Author Topic: I am addicted to legos  (Read 2349 times)

clairebonk

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I am addicted to legos
« on: May 18, 2017, 11:10:45 PM »
I am the most frugal in my network... many would call me cheap. I don't buy anything.

However, my child turned 4 and received several lego kits for his birthday. He loves putting them together. I love helping him. He spends hours playing legos. It is a great incentive to get him to do anything else. It is better than a baby sitter. A $30 investment is like a week of fun, a babysitter would only last for 2 hours at that price.

Please, help curb my addiction, or at least help me understand how I can stop this addiction from ruining our financial solvency. We have a few more years until FIRE.

Rowellen

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 12:26:46 AM »
I was the same with my son. He loved it. I got him heaps. His grandparents got him heaps. Now he has about half a ton and he never plays with it. He's 8. I have some serious buyer's remorse now.

Rowellen

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 12:30:22 AM »
PS I'm not sure of the exact number but I think I must have spent at least  $1k on lego between my two kids. *hides head in shame*.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 01:04:33 AM »
A few thoughts that might (and might not) help in your goal...

1. Like Rowellen, my kid largely stopped playing with it. I do know people who remained very attached to keeping their Lego well into adulthood, but most people do stop playing with it. Just keeping that in mind might help slow the purchases down.

2. You said kits. Is it that he loves putting the specific models together? I could see that being a more money-consuming hobby than him freewheelin' it. If he's following steps with your help, maybe he can get some Lego books from the library or watch Youtube for more ideas to do with the pieces he has?

3. When my kid did want new Lego, he was able to identify specific pieces he wanted, so we focused on those. Better to get exactly what's wanted vs volume.

4. My kid was perfectly happy with knock-off brands, which were MUCH cheaper. (TBH, I found some of those pieces frustrating when mixed with Lego. They didn't always click. But, still the right move for me.)

pancakes

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 01:20:09 AM »
I'm probably not going to help because even before we had our little one (who is still far too little to play with Lego) we were buying Lego sets for ourselves...

When I was a kid my brothers and I all loved Lego. My parents kept it in check by only ever buying us toys as gifts for either Christmas or birthday. We had a budget and could pick whatever we liked within that budget.

Try to get your son to make his own creations using the sets he has rather than sticking to the instructions, that way just a couple of sets is all that is really needed rather than a new one each time.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 01:30:12 AM »
Can you get Lego at garage sales or similar? We've bought nearly all ours (ok, duplo) at car boot sales here in the UK - was utterly horrified at the price brand new.

gooki

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 02:33:16 AM »
One word for you:

LEPIN
Follow me on my journey to FI.

Mezzie

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 05:21:44 AM »
You can get big bins of random pieces for relatively cheap, and then it's *endless* fun. I'm actually not a big fan of the kits as they can limit creativity.
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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 07:09:48 AM »
My daughter likes them too.   She actually doesn't like the kits, so I can find deals on Lego.   The best deal I have had is the XXXL towers which are usually over $150 and consistently on Black Friday for the last tree years they went on sale for forty.   The first year I bought one just to see if liked it, and then last year bought two more.

I have also found some awesome Klutz books that have special pieces with levers and balls and stuff  the book and the few pieces are a little more expensive, but these additions have added a whole new dimension to building.   She is now making ramps, games, and little machines. 

DragonSlayer

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 07:27:05 AM »
As an AFOL (adult fan of Lego) who still builds every chance I get, here are my tips:

- Watch the sales. Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, etc. often have sales, or BOGO 40% off or some such. Esp. around Christmas and Easter. You can also find some sets on Target's clearance.

- Join the VIP program at Lego.com: If you have to pay full retail, at least this program gives you points back which you can then use for money off future purchases. (When they have double points sales is a great time to stock up. You can usually get two or more orders in during the sale period, meaning you can roll your earnings from order #1 into the next purchase and still earn more double points.)

- Garage sales/Craigslist, etc. Great for finding big lots of unsorted Lego. People just dump their kid's lego into a tub and sell if for whatever. You can sometimes score some gems this way because people sell sets and have no idea of their worth. (Side tip... get familiar with which sets/product lines command good money on the resale market and if you hit one of these gems, flip it for $$$ to buy more lego.)

- Bricklink.com. Great for finding specific pieces and used sets. Out of print sets can be pricey, but most individual pieces and used sets are pretty reasonable. Warning: Highly addictive.

- Ebay: Hit or miss, often times more trouble than it's worth, but there are deals to be had.

- If you have a lego store near you, they have events for kids that are either free or super inexpensive and the kid gets a small set to take home at the end of it. Check their calendar.

Once you have a big selection of parts, the buying should slow down because then you can build all kinds of things from what you already have. I say "should" because there are always new, cool sets coming out...

I spend way more than I should on the stuff, but Lego and board gaming are my only spendy hobbies. It could be worse, I guess.

