I had regular Lego sets as a kid, but what really appealed to me were the original Technic sets. I had the farm tractor and bulldozer. I also had the motor and extra gears sets.
I built them as pictured, played with them a few days, and then built other things – combining the two technic sets plus random sets and hand me down pices.
I almost bought both Mobile crane sets but decided against it – I probably would not use them that much (sometimes wanting is better than having…)
I still look at Technic sets as they come out.
Lego is made to incredibly high tolerances for a plastic toy. This is easy to see if you have ever tried any of the Chinese generics. Then, the licencing fees add up. Classic Lego and Lego City etc. isn’t nearly as expensive as the tie-in license lines.
I agree that the “classic” sets aren’t that expensive. Upthread someone linked to a classic set available at Walmart.com for about $40 containing about 900 pieces. That seems cheap compared to the sets containing maybe 200 pieces that I had as a kid and cost maybe $100-200 (about forty years ago).
I collect minifigures, too. Just started collecting them when we went to Legoland in Orlando earlier this year. Bought a bunch there, and been getting a few here and there from amazon. Only now I have to go back to Legoland again at some point and trade in all my duplicates.
My local Lego store guys feel up the minifig packets and sell them by desired figure, if possible (sometimes they can only be sure it’s one of a couple of options if the accessories are close). In the first few lines, they could also tell by the codes, but Lego changed that.
Also, I think every box has 3 full sets of figures, so that helps.
My seven-year-old son “gave” me that Saturn V set for Father’s Day (really, it was more like me giving it to both of us). We had a great time putting it together! (He’s more experienced than I at these newfangled “follow-the-directions” LEGO sets, so he guided me).
I was born in 1970, so in the mid-70s I had learned about the Apollo program from my father as recent events - the moon landings were from 1969 to 1972. I really enjoyed passing on that knowledge to my son as we built the model. I learned a lot myself about what the stages look like — their engine bells and whatnot — normally hidden behind the stack’s outer skin. Of course I enjoyed explaining the sequence of events, and where each part ended up (LM descent stage still on the moon, etc).
The LEGO designers had to decide which phase(s) to highlight, when it came to the astronaut figures. While the LM can be stored in the stack where it belongs for takeoff, the set includes a little moon surface display — they assume you’ll want to see the LM, not store it. And, they give you four astronaut figures (an extra in case you misplace one)? The figures are to scale, which really gives you a great feeling for just how humongous that thing was. My only, tiny critique is that you can’t fit the figures in the LM or the CM; I had been hoping to show my son how Mike stayed in the CM, while Neil and Buzz went down in the LM.
My little lad saved up his pocket money for this beast.. It is a retired set now but we got it for about £100.
We had immense fun building it (he was 9 at the time) and it taught him a lot about engineering and design. It is powered and by far the best thing about it is the gearbox. Selectors, lay shafts and idler gears, reduction gears, collars etc. It is a little work of genius.
Regarding the expense, they are really well packaged and designed. It all fits beautifully and when completely constructed they retain a substantial amount of their value. You can build, sell then buy another and only be down a small amount on the deal.
Somewhere in my moms house is a big red bucket of LEGO pieces. I had a lot of sets starting with the space sets like 6970: Beta-1 Command Base, 920: Rocket Launch Pad, and 6861: X-1 Patrol Craft (Which may have been my very first set). When I got the first castle set, the bricks were yellow and there were no horses.
Every year, when the Toys For Tots program comes around for Christmas, I always make sure to donate a bunch of the $10 sets because pound-for-pound there is no better ratio of fun to cost.
It’s my understanding that LEGO sets are separated and packaged up by weight, and the smallest pieces are difficult to differentiate one unique piece from two or three, plus what they really don’t want is for you to end up short a piece, so I assume the extras are sort of “unintentionally but intentionally” included.
If you haven’t already, if you ever have the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center they have a Saturn V on display. It’s extremely impressive in person.
I put mine together this past Saturday. My only problem with the build is it was a little tedious, because you necessarily have to build almost everything 4 times. But having it all come together in the end and standing it up was an outstanding experience. I literally spent an hour after it was completed pulling the stages apart and putting them back together. Brilliant how they made the connections strong enough that it won’t come apart from its own weight, but it’s still not difficult to separate them.
I was going to make the same observation! I told my son how this was a critical feature of the real thing, too — the interstage fairings and connections had to be engineered just right, so the explosives would make it all separate reliably and cleanly — yet be strong enough to withstand the tremendous forces and vibrations during liftoff and accelerated flight.
This was the very thing I learned most about the real Saturn V, from making the LEGO version.
Amazing work! How many hours does it take you to do one of those builds? It seems like an incredible amount of work. The videos are also impressive. I love Lego, but struggle to come up with a good concept beyond a simple house or truck and they usually look like crap because I run out of the pieces that I need.
Clearly, but I’m running out of reasons to buy them for my kids and don’t have the money to justify buying them for myself. Their birthdays can’t come fast enough for me. I keep thinking about opening some of the sets that I’ve already purchased for them when they were on sale. I can’t explain how happy I was when my 4 year old wanted to move on to regular LEGO bricks from the bigger Duplo.
My ex-husband used to buy Lego sets “for the kids”, and then he’d assemble them before he gave them. The kids played with them as they were received, not even understanding that they were building toys. I remember my young son getting very upset when his toys “broke”.
Thank you! Everything put together (planning, building, rebuilding, rebuilding, rebuilding, saying “fuck it, it’s done” and filming) takes months. The landship took the better part of two years. Also, I definitely need to take breaks between and in the middle of builds. Also, I don’t have any offspring to devote time or money to, so that helps
And, much like anything, building just takes a bit of experience. Please don’t get discouraged, just build stuff you enjoy. Every builder starts from the same spot.