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What type of collector are you? Are there many sealed set collectors here?

OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
edited February 2014 in Collecting
Hi guys, my name is Jason from USA. I'm 32. Grew up in the 80s with Legoland as it was by far my favorite toy type. As an adult, I still have a passion for Lego but my interests are divided. I still occasionally buy modern sets to open and mess around with. But I also heavily collect unopened sets, primarily Legoland stuff from long ago.

I guess I'm posting this thread just to feel out if there are many others out there interested in this type of collecting. After browsing several Lego websites for the past couple years, I get the feeling that I'm in a vast minority here. I know it kills some people to think of having Lego sets that you don't open, and I understand that. But it's something that I enjoy greatly and it brings back a lot of memories for me to find a set in new condition that I opened as a kid 25 years ago.

Does anyone know of any major collectors out there that might have an epic collection that would make me cry? I have limited funds for this, so my collection is quite modest. I have about 35 sets total. My current gem would have to be a pristine/flawless 6085 (Black Monarch's Castle) and a really nice 6987 (Blacktron Message Intercept Base).

Thanks for looking.

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Comments

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,721
    Welcome to the forum Jason!
    I know it kills some people to think of having Lego sets that you don't open
    That would be me! The only one person I know who collects primarily MISB is @yellowcastle, who is on the staff here.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,177
    edited October 2011
    About half my collection is MSIB, but I think of those as my 'investment' sets - I'll leave them sealed until I really want/need to open them, and until then they'll hold their value better if they're unopened. A lot of them are duplicate sets for parts. I get the impression a lot of people do this.

    I rather like having a 'lego shop' of my own and just going to find a set I fancy building and opening it.

    Which makes me think that it would be rather amusing to display all the unopened boxes, like a lego shop in your house. Im sure Ive seen pics of MSIB collectors who do that.

    To give you a taster of the scale of some of the collections on here, I have about 500 sets and my collection is considered 'middling' or "small to middling" depending on who you might ask.

    Oh, and welcome on board!
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I collect the boxes, I like them to be mint condition and I'll return sets ordered online if the box is damaged in any way.

    I do open them to play with them, and sometimes the boxes are not great for that. Most of them are easy, just use a utility knife to cut the 4 box seals, fold the box flat and store in the closet. I even have the closet lined with cardboard so the wall paint doesn't come off on the boxes (got to watch that, they'll stick to latex paint).

    But to keep them sealed forever? Naa... Too much fun to play with them.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator Posts: 4,401
    I swear I'm going to open them...I do...I really do. :o)
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Haha yeah me too. I just know that I will absolutely break down and crack a couple of them one day.

    Thanks for the welcome!
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    I have a bunch of MISB, but they are all recent sets (last 3 years). Some I plan to sell when the market is right, some I'll just open and build at some point, and some are copies of sets I really enjoy now and plan to open and enjoy again with my kids when I'm in the retirement home.

    For the sets that I had as a kid and want to experience again, I usually buy the set used with the box and instructions (typically from an adult collector who took good care of the items). I always tell the seller that I want the set unassembled when it arrives.

    I do also look for good deals on sets where the seals are broken but the contents are still bagged. This gives the best experience of building an older set as if it were right off the shelf - at typically a much lower cost than MISB. Plus then I don't have the guilt of opening a sealed set which likely would have continued to grow in value. I did this with the Santa Fe and BNSF engine sets.
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    For sets I really like, I like to open one to experience the build and the set, and then keep a MISB one as well. For sets I REALLY like, I keep 2 extra MISB sets. It's an addiction, really. More and more, i am challenging myself to open up sets that I have, because you can't fully appreciate them just by looking at a picture. The parts, the techniques, the playability, these are all components of a set.
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 858
    edited October 2011
    Of my Lego sets, 97 percent of them are MISB. Per "Sets You Own", I own 2653 sets (957 different).

