Never too late to feel young at heart: Collecting Lego as an adult
Robin might have tried out other hobbies when he was younger, but collecting Lego was the one love that really stuck.
While most adults would have already grown out of playing with their childhood toys, Robin takes pride in his Lego collection worth between $50,000 and $60,000.
As an adult fan of Lego (AFOL), Robin has always enjoyed playing with the toy, be it in the form of sets, mini-figures, or even specific collectible parts. He recalls his first Lego sets being the ones his father bought for him when he was still a child.
“We couldn’t afford the bigger ones, but we had those very small ones, I think from Emporium,” he says.
The Lego sets Robin grew up with weren’t big nor fancy, but he enjoyed collecting them regardless.
However, just a few years into collecting, Robin eventually moved on to other hobbies and interests. It was only until 10 years ago that his love for Legos was reignited.
That year, to celebrate Christmas, his wife bought him a LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012. Having one Lego surprise a day for the festive period was enough to spark his excitement and got him collecting Lego sets again.
Robin now spends about $500 a month just from buying sets, parts, and mini-figures. In his entire collection, he has between 3,000 to 4,000 mini-figures.
The mini-figures carrying the most sentimental value is Darth Maul from Star Wars in Christmas clothes, from the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012.
“This was the figure that got me started, because my wife bought this for me, so it’s valuable to me in that sense,” he says. “So it’s all her fault, not mine,” he laughs.
Although he doesn’t recall which exactly is his most expensive figure, his favourite didn’t come cheap either.
“I bought this off Carousell for about $60. It’s a Chrome C-3PO,” Robin says as he holds up the mini-figure of the Star Wars character proudly.
“I just find it so cool. I can stare at this 24/7.”
Though Robin proudly shows off his collection, he recognises that most Lego collectors tend to be closeted fans. It was only through social media groups that he managed to befriend like-minded collectors.
Robin is now also part of a Recognized Lego Users Group (RLUG). The group also helps to build miniature worlds with Lego pieces at Lego stores.
Even though Robin agrees that collecting Lego can be an expensive hobby, he is thankful for it in many ways.
“It is not cheap, but I guess that every hobby has a certain price that you pay,” he shares.
He adds that Lego has always been a constant in his life and the building process serves as a great destressor.
“There were times where I was super stressed at work, or super angry, [with] a lot of charged-up emotions,” he explains. “When I build, I just focus on building my Lego set. It feels a lot better when I come out of it.”
As much as Robin wishes to collect every Lego set in the world, he acknowledges that it is not a realistic dream.
“It doesn’t matter, you don’t need to collect everything,” he says. “Just do it at your own comfort level.”
While Robin is unable to predict exactly how long he will continue collecting Lego, he foresees himself possibly doing this for the next 40 years. Despite the high cost and maintenance required, he still finds joy in this hobby.
“That’s just life. We do what makes us feel happy.”