Andrew and Ace

WackLUG founder and long time crony Andrew Lee recently posted the 52’nd episode of his famously unedited, unscripted video blog and you should give it a look if you have the time because I think it’s one of the best entries that doesn’t feature me.  Old school AFOL Ace Kim of FBTB fame, is the latest victim on Brick’s & Beer rotisserie-spit and he’s got a very interesting story to tell that many older AFOL’s can relate to.   Topics include the pros and cons of collecting…Is there ever a time to downsize?…and how to deal with a bloated collection that no longer makes sense.  It’s more focused than Andrew’s typical offerings and the two have a great on-screen rapport, so check it out if you’re a fan of the program or new to it.   There is also a bit concerning one of my favorite builders of all time, Jon Palmer, and the resurfacing of one of his classic creations. Andrew does look oddly bloated, especially in the face. Feel free to speculate on the reason for that in the comments.

14 thoughts on “Andrew and Ace

  1. Watched this last night. Ace may be a whiny, entitled twat in his set reviews, but he seems like a cool guy in person. The bit concerning Jon Palmer was really neat, especially about the model probably not being recognized for its significance if the average FOL found it in a bin. Issues of preserving modern mediums can be a struggle, like those old shareware DOS games that are now lost to time. The early stuff is a little janky and it often takes an expert to even tell what it is or was. The evolution is happening so fast that in just 10 years we’re already consulting archaeologists.

    I fall more in line with Andrew than Ace in terms of seeing it all as paint that should be painted with. Ace’s shock at Andrew cutting open those old service packs shows the contrast quite well. That only applies to product for me, though. MOCs I’ve received from other builders are off-limits as I feel it’s not my place to destroy a unique piece someone else created.

    Regarding collection pruning processes, I don’t think I can really compare to the likes of these two and some of you other guys who have been at this longer. I started out buying a lot of stuff on sale to build up my base (40% off coupons at Borders were insane back in the late 2000’s) but I’ve slowed down considerably since then. Building small started out as an economic and spacial necessity in college but now it’s more a matter of preference. I have just enough to work out designs and then BL whatever I need later. It’s more about having variety than quantity. The small scales also allow me to keep everything together at the cost of only having to order some trivial amount of duplicate parts now and then.

    That said, I do still have a few sets on display, notably Tower Bridge, Fallingwater, and a few modular buildings. I guess you start out keeping some things together just cause they’re cool sets and then time will tell what has emotional value to you (RIP podracers). The Tower Bridge’s days may be numbered because of that, but the modular buildings have a certain double-layered nostalgia for me because they evoke classic town and also represent the modern Lego aesthetic and standard that started in the late 2000’s when I was just getting back into Lego. And I’m realizing just now that all my treasured sets are architecture rather than a genre that I actually build in. I guess that’s because what influenced me to build sci-fi was other builders rather than official Lego. There’s also an Escher-esque simplicity to those town sets that I don’t see much in fan models that focus more on crazy brickwork and textures, with a few notable exceptions. One day I’m gonna track down this old girl because to me it feels like the pinnacle of TLG’s efforts in that aesthetic.

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    1. I must admit that I’ve never read Ace’s set reviews, but I’ll take your word for it. To be honest I stopped enjoying Star Wars a long time ago and although I’ve been aware of FBTB since it’s launch I don’t think I’ve spent more than five minutes on the site. I have fond memories of Ace back in the LUGnet era, I would always take the time to read his posts, and check out what he was up to even if I wasn’t that interested in the topic. That was one of the good things about LUGnet, it kind of forced you to look at stuff outside of your own immediate interests.

      I’m also in the “lego as paint” crowd, the good thing about not having Lego as a kid (other than a handful of random parts) was that I don’t hold any nostalgia for the old sets and thus no need to collect them. Those spring loaded fork-lifts are the bomb and should absolutely not be kept out of circulation in Service bags. I want to see what Andrew does with them, I could care less about collectibility or scarcity. I also consider the model’s I’ve amassed from other builders to be sacred, I would never part them out or modify them without a very good reason. Unfortunately my display space is at a premium so they’re all carefully wrapped up and trapped in a plastic crate. Even if I had the space I wouldn’t display a set. I have the Yellow Submarine still assembled because it was a gift from the wife and the kids dig it too.

      The part of the interview that really resonated with me was the notion of paring down or selling off part of a collection. I’m up against the wall in terms of storage space for my collection, without putting stuff in deep storage in the attic where I likely wouldn’t touch it again. At some point in the near future I’ll be forced to stop accumulating parts without getting rid of stuff first. Since my legoratory is open to the living room I can’t go crazy like Andrew and have a “big dumb wall of lego”, I have to keep it at least somewhat in check and “normalized”. I also have considered more than once what I’ll do with all this stuff when my kids are older and gone from the house. Will I still be into it? Do I want to burden my kids with all this crap when I die? They are definitely questions for the older crowd, and you don’t hear it talked about too often so I appreciated Ace’s perspective.

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      1. About 2 years ago, I sold off 40 pounds of unsorted Lego from my collection to a guy from work with kids. I would never have gotten around to sorting that amount of brick, anyway. That was most of my collection at that time, even. I then rebuilt my collection from bricklink orders and have managed to stay mostly sorted since then.

        I regret nothing!

