Thursday, 29 March 2018

Changing Interests: Lego Rising

 - Dorian MacQuarrie

As collectors, it's only natural that our interests will include a number of hobbies, brands, franchises etc. I imagine the bulk of Transformers fans will also collect other toy lines or maybe they're bang into their vintage spoon and plate collections. Today I will discuss one such extra-curricular interest I have recently developed and the unexpected affect it has had on my engagement with the larger community. 

2018 had a very strong start for my collection. Fansproject Pinchar, Maketoys Thunder Manus, GCreations Prowl and Takara LG Overlord and Slugslinger made their way onto my shelves, all amazing toys, most of them worth their own article. Yet even with such a magnificent haul, my eye was already straying away from transforming robots to an altogether different sort of toy. 

Last year I started to buy a few Lego Star Wars sets. Nothing too exciting, a Microfighter here, a small speeder or playset there. Recently though, I've tumbled fully into the rabbit hole. Buying bigger kits and spending more time looking through videos, tutorials and building bits orders, this innocent affair with the classic brick building system has now moved in and kicked Transformers to the kerb. 

If you would allow me a moment to gush about this Lego business... It's so much fun! Pure, unadulterated joy. Be it the joy of having a growing roster of Star Wars minifigures, the tactile experience of building a Lego set which taps into that sweet sweet childhood nostalgia (extra points for being Star Wars flavoured) or the even the appreciation I can have as an adult collector, not just for the design and construction of the Lego sets themselves, but even the clever way Lego organise their larger sets into sub-builds, gently easing you in with a few simple steps before going full Master Builder on you. Compare this to the fairly serious business of my bot-buying habits, it's a nice departure. 

During my adventures in a Galaxy Far Far Away...I've found my engagement with the larger collecting community has diminished greatly, initially at least. This, of course, was to be expected. My interests have diverged (albeit only slightly) from those I regularly engage with but it seems to go further still. To be frank, it also lessened my engagement with writing articles and taking part in toy photography, something I felt fairly aggrieved about. I enjoy the level of discourse articles bring and it was only recently that I started to put a little more effort into my toy photography. Be it self inflicted or just the nature of a new interest, it became an altogether solo pursuit outside of a few tweets and quick snaps for social media platforms. That's not to say there's a lack of community spaces for the Lego enthusiast, far from it, I just found that this was something which diverged from my normal hobby habits and therefore changed how I shared my purchases and activities with fellow collectors and friends. Similar to past jaunts with miniature wargaming, which would come along with an enormous reduction in community engagement as I worked away at my table, sculpting tools or paint brush in hand, my recent dalliance with Lego has seen me recede a bit from my usual position within the larger collector community.

Time which would normally be spent setting up photo-comics or planning future purchases is now spent researching kits to build or watching tutorials in anticipation of building my first MOC (My Own Creation). The mental capacity normally given over to engaging with the hobby of collecting Transformers and all its related activities has now gone into my current interest of Lego. 

Thankfully, the bonds of friendship remain strong and even when I might be outside the circles of conversation about the latest Power of the Primes reveal, I can still take part in the shared appreciation of new reveals or new purchases. The same goes for the communities reaction to whatever content I have posted in recent weeks. Even those who don't deal with Lego can still fire a Like or a comment my way for some pictures or posts. 

When the time comes for me to put down the bricks and step back into the world of transforming robots, I'll do so with fresh eyes and maybe a new intent for my collection. I think it's important to dabble in several different hobbies and expand your interests. 

Until next time, keep it #Refined

Follow Dorian on Twitter @Vigadeath 

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