Collecting: Lego and POP! Vinyl

One of the best things about buying a house, for me, was getting myself a little room that I can call ‘my own.’ And for the first year or so I didn’t have much to fill it with.

I put up six shelves and filled them with odd bits and pieces. My wife bought me some very nice Dark Knight Trilogy figures that have pride of place on on one of them.

Until I had some storage solutions, comics and graphic novels filled a couple. Then a few Star Wars books made their way in.

Then the first Force Friday happened. I wish I could say I went on a spending spree but I was quite reserved. I got a deluxe Finn 3.75 inch figure with an armour attachment. And then a Poe Dameron from the same range (yes the one that looks like he had a stroke).

Until Christmas I managed to get a few of the Force Awakens figures and some of the Rebels characters that came out around the same time.

Then for Christmas I was told that I was getting a few Funko Pop! Vinyl figures from some friends of ours because, for some reason I was considered hard to buy for and a small collectable thing like that would make it easy for people to buy for me. Fair enough.

Christmas Day. My wife had bought me two Pops. Yoda and Boba Fett, sweet. Then a large present was placed in front of me. It rattled a lot, it sounded broken. It was from my in-laws.

A bit of back story. They had been asking my wife what I wanted for Christmas and I had always responded with a shrug, you see my wife if one of the best gift givers I have ever met. She’s always bought me the best presents and under her guidance I was sure I would love it. As Christmas approached my Mother-in-Law kept saying how amazing my present was and my wife was nervous about it. I was confident it would be great no matter what.

It exceeded all of my expectations.

Lego Millennium Falcon from The Force Awakens. Gift Level – Expert. It was so unexpected and definitely the biggest surprise of the day but I knew that it had been my wife who had inspired the gift.

A few weeks before Christmas my wife and I had gone on a shopping trip to get the Christmas shopping over and done with at Meadowhall (a giant Mall filled with every shop I don’t want to go in) and as we walked through the first shop we came across a stand full of Star Wars toys, one of which was the aforementioned Lego Falcon. My wife asked if that would be a dream gift and I said of course it would but it would never happen. Well it did. And I also got the Lego Darth Vader buildable figure.

Then I added five new Pop’s to the budding collection, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, Batman, Danerys and The Hound (Game of Thrones). Shelf contents got shifted and a POP! Shelf was started.

I built the Falcon in around 8 hours, spread over a week and to this day it is still my favourite set. Don’t ask why, I couldn’t tell you.

The POP! Vinyl collection started to grow at an alarming rate. Any spare cash went on a new POP! I signed up to a subscription service to get a mystery one every month. I hunted for the limited editions and store exclusives. That March, my wife and I went to London to visit family and on a trip down Oxford Street we came across the Disney Store. The ground floor was full of Star Wars stuff. The purchase of the day was the exclusive Rey with Goggles. Days later I bought a multi-pack of TFA Pops. In three months the collection had grown from 5 to 20. By the following Christmas it was at least 60. Now it’s 120. At least 90 are Star Wars.

The Lego collection was a slower one to build (pun not intended). Not long after Christmas I bought Rey’s Speeder on sale (£14 instead of £20) and in the April I got Poe Dameron’s X-Wing.

For my 30th Birthday, the Lego was strong. I got a few Lego buildable figures, Commander Cody, Jango Fett, Obi-Wan and Rey, and the Carbon Freezing Chamber from family and birthday money was spent on finishing off the first wave with General Grievous.

A trip to Star Wars Celebration increased the POP! Vinyl collection by 5. All the Convention Exclusives and a half price Wampa.

I held myself back from buying more sets until Rogue Friday that September when I rushed to Argos after work to get the U-Wing set. It was built in 3 hours and all I wanted was to take it apart and do it all again, why? Because I had found my Zen. Blocking out the world and focusing on building the set calmed me incredibly.

Life got in the way until Christmas when more sets were added. I spent a portion of my Christmas Bonus on the new Y-Wing set, a vast improvement from the 1999 version and that years gift from my in-laws, Krennic’s Shuttle, which I restrained myself well and savoured that build for 3 days.

Over the next few months I added the rest of the Rogue One sets I craved to the collection. Imperial Tank, AT-ST and TIE Striker. I got the Resistance Transport and the Rebels A-Wing/Vader’s TIE Advanced for half price in a Lego Store sale.

By now, my Lego collecting was a topic of conversation at work. Frequent updates and pictures were shown to those who at least feigned interest. And the POP! Vinyl collection expanded. The whole Ghost Crew came in one go thanks to a pre-order.

My now pregnant wife and I took another trip to London for the Star Wars Identities exhibition and we also took a trip to the new Lego Store. I came away with the Phantom 2 set with the one and only Grand Admiral Thrawn mini-fig and I saw the holy grail. The £410 Death Star (I will have it one day).

Over a year later, if you were to go into my ‘Office’ at home you would see a menagerie of Lego and Funko.

Space has become an issue and I’ve had to put the 3.75 figures into storage. Lego covers most of the free space. Four shelves are full of the Star Wars Pops. A fifth shelf has the rest of the Pop collection. Lego on another shelf and two shelves of books (one shelf is dedicated to Star Wars novels). I have two Black Series figures still in their boxes hung on the wall, one of which is the Unmasked Kylo Ren from Celebration 2016, the other TFA Rey with BB-8.

It’s official, I’m almost out of space. Will that stop me? Not at all.

I’ve already put in a birthday Lego request, the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon from the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story and I’m keeping an eye on the price of the Resistance Bomber set.

And of course, I still hope to one day build the Death Star set… if anyone has £400 they want to send my way I’d be eternally grateful.

And lastly, it was thanks to the love of Star Wars Lego that, through a mutual friend, I was introduced to Tom, a fellow collector and frequent poster of pictures of his collection, of which I have been jealous of a few times. We initially shared updates and pictures of our respective collections and now, despite our not ever having met, have developed quite a good friendship, which in the end is what fandom is all about, meeting and sharing our mutual love of Star Wars Lego.

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