Whether you just bought your first LEGO set or you’ve just finished building your 100th, there is no doubt that you’ll want to expand your LEGO experience beyond just clicking bricks together. There’s a whole world of community out there (both online and in-person) and today, we’ll be discussing the top ten things you should try as a LEGO collector now that you’re into the hobby!
Top 10 Experiences Every LEGO Collector Should Have At Least Once
10. Buy a Set That Challenges You!
Earlier I mentioned that you may be building your first set or your 100th set as of reading this piece. Regardless of where you’re at in your LEGO building journey, I encourage everyone to buy a set that challenges them! Building smaller sets can be easy (for some, that is! My mom has trouble even building polybags- bless her soul!) so often times a bigger set can provide a unique change of pace and challenge. For me, Technic sets are a challenge, because I mainly build (and prefer) brick-based sets. That said, the Grave Digger Technic sets was one of my favorite sets of 2021, so trying something new can open new experiences up that you hadn’t ever considered before!
9. Choose a Collection Focus
One of the most common things you’ll hear LEGO fans complain about is how expensive of a hobby it can be. Believe me, I understand and agree! That said, a secret I’ve found for helping to manage costs is to choose a focus and stay in my lane. Of course, I’d love to have EVERYTHING that the LEGO store sells, but there’s only so much space in my house and so much money to go around, so my funds stay focused on Marvel and DC, with Star Wars coming in next.
8. Build Something Custom
Custom LEGO builds (often called MOCs, short for My Own Creation) are one of the top appeals for many LEGO fans. Of course, collectors like me prefer to build sets right out of the boxes, but the beauty of LEGO is that you can build anything you can imagine! Take my friend Patrick, for example, who used his love of the original LEGO Batman Video Game to inspire his 60,000+ piece build of Arkham Asylum! All this time later, that build still impresses me, and it inspires me to want to build something equally awesome someday.
7. Watch a LEGO Movie or TV Show
LEGO entertainment has it’s own unique brand of tongue-in-cheek humor that helps it stand out from any other media. Movies like The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie take a fun spin on other films of their genre, and LEGO TV programs like Star Wars: Droid Tales make humorous cracks that no other Star Wars media has taken before. Whether you need a good laugh or want something to watch with someone you love, LEGO shows and movies are a must for fans of any age or building level!
6. Share a Building Experience
I know this might sound cheesy, but building a LEGO set with a friend can be a great experience! I’ve done it many times, and in this case, I even built one with my good pal Brandon Davis of Comicbook.com! As of the writing of this article, the best sets I can recommend for shared builds are any of the LEGO Art mosaics, or sets like the Jurassic Park T. rex, which is conveniently split into two sections (the dinosaur and the gate.) Of course, one person can sort while the other builds, but I find it’s more fun to both be working on two elements of the same project.
5. Visit Atlanta Brick Co.
You may think that me telling you to plan a trip to the outskirts of Atlanta sounds crazy, but as soon as you walk through the doors at Atlanta Brick Co., you’ll thank me. This store has been around for years and has earned it’s place as the Mecca of LEGO collecting. This store (which also sells online) offers just about every LEGO product you can imagine: new sets, retired sets, rare minifigures and more! I promise, it’s well worth your time to visit (and make sure you take plenty of cash!)
4. Buy a “Haul”
Once you’ve gotten adept at sorting your pieces, it’s time to hunt for a “haul.” A haul in the collector community is when you buy multiples of something, get a bunch of new toys in one swoop, or buy out a collection. Of course, different budgets will allow for varying levels of hauls, but there’s nothing quite like dropping $100 on a box of loose LEGO from Facebook Marketplace and digging for gold to try and see if there’s anything rare or valuable in the bottom of the box!
3. Build a Large Set
If you’ve been building small cars and planes, eventually you’re going to feel the urge to build something BIG! Star Wars is a great place to start with big models, but the modular buildings and even large models like the Titanic can be great ways to kill lots of time and build something you’ll be proud to show off for years to come. When you feel ready to up your game, cash in and go for a big set to level up!
2. Attend a “New Set Release Day” at a LEGO Store
Around the first of almost every month LEGO releases new sets. Sometimes these sets are exclusive to stores like Target or Walmart, but there’s always one extra place where you can find almost anything LEGO offers: the LEGO Store! Most LEGO stores are located in shopping malls, so be sure to check if there’s one near you. On days when new sets are being released, dozens of people will line up outside the store to be the first to buy a new model. In cases like Star Wars UCS models or larger sets, sometimes not being in the first 20-50 people in line means you’ll need to wait for the set to be restocked, which can sometimes take weeks! Being in line with other dedicated fans is a great way to meet other LEGO enthusiasts, and I highly recommend the experience
1. Attend a LEGO Fan Convention
The number one thing that I would recommend for you to experience as a LEGO fan is to attend a fan convention. Fan conventions can include everything from incredible custom builds to vendor marketplaces where you can buy the rarest of the rare. I can only speak for the United States, but it seems like every month there’s at least one LEGO convention somewhere in the country, so chances are that there’ll be one near you before long! This is a great place to meet other LEGO fans in the community, your favorite LEGO YouTubers, or to make your new best friends.