The Collection . FAIR WARNING! THIS IS NOT A MOC! I REPEAT, THIS IS NOT A MOC! . Nope, no MOC this time... Instead I think I'll regale you with the longwinded backstory of my little imaginary universe, for which the accompanying Lego creations do not yet exist...
NOOOOOOOO!!! I've become everything I ever hated!
Seriously though, this is just my Lego collection as it stands near the close of year 2007. Why am I posting this? Good question, and I don't really have a good answer. It looks like I will be moving at the end of December, maybe January, so I thought I might as well clean it up now and see what kind of space issues I would be dealing with when I do eventually transport it. I last moved about seven years ago, and my collection was much smaller then. Also, it's probably been at least a year since it was all put away this completely. An occasion this momentous, I felt, warranted some photos. I think a lot of us Lego geeks have a benign voyeuristic curiosity about our fellow geeks' collections -- how we store our Lego, how we sort, what kind of working area we build in, and of course the all-important question: how big is it?
The bare expanse of carpet you see in this picture has for some time now usually been covered with random bins and bags and loose pieces and incomplete works-in-progress, with a cleared-out pathway for getting to and from the kitchen, and a clear spot for squatting. It's a small apartment and I don't have a dedicated building space, so I build on the floor a lot. Sometimes I sit on the couch and build on the coffee table, and sometimes I build on my computer desk, but mostly it's the floor. This is not the best thing for my back and legs, but I've been a floor builder my entire life, so I guess I'm used to it.
The Guided Tour:
These organizer things with the pull-out trays are nice. I need more. I also need a nice large room I can devote to my Lego, with a big table for building on... and I need to stop wishing aloud, because I won't have that anytime soon. The top one has little pieces I mostly use a lot, clips, round bricks, round plates, etc. The bottom one with the kind of rainbow across the top three rows, has tiles on top, headlight bricks in the middle, grill tiles underneath. The other trays are more random small pieces -- 1x1 slopes, round tiles, corner bricks, etc.
The Lego buckets contain my basic bricks, and bagged-up slopes. The red one has my old grays. The others are red, black, blue, yellow, and white. Strangely enough, even though I've had them stored this way for years, I've never gotten around to labeling the bins. So whenever I need, let's say some blue, I open up each one until I come across the needed blue. Inefficiency, thy name is Shannon.
The big bin on the left contains minifig stuff: body parts, accessories, tools, utensils, and weapons; skeletons, Exo-Force robots, and other oddball figs; and minifigs I want to keep intact for whatever reason, recurring characters, classic spacemen, and whatnot. All sorted and bagged. On top of that is a small bin of weird parts I rarely use -- pullback motors, light & sound things, fiber optic cables and light up bricks, etc. On top of the red bin is a small one with transparent bricks -- Trans-red, -blue, -green, -black, -clear, -yellow. On top of that is a bin of big bricks, at least four studs wide and larger, you know, the big baseplate-type ones. It also contains some big weird things, like a boat, a bridge, some ladders and stairs.
Self-explanatory maybe, but I'll explain anyway. Clockwise from top left: Brown and tan bricks and slopes, light blay bricks and slopes, green (standard, dark, and light), and old dark gray.
On top, dark blay bricks and slopes. (It was actually the introduction of blay that forced me to become such a rigorous sorter. Before blay, things were so much easier -- of course I had a lot fewer pieces then, too.) The big bin on the bottom contains various windows, doors, fences, and wall panels.
The stack of large pull-out drawers, from top to bottom: windscreens; cockpit-type "hollowed out" pieces; tall bricks at least two standard bricks high; arch bricks; technic bricks and a bag of technic plates; technic beams, both straight and bent (someday they'll be subdivided and separated out too); struts and support legs; wedge plates (round corners, symmetrical wedges with two diagonal corners, and symmetrical ones with cutouts, all bagged separately); and asymmetrical wedges that are either left or right (these need further sorting according to shape and angle of wedge as well).