    Besides collection MISB sets, I also like picking up large cups of PAB pieces and grab bags at the Lego store. I figure I've purchased about 60 large cups and 25 grab bags over the years. Those sit on the shelf as well.
  • DuchessaDuchessa Member Posts: 282
    There are 700 sets in my collection, and I would guess that at least 600 of them are boxed. I open the newer sets with a hobby knife, very carefully. I haven't built them, so the pieces are still in their polybags inside the box. The instructions are stored in binders, theme by theme.

    I also have a colletion of old castle and old pirate sets. I really would like to buy them MISB, but there's no way my economy would allow that. So these two themes are collected with boxes and instructions. I also carefully go through the pieces when I buy the set. I replace damaged pieces and minifigs, so the set itself is in pristine condition.

    My (almost complete) collections of Adventure Egypt&Amazon, Paradisa, Wild West, Ninja, Orient Expedition are also boxed. Some of the sets are bought MISB, others used.
  • DavidBrickleyDavidBrickley Richmond, VAMember Posts: 337
    I'd say mine is split 50/50. The opened ones are sets I and my family have built together and played with. The other half is kind of like Si's. Some boxed sets are not extras, but sets I've picked up on sale that we haven't built yet. The rest are extras that I've picked up (also usually at really good sales) that will either get resold one day or used for parts.

    Being less than a year risen from my dark ages, all my sets are from the last couple of years, whatever I've been able to buy at a regular box store. I don't know what the likelihood is I ever will sell the boxed sets, but if not, I hope I have grandkids who like lego. :)
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    I have some older sealed sets but I haven't added to the collection for some time. I just don't have the room!!!
    margot
  • DuchessaDuchessa Member Posts: 282
    I have some older sealed sets but I haven't added to the collection for some time. I just don't have the room!!!
    That's okay, you can send them to me instead! :-D

  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Nice pics, kor.

    *wipes froth from sides of mouth*
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,177
    edited October 2011
    Of my Lego sets, 97 percent of them are MISB. ...I also like picking up large cups of PAB pieces and grab bags at the Lego store.... Those sit on the shelf as well.
    I'm intrigued as to why ... ?
  • DavidBrickleyDavidBrickley Richmond, VAMember Posts: 337
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 858
    edited October 2011
    Of my Lego sets, 97 percent of them are MISB. ...I also like picking up large cups of PAB pieces and grab bags at the Lego store.... Those sit on the shelf as well.
    I'm intrigued as to why ... ?
    My wife says the same thing...."why do you gotta have that, you don't do nothing with them." My response, "Gotta have it."

    I've always been a collector of some sort. Back in the early 90's I collected trading cards and other memorabilia of all sports. I never sold, but collected. With so much product being produced I decided to only focus on collecting a sports figure I idolized since the early 80's....Wayne Gretzky. I amassed a large collection of his trading cards and memorabilia. But got fed up after the card company's started getting ridiculous and greedy by producing "specialty" insert cards and the cost to acquire them became costly and I finally lost interest. Plus he retired in 1999.

    I've had some Lego sets in my collection since mid-90's but really didn't start collecting them as a hobby until about 2 1/2 years ago. Keeping my sets MISB and cups/grab bags untouched is, I guess, the way I handled my card and memorabilia collection. I don't have the time to enjoy them today, but I look forward to them later.
  • wrong_generationwrong_generation Member Posts: 2
    stupid question. but what's the point in owning a lego set if your not gona take it out of the box and play with it ?
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 858
    edited October 2011
    stupid question. but what's the point in owning a lego set if your not gona take it out of the box and play with it ?
    As I stated above, "I don't have the time to enjoy them today, but I look forward to them later. I don't have time now, but in the future I will."

