vrijdag 24 februari 2017

Is Lego worth more than Gold? The Test part 5... and the end.

The short answer: yes, I must admit Lego pays back for itself.

The long answer?  Well, that`s why I`m typing this, as in a way my projected 12 month journey in trial and error has already come to a close within 5 months.

My buy-inn has completely paid itself back, and I still have a lot of sets and loose bricks left over.  Now, with the whole "BrickLink Youtubers" discussion currently going on on YouTube, which exploded through this video by MandRproductions, the whole swoop life and All the Bags hashtags and the likes is currently a hot theme in the AFOL community.

Well, I must say, that after studying the internet for the past months, I kind of became for more lenient to the haulers.  In my early days, I thought them a problem as well, and that a lot of it was overhyped, but now that I dipped a toe in that water, I kind of see the use of well stocked Brick Link stores.  I can now imagine how hard it would be to fill inventory otherwise in loose parts, if you would have to rely on fleamarket finds and everything.

Instead, clearing out clearance sales (which, well, are on clearance, so anyone could have long bought the said sets before), scanning over Amazon and looking for local good deals, even from a high price country as Belgium it IS possible to, even though with a lot of effort, with the big discounts in the United States. 

Provided you go the loose part route and not the set route.  Shipping for a large set is far heavier (and riskier for damage and the complaints) then going to the postal office 26x in a month with one or two padded enveloppes with the parts from those sets.  Because almost every element is wanted somewhere it seems.

Now, one thing I learned to be on the look-out for is the Year One Dimensions sets.  While we don`t have the 1 dollar clearances the States had in the past month in the .99Cents retail chain, you can often find the sets in toy stores and online for around the 5 euro mark.  Considering those still part out to a value of around 11 - 12 euro, that`s a fantastic increase for such a small set, and far higher then what it would be sold for if trying to flip it "in the box". 
Add to that the fact that those sets have (in the long term for sure) licensed minifigures compared to the generic City or Friends one, and I feel they are a winner.

Now, don`t get me wrong, parting out, sorting and storing all the sorts of loose elements is a VERY intensive job, and far harder then just putting a heap of boxes in a closet somewhere.  And when that order comes with a lot of different parts, you quickly spend an hour or two getting it all together.  Nothing comes easy!

But now that I have proven to myself that it is indeed feasible to invest in the little plastic brick and get enough return from it to buy the things you want, I`m concluding this series with this text.  I did draw some conclusions though, and those are:

1. Loose parts is work intensive, but on the long term a very good source of turnover.

2. Not every set is easily sellable these days, as production numbers are up and to many people are hoarding at the moment, waiting for EOL and Retirements, but the prices don`t explode at those points as they used to do.
Now think about this: almost EVERY set, when looking at the part out value, gains between half to full price on top of it`s RSP.  That is if you paid full price, so without even taking into consideration discounts and the likes.  SOME sets appreciate enough after retirement to double, but a lot fall far under their original price.  Take the gamble and have to stock sets for at least 2 years?   Or pull them open and part them for immediate potential turnover?  I know what I picked...

3. Minifigures are great value.  Franchised ones are pure gold, no matter how simple or common the figure.

4. Stay away from used sets unless they are TRUE iconic ones, like the big castles, large spaceships and classic Star Wars from the early "fleshy days".

Now, of course none of the above are words carved in stone, and some are already "common knowledge", but I always think that unless you test for something yourself, you don`t ever know if something is actually worth the effort and holds any truths. 

For me, as I said, this has been a test to see if what forums like BrickPicker or YouTube channels like Bricks On The Dollar are total bullshit, or even viable outside the United States, and I picked up a lot of good tips and ideas for sure.  Some didn`t work here either, but in general, yes, Lego is worth the investing at the moment and has a better rendition then your average savings account since the days of the bank crisis.  I`m pretty sure had I continued the experiment, I could indeed have doubled my money over the course of a year, I still had 7 months left to go. 
But that has no use, so what will happen now is that I will pull open my remaining sets and such, and BUILD them for this blog and use them in MOCs.  Because that is still the core of Lego, all possible profits aside!

