My name is atkinsar and I collect polybags, well not just the bags (because that’d be crazy, right?!) but also the LEGO goodness contained within. There I said it, and I know I’m not alone, there are loads of you out there just like me that have embraced polybag collecting and I thought it was high time to turn the spotlight towards this niche within the LEGO hobby.
Some of you will know me from the yearly polybag Bricklists I used to create and maintain from 2008 onwards. Ever since Huw introduced the fantastic Advanced Query Builder, I have stopped doing so since it’s so easy for you to create your own lists tailored to exactly how you want them, that the time effort to maintain the Bricklists just wasn’t worthwhile any longer.
Each month I hope to explore a different aspect of polybag collecting, and alongside this I will provide mini (or maybe even micro) reviews of any interesting polybags I’ve picked up during the previous month, discuss interesting polys announced and showcase any hard to find/super rare polybags.
Whether this monthly feature takes off or not will be down to your feedback and comments, so please let me know what you think.
In this first article, I’m going right back to basics and discuss what exactly is a polybag? I’ll state right up front, this is my definition, not the definition and just like LEGO, I tend to break these rules as and when it pleases me!
What exactly is a polybag?
First of all, it must come in a bag right, pretty obvious huh? No boxes, blister packs, canisters, metal tins, tubs, buckets or foil packs. Yep, that’s right, no foil packs so Collectible Minifigures are out. Whilst technically you could argue a foil pack is a bag of sorts, it doesn’t pass the poly test for me, I don’t see it as a bag, because, well, it’s a pack (faultless logic I’m sure you’ll agree).
Polybags come in all shapes and sizes and with any number of pieces, but all of this is irrelevant to me, from the very smallest (and frankly rubbish) 1-piece 1061 - Technic Slizer, to the very biggest (and fabulous) 232-piece 20204 - MBA Creature Designer, they all make the collection.
I don’t consider it necessary for the polybag to even contain any traditional LEGO elements, the aforementioned Slizer is an example of that - although you could argue that piece is a LEGO element. Perhaps a better example would be these Friends Bracelets which I do consider to be a polybag - so they’re in, as is the new orange Brick Separator which I picked up in a polybag from the Cardiff LEGO store.
That’s not to say that I would include any polybag in my collection, for example, I specifically exclude any service packs like these, as for me, they are just not collectible, probably because they don’t belong to any specific theme which makes them a little boring.
Until recently, I didn’t consider Duplo part of my polybag collecting plans, but having now ‘accidentally’ acquired a few, I fear they are now on the list!
Review of 30170 - Ganrash
One of the harder to find polybags of 2012 has been 30170 - Ganrash.
To date this has only seen limited availability in branches of Toys R Us in Canada for $4.99. I have no idea if it is still available, although I suspect not. As I write, there are a few on eBay and Bricklink available, all from Canada and seem to command around £15 plus shipping so it’s not cheap.
41 people have indicated they own it on Brickset, although those figures are not always to be trusted due to the different ways people use the inventory manager, so I suspect the real figure to be lower than that.
I have a real soft spot for Heroica sets as it harks back to my childhood when I played board games like Talisman for hours on end, so I really had to pick this one up. I didn’t actually get mine from Canada, I picked it up from a fellow Brickish member who shall remain nameless for fear of being flooded with requests (they assure me they have no more anyway!).
Ganrash consists of 55-pieces and appears to be a small add-on set, which, from the looks of the colour scheme and the water, I’d guess is supposed to be used with Draida Bay, but that’s just an educated guess. According to brickapedia, it contains the Blades of Bounty, a luck potion, and two microfigs: a Goblin Guardian and a Goblin Warrior.
There are a couple of pieces in certain colours in this set which have not appeared too often in other sets. The reddish brown antenna has only appeared in three other sets and the green slope piece in two other sets, although you only get one of each. The instructions are your typical polybag fare, seven steps and nothing too interesting about the build itself.
The finished set contains a sandy beach, surround by a body of water, a large tent in the corner with the Goblin Warrior and Goblin Guardian keeping a close eye on the Blades of Bounty and luck potion, well that’s my interpretation anyway.
As a display piece, it’s obviously pretty naff given that it’s meant to be used as an add-on for a game. However if you’re a Heroica fan or a polybag completest, then you’ll need to get hold of this one. I suspect (but don’t know for sure) that you won’t be seeing this crop up in too many other places, so if you have an opportunity to grab one, do so, in fact grab two, one to build and one to keep sealed…ah the golden motto of the hardened polybag collector. Just don’t go shouting around that you’ve got Ganrash, you may find that people start avoiding you ;-)
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