|My first set. Ah, memories. Love that parrot!|
A happily LEGO-filled childhood began with my first set - 6259: Broadside's Brig. Space was always my favourite theme, but I wasn't fussy. I loved Star Wars, so you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Star Wars LEGO would be coming out. Bionicle also caught my imagination, and I collected the first few waves, but these, plus some of the original Star Wars line, were to be my last sets. Like many a geeky British teenager before and after, I succumbed to the temptations of Warhammer, and in the grim darkness of the far future my dark ages began. Eventually I emerged from the haze of polystyrene cement fumes and body odour, mainly due to the mutual exclusivity of Warhammer and girls*, and headed off to uni in Leeds.
The story of my return to Lego begins one bored afternoon, when I was browsing eBay and came across a set I'd always wanted (I can't remember which it was now unfortunately) as a kid. It wasn't too expensive, and I was flush with student loan money, so I bought it just for a bit of fun. And the parcel arrived, making the glorious rattle that only a box of Lego can, and I opened it and built the set and suddenly it was a year later and I'd bought pretty much every Space set I'd ever wanted as a kid**.
|I liked Insectoids as a kid and still do. Most AFOLs seem|
to hate them, which worked in my favour - I managed
to get this set on eBay for a tenner!
This satisfied my inner child, but the adult collector in me was only just getting started. I now had most of the Space stuff from Ice Planet to Insectoids. But what about the amazing themes that came before, like Blacktron and Space Police? I would have wanted them as a kid, if I'd known about them. That was justification enough to extend the range of my collection back to Futuron, i.e. everything between Classic Space (which was far too large for even me to contemplate trying to collect, incredible as some of those sets were) and Life On Mars (which, even as a kid, just didn't really appeal). Around this time I also starting building MOCs again, starting with an M:Tron base made using only parts from a few M:Tron sets. This was mostly down to necessity, as all my childhood parts were still at my mum's house.
|Some of my first adult MOCs were... interesting.|
So far I'd stuck to buying old sets, apart from the Collectable Minifigs. But when a combination of great reviews and bargain prices for 7066: Earth Defense HQ started to appear, my resistance to new sets crumbled, though I was determined to stick to Space. Then they announced Lord of the Rings Lego, a Yorkshire based LUG (Brickshire!) sprang up, and a Lego store opened in Leeds. I had no choice but to become a fully fledged AFOL.
I hope you'll enjoy reading this blog, which I plan to be a mix of my experiences of being an AFOL, the stories behind my MOCs, and my opinions on Lego issues, past and future. Feel free to leave comments!
*I kid! I have to maintain a constant derogatory attitude to Warhammer to prevent a relapse. Even now, nearly a decade since I last wielded a blast template, I won't go into a Games Workshop for fear I'll be sucked screaming back into that world. Judging by the amount of enthusiasm for things like BrikWars and 40K MOCs, there are a number of AFOLs with similar stories who are flirting dangerously close to the edge. God help anyone trying to afford both LEGO and Warhammer as hobbies...
**I'd also really loved the Aquazone sets as a kid. So when I found out that Aquazone was originally conceived as a Space them called Seatron, I joyfully added Aquazone to the list of sets to buy. A boxed 6195 Neptune Discovery Lab arriving in the post one Saturday morning will probably always be one of the greatest memories of my AFOL experience.