Thanks for following this little series, and as always, all comments are appreciated!

donderdag 23 februari 2017

Dimensions Marathon 1: day 4

Ah, this has been a good night for sure.

Now that all the regular levels are complete, I could grind away in the pen-ultimate evening from this first marathon.

And the results showed, as I cleared out the remainder of Middle Earth, putting that world to a close.

But not only that, in on and off jumping into other Dimensions, I added a lovely 46 gold bricks to the total.  That means that tonight, I`m going for the big push to get at least 115 bricks to reach the goal of 600.

Now, in addition to the red brick from the A Team world, I also got the hidden Vorton Disco brick.  This unlocks as soon as you total 480 gold bricks (the amount, but not the exact bricks, of Year One), so that`s of the target list as well.

All in all, I`m now at an already decent 485 bricks, which is over a third of all the bricks in the game...

See you all tomorrow for the finale, and if I reached my projected 600 bricks!

woensdag 22 februari 2017

Classic Lego Build: 4762 Rescue from the Merpeople

In today's build report I have an old Harry Potter set I aquired at Brick Mania Antwerpen 2015 (and gave to the kid in the meantime), the Rescue from the Merpeople.

The set hauls from 2005, and counted 154 parts and 5 excellent figures.

These figures are Harry in his swimsuit, Ron and Hermione with their eyes closed as they are unconscious under water, Victor Crum with his sharkhead and a merman guardian.

The first small thing we build is the small rowing boat that comes with the set.  nothing to fancy on this one.  The base is two brown inverted slopes.

On top of this, a border is made of grey elements, and the oars are added on this.

Next, we have a small scenery piece that goes with the set, and it`s based on a blue plate.

A small push lever is installed at the back, and then surrounded with some dark blue transparent elements for the watery effect.

The rock is build up next, and a trans green plant is used to decorate it.  The lobster (a scorpion model) is then inserted in the cavity.

We now start the big build of the set, being a rock on which the hostages are connected.  Again it`s based on blue plates, to represent the watery bottom.

A hinge is added on the side for the second baseplate to be connected to.

First, we build the launcher to go with the base, for the play feature of the set.  This is added to the back of this base.

Blue arches are put around and closes off the edges of this build, as we use plates all over the top.  The Technic plate is to hold the hostages later on that pops up with the catapult we just build.

The second plate that goes in this build, contains the stairs leading up to the dias.

A plant is inserted based around a Technic pin on the dias.

The knife is put inside the transgreen cone of this small construction, bravely guarded by a crab!

This fits on the top of the stair build as they are hidden from the heroes.

Ron and Hermione are "equipped" with Technic pins at their feet, to be placed inside the Technic plate holes at the dias.  If you push the lever at the back, the figures will pop out as such...

The octopus is added to a green frame, and then by using hinge elements it looms over those trying to climb the stairs.

The top of the dias switches from blue to green as we continue the build with arches to build up the height.

These blue orbs nicely represent a jellyfish.

And as such, the set stands completed:

It`s a great set, with a lot of unique minifigures to this set, even for the three main heroes!

Dimensions Marathon 1: day 3

It`s been a loooooong night, as I have been hunting around in levels until 4 this morning.

But I did manage to complete some "goals" I wanted to get in this 5 day streak of Dimensions: get every remaining minikit and captured person of all the season 1 levels.

The first I managed to do this with was that horrible Midway Arcade level.  I really suck at those old arcade games, so this was a tedious job to get them all completed.

Next, one of the greatest franchises in the game was on the menu (though like Midway, i`m not to fond of the hub world, I tend to get lost in there), Portal 2.

The Ghostbusters level was also completed front to back.

As was Doctor Who, including a trip to the UNIT base hidden in the level.

Now, all in all that means I didn`t get that many golden bricks as such, clocking off at only 8 for this session, BUT it does free up a lot of time for the future plays on the game, as well as opening up some more golden brick events in the hub worlds themselves.

So for now the tally is at 439 golden bricks, and two nights to go to
1. Complete as many season 1 hubworlds possible.
2. Get to at least 600 golden bricks.

Game on!