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      2. Did you get a good price on the 40lbs? or was it more of a case to hook-up a buddy and make a little cash? I agree that sorting vast quantities of loose parts is the worst, I’ve ended up giving away garage sale lego (after cherry picking the best stuff) because it’s not worth the time and hassle. I’d rather be building.

        I can think of at least one thing you regret…

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  2. Will watch shortly… but without any other knowlage nessessary:

    First, congrats to Mr. Lee! 52 episodes? By the gods man! Keep on truck’n!

    Second, the beer in the hosts hand… Bitburgur.. excellent choice.

    Bitte ein Bit!

    Rock on.

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    1. Yeah, 52 episodes is nothing to sneeze at, I have to admit I thought Andrew might have grown bored and moved on to something else by now, but I’m glad he hasn’t because this latest episode is one of his best. Make sure you watch it old man, you and I have talked about the topic now and then, and there’s a Palmer reference. Also, the story about Jeff and the cell phone was pretty classic.

      Bitte ein Buttocks!

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  3. Pretty damn interesting episode. To me, it was more about watching a hoarder come to terms with their problem and (hopefully) making off like a bandit.

    I started with Lego as a kid in the early 90s and I loved sets. Usually I made town layouts that combined them with my own stuff. Now, I mostly buy microfighters and poly bags for parts, and bricklink for what’s missing in a MOC on demand. I still have a classic town restaurant (breezeway cafe), the birds idea set, the exosuit, and the Saturn V because they are cool. I have a decent sized collection and Lego command center but it’s contained to a small area in the front of the house. I have put some serious thought into selling off my batches of blue and yellow to consolidate though.

    I do like the analogy of the Buddhist sand mandala for Keith. Unfortunately for me, I like to hang on to my aircraft and display them, so no moment of zen for me. When explaining the hobby to regular people, it helps to have props to show them your prowess and that you are not a complete man child.

    I’ve been into the hobby for so long that is fundamentally part of my identity so I don’t see myself exiting with the exception of death. I’ve instructed my wife to try to donate my aircraft MOCs to a local air and space museum and probably sell the rest. My daughter has a cursory interest in Lego, but anything can change.

    Oh, and what a trip seeing an old Palmer alphabet wing. Good luck Andrew!

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    1. Glad you liked the episode, and yeah, I don’t have the whole “collector’s curse”, I can’t think of one interest in my life where I’m obsessively driven to amass a product in it’s entirety, but it was interesting to get that perspective from Ace, I doubt he’s alone in his position. Hadn’t thought about it as hoarding either, but I’m sure it’s a fine line. I know there are Lego hoarders out there, I’ve seen a couple and it’s not pretty. I dig the ABS action as much as the next guy, but when it invades every room of your house and the Lego never leaves the box or gets resold…that smells like crazy to me.

      Just like you, keep thinking about selling off stuff I don’t use, and one day I’ll probably get around to it when I run out of room. For instance, I have a gallon sized zip lock bag filled with those soft plastic Knights Kingdom broadswords in gold. I know never say never, but I’m never going to fucking use those. There are quite a few sets I wouldn’t mind having for display but I have such a small space available I’d rather use it for other people’s models.

      I hear you about having props to help explain the hobby to people who enter the abode. When they see the elements in tubs they can’t make the jump to something cool resulting from it, all they see is a kids toy. But when you can give them something cool to actually hold and inspect, it changes everything.

      I don’t think I’ll ever exit the hobby either, at least not for another decade or so.

      Great comment dude.

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  4. Finally got a chance to watch. Scary actually. Personally, I am way on the side of Lego as paint and I think the collector aspect has been fleshed out over in the last FFE. However, I have a shit ton of those cannons and about a half dozen of those forklift forks. The real scary part is that I know what I have but have no clue as to the value other than “reusable paint”. And as someone that lives essentially paycheck to paycheck and has practicality oozing from every pore, I am always torn about reducing the mass, or even refining it. I’ve been buying Lego since the 70s and have pieces I know only existed in one set. And I don’t want to know their value. I fear that if I knew and actually parted them out, I could likely pay off the house. And then “what’s next” would be pretty simple to answer without any paint.

    Really one of the most revealing and interesting B&B I’ve seen, the Palmer history is fascinating. And not too unfamiliar. Classy gesture with the clear treasure chest, cheers indeed Andrew!

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    1. I wish I’d sold my Princess Leia from the first Millenium Falcon, for a while she was going for like a hundred bones! I think Nannan was way ahead of the game when he started selling off SW figures to build his collections for pennies on the dollar.

      Get ready for our own episode of B&B in LA, I doubt we’ll escape it. Wear your Manifesto shirt!

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      1. The shirt will undoubtedly clash with the VirtuaLUG hat. I know which I’d toss in the fire first. 😉 I’m not worth the blank tape to interview, I’ll be like Michael Stipe on the shelf on The Colbert Report. Hooooo. I think I might hit them up for a trip to Frank & Son though, Industry’s only 20 minutes away.

        You bring up the Leia fig, I actually looked up the Jango Fett I have to see some asshat in Germany was asking $600 for his. Fucking baffling as to some of these prices.

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      2. The hat or the shirt….both represent questionable organizations so they might go well together like pea-nu pea-nu peanut butter and jelly. Maybe you could just make the occasional Rodan noise for the interview? Frank and Sons might be a good idea, we can always leave the diorama with Rutherford. He won’t miss us, and as long as we bring him back a double bacon cheeseburger, all we be forgiven/forgotten.

        I’m searching for my Jango tonight. Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

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