Brickset member makes TV appearance and writes article for Huffington Post

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Brickset member Daryl Austin confessed to the world that he loves to collect LEGO while he was a contestant on a US game show last year.

Now he's written an article for Huffington Post about the hobby, being an AFOL, and the positive effect it's had on his family.

Check it out, then let us know in the comments if it's something you can relate to.

 

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45 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Good for him!

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By in Canada,

These news made me stand up and clap my hands with pride and joy. We should be a statue dedicated to him out of gold lego. His unparalleled bravery about publicly coming out with this fringey hobby will set example to other current and future hobbyist and AFOLs. What he did is such an inspiration; without a doubt he's the cut above the rest!

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By in United States,

This is great. I’m too used to getting asked if I want a gift receipt. It always makes me happy to see the older members of our community opening up about it.

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By in United States,

Too bad it was published in that leftist rag.

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By in United States,

I wondered if he was a Brickset member as I read that article.

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By in United States,

I think this is a great article! Two points though:

Even though the author does a good job of stressing averages and that he’s not in it for the money, I wonder if this article provides more fuel to the “LEGO is a better investment than gold!!” fire that we all deal with.

I think the article would have been much better without the first three sentences of the last paragraph. The author’s wife looks lovely and sounds like an awesome person. I’m glad the hobby has brought them closer. But quite frankly I don’t know why her looks or the fact she was a former cheerleader has anything to do with this - she would have the right to ask her husband to “rein in his inner dork” and another woman wouldn’t? Mentioning this dilutes the writer’s very touching main point - realizing that you’re with someone who accepts you exactly as you are is a wonderful thing, and how terrific that LEGO brought that about.

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By in United States,

Good for him. The article was an interesting read and I don't think anyone should be ashamed of loving something as innocent and pure as Lego.

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By in Venezuela,

$45,000 I'm not even close

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By in United States,

Megan, great points! I do try to stress that it I do it for the LOVE of LEGO, and not because of the money. But I think the money aspect is super interesting to outside readers. I sincerely did not intend to stir anything up :) And also a great point about my wife. I just brought up the cheerleader thing because it plays into the stereotype that most "hot" cheerleaders want "hot" jocks to be into sports or whatever. And my wife has just never been like that with me. I don't play sports or do many things the outside world thinks of as "cool" so it means a lot that she is SO supportive to me in something she could choose to be embarrassed by. But I think both of those are awesome points and I value your response!

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By in United Kingdom,

Good for you Daryl. Not sure why some AFOLs have a problem letting others know that they're into Lego though. Who cares what other people think? I simply don't 'get' the concept of peer pressure.

Still, if it encourages someone else out there to stop feeling they have to keep their hobby a secret, then it will have been worthwhile. Nice work, sir!

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By in United States,

I think I get as amused at people's reactions to revealing my hobby to them as they are at hearing what my hobby is. I work with seniors and I think many of them still think of LEGO in terms of what was available during their childhood, which for many of them it didn't exist yet (yes they are that old) or for the (ahem) younger ones what was available was very limited. I get a kick out of showing them sets (I keep current catalogues in my desk) and seeing reactions like "they sure didn't have LEGO's like that when I was a kid!"

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By in United States,

@Harken_X as this is about LEGO let's just keep politics out of it. However, since you went there then lets :) I'm glad it was published by one of the few in news media to still feature truth and facts, rather than the hate filled propaganda spewed by Faux Noise. I guess you would have rather seen the article in Breitbart, right after reading about how poor Nazi's are the real victims of a PC world, lmao. People like you really are making our country crap again. Sorry to all the educated folks for the rant, unruffling feathers now...

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By in Germany,

Quite touching, especially for someone whose significant other is barely tolerant of the hobby. I made sure to forward her the article though, adorned with one very sad emoji. :D

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By in United Kingdom,

I really related to the fact Daryl pictured himself building the Harry Potter sets with his unborn children. A big thing that brought me out of my dark ages was discovering modular buildings while my wife was in hospital about to drop our first daughter six and a half years ago. I started stockpiling them all with the idea that I'd build them some day with my daughter. I now have a second little girl, and despite owning all the modulars I'm still waiting for a good time to build them all together.

I also have all the Harry Potter movies and have never watched them, but look forward to watching them all with my girls someday. Maybe the upcoming HP sets will bring that about sooner rather than later.