    Plus, it's my way to enjoy the hobby. Many don't share my way of collecting, but it works for me.
  • LegosamlerenLegosamleren Member Posts: 3
    I started collecting a year ago. I only got 30+ sets mostly exclusives and a few Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and some Star wars. my new collection is all MISB. For now I just read/watch reviews of them, and just happy that I've got the sets for later on.
    I think I collect a bit after hopefully a future MOC. I so love the Ann Rice Novels based around the Mayfair witches and Lasher. So I would love to build a huge model of the house in Garden district :-). But for now I'm still boxin them.
    And when I'm really eager for lego, I still have the old from my childhood to play with - Or mostly just build and display ^^
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator Posts: 4,401
    It is a legitimate form of collecting but it can be hard to explain. There's just something magical about a shelf full of LEGO boxes that span 20+ years of the hobby. And to be honest, there's kind of a melancholy for me after opening most sets. I may be alone here but it's like the anticipation oftentimes outshines the reality. I vividly remember that time in my youth when playing with toys started to lose it's luster. I'd be so excited to get them and then malaised when I realized I didn't actually enjoy playing with them anymore. So for me, I guess it's just a way to hold on to the magic. :o)

    That being said, I have built the Republic Gunship and Pet Shop and if any sets live up to the anticipation, it's these. :o)
  • fyrmedhattfyrmedhatt Member Posts: 128
    I mainly do build my sets, but I have a few multiples that I plan on keeping MISB for future sale, but I don't think I'll sell them any time soon though. I think the appeal of boxed collecting is in that toy store feeling, having a shelf of your favorite sets from over many years would be nothing less than magical, it enables you to relive those memories of when you saw a particular set on the shelves of a toy store as a kid, not to mention that you know you could open the box and relive the memory of building the set for the very first time.

    Currently, I have not opened any of the sets I've bought over the past few months as I've challenged myself not to build until I finish my master's degree, so my MISB shelf is a whole lot fuller than usual. I have to say it is quite awesome looking at those boxes and imagining myself building the sets, and they do have esthetic appael on their own, something that is amplified for 10+ year ole sets where the minifigures and special parts were on display in the clear plastic casing underneath the cardboard lid.

    Another thing I appreciate about the MISB collectors is how they preserve Lego history by keeping their sets sealed. Think about it, without them it would be impossible to pick up and open "new" old sets.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    Some very well thought-out comments in here. Nicely done.

    Personally I seek a happy medium in my Lego collecting. I love preserving the history and the nostalgia effect of holding on to unopened, older sets. I also love diving into a freshly-bought set and going to work on it.

  • tdhbrtdhbr Member Posts: 188
    For all those with lots of MISB boxes in plain view ... do you have kids? How do explain those boxes to your kids? I have recently begun buying a few extra sets for possible future resale - but they're hidden in a garage cabinet, because my boys would give me no peace if they saw a stack of unopened boxes sitting out somewhere. When a new set shows up in my house, it gets built, directions are saved, box is put in recycling, then at some point the set gets taken apart and the pieces join the thousands of other parts to become many other other things.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,177
    Great thread, and some good points ... MSIB collectors do a great service to us all indeed.
  • korkor Member Posts: 392
    edited October 2011
    For all those with lots of MISB boxes in plain view ... do you have kids? How do explain those boxes to your kids? I have recently begun buying a few extra sets for possible future resale - but they're hidden in a garage cabinet, because my boys would give me no peace if they saw a stack of unopened boxes sitting out somewhere. When a new set shows up in my house, it gets built, directions are saved, box is put in recycling, then at some point the set gets taken apart and the pieces join the thousands of other parts to become many other other things.
    I have sealed Lego sets, 80's carded action figures, and other loose things that would not do well with getting grabbed by small hands. Luckily everything is displayed in one room. I call it an office, my wife calls it a toy room:)

