Follow the Lego brick road

Spontaneously, Kelly and I popped in to The Gardens at Midvalley Megamall to see Source Code on the weekend. The movie was OK — nothing special — but as we left the cinema we stumbled upon something: Brickboy Toys, a dedicated Lego shop :)

Within the first minute of stepping inside, I was 10 years old again. Why? Well, for one, they had the Death Star Diorama set!1 I was so excited! Then I saw the price tag of RM2449 (A$750) and was jolted back to my 33 year old reality.

But they had other cool Star Wars themed Lego to perked me up, for example the Snow Speeder and Wampa set! A lego Wampa! How grouse is that? I remembered how much I loved Lego as a kid, and how much I always wanted a model of some of the cooler machines from the films2. If I could now get my hands on a Lego model of the cooler machines from the films, well… you can just imagine. I mean, seriously, when you think about it, how awesome is the combination of Lego and Star Wars (the original, and only, films)? It’s the epitome of geekiness (this not withstanding).

We returned home and I got to work researching prices for the diorama set to see if Brickboys Toys’ marked price was exorbitant. Turns out it was. During my intense don’t-talk-to-me-right-now-because-I-won’t-remember-a-thing-you-said research I stumbled across brickset.com, one of the most comprehensive archives of Lego I’d ever seen. Not only pictures of past, present, and future unreleased sets (exclusives, people!), but release dates, number of pieces, calculations of cost per piece — it is extraordinary.

The 10 year old in me

Once I’d collected my notes (and got my fix) of Star Wars sets, I decided to take a virtual stroll down memory lane Lego brick road by visiting the Space sets. I was hoping they’d have images of at least some of the sets I had as a kid. And, wow — they had pretty much every set I remembered owning as a kid. My first space set purchased by my parents before I could choose for myself, the sets I remembered actually choosing myself with my birthday money, to the giant double-cockpitted spaceship set I received for Christmas when my cousins were still living in Glenroy! They even had the set my babysitter’s son Chris got for his birthday that I started building while he was away visiting his father Victor (which in hindsight is a terrible, terrible thing to do, especially when that family were the Pierces :S).

Here are the sets I remember having as a kid:

Some classics there for sure. This is probably the right time to thank my parents for buying me all this Lego as a kid. I’m not sure of the prices back in the eighties, but I’m sure it wasn’t cheap. When I look at all the sets I remember having — and account for ones I’m sure I’ve forgotten — I think I was an extremely lucky child. Thanks Mum & Dad.

All those sets ended up in a giant bucket of Lego pieces. This is the only way to store your well built and destroyed Lego sets; it inspires creativity and imagination. It came to the point where I didn’t see being grounded as a punishment because I’d sit in my room for days just playing with Lego. Then I stupidly told my parents of the flaw in their disciplinary action — and they took the Lego away (did I say thanks to Mum & Dad yet?). Now, for all the 7 year old kids reading this, here’s a tip: when you sit down with your bucket o’ Lego, make sure you tip that shit out onto a blanket — it’s much faster to clean up. Trust me grommets, just do it.

Since those days I’ve owned many a Technic and a few Model Team set. And as our good KL friend Joel can attest, it’s never to late to own Lego. (Side note: Joel, this is the truck I was telling you about). The benefit of being an adult of course, is that you can afford to purchase stuff without having to wear down your parents with whining, crying, and generally carrying on like the annoying child you probably were.

The 33 year old in me

So, let me show you the sets I want as an adult male, and for which I might whine, cry, and carry on.

Motorised AT-AT Walker
Link: Lego set 10178
Desirability: 10/10
Attainability: 10/10 (~A$250 shipped) Attained.

Lego Motorised AT-AT Walker

The AT-AT is one of my favourite machines from the Star Wars trilogy (yes, there are only three films). When I first saw it, it felt like a giant, menacing, killing machine. Nowadays I see it as a giant mechanical dog which can be tripped by a little bit of string. But I love dogs, so…

There are a few AT-AT sets to choose from, but the one I want is motorised!. Check it out below (and check Luke swinging underneath):

Holy crap!!

Imperial Shuttle (Ultimate Collector Series)
Link: Lego set 10212
Desirability: 8/10
Attainability: 8/10 (A$300–A$450 shipped)

Lego Imperial Shuttle

For a long time as a kid this was my favourite ship. The way it’s wings folded down, and it’s overtly triangle shape got my pre-pubescent nethers tingling. This set is part of the Ultimate Collectors Series — and the price reflects it. It comes with a Lego stand for when the need to display it in mid flight; otherwise it has its own landing gear. I’d display it exactly as it is in the picture, on the top of my three backup drives, with the minifigs standing around chewin’ the fat. I would not have pretend conversations out loud.

 
Death Star (Ultimate Collector Series)
Link: Lego set 10188
Desirability: 8/10
Attainability: 6/10 (A$450–A$550 shipped) Attained.

Lego Death Star

Not to be confused with the Lego Death Star II (also Ultimate Collectors Series), this Death Star set doubles as a diorama of scenes from Episode IV and VI, and includes 22 (!!!) minifigs. It even has the trash compactor scene with walls that move inward. This piece is less a faithful model, more a true stroke of imaginative and comic genius. I prefer the realistic sets, but it is desirable for it’s clever- and coolness.

 
Millennium Falcon (Ultimate Collector Series)
Link: Lego set 10179
Desirability: 10/10
Attainability: 0/10 (~A$1500 unshipped. Yes, that’s one thousand five hundred) Attained.

Lego Millennium Falcon

I’ve never seen one of these in person — part of why this has an attainability score of zero. The other part of course, is that it costs around 1500 dollars! I think in this case the “ultimate” represents “Ultimate(ly wealthy) Collector”, rather than “Ultimate Series”. It is the largest Lego set ever sold at 5195 pieces. It’s also bloody big at 84cm long. Where the hell would you put it?!

As this is a very popular ship in the Star Wars films, it’s not unreasonable to consider this the holy grail of Star Wars lego. I remember reading about its release on the nerd-blogs a few years back. Who wouldn’t want it? I mean, “fucking incredible” would be an apt way to describe it. This thing is designed to be “life size” to the minifigs!

Yes, it’s not unreasonable to consider this the holy grail of Star Wars lego. But I don’t play dat. And this next Star Wars set is why:

Imperial Star Destroyer (Ultimate Collector Series)
Link: Lego set 10030
Desirability: 1 bazillion/10
Attainability: 1/10 (~A$1500 unshipped) Attained!

Lego Imperial Star Destroyer

The only reason this gets a 1 in attainability is because I want it with the passion and love of a thousand Ghandis. It’s still $1500, and showing Kelly this image had the opposite effect I was hoping for — instead of being awestruck, she was afraid (read: she was being realistic). Nevertheless, one day I’d love to build and display such a beautiful Lego set. Impressive, most impressive.

One can dream has dreamt!

  1. Not that this set was around when I was 10, but the sight of it made me jelly-bean giddy.
  2. My wife does not believe I’ve “always wanted” a good Star Wars Lego set, believing instead that I now; all of a sudden want to spend some (lots, of her) hard-earned cash on silly toys. Shame on wives for thinking this way. Show me a geeky adult male who has never wanted Star Wars Lego…