Posted in Random

Our favorite toy

I have always had shopaholic tendencies, I don’t always indulge them (either due to willpower or budget limitations) but usually whenever I would have an unexpected windfall I would splurge. Throughout my whole life there would always be something that I would obsess about and want to buy lots of. I’ve never been very vain so I have never had the stereotypical feminine shopping obsessions such as shoes, clothes make up.

As far as I remember it started when I was a pre-teen with books, during my teens it was candles, in college it was gadgets, in my 20s it was metaphysical supplies (mostly crystals and statues).

Then I became a mother. So going into my 30s my obsessions weren’t even for me. My first obsession was cloth diapers, then baby carriers. Now I feel like I’ve outgrown that. My new obsession? Legos. Boy oh boy have I been living vicariously through my boys. An advantage of a tight budget, is being able to refrain from going crazy in the toy aisle.

one-does-not-simply-grow-out-of-lego

Legos are the toy with the fondest memories from my childhood, more than Barbie, Easy Bake Oven or My Little Pony. I never had any Lego “sets”, I didn’t even know that minifigures existed or that there were wheel attachments and moving components to build cars and other things with. I just had a box with an assortment of basic random blocks that were handed down from some other kid and that gave me endless hours of fun.

This is why Legoland is my favorite theme park, that inner child that never grew up squeals in delight every time I go.

I started by buying sets with the “excuse” that they were for Shammy but I would build them first to “make sure that no pieces were missing”. It turns out that I still love building just as much if not more.

Unfortunately Lego brand toys are expensive!  So I really enjoyed the Netflix type Lego rental service that I got to try cheaply with Groupon and allowed me to build a $400 Star Wars Death Star for less than $20 but Shammy was too sad about not being able to keep the sets forever so I canceled it.

lego death star

By now Shammy is truly a Lego lover and now when I buy sets they are truly for him only. He loves following the directions and building the same thing over and over. Thanks to Pinterest there are many brilliant ideas on how to incorporate them into school making them an even better value for us.

He has even turned into a bit of a brand snob and I don’t blame him. We have tried generic bricks from the dollar store and mainstream competitor brands but it just isn’t the same.

Speaking of value. Until recently I had no idea that Lego investing was even a thing! I was able to snag a hard to find set last year for $20 and it’s already worth $80. As much as I want to play with it I have kept it in mint condition as a rainy day savings fund. There is even a thriving market for used sets.

LEGO-Investment-vs.-Wall-Street

I have also taken to buying a set on clearance at Target that I know still fetches full retail value or higher online and I “flip it” to then afford the set that Shammy wants to play with.

While some people buy Legos as a college fund, I am nowhere near ready for that kind of commitment but it does mean that whenever I see a set at a great discount or on clearance I will probably snatch it.

Posted in Parenting

Lego Organization on a Budget

Shammy really enjoys getting the Lego Club Jr magazine and has been trying to follow the instructions for the builds in each issue, I have always loved Legos so I enjoy working with him on this. Until recently our 2,000+ bricks were just thrown together in a plastic bin which was fine during creative free play but not so convenient when the instructions call for a specific brick. More than one we were frustrated and disappointed when we spent several minutes literally digging through a brick only to discover that we just don’t have that type. I decided that now would be a good time to order the storage system I had my eye on for years. I had seen it as low as $40 last year so that’s range that I expected to find it for, sounds simple doesn’t it?

I come to find out that my dream storage system now commands collector’s prices, I refuse to pay close to $400 for several colorful plastic containers so I decided to search for alternatives. If I had that much money to spare I would rather spend it buying more lego bricks, not a plastic contraption to store them in .

Almost $400 for colorful plastic? no thanks!
Almost $400 for colorful plastic? no thanks!

Pinterest and Google have LOTS of brilliant ideas and suggestions but as much as I like Container Store geekery, I have the upcoming Yule holiday as a spending priority and many of them would require more than I was willing to spend in the storage and organization department of any boxed store.

Thankfully Amazon’s creepiness came in handy when it suggested the perfect solution based on my recent search patterns. Thanks to the Redbox Entertainer Advisors Panel and Swagbucks, I had some gift card credit on my account so for just a couple of dollars I was able to get this system (the price has since increased but it may come down again at any time).

Not as colorful but very efficient and for only $13!
Not as colorful but very efficient and for only $13!

When it finally arrived I spent almost 2 hours in pure OCD geekery heaven sorting them into their little drawers.

ocd legos
You know you are OCD when…

I am very happy with this system, when it’s time to build we can quickly find the right brick size and I just pull out the drawers and set them on the table when the boys one to do free creative building.  As our Lego collection expands I plan to buy more.

organized legos