Four large bins. If I remember right, when I moved into this place seven years ago, my entire collection fit into these, the blue Lego bins you've seen already, and a brown bucket you'll see later (not counting baseplates and instruction manuals). Anyway, top to bottom: assorted random bagged parts including Star Wars cannons, bricks with technic pins sticking out, 1x2 ridged bricks, 8x8 plates with the diamond lattice, etc; castle walls, castle doors, and sloped rock walls that I call "ninja walls" because they first came in the Ninja sets; wheels of every shape, size, and description; and Racers track. I went on a big Racers kick several years ago, but evidently 'twas only a passing fancy -- that bin hasn't been opened in a while.
The big blue brick-shaped bin contains BURPS and LURPS, and isn't big enough to fit all I own, but I'm usually using some in a MOC or WIP so it hasn't presented a problem yet. (How many more acronyms can I fit into this caption, do you think?) The little red one contains X-Pods and pod lids. The red bin is sitting on a 3-gallon bucket that once contained paint or something, and now contains all my flora and fauna, all bagged and separated: flowers, trees, different plant pieces, horses, other land animals, sea creatures, birds and other flying things, etc. (I've had this bucket for as long as I can remember. Long, long ago, when it wasn't in a pile on my bedroom floor, my entire Lego collection could fit into this bucket for transport to Grandma and Grandpa's or wherever.) The clear Pick-a-Brick cups contain overflow pieces that just won't fit into the system of pull-out trays I started this tour with... which is one of the reasons I need more of those.
Four more bins -- actually I think it was these and not the others that made the trip with me when I first moved in here... It doesn't really matter, I'm just babbling at this point. Top to bottom: Random oddball pieces that don't really fit into any of my sorting categories; unsorted weird technic pieces, a bag of technic gears, and a bag of technic axles; huge clunky pieces like those orange girder things in the front, my two hailfire wheels, saucer quarter panels from the UFO sets, those Exo-Force fan things, etc.; and the bin of Bionicle pieces and ball joints.
Basic plates. The top bin contains 1- and 2-stud wide plates bagged according to length, the bottom one has 4-, 6-, and 8-wide plates bagged according to length. Two more Pick-a-Brick overflow cups on top, and to the right are three 48x48 baseplates. I own four, but the other one is in use right now.
The Very Big Drawers -- on top is my fleet of currently intact completed MOCs (Shannonia obviously, my three Leadbellies, Impulse scooter, and other random little vehicles). Top drawer: Two 32x48 raised baseplates, several 32x32 baseplates (including Classic Space crater plates), and a bag of straight vertical struts, 2x2 wide and ten bricks high. Middle drawer: Two more 32x48 raised baseplates, three 32x32 raised baseplates, several 16x32 baseplates, a few 16x16 baseplates, one 8x16 baseplate, and a bag of stickers. I'll probably never use the stickers, but they're there just in case. Bottom drawer: a hundred and thirty-two different instruction manuals. I haven't managed to save all my old ones from when I was a kid, but I do still have most of them. Why I hold on to them, I have no idea. It's not like I'll ever build these things again. Just a packrat, I guess.
We're not done yet, we just need to cross the room. (The Legohaulic doesn't maintain his MOCpage anymore, but I have one to add to his list: You know you're a Legohaulic when you consider moving for the sole reason that your Lego collection has grown too big for your current residence.) Anyway, the left tray organizer contains various commonly-used or easily-sorted technic parts. The one on the right contains hinges and swivels of all types. On the floor is a pile of plastic bags, those useful friends of drug dealers and Lego addicts everywhere.
Two sets, opened, but still intact. The crane, on top, I bought for the parts but I want to build it before those parts are absorbed into the collection. The model house, on the bottom, I bought for all the tan bricks, but I want to try building my own house with just those pieces. I've never built an alternate model with the pieces from just one set, so I think it will be a fun challenge. On the floor, yet more baggies. I don't think any of those bags are store-bought (by me) -- they probably all came in Bricklink orders.
