AFOL Diaries - What To Do When Everyone Around You Hates LEGO

11th March 2023

LEGO Minifigures Rioting

Photo Credit: Jeff Eaton

Let's face it, LEGO collectors are not easy to live with. We take up huge amounts of space with our gigantic sets and unopened boxes, such that there's cardboard and plastic everywhere. Then there's the hours spent immersed in building or keeping up to date with the latest LEGO news and views, in which we're oblivious to anyone else around us. And let's not mention the constant fretting that your LEGO may in any way get harmed. It's enough to drive your partner, housemate, or family member to despair.

I am that person, and to make things worse my partner has a strong dislike of LEGO, partly because of the negative impact it's had on our living conditions, but also because of their concerns over plastic pollution. This all means I've had the dreaded LEGO intervention too many times to mention.

Fortunately, I've managed to rescue the situation thanks to some of the tips and strategies I'm going to share with you here. So if my situation sounds all too familiar, you might want to read on to find out what to do (and not do!) to get people onboard with your LEGO hobbying.

Tip 1: Take Them To A LEGO Store

Maybe the fact that you're at LEGO loggerheads isn't because they hate LEGO, but just the LEGO you collect. If they don't like Star Wars but are constantly surrounded by Millennium Falcons and Imperial Star Destroyers, then the chances are they're going to start resenting LEGO by proxy.

One of the problems is they might just be seeing your huge LEGO Star Wars collection and being turned off by it. It's fairly safe to say that most non-LEGO fans are also non-Star Wars fans, as the two communities are quite closely linked.

LEGO stores are great places to discover the rest that LEGO has to offer. There are sets inspired by animals, architecture, art, botany, cars, gaming, music, and more. The list goes on, so there's a good chance at least something will resonate with them. I've taken my partner to one and they've shown little glimmers of interest and curiosity that I hope to nurture over time. I've at least heard the words “that's cool” whispered, which I take to be positive.

Tip 2: Build Together

Don't be the person who gets their elbows out anytime someone approaches you whilst you're building. Half the fun of LEGO is in the construction so it should be shared. Even if your significant other doesn't appreciate the end product, surely they can enjoy the relaxation building can bring? LEGO also has many sets designed to be built collaboratively, so there's no excuse!

Tip 3: NEVER Discuss Money

One potential cause of LEGO animosity I didn't mention at the start, is the gigantic financial burden the hobby can come with. I've you've already got your back against the wall, mentioning the cost of the UCS Venator is probably not going to improve matters. So never under any circumstances should you disclose how much you spent on getting that sealed Imperial Flagship. If questioned on cost, just be vague and give answers like “It didn't actually cost that much” or “Not as much as you might expect”.

If you do accidently let slip that you've spent nearly your entire pay packet on LEGO this month, have the “LEGO is an investment” argument up your sleeve.

Tip 4: Say You Only Buy Second Hand

Concerns over the environmental impact of buying plastic are very legitimate and it's something we all should be thinking about. However, LEGO has a burgeoning second-hand market, which isn't contributing directly to plastic production. So if, like me, you're facing a zero plastic ultimatum, you can suggest a compromise of only buying pre-owned sets. And let's face it, with all the brilliant sets of yesteryear, that's hardly a big burden to bear, is it?

Tip 5: Don't Be a LEGO Bore

If you're a hard core AFOL, when you're not building LEGO, you're likely thinking about LEGO and wanting to talk about how cool LEGO is. But what I've learnt is that often it's best not to mention LEGO at all. As hard as that sounds, it's sometimes what's needed to keep the peace. Therefore, a ten minute monologue over dinner about how cool the latest LEGO leaks and releases are isn't always the best dinner conversation.

Tip 6: Get A Job At LEGO

Perhaps the hardest option is to get yourself a job working for LEGO. That way when you bring another LEGO set into the house, you can just claim it's for work purposes. It's quite hard to argue with that.

Tip 7: Compromise

Finally, when living with anyone, compromise is key. To ease the tension, you may just need to stop and ask whether you really need every UCS set or yet more BrickHeadz. Dare I say it, you might even want to think about selling a few sets to make your home liveable again. Obviously make a big song and dance about how emotionally tough it is while you're packing it up to be shipped off, to make them feel guilty and win some brownie points for later down the line.

Hopefully this guide will set you in good stead and maybe even get your partner buying their first set!

Posted by Graham on 11th March 2023

Graham is a passionate LEGO collector, who has a penchant for the Castle, Pirates, and Western themes. You can usually find him monitoring the latest developments and giving his opinion on what's hot and not in the LEGO world.


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