Easye418

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2017, 08:35:17 AM »
My son comes out in July, I can't wait to start Legos with him.  I loved them as a child. 

I will start him off with a nice set of wooden blocks.  I can't tell you how many times I built castles or houses with a simple set of wooden blocks in various shapes.
You either cut expenses, raise income, or both.  Simple as that.

mm1970

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2017, 10:12:51 AM »
PS I'm not sure of the exact number but I think I must have spent at least  $1k on lego between my two kids. *hides head in shame*.
I'm pretty sure I can beat that.

Plus we have all of my husband's from his childhood.

Have I mentioned his mother is Danish?

Half the kids closet is full.  There are the kits, and the color-coded drawers.  And this year while at Legoland, we bought the Millenium Falcon.

No I don't have a problem.

LiveLean

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2017, 02:35:37 PM »
I hate Legos -- today's connect-the-dots, follow-the-instructions Legos that do nothing to stimulate the imagination. The kit is complete, game over.

Those of who grew up in the '70s and '80s recall when you'd just get a "set" of random Lego pieces and you had to come up with stuff to build. Imagine that. Take some initiative. Show some creativity. Start from scratch.

Today's Lego's are a perfect metaphor for the micromanaged, overscheduled, teach-to-the-test, always-adult supervised world we live in today.
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clairebonk

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2017, 03:38:08 PM »
Like a good Mustachian, I made a spreadsheet which has a price of all the available kits and the number of pieces in the kit. I then calculate my "Should I Buy" score by dividing the number of pieces by the cost. This number gives me a sense of whether or not it is a good deal.

Yes, I suspect that our purchasing will slow once we are saturated with legos. As of now, the poor kid can't find enough wheels to finish his car-carrier.

I've looked on craigslist for by-the-pound and one of my friends says a local thrift store sells them that way as well. We will definitely do that when we need more legos. And thanks for the Black Friday and other holiday suggestion, if I can buy online I will keep my eye out.

I also got some books at the library and the kid is truly inspired. It's frustrating for him when he wants to create his vision but can't find the pieces. I'm surprised that some posters think that kits stifle creativity. In my opinion, that thinking goes contrary to established fields such as art, philosophy, and science where advancements in the fields are based on the work of those before them. Yeah, if a kid is only allowed to build kits and not color outside the lines, I can see that. But to watch a barely 4-year old follow 100+ specific steps to build something over several days is really amazing. And then play with it, modify it, add other kits to the scenario. I'm proud that he can both follow directions AND freestyle. I think both skills are important to have as he grows into a school-aged kid that will need to follow teacher instructions yet pursue his own creativity in order to be both successful and happy.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2017, 07:21:44 PM »
Agreed that BOTH abilities rock! The concern arises only if a person (of any age) is only able to follow models, work with a given brand, etc. That's too limiting, impacting finances, creativity, critical thinking skills, etc.

pancakes

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2017, 08:40:16 PM »
There are still a mix of sets available.

Things like the Star Wars and architecture sets are more like models than toys and realistically aimed at adults anyway. Some of the big city sets are basically doll houses so while a kid might follow the instructions, there is plenty of scope of imaginative play with the set. Then there are the creator sets which have a instructions for a few builds in each box but also encourage kids to build their own creations.

This topic may have me very excited about our daughter getting old enough to play with Lego.

bender

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2017, 09:03:56 PM »
Agreed with the knock off brand bag of bricks.  Just read some reviews before buying the absolute cheapest package of random bricks.  Some of the packages have high brick count, but most are junky 1x1 and 1x2 tiny useless bricks.

Search Amazon for:
Building Bricks - Regular Colors - 1,000 Pieces - Compatible with all Major Brands

We have these and while not perfect, for the price they are great for us.  Lots of good sized bricks.  Add a couple of knock off base plates and you can have some fun.

hunniebun

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2017, 10:07:40 PM »
Save the boxes, instructions and keep the peices seperate, when your kid is sick of them you can sell them.  I did this for most of the bigger expensive sets.  I got about 50 % of the retail price.  You can get more if they don't make the set any more.  However it can be hard to keep the peices together.  After many years and many sets, the ones we didn't sell we have sorted by type and colour and at 9 my son is interested in building things with the bricks.  He makes pyramid piggy banks, bird houses, puzzle boxes etc.  He watches YouTube videos and gets cool ideas.  Over all, not the worst toy you can spend your hard earned money on!

CindyBS

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2017, 06:25:53 AM »
I forget the name, but there is a subscription service that you sign up for and get kits delivered to your house.  Kind of like a netflix.

golden1

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2017, 02:27:44 PM »
My husband is an adult lover of Legos.  My son benefits from his extensive collection, and loves building with his dads collection, so that saves us money.   He also gets a few sets per year at Christmas and birthdays.

