Confessions of a Serial Polybag Collector - Part 2
Well, it seems you didn’t hate it, and so as a result, I’m pleased to bring you part 2 of confessions of a serial polybag collector.
Last month I took a look at what classified as a polybag in my eyes and reviewed Ganrash. Since then I haven’t been resting on my laurels, I’ve had quite a busy month cataloguing, purchasing and concluding some trades. I’ve also devoted quite a chunk of time to getting my polybag wanted list on to BrickLink, which wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it would be, especially considering I want over 450 of the things! I achieved this using the fantastic Advanced Query Builder right here on Brickset and in a future article I’ll let you know how I did it.
In this edition, as it’s both Christmas and nearing the end of 2012, I thought I’d take a look at some of the best and worst polybags of the year and bring you a polybag Santa showdown review. I’ll also be starting what will be a regular feature where I’ll be sharing what I’ve picked up in the previous month, I may even share how much of my soul I had to sell to obtain it, this is a confession after all. Finally, there’s a competition to enter to win a rare polybag, so keep reading until the end.
Before I go any further, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone that took the time to comment on my first article, send me an email, or offer to get stuff for me, seriously, you Bricksetters are the best!
Is that it? It cost how much!?
If you’re in to serious polybag collecting, you’ll be well aware of the experience of proudly showing off your latest sought after acquisition to a largely disinterested partner, who musters just enough interest to ask the only question they can think of when a small plastic bag is thrust upon them, “How much was that!?”. Now, you’ve got a decision to make, you can:
a) tell a large fib and say it was free or only cost a couple of quid
b) tell a small fib and say it cost half of what you really paid
c) be honest and expose them to the full depths of your obsession
I can assure you, unless you answer a) or have a partner that is also in to polybag collecting, their apathy will last just long enough to hear you answer b), and I double dare you to answer c).
So without ado, I hereby confess to you good Bricksetters (and Mrs atkinsar if she’s reading), the full depths of my obsession laid bare this month:
- 465959: Friends Bracelet
- 4904: Elephant
- 30182: Santa
- 4051: Nesquick Rabbit
- 1555: Santa Claus
- 10068: Santa
- 4053: Cameraman
- 5000281: Chase McCain
- 5000202: Elrond
- 30100: Beach
- 30212: Mirkwood Elf Guard
Most expensive? That accolade goes to the Nesquick Rabbit which set me back a cool £25. Cheapest was the Friends Bracelets which were given to me by a lovely Bricksetter in Poland who also sent me some 30182: Santa which I’ll be reviewing later.
I’ve got lots of trades pending too, including one of my ‘holy grail’ polybags, any guesses which one? I will hopefully have these concluded by next month so stay tuned to find out what I had to give up to get this one :-)
Unofficial Polybag Awards 2012
As 2012 rapidly draws to a close, I thought it would be fun to hold a little awards ceremony for our crinkly bagged friends. According to Brickset, there were 89 polybags released in 2012 (assuming no more get released between now and the end of the year of course).
I enlisted the help of my good friend and fellow polybag nut, collect-that!, and between us we picked three of the best and three of the worst polybags of the year.
Best of 2012
First Place 30201: Ghost – at just 33 pieces, that grandfather clock is a truly excellent little model, and you get a glow in the dark ghost. A magnificent example of a polybag and a deserving winner of polybag of the year.
Second Place 5000022: Hulk – it may seem a little controversial having a minifig only polybag in the top three, but both collect-that! and myself had one. Whilst I went for TC-14 due to it being everything that the infinitely more valuable Chrome Gold C-3PO should have been, collect-that! persuaded me that The Hulk was the more interesting minifig and who am I to argue. Oh, and he was free!
Third Place 30212: Mirkwood Elf – a late contender but great pieces and a great minifig was enough to secure third place for this Elf.
Worst of 2012
First Place 40026: Statue of Liberty – this really is a deserving winner of the “What is it!?” award for 2012. If the real Statue of Liberty had turned up in New York Harbor looking like this, I have a feeling the Americans may have sent it straight back to the French!
Second Place 5000245: Stephanie – originally on sale for $5 in TRU but later given away, even free isn’t enough to save Stephanie from second spot in the worst polybag of the year. Unlike the unique Hulk minifig, there is nothing special about Stephanie, it’s just the regular minidoll that you get in the Friends line-up. Boring!