    My 4 year old plays in here a lot when I'm working at home and is great about not touching things he shouldn't. My 1 year old, not so much. He probably has a year or so to go until I can teach him not to grab and shake or try to eat everything he sees in my "office".
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    ^^ Sounds like my 'Office'!
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 654
    I have a few MISB sets - my favorite being a sealed 6394 Metro Park & Servie Tower - but every set I have sealed, I also have an opened one.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,266
    I have very limited funds and not a whole lot of space so I have a few set built (working on Alien Conquest right now) and some still MISB including a bunch of holiday/winter sets. I'll probably open them eventually. I know the holiday/winter stuff will get opened pretty soon as I will setting up a display in the living room. My son can't even crawl yet so I should be able to get through the next couple of months. Next year will be a different story.
  • llanowarsoldierllanowarsoldier Ohio USAMember Posts: 357
    The only sealed sets I have are Polybag's I normally buy 2 of them...1 to open, other to trade/resale later on. Although I still haven't opened set 3300020 yet as I am waiting on the 2nd one to come out. Also I want to see what these things do in value considering these 2 sets are VERY limited.
  • jadeirenejadeirene US, CaliforniaMember Posts: 475
    I guess I would be considered a MISB collector, although I do open and display a few sets. I can't bring myself to open up sets (unless I have at least one other sealed box) when I think about how much value I'm losing just by opening up the box. I don't know if I can ever bring myself to start selling any of the sets (although I might have to soon because I'm running out of room in my house), but I still can't stand that pang of guilt I have when I open up a new set.

    I know that LEGO sets are supposed to be built and enjoyed, and many people think that it's a waste to keep them in the box, but I think it's just how I was raised. I grew up in a household where we kept the protective plastic that came on our dining room chairs for a decade before my mom would let us take it off.
  • WatfordScottyMWatfordScottyM Member Posts: 354
    edited June 2012
    When I decided I was going to start collecting Lego I never really gave much thought to what I would specialise in, however, I'm now realising that there are many different types of collectors.

    Do I buy vintage lego, or go for new sets?
    Do I collect only the minifigures or buy for the pleasure of how a large set works as a whole?
    Do I open and build the sets or leave them boxed and unopened?
    Do I stick to a particular theme, or just buy the ones I like?

    So many questions and that's before I even start thinking of where to buy!

    So, how do you collect yours?
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 572
    Personally:

    -I buy both vintage sets (fond memories from my childhood) and new sets (because they're cool, and I'm an uncurable theme collector - thanks so much, Star Wars Lego!)
    -I only focus on collecting complete sets; I spend enough money already, I don't need to be chasing minifigs...besides, most of the cool minifigs are in sets that I want anyway (i.e. Gungan Sub, Jabba's palace, etc.)
    -I'm not into resale or future investment; with a very few exceptions, I buy one copy of each set I want for my building and display enjoyment. However, current limits on my personal time has resulted in quite the collection of MISB sets, but that's completely accidental...
    -I collect the themes I like, starting with SW, Classic Space/Castle/Pirates, and all the new variations thereof (i.e. Ninjago/Pirates/Alien Encounter/etc.). Harry Potter and Monster Fighters are new ones for me. My big problem is that once I buy one set, I have a massive impulsion to collect everything in that theme...and let's face it, regardless of your interests most System themes look pretty good!

    My strongest piece of advice: put together a budget and stick to it. Massive unrestrained use of credit to buy plastic toys is asking for trouble, trust me I've been there! In many ways, the budget determines your collecting scope; mine only expanded once I had the money to do so. Other considerations include storage space, display space, your ultimate Lego goal (display?/MOC?/resell?/other?), and whether your significant other(s) can tolerate your hobby...lucky for me I have a BIG storage space in the basement so the wife doesn't have to look at 1000+ Lego sets every day...

    There are many threads in this forum that explore these topics in detail. It's lots of fun. Enjoy yourself!
  • bricksanbricksan Member Posts: 566
    I buy sets to certain themes and then display them. There are only certain themes that appeal to me and aim to complete them before moving on to a new theme.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,532
    OT Star Wars Lego only for me, and I open/build/display everything I get or quickly sell the surplus if I get a good deal. I just make enough to subsidise the hobby. Fighter ships are hung from the ceiling in the man cave and everything else is either on a shelf or on the sideboard and Ikea storage cubes beneath the shelves.
  • SWAT_StrachanSWAT_Strachan Member Posts: 24
    edited June 2012
    Mainly Star Wars here too, but it's about an even split between the OT, Prequels and Clone Wars sets (although my preference would be for the OT).

