Monday, July 18, 2016

More Minifigure Acquisitions (From Series 3 & Series 4)

About a week or so ago, I had to make another Brick Link order (this time I needed some large arched pieces for my raised train track that I wanted to build for my city - more on that in a future post)!  Anyhow, as I usually do, I checked out the Brick Link seller's other offerings - and as luck would have it, he had a pair of collectible minifigures that I needed for a reasonable price.

The first of these was the Space Alien from back in Series 3.

I have to admit that I don't have any particular attachment (or interest) in the Space Alien...but it was one of the figures from the set that I didn't yet own so I decided to buy him.  Sometimes being a collector is a tough gig!  The good news is this acquisition means I'm now only missing seven more figures from Series 3!

The second minifigure that was able to add to my collection was the Werewolf from Series 4.

As a whole, I can't say that either minifigure is overly exciting (the Werewolf has been outclassed by the Monsters line of minifigures that came much later).  Even so, getting a pair of minifigures from Collectible Series that were released before I discovered the minifigure lines is good for me!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

My Custom LEGO Train Station, Bookstore, and Snack Shop!

Over the past few weeks, my wife and I did a complete remodel of our basement (the home of the "man cave" and my LEGO table).  Because of the amount of work required (wallpaper removal, painting, new lights, etc.), I had to completely dismantle my old LEGO train table and box everything up during the remodel process.

The good news is that the remodel is now complete (and the basement looks great)!  That means I am now ready to get my train table put back together - but being someone who likes to mix things up, I ended up arranging the tables in a brand new design which (of course), meant redoing all the track, building placement, etc.  It also meant that I was finally able to (mostly) complete my first large scale MOC:  a train station, bookstore, and a snack shop.

It should be noted that the MOC isn't quite yet complete - I need a lot more grey 2x2 tiles for instance but it's getting close.  Here's a sneak peek at it!


The bookstore uses a Collectible Minifigure (the Librarian) as the store clerk.  The printed books make for a nice display.  You can also see the "coffee chain" store from the Town Square set off to the left of the photo.


Here's a better view of the Coffee Chain.

As for the station, it's an elevated train station (using a spiral staircase to get up to the top).

You might recognize some of the pieces (mostly stickers) from the Train Station set - I took that apart and used some of of the pieces for my much larger train station area!  I still want to tile the rest of the base plate - and add in a few other decorative elements (maybe a statue, some park benches, etc.).

And there's the top of the station.  My new layout has a raised track for the passenger trains and a lower track for the cargo trains.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Unicorn Girl Comes Home to Roost (Do Unicorns Roost? I Don't Think So)

Today, I am pleased to show off one more LEGO Collectible Minifigure for my collection.

That's the Unicorn Girl from Series 13.  This minifigure was courtesy of another Swapfig trade - a trade that took about a month to arrive at my house...but all is well that ends well I guess!

As for the figure itself, it's cute enough I guess (I'm not really a unicorn guy, what can I say)?  The tail piece is unique to my collection at least, so that's something.  Even better, I'm now only three figures away from being able to close the door on Series 13 (I'm only missing the fencer, the Egyptian warrior, and the disco diva).

Monday, June 27, 2016

What to Do With Minifigures? A Home Made Minifigure Display Solution!

If you've been reading this blog over the past few weeks, you'll know that I've jumped back into collecting LEGO minifigures, mostly thanks to discovering the Swapfig website.  Of course, it is one thing to collect all the minifigures...it is quite another to actually figure out how to store and/or display them!

Luckily, I had a plan - though the plan required quite a bit of work!

First, I had to build a workstation in my garage.  We moved into our new house about a year and a half ago, and while I love this house, I missed having a workshop in the garage like our old house had.  Therefore, when my wife decided to get some new doors in the upstairs, I knew I could take the old doors and turn them into a pretty nice work bench.

It took some doing, but here's the final result:

Not bad for a novice, right?

Literally one day after completing the work bench, I decided to put it through the paces by creating my own LEGO Minifigure display shelf.  I had a few requirements for my display shelf:
1.  I wanted each "slot" to be large enough to hold the black minifigure base that comes with every figure LEGO sells.
2.  I wanted some slots to have a double width - either to accommodate minifigures with large parts (such as Mermaid tails) or to be able to pair up two figures that "belong together."
3.  I wanted the shelf to hold a bunch of figures!
4.  I wanted to avoid using any nails or screws in the creation of the shelf.
5.  I wanted the shelf to be made of oak so that it would match most of the rest of the wooden stuff in my man cave.

After a lot of measuring (and a ton of cutting on my table saw), I was able to create a bunch of pieces that had to be put together much in the way one would assemble a puzzle.

It was definitely a moment of truth when I started the assembly, but luckily my measuring (and cutting) were true - everything fit wonderfully!

