Steve A. of Canberra started his AFOL journey in 2002. Originally from Melbourne and part of the Melbourne LEGO User Group (MUGs), he moved to Canberra in 2005 and has become an active member of the Canberra LEGO User Group (CLUG).
In terms of storage, Steve describes his methodology as “organised chaos”. He uses shelving, drawers and filing cabinets in his garage for a large portion of his collection. Used parts are sorted by type and are stored in about 30 plastic crates. Unsorted parts are stored in plastic containers and his Bricklink shop parts are in old LEGO plastic tubs.
Steve is really impressed by the variety and quality of LEGO parts and sets these days. As a big fan of the early history of LEGO and he finds it incredible that 1950s LEGO bricks are still compatible with today’s bricks. He also really enjoys the fantastic LEGO fan shows conducted by AFOLs especially the enjoyment it brings everyone from volunteers and organisers to members of the public. As an AFOL, Steve greatly appreciates the support LEGO provides to the LUGs and LEGO fan events.
The quality of LEGO packaging is a concern of Steve’s and he believes they can go some way yet to make improvements in this area. His other least favourite thing about being an AFOL is all of the people on the various forums that have nothing better to do than make complaints.
Russell K of Canberra has only lived in Australia for a couple of years. Whilst living in New Zealand in the 1990s he was well known for creating elaborate interactive LEGO displays with his kids. They had an extensive collection and it was his son’s enthusiasm for LEGO in the early 1990s that first lead him into becoming an AFOL.
For a variety of reasons, Russell’s LEGO was boxed up and placed in storage for a number of years and has only recently been unpacked. Unpacking his collection has been a mixture of delight, to find lost treasures, and sadness, to see how the collection has fared.
Russell has most of his sets on display in his garage in a massive 1990s town display. He has found modern sets to be frustrating as, though they are often lovely builds, they are not the same scale as the bulk of his older LEGO. His spare parts are currently in open plastic tubs sorted by colour. He had yet to unpack his Technic sets and has some concerns about their condition after 15 years in storage.
The favourite thing about being an AFOL for Russell is the range of online resources and the LUG communities that didn’t exist when he was an AFOL the first time around. It also pleases him greatly that the LEGO company are far more supportive of LEGO fans these days compared to the 1990s when he tried to create a fan group in New Zealand.
His least favourite thing is realising just how many sets he missed out on between 2000 and 2015. There’s a lot of catching up to do!
Seeing Darth’s TIE Fighter in Kmart in 2008 was the catalyst for Neil S. to return to LEGO as an adult. Since then he has become an avid collector and has displayed at events across Australia and in other countries.
Neil describes his storage method as “pretty random”. Some parts are stored by colour first then by brick type but smaller pieces are grouped by type then colour. This suits his building style.
He believes one of the best things about being an AFOL is meeting other AFOLs and seeing their creations – it’s amazing what other people can create from their own imagination. He also enjoys creating his own models and, like most AFOLs, appreciates the positive feedback from other LEGO fans.
Neil’s least favourite thing about being an AFOL is probably sorting through all of the little bits and pieces. He also dislikes it when people take the hobby too seriously and forget that it’s meant to be about fun and creativity.
JC of Melbourne doesn’t remember when he first developed a love for LEGO bricks as it happened when he was a small child. However, he was able to revisit his love of LEGO when his son started collecting the second series of the Collectable Minifigs in 2010.
He doesn’t have much of a storage philosophy at the moment because he has limited space in his small apartment. The majority of his spare parts and LEGO bulk are stored in cardboard boxes until he needs them for a build. Whilst building, he stores the parts he is using in tubs and drawers, which he acquired from Aldi (see picture). JC described this method as a “mess” but he hopes to one day have an organized set up in a double garage with lots of room for storage and building.
The best thing about LEGO bricks, for JC, is watching his son play and use his imagination. JC enjoys the social interaction with other AFOLs and loves seeing the creations made by other people. His least favourite aspect is the cost. For him, it severely limits his ability to complete builds. As a MOC builder he has a wealth of ideas of models to design and build but he believes it will be years before he can make them a reality due to the restrictive cost of purchasing the LEGO bricks. JC states that, costs aside, the only true limitation to building with LEGO bricks is one’s own imagination.
The Brick Room Blog is dedicated to LEGO enthusiasts of all ages and their creative spaces. It will feature pics of their working/creative space and their LEGO brick storage system.
The intention is to document the variety of storage styles and creative spaces found within the LEGO fan community. All photos are posted with the permission of the people featured.