    I do have a couple of Batman sets, a few space sets dating back from the early 90's (M-Tron, Blacktron, Space Police), and I have the Space Shuttle on the way (the big one). It was my photography that got me back in to Lego collecting, as I use the minifigures in my photos, usually for comedic effect. At the moment though, all my shelves are full, the tops of my PC cases are covered, the top of my wardrobe is at capacity, as is the cupboard area below it, and now even the dining room table is saturated in Star Wars Lego! I still need to find space so I can build my Imperial Shuttle :D.

    I'm not a profiteer... *ahem* dedicated collector though, I buy the sets, build them, display them, and ditch the packaging. I only buy, I don't sell.
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    I was originally in the hobby for investment only but keeping those damn boxes sealed is near enough impossible:D

    Hats off to those who have the willpower to keep a big lego set sealed
  • tvihtvih Member Posts: 92
    My "type" could be summarized as "I buy what I like". Right now I've only been back to the hobby for about three weeks, and I've only bought new sets from stores, focusing mainly on Kingdoms (with which I'm in a hurry obviously since they stopped producing it) and Star Wars. I guess you could say I have an aversion to used stuff. But I suppose if I ever want some of the sets from the original Pirates lines or early Castle or even Space Police that I always wanted as a kid, used is the only option pretty much. I expect a set in decent condition would cost a lot as is, never mind a sealed box.
  • LaziterLaziter Member Posts: 76
    I have main focus on Star Wars, but I'll go for anything that can be put together :-D
    In my collection, which is still rather small, there are sets from City, Creator, POTC, Pirates and some other themes.
  • muffenmanmuffenman Member Posts: 75
    1000000% Star Wars Do not have one single other piece of Lego.

    - I buy the full sets that I like (some that are just on too good an offer too)
    - Lego is for building so I build all mine (all boxes, instructions kept)
    - If it is Lego Star wars and Official I am interested in it, books, booklets, Posters, promos, mini kits, blu-ray....
    - I collect All Mini Fiqs from all sets I do not own in full 175 Different SW Mini Figs so far & 18 full sets (boy that will increase this summer!)

  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    When I came out of my Dark Age I knew I wanted PARTS. And as many different types as I could afford! Realising this would be expensive, I limited myself to one colour. I chose light blay as it had wide availability in different part types and I like gray.
    So I guess I'm a Blay Builder!... Although, that one colour rule was abolished some time ago ;0)
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 516
    My approach to collecting Lego can be described in one word: schizophrenic.

    New, used, MISB, Star Wars, Sponge Bob. I'm all over the map.
    margot
  • muffenmanmuffenman Member Posts: 75
    My approach to collecting Lego can be described in one word: schizophrenic.

    New, used, MISB, Star Wars, Sponge Bob. I'm all over the map.
    And I thought I needed to see the Doc ;) lol

  • brclark82brclark82 Member Posts: 195
    A little bit of everything...except Star Wars!!! I am interested in just about anything Lego that isn't licensed. Recent purchases include all current modulars, tower bridge, VW van, IF, EN, Maersk Train, technic super car, all creator houses, MMV, Sopwith camel, most of kingdoms, and most of architecture. The larger the better but I also have the entire collection of CMF's and absolutely love any creator polybag (I probably have about 50 right now)!