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By in United States,

Heh, what a nerd. Haha, just kidding. For me, I prefer to keep it quiet. Only friends and family knows!

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By in United States,

Finally, some vocal representation for our long oppressed people. Wait, that doesn't sound right at all haha.

What I mean is, hey, it's nice to see somebody proud of their hobby. I think it's bizarre that the AFOL community is socially grouped up with those lunatics over on YouTube Kids smearing their Minion bath toys with yellow paint. I don't want to sound high and mighty, but Lego is so much more than that!

It's nice to see somebody stick up for us, damn it! Daryl, I think you phrased some stuff badly, and said some stuff that you shouldn't have said. But I think I can totally forgive you for that. What you did took guts, man. You've got my respect.

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By in France,

I think I really understood a few months ago why I really love Lego. I was building a set and wondered with my wife why it was so powerful on me. It stroke me as an evidence. When I build a set, unconsciously, I go brick after brick towards a final result which will be "perfect", each part will have and take its own and dedicated place, linked perfectly to each other, each part having its own purpose, and turn time and act into a final and tangible result. It's like a piece of harmony and success in a world which is too often divided, exclusive, ruled with oppositions, conflicts and so on. When I build, I know all will work right, step by step, with no real issue but solutions, no missing or wrong part, no trap, no trouble. And all will end right. And I guess that really conciliates me with my human, mortal and fallible nature. It's a moment of peace, relief, introspection and creation of something built with many different, complex but compatible and connecting parts. My wife who offered me the very first set which took me out of my dark ages, now understands and respects these moments, which I share more and more with my growing daughter. I really liked reading this article.

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By in United States,

Nice article. I feel the same way. Great bonding moments with my son and my wife doesn't mind. She's even bought me a few choice sets throughout the years.
Like the gentleman in the article, Lego is incredibly therapeutic and it helps me relax and unwind.
My son took to it immediately and gave him a love of building and he eventually joined a robotics club and inspired him to take up engineering (which he's enrolled in an engineering school right now).
One thing though...even though it's Ed Sheeren, don't neglect your dates fella's with Lego. Hang out, wine and dine, show 'em a good time THEN once she's asleep whip out the Lego and get to buildin'! LegoDad42 date tip for the day. ;)

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By in Australia,

Not sure why saying that you love playing with little plastic bricks is such a big deal. Everyone I know realises I'm an afol. My work place has several afols, we even have a channel on our internal messaging app dedicated to Lego. We post sales and when an event is coming up. Plenty of parents are interested as well to buy for their kids.

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By in United States,

@Legosolo77 Huffington Post is just as one sided with opinions as every other news outlet.

The media has stopped reporting and become 100% about turning or convincing to the side that sells them the most ad revenue.

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By in United Kingdom,

'When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.' C.S. Lewis

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By in United States,

When my wife and I first met we each already had our own house. I lived alone with my cat and the door to one of my extra bedrooms was always closed. After dating a month or so she finally asked why. I said something like, "To keep Nina from going Godzilla on the villagers.."

Anyway, upon opening the door she thought it was awesome and not-at-all weird. She's not an AFOL but understands the appeal to me I think. Now that we share a residence I still have my "office" but also 'sneak' them into places all over our house. There's a Knight Bus parked in a display case amidst her carnival glassware, a Mixel humping her turquoise corn maiden & the fireplace mantel centerpiece is pretty much always evolving... Currently the 50's diner except Elvis traded in his pink caddy to a Brickheadz bee in exchange for a lightcycle..

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By in United States,

@LegoSolo77 there you go with that typical assumption that those who are conservative are automatically aligned with Breitbart, InfoWars, etc. And before this escalates any further on a non-political site, it's the demoncrats that are "making our country crap again", as evident in college campuses that push race bating and mock western religions, as well as demonize anything that is patriotic or nationalistic about the U.S.A. I called out the Huffpo because like all leftist "news" organizations, they constantly mock our president regardless of accomplishments to the point that they are beyond obsessed with him.

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By in United States,

Thanks for ruining an otherwise enjoyable comment thread with politics...

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By in United States,

I used the line “my son is looking for” a set in the LEGO store when it was really for me. Not anymore though. When the clerk rings me up I am proud when I have $240 in LEGO rewards and tell them I am saving up for something big. And I dont need a gift receipt these bad boys are for ME!

