(Written by Mark H. Avery)
I’ve been watching too many LEGO-related videos on YouTube lately. A recurring theme I found is people talking about LEGO regrets, specifically, LEGO sets that they didn’t purchase for some reason while they were still available at regular retail price. I thought that this would be a perfect topic for a blog post as it allows us to discuss our own LEGO regrets. I will start first by sharing the sets I missed, and then you can share in the comment section below the sets you wish you had/ should of/could of purchased but didn’t. I should note that with the help of the Internet, and with enough desire, time, and money, we can still purchase just about any old set. And, if you don’t need the box and original instructions, you can always assemble sets by purchasing pieces on BrickLink. So, without further ado, here are my top ten LEGO regrets plus a few more honorable mentions (images and links from the Brickset database).
1.) The #540 LEGO Swiss Villa dates back to the 1972-1975 era when I first became interested in LEGO. I saw it in catalogs, but I don’t think I ever saw it in a store. It’s far out of scale of current LEGO City and LEGO Creator sets (way too small), but I wouldn’t mind having it on a display shelf. The same applies to the #560 LEGO Police Heliport and the #555 LEGO Hospital from that era. I do have the #580 LEGO Brick Yard and the #357 LEGO Fire House from back then. There are also several train-related buildings from that era that I think never made it to the states: the #165 LEGO Cargo Station from 1978 and the #149 LEGO Shell Fuel Refinery from 1976. The latter I’ve recreated with larger doors, and it sits in the industrial area of my town.
2.) Any of the 12-volt motorized passenger trains from Europe (#7725 or #7740 or #7745). I’m not about to set up a 12-volt rail system, but it would be nice to have a classy looking passenger train from back then.
3.) The #6542 LEGO Load & Launch Seaport. I think I do have the #6541 LEGO Intercoastal Seaport, which was a smaller version, but there is nothing like a large seaport as a centerpiece of a town industrial port area.
4.) The #10133 LEGO Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Locomotive with its unique colors is one of the classiest LEGO train engines I have come across. I was just too cheap to buy it at the time of its availability. In retrospect, a big mistake.
5.) The Santa Fe grey passenger train cars (#10022, #10025). I did purchase two of the #10020 LEGO Santa Fe Super Chief engines, but never got around to buying the two cars. (You needed four to build them in different configurations. Another big mistake on my part.)
6.) The #7637 LEGO City Farm set from 2009. I wasn’t (and am still not) a big fan of the set, but so far it has been the only large farm set available. Myself and a lot other townies keep hoping for a farm series. We are getting teased by LEGO with various farm trucks, but until an extensive farm building set comes out, the old one stays on my regrets list.
7.) The #6769 LEGO Fort Legorado is another big set I didn’t have money or space for. The set came with 687 pieces and 10 minifigures for a price of $85. I own plenty of brown log bricks, so, some day I hope to build my own “wooden” fort. I think it will go well in my town as either an anchor part of an amusement park or as the “original building” in town.
8.) The #10219 LEGO Maersk Train from 2011 (and/or several other similar LEGO Power Function freight trains). Money was just too tight those days to buy such big sets. I also wasn’t eager to switch to LEGO Power Functions from 9-volt. Instead, I ended up buying several smaller sets during that time period. The combination of trains and containers would make a great addition to my port area.
9.) The #725 LEGO Basic Building Set with 420 pieces from 1990. I’m sure I have pieces lying around from multiple copies, but still I’d buy a dozen more at the old list price today. For the money, I think it was the best Basic/Freestyle/Universal/Classic building set for those who were into LEGO town building, with many window, doors, roof pieces and wheels. None of today’s LEGO Classic sets come close for a city builder.
10.) The #10193 LEGO Medieval Market Village from 2009. It would go great in my “old town” section. It was a bargain at $100, but I kept waiting for a 20% off sale, and then it disappeared from the market. Two nice size buildings plus lots of accessories. Probably my greatest regret.
11.) I would list the #6399 LEGO Monorail Airport Shuttle from 1990 as the first honorable mention. Everyone knows about this great set. It’s only on the bottom of my list because I had it at one time (along with some extra track pieces). I still have many of the pieces lying around. One day I should try to re-assemble it, but it might take up way too much space in my already crowded city.
12.) For second honorable mention I would list the LEGO Paradisa series. I like it much better than LEGO Friends, although it obviously was much more limited in scope. I did purchase several of the sets when they were available, but the pieces got mixed into other projects. Although most of the sets can be recreated, the raised baseplates are difficult to find these days.
13.) The last on my honorable mention list is going to be the straight metal train tracks and points. I purchased lots of them when they were available, but you cannot have too many. I plan to build a train yard to store (and display) my trains. I’ll probably end up having to use plastic tracks and points for the yard because of limited metal tracks. (It would also be nice to get some of the rare double cross-over plastic tracks (#7996).
There you have it. My top regrets in my thirty years in the LEGO hobby. The sets I wanted to purchase, but didn’t. There are other kinds of regrets as well. For example, I’m sorry I didn’t buy the early LEGO Modular Buildings, but only because I could have resold them and made a significant profit.
Then, there are many sets where I like the main models, but have no interest in the side builds or minifigures (just about every recent police and fire set fits the category). I would have purchased a lot more sets just for the structures, but I was discouraged from buying them because I did not need any more police officers, firemen, helicopters, and fire engines. The #76041 LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Hydra Fortress Smash and the #10228 LEGO Monster Fighters Haunted House fits into the same category – great buildings, but no use for the minifigures and other extras. The same could be said about some of the new LEGO Hidden Side sets like the school, the train, and the school bus, as well as the LEGO Stranger Things Upside Down building. I’m attracted to them, but would it be easy to convert them and add them to a regular LEGO city? Would it be worth the price if I’m not using some parts of the sets? And I could ask similar questions about all the sets that have nicely detailed interiors (LEGO Friends, for example).
What do you think? What are your top LEGO regrets? I’d love to hear about them! And what do you do when you like only part of a set? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below!
And you might also like to check out the following related posts:
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 1 (introduction)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 2 (building a large LEGO city)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 3 (rebuilding the city)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 4 (LEGO city layout)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 5 (LEGO set purchases)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 6 (LEGO city transportation)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 7 (model railroading)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 8 (LEGO company interactions)
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 9 (LEGO shopping)
- On the LEGO Trail: Visiting LEGO Train Shows
- My LEGO City: A Personal Story – Part 10 (collecting LEGO catalogs)