    As far as reselling, I don't generally buy to resell except I have purchased a couple boxes of CMF's to take my set and then sold the others on brick link and sometimes I'll buy one or two extra's of a set I think will do well after retirement, but only to use as trade or cash for retired sets that I want.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    All over the map here, but I haven't purposely bought anything older than Classic Space. Got a few older parts in bulk lots but not much. My current goal (and these change often) is to build some huge Space Battleships and play war.
  • ZonZon Member Posts: 214
    edited June 2012
    About April or so of 2011, I started to buy and (re)sell Lego, specifically Star Wars but have dabbled in other themes as well. I originally started so to earn some extra money, but I started holding onto some of the cooler minifigs (as long as I was pulling a profit). Now when I buy, I look at what I can buy to expand my small collection while still turning a profit. I'm also a Marvel fan, and collected all of those minifigs as inexpensively as I could.

    So basically I collect the minifigs. I don't have much interest in keeping full sets, with a few exceptions (love Mos Eisley), but I do greatly enjoy building the sets once before parting ways with them.

    Growing up, I never had Lego (my mom said there were too many small pieces!), and it took having a child of my own to find my way to this wonderful hobby. I love buying and building sets with my son (no, I don't sell his), and since he is only 5, I look forward to many more years of doing so with him.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    My approach to collecting Lego can be described in one word: schizophrenic.

    New, used, MISB, Star Wars, Sponge Bob. I'm all over the map.
    Having seen her collection, witnessed some of her buying, and swapped stories about the impulse bulk lots, I can confirm this!

    ;-)

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    Do I buy vintage lego, or go for new sets?
    I only buy new sets. Some for parts, some for the whole set

    Do I collect only the minifigures or buy for the pleasure of how a large set works as a whole?
    I couldn't care less about minifigs, except when selling them off helps me acquire a big chunk of yummy parts for next to nothing, and often less than nothing

    Do I open and build the sets or leave them boxed and unopened?
    Every purchase I make is pre-determined to be either for me or for resale for funding my personal LEGO purchases. Anything purchased for me barely makes it through the front door before being opened.

    Do I stick to a particular theme, or just buy the ones I like?
    I have a few themes that I'm a completest on. Other themes I may dabble in here or there. I"m also finding that some themes that I think I like at first don't have staying power (one and dones) as a theme that I enjoy displaying, and often times don't have the most reusable pieces either, so I'm finding I am being more selective in general.
  • MandarineMandarine Member Posts: 31
    My brother has always been a huge Star Wars and super hero DC & Marvel fan, and my father comes from a long line of dedicated collectors: stamps, coins, smurfs (for us - or so he says)... He did so well with his stamps in the 80s that he managed to renovate our entire house from the profits! So I guess I was conditioned from a young age!

    We did have some Lego growing up, but building wasn't really our thing. We were more into playing with action figures and creating detailed stories and adventures for our toys.

    I have inherited my father's collecting gene and I have been collecting various vintage toys for years and years. Now I have my own kids - two boys age 3 & 5 - who are heavily influenced by my brother's interests, so we have little Jedis and superheroes running around!

    To cut a long story short, I'm not a completist in any of my collections, but I do NEED to have ALL the ones I want IMMEDIATELY, and will hunt down the best deal obsessively until I'm satisfied! I also only like new, sealed boxes. Something about opening a new toy still brings me so much joy!

    With Lego, I love the building/family aspect, and it satisfies the boys' current desire for superhero toys and their growing interest in Star Wars too. I have many of the Super Heroes sets, which we've cracked open now for the boys to play with.

    I also collect newer Star Wars sets that I think will be of interest to my sons when they get a bit older. I've got a ridiculous amount of boxes in the attic ready to go - including a recently purchased Death Star! I do prefer the playsets though, because I love playing with the boys, so I admit that most of the Star Wars stuff I've got actually appeals to me perhaps more than what the boys will ultimately want... We don't have too many ships or fighters yet!

    I admit to being a stressy kind of mum with these kinds of things... I'm precious verging on hysterical when it comes to losing bits, so they're not getting the Star Wars sets until they can be trusted not to randomly smash them - not a guarantee with the little one just yet. There's a real chance that they'll never get the Death Star. It might be mummy's, and "you can only play with it when mummy's around". LOL!

    Sorry. That was a long story!
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