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By in United States,

One of the things I've always loved about the Lego world (and Brickset) is that it's a miniature utopian society very unlike the real world.

So whatever your grand statement from whichever side, can you please do the rest of us the courtesy of taking your politics elsewhere?!? If you look hard enough there are a few non-Lego related sites out there.

Thanks! =D

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By in United States,

I saw this article and how the title of the article is spent 45,000 on "legos"

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By in United States,

Man I hope that’s not $45,000 at retail prices. I don’t get it, either. My Flickr page is under my real name and most people I talk to understand that the bricks are a medium, like oil and canvas or clay, to make things.

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By in United Kingdom,

It's an insightful read - perhaps to a lot of the members on here there won't be too many new facts but still a story to identify with and share perspectives to a wider audience. I was also thinking of Megan's points above when reading the article but understand the position you took on both the points she raised when questioned.

One of the things that actually disappoints me now when I meet someone new and I say Lego is my main hobby, is that a lot of people actually kind of shrug it off in a passively disinterested way - leaving the conversation dead because they either don't know what to say about it or don't want to talk about it. At least if they challenged me I could have a good discussion about it! Don't know how often others experience this.

I suppose I might have it easier now - but I definitely didn't throughout school and even into my university years. Some of my closer friends knew Lego was a hobby of mine but it was endlessly the butt of jokes for others assuming I was still playing with a kids toy (even when I was still in the age brackets printed on most boxes!). Hopefully this isn't the case so much nowadays because Lego seems to be perceived to be 'cooler' universally amongst kids - even if there is still a (perhaps reducing) stigma attached to AFOLS - particularly those like myself with no kids they would be buying for. I too subscribe to the idea that Lego is a medium, to be used for models, designs and art.

Well we've always got the second series of Lego Masters to keep the normalisation of AFOLs rolling :)

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By in Canada,

They used to ask me if I needed a gift receipt but not anymore. I've been in there to many times and a number of them know me by name. I am not shy about sharing my love for Lego. At the place that I work a few other staff also can appreciate that. I am sure others think it is strange but none have ever voiced it. We all have our own hobbies and this is one of mine. Although I am not the super creative type and don't MOC I still enjoy all the colours and variety of pieces and love to see how they all come together to create a piece.

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By in Sweden,

Is it harder to be an AFOL if your wife is hot? So ugly women tolerate Lego collecting men more? It could very well be true, but I found that part of the article quite strange and unnecessary.

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By in United States,

I've never had any trouble with people believing I collect Lego. Most are indifferent, but I've had a few who are actually interested in my collection. I've never really been judged or mocked for it.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for sharing that lovely article! Heartwarming.

It's heartbreaking though that this comment thread has had political incursions; I'll bite my tongue and simply suggest that you maybe take your opinions over to where they're at all relevant.

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By in France,

Don't mind what people say, as long as what you do neither bother nor hurt them. I guess it's not more childish or puerile to build and play lego than it is to push a ball with your feet and try to put it in a goal, or even to pay to see 22 players pushing that ball. But the fact that Lego sets are sold in toys shops or in toys shelves, which is a historical matter, we all know that Lego makes products for children and adults nowadays. And as told by Gremer, many people are just indifferent, and I even know a few of them who would really like to have one or two pieces of my collection, but who probably don't dare because of what would others think or say about it. It's all about this article, to accept your self just as you are... Or not.

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By in Germany,

I liked the article. :)
My husband and I also started collecting LEGO before our daughter was born. We wanted to have something to build with her way too much in advance :D

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By in United States,

@Harken_X.. no, let us not escalate this any further, especially on a forum dedicated to fun and a love of a simple plastic brick that lets us all escape the frustrations and anger that are too prevelent in our society. However, please do this for me. Please examine the precarious situation our democracy has found itself in. We are teetering on the brink of dictatorship, censorship, and Neo-Facism. Those few media outlets which raise appropriate alarm at our demise should not be scourned, but should be praised and listened to with ears which seek knowledge, rather than affirmation of our own pre-born conclusions. Hitler was allowed to attack and dismember a free press by an all too willing public, the results of which we know. Unfortunately, I believe the path we are on IS that dark, and it troubles my soul deeply that you and others do not see it, or worse, are completely ok with it. But I digress.. again, apologies to all for somber conversation on a site dedicated to fun. God bless you Harken_X, we have our disagreements, but we are all entitled to them. Better than that, we have a love of LEGO in common at least :)

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By in United States,

Haha, LegoSolo77 your bias is undoubted showing. Faux News & Nazis is tier rebuttal against a jab at liberal media...so original. Truth & facts are something the folks at HuffPo know little of. Unless they’ve drastically changed in the last few years.

