


    Hello. My name is Elaine, and I am a Lego addict. I have often said this in jest, but I’ve started to realize that it is not a joke. I woke up this morning, and the first thing I did was check Brick Picker for the deals buzz. As soon as I had put the kids on the bus, I started planning my buy of the day. Since I went to see “The Force Awakens” (again) last night, I was feeling like I needed some more Star Wars sets. I took to the web, and made a plan to go to TRU (since it was Thursday) to buy a First Order Tie Fighter, using the Walmart price (20% off) plus another 10% through TRUTH and 8% back in rewards. It was only 9 am. I spent the next hour itching to buy as my local Toys R Us opens at 10 am. I even considered settling for price match plus 5% off using my Red Card at Target because they were already open. I didn't used to be like this…

    I am a collector. I still have 90% of the sets from my youth, and I started collecting again around 2010ish. For several years it was buying a modular for my birthday and lots of sets for the kids. It wasn't until a snafu with the Town Hall that things started to turn ugly. It was October 22nd, 2014. I had a lovely birthday dinner and decided that I would buy a Town Hall as my present. I already had a Fire Brigade, Grand Emporium, and a Pet Shop. I had briefly flirted with the idea of buying a Green Grocer long after it went EOL, but decided that $500 for NISB was too much to spend. (This was some time before the Town Hall incident, but it was what first enlightened me to the existence of the Lego reseller market.) Needless to say, when I went to my local Lego Store that day, I was dealt a crushing blow. I could not understand. I was buying each modular in order, I should have had plenty of time to buy the Town Hall, but it was gone. I was heartbroken. I was devastated. I was desperate. At first, I was ready to scrap the whole idea of my Lego city. It seemed pointless to not have all of them (or at least all of the ones released since I had started collecting modulars). I was still secretly pining for a Green Grocer, and to miss out on the Town Hall too was too much to bear. Within a couple of weeks of calling and searching stores and coming up empty, I bought one on eBay for 50% over RRP. I justified it saying that if I did find one in the wild for RRP, I could always resell that one to break even or better. For a little while, I was content, but it didn't last...

    Fast forward to March of 2015. It was my anniversary. There was an hour wait at the restaurant, so we went to the Lego Store. It was double VIP and I was determined not to let another modular pass me by, so I bought myself current, and had a lovely dinner. The next day, I was feeling guilty about spending so much, and I came up with the perfect plan. I would buy two of every Lego set I liked, build one, sell the other when it hit 2x RRP. Perfect! I immediately pulled $2k out of a never-touched savings account (because bank interest is a joke anyway) and had the most satisfying Lego spree I had ever experienced. I felt so powerful and successful with every package that arrived. It was incredible. I wish I could have stayed up there forever…

    Within a few months, (but just over 90 days), the reality of what I had done started to sink in. After that first $2k, I spent at least another $1k acquiring discontinued sets via eBay and craigslist, and probably $1k buying new releases because I was still flying high and I had 5,000+ VIP points to burn. For those of you who roll big, I will put this in perspective for you: $2000 is my entire monthly spending budget for utilities, food, etc. I spent 2 months of my household budget on toys. I panicked. I couldn't return anything. I couldn't break even through selling because everything was still readily available. I watched my stocks drop at sickening rates. I wanted to take it all back, but I had gone too far. All I could do was wait and see…

    It was the release of Lego Dimensions that brought me to the Brick Picker forums. My stocks were still junk (TB, ToO, EV, PS, PC, Simpson House…), but my buying had calmed down some. I started watching the Daily Deals. I started hiding purchases from my family. I started getting carried away again. I started bargaining with myself. If I didn't buy a coffee for a week or if I put off a haircut or if I returned some other nonessential item, how much could I spend on Lego instead? I started exchanging my “investment” sets for things I wanted to build. The lowest point was when I returned some sets that I had bought at discount, for full exchange value, to get my husband a Red Five for Christmas. I took a few weeks off after that...

    I used to have other interests. I used to have a modest savings account. I still have a roof over my head and my kids are well fed, but all I see are Lego. I want to know why I got this way. I can rationalize any purchase. “It helps me relax” “I had a coupon” “I had extra money this month” “But I need to have ALL of them!” (I tell my husband that I would have been a great Pokemon trainer). Sometimes I get mad at TLG. Sometimes I blame the QFLL. Sometimes I blame the AFOL trying to reclaim a happy childhood build. The truth is, I can only blame myself for getting so caught up in a hobby that I really can't afford…

    This morning, while I was planning my hunt, I came upon the “why did you start?” thread. The story is slightly different, but it's really all the same. “One time_____ and then I was hooked”. I can't decide if it's genius or predatory, either way, Lego is like a drug, and we are all pushers or addicts. I have 2 Tumblers in my trunk...

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    21 hours ago, Rodeogeorge said:

    Another great idea is to take advantage of local recycling programs. I simply take a shopping cart from my local grocery store and patrol the streets searching for cans. Also, don't forget to check the recycling cans on garbage pickup day. Be sure to learn the pickup schedules in order to maximize efficiency. Then simply take the returns to the bank. The Lego bank!

    This one?

    image.jpg

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    Good article.Anything can become an addiction. I remember my Haagen Dazs phase, yum. Moderation is the key to overcoming an addiction. When you get that itch to buy, postpone the purchase and just maybe the itch will pass. Lego seems fairly harmless when compared to other addictions. It's kind of funny when you stop and think about it. I'm glad I don't have a lot of money in the bank and I refuse to use credit cards except for emergencies. Self control.

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    On ‎1‎/‎22‎/‎2016 at 0:18 PM, Quagmire said:

    Lego = crack. Remember the lego commercial from the 80's "Zach he's a lego maniac" 

     

    20 hours ago, Migration said:

    Never get high on your own supply.

    Of course. Keep the personal pile away from the investments and stick with a plan.

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    What is the "TRUTH" discount? And how do you get 8% rewards at TRU? I only get their $5 coupon from rewards every once in a while.

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    Guest brickcrazyhouse

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    59 minutes ago, Valerie said:

    What is the "TRUTH" discount? And how do you get 8% rewards at TRU? I only get their $5 coupon from rewards every once in a while.

     

     

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    25% off the Death Star?! (oh, damaged box?)

     

    (the next step is to get a job at LEGO store, work minimal hours solely for discount and to get the employee sets)

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