And in the best infomercial tradition -- BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
No, my whole collection is not entirely stored away. These are my current works-in-progress that I'm unwilling to dismantle, and will find a way to transport as is if they haven't been completed, photographed, and torn down by the time I do move. It's not the best photo, but I'm not much of a WIP photo guy -- I like to keep the uncompleted stuff under wraps and only display to the world my finished creations. But this page is intended to be my ENTIRE collection, so in the interest of full disclosure... The red and gray thing on the left is the Temple of Balanced Duality, where my Space Ninjas will battle when I ever complete the damn thing (you'll hear the whole miserable saga of why it's taken so long when I do eventually finish it). To the right of that is a street scene composed of a Cafe Corner, obviously, and a mishmash of Market Street modules and my own CC standard modules (Yes, you will see a Town MOC out of me someday). To the right of that, the gray thing is the front end of what will be a good-sized spaceship (it's upside-down). You can also see the beginnings of a wheeled vehicle, and the cockpit and rotors of what will be a red helicopter.
On the coffee table sits an incomplete terraforming station, which will be called Smog Factory something-or-other when it's done. Another Space Ninja project, it will be SN2 or SN3, depending on what gets finished first, it or the temple. Also seen here: BURPs, LURPs, and more trans-red windows for the smog factory, some bags of dark blay tiles, my brick separator, some Lego rubber bands and one of those things the rubber bands go around to store them, and two keychain things that came in letter tile packs.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
What we have here is a bag of cat-chewed pieces. My girlfriend came with a cat when she moved in -- it was cool, I like cats, I had no worries about the safety of my Lego... a puppy I would have been concerned about, but a cat? No way a cat will eat my Lego... Wrong! These pieces are bagged like this because my girlfriend said she would Bricklink me replacements if it would keep me from murdering the cat. I never made her do that, but if I ever do decide to take her up on that offer, she'll know exactly what to order.
A bag of pieces that need to be washed. Most came from Bricklink orders and were cruddy enough that I had to quarantine them from the rest of my collection, but a few are old, old bricks that I've had for twenty-five or thirty years and never cleaned -- I'll be rummaging through a bin of basic bricks and some gross old piece will come out in my hand, and I'll say to myself, "Ugh! No way YOU'RE going back in the bucket!" Laziness prohibits me from actually washing these things -- it's much easier to just toss them in this bag.
And finally, rounding out this documentary of every single bit of Lego in the house, we have my NWBC nametag, currently living on the refrigerator because there's a magnet glued to the back of the dark red brick with my name on it. Sitting on my nametag is my Lego mini-me, and some guy in a pirate hat that came in my BrickCon goodie bag. During a little road trip that Keith Goldman, Mark Neumann, Jon Palmer, and I made to Jimi Hendrix's grave during the last day of BrickCon, I thought I'd accidentally left mini-me on Hendrix's monument, but when I got home I was relieved to find I'd simply stuffed him into an odd pocket along with all the other random Lego-related knicknacks I accrued during the Con. (The word-balloon fridge magnets aren't Lego, they're Simpsons... hmm, which of my obsessions is deeper, Lego, or the Simpsons? Tough question.)
BUT WAIT, THERE'S -- no, really, that's it. Every scrap of Lego I own. I got my first set when I was probably four, and I'm almost thirty-three now. The only Lego I've ever gotten rid of were the pieces that got broken, usually by me stepping on them in the dark back when the collection lived in a pile on my bedroom floor -- though Grandma and Grandpa's shag carpeting swallowed its share of pieces, too. Almost thirty years' worth of Lego collecting... yes kids, never get rid of any of your Lego either, and someday you too can be a thirty-something geek with a ton of Lego you don't have enough room for!
If you got this far, I hope you found this at least somewhat interesting... I have no idea how you would honestly rate this non-MOC, but if you have any comments, be they positive, negative, or indifferent, they're always welcome.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot my longwinded MOCless backstory! In 2274, the space cruiser Ozymandias disappeared in a catastrophic wormhole collapse, and squirted through the rip in spacetime into an entirely different universe...