Lego kits? There’s a club for that

Collector? Richard White, Vicksburg

Collection? Lego kits.

How did your collection begin? I started in 2008, when my daughter-in-law bought me a Lego architectural set, and I just picked it up from there. The architectural sets were a good introduction but I soon found Lego’s modular sets, which are much larger and very detailed. Lego started modular sets in 2007 when they introduced two, then they released one a year beginning Jan. 1 in 2008.

What is your best source for acquiring/trading/selling? There are Lego stores in larger cities but I can get the modular sets and Lego pieces through Lego’s website. They don’t necessarily limit the modular sets but if you don’t order right away Jan. 1, it’ll go on backorder and you’ll have a very long wait. On average, a modular kit you’d buy directly from Lego’s website costs about $150.

Your most unusual item? I’m a fan of Batman and I just bought the 1989 Batmobile set … it’s about two feet long and has more than 2,000 pieces. I bought the Batwing, too, a separate piece that is also big, about 2,000 pieces. Most modulars are anywhere between 2,000 and 2,500 pieces. I’ve also built four houses just from my own design using spare pieces.

How long does it take to assemble a Lego modular? Well, I’m retired so I typically can put one together in about a week. I have the luxury of several hours during the day, if I choose, to spend on assembling the kits.

Some people buy the modular kits like they’re a collector’s item … they’ll keep the box sealed and never put the pieces together. I just can’t see the need to do that. I mean, you buy it for the fun and the challenge, to keep your mind sharp.

What item or items are missing from your collection? I don’t have the first three modular sets. They’re out there on the secondary market but at a price I’m not willing to pay. Also, I wish I had been involved in this when they were doing the Indiana Jones sets.

Are you on the web? There are clubs and we have one here in the area. It’s called West Michigan Lego User Club and I’m a member, but the majority of the members are in Grand Rapids.

What joy do you get from collecting Legos? It’s a great hobby and I get a lot of enjoyment from working on modulars. I was an architectural designer, so building these brings me a lot of enjoyment and the satisfaction that comes from the sense of accomplishment.

What’s the most you ever paid for an item? I spent $400 on the Disney Cinderella’s Castle from Lego’s website. It’s a piece my 9-year-old granddaughter really enjoys. There’s a Star Wars piece that’s close to $800 and has about 4,000 pieces, but I’m not into Star Wars.

Footnotes: White, 65, said the most complex and largest item he has constructed is a 3,000-piece roller coaster. His Lego “community” display rests on two ping pong-sized tables and features illumination provided by a string of Christmas tree lights.

Collector Updates

Jeff Kik, whose collection of 25,000 logoed golf balls was featured in the May 2021 South County News, recently received a welcome surprise.

Kik mentioned several corporate logos he has been trying for years to secure. One he mentioned was Godfather’s Pizza.

Susan Hartmann, franchise marketing specialist for Godfather’s Nebraska-based corporate office, saw the story online and was eager to help.

“I read the story and thought it was very interesting, so I told my boss about it and asked her if we had any more (Godfather’s logoed) golf balls available,” Hartmann said. “She said she didn’t know. A few weeks passed and I’d sort of forgotten about it until I came into work one day and there was a sleeve of golf balls on my desk.”

Hartmann mailed the three-ball sleeve to South County News, which delivered the surprise to Kik on July 3. Kik was thrilled with the gift and said he has a special place to display his long-sought golf ball.

“The funny thing is, I was on my way home from golfing last night,” Kik said, moments after receiving the gift, “and I stopped and picked up a pizza from Godfather’s. How’s that for a coincidence?”

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