Dragonslayer has a lot of good tips.  I think the happiest days of my husbands life (other than the day our kids were born) was when he discovered Bricklink.com.




emily2244

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2017, 12:50:00 PM »
All lego instructions are free downloads on the lego website. So, when your kid wants a set, like a $400 Star Wars death star or something, download the instructions and let your kid make it from the huge bin that he/she already has. Sometimes you have to get creative with using 2 pieces for 1 or wrong colors... but my kid was happy to do this. If there is a specific piece that you really need, buy it used from one of the used lego sites.

Apples

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2017, 02:04:05 PM »
Look for yard sales and such.  People who have 12 year olds who don't play with them anymore will get rids of bins of them at at time.  Yeah the kits are good presents, but the bins of legos let you (inexpensively) build out larger and larger things with the legos.  Make it know your kid loves legos, and see if anyone around says "yeah, my kid doesn't really play anymore".  Work on getting those unused legos into your home.

jillinsandiego

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2017, 11:45:03 AM »
I get it...we have the $400 death star (got it when my oldest was still an only child and well before I found the concept of FIRE, back in 2008). We've had season passes to Legoland for years, and we have an obscene amount of Legos. The pace of purchase has slowed dramatically now, but it's still one of their favorite toys. My teenager has passed most of his on to his younger siblings, but he still has Fallingwater, London Tower Bridge, and Trevi Fountain on display in his room.

I guess maybe we have a problem too...

kjulez_83

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2017, 06:58:00 AM »
I have really mixed feelings about Lego.

Mainly because it makes me feel like Lord Business from The Lego Movie! My son makes the thing according to the instructions, leaves it for about 1 day and then wants to break it apart and it drives me nuts. I mean I love his creativity that he wants to make other things out of the existing set, but I hate sorting Lego and finding it all over the house, all the time (he's nearly 5). Also sometimes I think it would be fun to actually play with the set!

But in terms of buying it etc, I would never buy it for no reason. When we were shopping for a birthday present of a kinder friend he saw this pizza food truck set he really wanted that was $28 (it's probably way cheaper for you guys in the US! - yep decided i needed to Google - $16 from Target!!). Either us or the grandparents will buy it for him for his birthday in July and that will be all he needs - since he just breaks the sets apart anyway, the rest of the year he can just build spaceships or whatever he wants out of his existing Lego.

BuffaloStache

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2017, 09:25:27 PM »
I'm an AFOL, but much less addicted than most. More commenting to follow. Also, I'm pretty sure Lego is suing LEPIN.
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mm1970

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2017, 10:11:25 AM »
I get it...we have the $400 death star (got it when my oldest was still an only child and well before I found the concept of FIRE, back in 2008). We've had season passes to Legoland for years, and we have an obscene amount of Legos. The pace of purchase has slowed dramatically now, but it's still one of their favorite toys. My teenager has passed most of his on to his younger siblings, but he still has Fallingwater, London Tower Bridge, and Trevi Fountain on display in his room.

I guess maybe we have a problem too...
If it weren't a 3.5 hour drive, we would have season passes.  We have been every year for the last several, and this year stayed at the hotel for the first time.  Um, awesome! (it was off season, so not bad rates)

Slate-WA

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2017, 01:37:24 PM »
Another AFOL here. 

To avoid the creativity stifling, I keep free play separate from sets.  The sets stay organized by set with instructions, some on display and others in storage. 

Then - there is a huge free-play bin of everything imaginable.  Obviously this isn't a frugal way to do everything, but it keeps the lord business in me happy while keeping my kids creative. 

Don't talk yourself out of Legos, just budget accordingly.  I don't buy the kids fancy game systems - and I'd rather spend $60/a pop on a cool set vs. $60 on a game that keeps their interest for a few hours at best, and really stifles creativity. 

jillinsandiego

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Re: I am addicted to legos
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2017, 03:34:29 PM »
I get it...we have the $400 death star (got it when my oldest was still an only child and well before I found the concept of FIRE, back in 2008). We've had season passes to Legoland for years, and we have an obscene amount of Legos. The pace of purchase has slowed dramatically now, but it's still one of their favorite toys. My teenager has passed most of his on to his younger siblings, but he still has Fallingwater, London Tower Bridge, and Trevi Fountain on display in his room.

I guess maybe we have a problem too...
If it weren't a 3.5 hour drive, we would have season passes.  We have been every year for the last several, and this year stayed at the hotel for the first time.  Um, awesome! (it was off season, so not bad rates)

We will probably get season passes again next year after our Disney passes expire. We splurged on the cheapest So Cal Disney annual pass in January because we had a 3 day trip in May. We were considering a couple nights at the Great Wolf Lodge last January, and when we ran the numbers we decided to forego that and get Disney instead, go there once in January, 3 days in May, a couple days in September, and then once during the holiday decorations in the winter. As much as the kids have loved Disneyland, though, they were talking just this week about how much they miss Legoland! We have never stayed at the hotel (30 minutes away) but I've heard good things about it from everyone I know who has.