And now, I have plenty of room for many of minifigures (though not all of them - my collection is rapidly growing)!

Luckily, when we moved in our house the previous owners left a knick-knack shelf on the wall...  A shelf that I claimed right away for my LEGO figures - and as you can see, there is room on there for a few more at least...and then it'll be back to the new workshop to build yet another shelf!

If you want to see more of my "man cave" makeover, check out this entry over on my baseball-centric blog.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

And Then There Was One (Remaining on my Want List That Is).

My trading on the Swapfig website has slowed down a bit lately, probably because we are "in between" Collectible Minifigure series at the moment.  That said, the trading stream hasn't completely dried up yet.  In fact, this past week I was able to track down one more minifigure for my Series 15 set.

That's the Tribal Woman who just so happened to be the second-to-last figure that I needed.  For those that are wondering, all I need now is the Jewel Thief and I'll be able to remove Series 15 from my LEGO want list!

I would be remiss if I didn't show off the papoose - one of the most adorable "accessories" that any of the collectible minifigures comes with, from any series!

Slow progress is still progress - and I'm always pleased to get that much closer to completing a set!  Now, the real question is:  Will I be able to finish off Series 15 before Series 16 hits the shelves?!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Two More Brand New Minifigures for my Collection!

This is the fourth consecutive week that I have a Swapfig trade to show off!  I do have other LEGO related things to discuss...but for as long as I'm able to keep knocking minifigures off of my want list, you better believe that's what gets priority!

Anyhow, today's trade was a two-for-two.  Once again, I nabbed a couple more minifigures from Series 14 (the monster series).  I forget who I traded away on this one - I think it was a couple of older figures (probably not my wisest trade in hindsight but that's ok).

I'm now the proud (?) owner of the Monster Rocker and the Fly Monster.

Beginning with the Monster Rocker:

I have to say, why LEGO, why?  This one is completely pointless to me - and while I get the Monster/Halloween theme of the series (even if I don't like it), should all the figures either be kids dressed up as something or, you know, actual monsters?  Since when does Frankenstein play guitar and wear bling?  I've got very little love for this figure, but at least I no longer "need" it (the pains of being a set completionist)!

Next, a slightly better figure in that at least it's unique, the Fly Monster:

An ugly claw for the fly (what is he, half lobster) but the headpiece is kind of cool.  I guess this simply wasn't a very exciting trade...and a perfect reason why I was originally going to completely forgo Series 14.  I guess I should have stuck with my gut on that one.

Oh well - only eight more to go from this series and then I'm done with it forever!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Adding Three More New Minifigures to my Collection!

This marks the third straight week that I've completed a trade on Swapfig - and this one is my biggest trade yet (a three-for-three deal).  I'm absolutely loving Swapfig so far - I've managed to dump off five unwanted (i.e. duplicate) minifigures and in return I've added five from my want list.  The only unfortunate thing for me at this point is that I'm basically out of duplicate minifigures from the newer series (Series 15 and the Disney Series) - the new stuff seems to have a lot more action as compared to the older series.

Anyhow, it's time to take a quick look at what I was able to acquire.  All three minifigures are from Series 14 (the Monster Series - a series that I wasn't even going to bother collecting until I stumbled upon Swapfig...now I own almost half the set)!

First up, the Zombie Cheerleader.

She's like a real cheerleader, except undead.  I can't say that I fully understand why there is a zombie cheerleader.  What is she cheering for?  Brains?

Next, the Spectre.

This figure is pretty cool in that it has a unique "legs" piece.  The other cool thing about this figure is that the head glows in the dark.  It makes for a good looking minifigure - and certainly a good fit with the monster theme that LEGO went with for Series 14.  This is easily one of my favorite figures from the set so far.

The one unfortunate thing about the Spectre (that I didn't realize until after I took the photos and had already left positive feedback for the trader) is that the trader didn't include the Spectre's cloth "robe."  I'm going to try and contact the trader and see if he still has it...but unfortunately I'm guessing I'm out of luck since I already left feedback.

UPDATE:  I contacted the trader and he said it was an oversight.  He told me he'd be mailing me the missing piece.  Let's hope it all works out - I'm too much of a completionist to settle for a unfinished minifigure!

Finally, last but not least, the Zombie Pirate.

Back when I thought I wasn't going to bother collecting Series 14, the Zombie Pirate was one of the few minifigs from the series that I actually wanted.  Now that I have him in hand, I can report that he is a solid figure - but I think the Spectre is actually the best of the three minifigures from this trade!

All told, this was another great trade - and I got to mark off three more minifigures from my want list (which is always exciting)!  I haven't much luck in acquiring minifigures from the older series yet (especially Series 1 which I'm missing 15 of the 16) but perhaps in due time!