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By in United States,

Please keep the politics out of here. Thanks!

A wonderful article! I remember seeing you on Match Game last year, Daryl, but had no clue you were this big a fan and even a member of this site! Inspirational story - keep doing what you’re doing, man. :-)

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By in United States,

Speaking as a teenager I did enjoy reading this. As an intelligent person and aspiring writer who is into typically geeky things such as sci-fi, fantasy, and Lego, it is encouraging to read. Growing up in a football town, these things are basically crimes against humanity. It is good for the AFOL community to get some representation within the press. If only we also had some TFOL representation...

I agree with The Brick Pal and many others- this is not a political forum. Regardless of whether the publisher swings left or right, it was a non-political article on a great man defending his love for Legos and saying why. Whether we agree on politics or not, we all have one thing in common: a love for the little plastics bricks. That is why we are all here after all. So remember that, before you poison Brickset with the meanness that comes with politics, because regardless of our political viewpoint we all at least have one thing in common.

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By in Canada,

In reference to 'outing' myself on the AFOL front--my entire family and all of my friends know that I'm a LEGO junkie (and I have an enormous family). Their reactions to my hobby are mixed but I don't care. I still laugh about the time two of my cousins and I were out for dinner (we were all in our late 30s at the time) and each of them ordered a glass of wine and I, not much of a fan of wine ordered a kahlua with milk because it's kind of like a chocolate milk. Both of them looked at me and exclaimed, 'oh grow up!' They're much more concerned with me choosing a 'grown-up drink' in a restaurant than they are of my hobby obsessing/building/thinking about/planning my next LEGO project!

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By in Canada,

@jrbookworm While I'm not a TFOL as you are, I've given my nephew LEGO for Christmas every year and when he was 15 I asked him if he still wanted to receive LEGO for Christmas (he's into Rugby, video games, plays the trumpet, is a goalie in hockey and works). He looked surprised that I would even question his interest in LEGO and insisted that he looked forward to it every year. He's 17 now and every year he still gets LEGO for Christmas. Keep enjoying your hobby and be proud of it--it makes you a much more interesting person than those who simply follow the crowd. *smile*

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By in United Kingdom,

@jrbookworm Various family members still groan when the response to "any ideas for presents for your birthday?" question is a resounding "Lego" from myself :) I started on Lego forums when I was still a TFOL and depending on which one you were on and the people you spoke to, I often got looked down on or excluded for unintelligible reasons. Fortunately I've never felt Brickset is one of those places - but perhaps it would be good to have more 16-25 year olds in the public eye admitting their love for Lego too.

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By in United States,

@ The Rancor and BlockHead67

Thank you both for your support. My family, friends, and girlfriend (who also collects Lego) all know about my love. However, being a sci-fi writer who wears geeky t-shirts to school it has been one thing I’ve struggled to reveal about myself. I find both writing and Lego to be good relief for my depression issues. I intend to stick with this hobby for a long time :)

There is a song by Three Days Grace called “I Am an Outsider” that I think goes well with this topic.

Specifically @The Rancor- I chose brickset in hopes i would not be looked down upon since I am a TFOL trying to stick with AFOLs. I’ve been through a lot, and I hope this can be a place I’m not looked down upon.

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By in United States,

I have huge collection of LEGO, and yes, I’m an AFOL.

I also work at elementary school and all of the kids know I LOVE LEGO.

I feel like a rock star among these little humans.. :D

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By in United States,

I came out of my dark ages about four years ago when my wife was pregnant in the middle of winter and we couldn't spend our evenings out having drinks. For her, it was the first time she ever got to have her own Lego as she grew up not really being able to afford more than a small set or two. While she prefers to buy and build and is more of a minifig collector, I tend to hoard my sets and rely on used collections I buy once in a while to give me pieces to build with.

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