Third Place 30018: Police Microlight – speaking of boring, I can’t think of a single thing to say about this polybag, it’s just too dull for words.
So there you have it, that’s what myself and collect-that! think. Don’t agree? What would your choices be?
Review of 30182: Santa vs. 1555: Santa
So the festive month is upon us, and what better way to mark the occasion than with a Santa showdown review.
Santa has been pretty well represented in LEGO over the years, a quick Brickset search reveals over 40 matches for the word Santa.
For this showdown, I wanted to contrast the old with the new, so in the red corner we have the very latest Santa off the polybag production line, 30182, and in the erm, other red corner we have the very first polybag Santa, 1555.
1555 was not only the first polybag Santa, but was also the third polybag ever produced by LEGO all the way back in 1986, so this little fella is 26 years old! He was only available in Holland, New Zealand and Norway from the UK LEGO Club, but despite this, he’s not hugely rare, owned by over 300 Bricksetters and available on ebay and BrickLink for a modest sum of around £6 or so.
30182 was released earlier this year but is much harder to get hold. So far it’s only been spotted in Poland and nobody has really been able to identify the source. It is however, quite widely available on a Polish auction site called allegro (I’m reliably informed by a Polish friend that ebay is less popular in Poland). At time of writing there are none available on ebay or BrickLink but it has been selling for around £8. According to Brickset, only 23 of us own this particular Santa.
Winner: 30182 is the clear winner here as you’ll struggle to get hold of it unless you have a Polish friend.
1555 consists of just 19 pieces, and they’re pretty basic ones at that, nothing rare or of note to see here. 30182 has
57 pieces, all quite small and not particularly rare, but there are some quite useful elements here.
Winner: 30182 takes the point again, simply because it has more interesting pieces than its opponent.
Well, this is a polybag first for me, with 1555, the instructions are the bag, although if ever a set didn’t need instructions then this would be it. Three steps and done, it doesn’t get more basic than this.
30182 has the more traditional multi-folded double-sided instructions containing 19 steps and a couple of adverts for other Creator models.
Winner: 1555 wins this time, no step numbers, proper old school, I love it!
With only 19 pieces, 1555 takes seconds rather than minutes to build, no interesting techniques to speak off, just good old-fashioned traditional basic LEGO building.
30182 will keep you busier for another minute or two, and contains some cleverish piece choice and design to represent Santa’s beard, eyebrows and hat.
Winner: 30182 is definitely more interesting to build and so takes the point.
So here they, side by side, which one do you prefer? 1555 is basic, but pretty adorable, you’d instantly recognise who it was supposed to be. A few people have commented to me that 30182 looks a little, well, creepy, I think it must be the eyes that do it, he looks like he’s suffering from severe sleep deprivation and the after effects of one too many sherries. He reminds me somewhat of Angus MacLane’s cube dudes and I must admit I don’t find him creepy, in fact I rather like him.
Winner: Let’s call it a tie, 1555 wins out on the cuteness stakes, and I’ll accept that some of you may find 30182 creepy, but there’s no denying it’s the better model.
Overall, 30182 is the clear winner for me, creepiness aside I’d rather have Santa with two legs rather than one, and frankly you don’t mess with someone that looks like that, look at his eyes man!
As a small way of giving something back, I’d like to give Bricksetters the chance to win a rare polybag each month, whether I’m able to do this regularly will depend on what I’ve been able to source in the previous month but I’ll try my best.
First up for grabs is 30170: Ganrash that I reviewed last month, you’ll recall that it’s currently only available at TRU Canada and pretty difficult to get hold of. Thanks to a kind forum member, I’ve managed to get a few sent over and I’m offering one of you the chance to win one.
To have a chance of winning you need to write a review of a polybag that you own, preferably one that hasn’t already been reviewed, but really, it can be any polybag. Once you’ve written the review, let me know here and provide a link to it and I’ll judge the best one and announce the winner next month. This competition is open to anyone worldwide and has a closing date of 4th January 2013.
Finally, if you have any interesting polybag information you'd like to share, then please contact me.
Update 1: A quick update on the competition rules, you can enter as many reviews as you like between now and the 4th January, just make sure you contact me for each one that you wish to be considered for the competition.
Update 2: As an added incentive to enter, I've decided that the winner will now receive both Ganrash and 30182: Santa. There will also be a runner up prize who will receive their choice of Ganrash or Santa. So get writing those reviews and good luck!