Brick Depression

I've been going through my Lego sets at home, wanting to dust them off and put them all back together. My ideal home would have an office in which would live a computer, a drawing table and plenty of shelf space for all my sets. I have friends with similar "offices" containing scads of comic book related merchandise and I'm a touch jealous that I can't do the same. Having moved four times in ten years really isn't conducive to having a large group of display items. (BTW, "isn't" was not in Firefox's dictionary. Go Mozilla.)

Recently there's been a lot of internet hullabaloo over the newest Death Star set. Years ago you could get a Death Star II, but fans were not impressed over the playability and felt they were paying a lot for a big ball of pieces. The new set actually reminds me more of the kinds of toys you'd get where different areas have different scenes; something Star Wars toys used to have - maybe they still do. And at $399, it's almost worth considering if you're a nut like me.

What gets me the most about all the Star Wars sets is that there seems to be a small percentage of sets being remade. I've seen at least five sets being completely redone and in almost all those cases, the newer set is both more expensive and better designed. This leaves the average dabbler with the same feeling a movie buffs gets when purchasing a DVD only to have the Special Edition DVD come out later with more features.

I want to get back into buying these. Of all the things I've done in my life, Lego sets have been around the longest. They predate my marriage, my children, most of my friends and even the places I've called home. Some of the Futron sets I have are more than 20 years old. I don't play many video games and I've given up on comic books so I rationalize that this collector mentality is ok because of that, but it really isn't. I'm torn. On the one had, buying, assembling and displaying Lego sets makes me very happy. Of all the things in my life, it's always been there and likely always will. The little plastic blocks will always snap together the same way. They will always come in little plastic bags and the instructions will always be simple yet compulsively rewarding.

However, in the days when gas is $4.09 a gallon and milk is $2.50 for a half gallon and my kids require more and more food and an ever changing closet full of clothes, it becomes harder and harder to justify the cost of the obsession let alone the space required. And so the bricks sit in their trash and Ziploc bags out in the garage, the boxes remained flattened and dusty and the joy I once had as a child smolders in a quiet part of my soul. I keep telling myself that I'll one day go back and get all the sets I want and complete the myriad space series, but if the Star Wars sets don't stop remaking themselves, I'll be doing it forever.

I've got one set rebuilt and sitting on top of a book shelf in the front room and I feel rather guilty about it, like somehow it's a sign to people that I have an unhealthy addiction or mental disability. I love my Lego sets, but I'm not about to let that impact my family in anyway. I want my kids to love Lego and maybe start their own collection. It doesn't even have to be Lego, it could be stamps or cars or rocks or books. Collecting is a very personal thing and I feel slightly off when even considering bringing my 100 sets back into the light of day.

I suppose one day I'll retire and spend my time in a side room, disposing of my social security checks into other collectors' coffers so I can live out my remaining days being a 9 year old. It's not a bad thing to hope for, really.

Carry on.

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