LEGO Room, Part 1

In those two simple words, “LEGO room”, you uncover one of the big problems for AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO). Where and how do you make room for your LEGO collection? Some lucky people are able to dedicate an entire room to their bricks, while others – a select few – are even able to devote their entire basement, garage, or attic to their hobby.

For most of us, ‘LEGO room’ doesn’t mean an entire room, it just means space in which to enjoy your LEGO. And ‘space’ means work space, storage space, and hopefully, some display space.

For me, the ideal workspace mean a large surface with good lighting, with a comfortable chair, and access to a TV and laptop. I prefer the floor beneath to be carpeted with some neutral color, low-pile carpet, so that any bricks that decide to become jumpers will land, stay in place, and be easy to find. When bricks fall on a hard floor, they tend to bounce or skid and can end up far from their falling point. In fact, I also prefer the work table to be free-standing, not up against a wall, for the very reason that flying bricks will be easier to retrieve, and not end up in some accessible corner behind a heavy desk that’s set against a wall.

I don’t HAVE the ideal workspace. My husband’s office would do quite well except for one thing – it’s my husband’s office. He always seems to want it when he gets home, so I can never leave any works-in-progress sitting out. Bummer.

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I have an office, too, but it’s far from ideal. The desktop is smaller, against a wall, with less-than ideal lighting, and unfortunately, I too need to use my office quite a lot, so the desk space is usually covered with papers. Rats.

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The dining room table would work, although no TV access, but I’d have to clear it off to eat every evening, so that’s no good. I have a huge work table in the basement, but it’s too high to sit at comfortably (designed to use while standing), and not only is the lighting terrible, but the room is rather gloomy – cement floor and I’d be surrounded the water heater, the furnace and A/C, and shelves full of camping, fishing, and boating gear, and old suitcases. Gahhh.

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So I have had to compromise – using my husband’s desk when he’s at work, and always clearing my WIP out of the way. He’s been kind enough to donate a large cabinet where I can keep things fairly near at hand. When I want to work on my LEGO sets when he’s home, I move things over to my desk or the dining room, and get by. It’s not a perfect arrangement but it’s all I have for now. But a girl can dream, right?

Thanks to all the LEGO fans whose LEGO rooms pix I linked to – they inspire me.

Question: What would your ideal LEGO room contain?

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LEGO time-lapse and stop-motion builds

After I bought my first LEGO building set, the Grand Emporium, #10211, I knew I had to wait a while before I bought another set. My family was bemused enough at my new-found interest, I didn’t want them to think Mama had gone off her rocker. After I’d dragged each of them to look at the Grand Emporium and forced them to acknowledge all the cool features (the escalators! the dressing room! the revolving door! the window-cleaner!), I wanted to run right out and buy more, more, more. I just couldn’t decide – another set from the Modular series? More Harry Potter sets? The Winter Village? Nothing was cheap; I’d have to demonstrate a little patience before plunging my dollars down on the LEGO store counter, so how could I satiate my LEGO lust in the meanwhile?

Enter YouTube.

YouTube has a whole banquet of LEGO-related videos – reviews, mini-films, videos on LEGO’s official YouTube channel, even music videos that use LEGO minifigs as their ‘stars’. I became mildly hooked on stop-motion or time-lapse videos that showed various sets being built. I especially enjoyed videos showing the Modular series being built – there are so many pieces in these sets that they make for really entertaining videos.

Some of the best of the ‘build’ videos can be found on YouTube by searching for the following videographers: mobybricksflicks, legohero17, sfgam2775br (his have construction crews working on the buildings!), madaboutlego, Jasen Leslie, and for some very entertaining videos of all sorts of LEGO themes, MICHAELHICKOXFilms.

Although I haven’t attempted a stop-action film, I quickly learned to enjoy ‘setting up’ for a build – sorting the pieces prior to construction. And before long, I began taking photos of my set-ups. Here’s an early one, the Hillside House, #5771.

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all lined up

all lined up


starting to build

starting to build


Finished product!

Finished product!

I find I enjoy the setting up just as much as the build itself, and in later entries, I’ll show how I got a bit fancier from time to time in the set-up. Ya gotta let the left side of the brain play now and then.

Question: Do you like to organize your pieces before beginning a build, or do you like to just plunge in? Do you ever take photos of the build?

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I Dream of LEGO

I admit it, I’m obsessed.

When I close my eyes at night, I don’t count sheep, I don’t imagine myself a rock star a la P!nk or Lady Gaga, I don’t picture Hugh Jackman crooning sweet words into my ear (well, sometimes….)…I dream of LEGO.

I dream of assembling bricks – that click/snap as they lock together. I dream of minifigures in funny or poignant vignettes. I dream of creating the MOC of all MOCs, or the layout of all layouts. I mentally arrange bricks in straight and curving lines as I prepare to build a new set. I envision my next trip to the LEGO store and ponder how to fit the maximum number of bricks into a PAB cup.

Yes. I’m totally demented. And having fun with it.

I only rediscovered LEGO about ten months ago. A documentary http://www.brickshow.com/inside-look-at-the-lego-denmark-factory on TV about the LEGO factory caught my eye. It was fascinating to see how they not only create the bricks but how they sort and pack them. I had missed the beginning of the documentary, so I went searching for it online. I found it, but also found a documentary about AFOLs – Adult Fans of LEGO (http://vimeo.com/9581676). And saw the amazing MOCs (My Own Creation) that some of them had made.

I didn’t grow up with LEGO, foolishly opting for Barbies and dollhouses and roller skates instead, but my son had a couple of old Harry Potter sets – Hogwarts Castle, #4709, (http://brickset.com/detail/?set=4709-1) and the Forbidden Corridor, #4706 (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=4706-1). He’s grown now and had left them behind, so I pulled them out and put them together (fortunately, the directions were intact!). I had so much fun doing it, that I went to the LEGO website to see what else they had, and was thereby introduced to the Modular sets. Oh boy! Take me to the Dark Side.

My first personally owned set was the Grand Emporium, #10211 (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10211-1). Might as well jump in the deep end, eh? The price was a bit startling, but my LEGO lust had already begun and I justified the expense on the basis that my husband spends lots of money on his snow skiing. While I was in there, a young man was staring at the modular sets alongside me. He asked, rather shyly, if I was buying for myself or for a child. “Myself,” I said, my voice low, experiencing a wave of embarrassment. Was it shameful, buying ‘toys’ for myself? “Me too,” he whispered. “I drove all the way from Asheville, to save on the shipping cost.” This is a distance of about 150 miles. I imagined him, making the long drive anticipating his purchase, and then driving home, gloating over his triumph. He bought the Fire Brigade set, #10197 (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10197-1). As we walked out of the store, each carrying a big yellow and red LEGO bag, we grinned at each other. Little did I realize, a new slightly crazy, slightly secret life had begun.

LEGO lust: http://stores.lego.com/en-us/

Question: Are you, too, someone who discovered or re-discovered your interest in LEGO after you became an adult? How did it happen?

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