What did I achieve in 2016?
Forgive the retrospective but there is a question going around the LEGO forums about exactly what we have all achieved during 2016 and it got me thinking; what have I actually done this year? In order to find out I have delved into my MOC archives, set data and personal LEGO budget to provide a brief summary of what rdflego got up to in 2016.
At the end of 2015 I had tasked myself with five simple goals that I wanted to focus on this year;
1. Sort more of my collection
2. Create more MOCs in 2016 than 2015
3. Get more pieces in 2016 than I did in 2015
4. Buy less sets
5. Decorate my Brickcave
So, How did I do?
Throughout this year I have improved my storage dramatically by modelling my solutions with ‘ease of use’ as the highest priority. I want to be able to access any piece that I may need without having to struggle moving something out of the way. In order to achieve this I have purchased many ½ litre clear plastic tubs that are cheap at £1 each and stack one atop the other or on a rack - as well as 12 A4-sized shallow drawers. Having these clear tubs also helps me know exactly how many of the pieces inside I have to play with. Another great addition were 12 Pick a Brick cups I managed to find for 10p each at The Great Western Brick Show in October that I have dotted about the room. Fortunately for me they all came with 75p off vouchers for official LEGO PAB walls which was an added bonus.
This ease of access has meant that the time taken to produce MOCs has been greatly diminished in 2016. I do not have official numbers from 2015 to compare to but by Christmas 2016 I made and released 64 MOCs this year across 1150 potential building hours. This equates to 1.25 MOCs per week and is a nice achievement considering they range from a micro-scale Flintstones car up to an entire Winter Village. I am very thankful that 2016 has been a great year for storage and ease of access because I never anticipated being able to provide at least one MOC a week throughout the year. I hope that I can maintain this momentum into 2017 and build better creations.
I have not been able to achieve all of my targets this year which brings me to my first failure; aim number 3. I have not been able to exceed my goal of getting more pieces in 2016 than previous years. According to the statistics I gained 12,609 pieces from official LEGO sets with Bricklink orders and Pick a Brick walls bringing that number closer to 20,000 pieces this year (54 new pieces a day) whereas in 2015 the number was closer to 25,000 in total. There are reasons why the number has gone down and they are not all bad; the major reason is that space is still an issue in my Brickcave and I can’t expand into a bigger environment which limits how much I can store. Hopefully I can match my piece count by the end of 2017 compared with this year’s count while working on new projects.
On a happier note though I have been able to purchase less sets in 2016 and spend a little less than I had originally set aside. The total number of sets I collected this year has gone down by 22 which may not sound by much but, trust me, my wallet thanks me for it. Instead of buying sets I have been getting pieces by using Bricklink or going to LEGO Stores and taking advantage of the Pick a Brick walls. These alternatives have been providing me with a much greater return on investment and I’m hoping to expand on this in 2017 to visit a few more stores.
As great as this all is I still need to tackle the final aim on my list and the second failure on this list - a troublesome task for the past few years; I need to decorate, redecorate or at least improve my Brickcave. As it stands at the moment my brickular office contains a ten foot desk, a bevy of storage containers, two display shelves, photography area, instructions cabinet and a bed. It has been on my list to redesign the way I layout my space so that I can incorporate more, but all I managed in 2016 is to add a photography area and some wall art (which incidentally keeps falling off the wall). The improvement of my Brickcave will be on my list of things to do for yet another year which is a slight disappointment but also expected.
Given that it is the end of the year I think I should layout some goals for 2017 and, in a year's time, we can go over it and see how I did. So, in 2017 I would like to;
1. Give my MOCs more detail and perhaps sacrifice the number I produce during the course of the year
2. Get more pieces than I did in 2016 via secondary markets and Pick a Brick walls
3. Buy less sets in order to use my budget wisely
4. Decorate and redesign my Brickcave
But finally I am going to set myself a lofty goal that I do not have any idea how I am going to achieve;
5. Start work on my own custom City
Ever since I was a young tot building with set 1796 Freestyle Bucket I have dreamt of having my own city made entirely of bricks and the idea has only grown stronger as the years go on. Leading up to the festive season I built my first Winter Village in order to experiment with scaling and techniques not knowing that it would be the trigger to make my first city. Now that the festive season is over I can’t wait to use what I learnt making a village and channel it into an urban environment.
I’ll need to tackle a few obstacles to do this, for example; I do not have space for my own custom LEGO city nor do I have any idea what the final layout would look like. I will need to be careful how much I spend and it would be a good idea to set a deadline for completion. This is likely to be the biggest challenge I have ever undertaken with LEGO bricks but, well, carpe diem I guess.
So what do you think? Do you have any goals that you think I should work on or do you have any suggestions for people like me starting a custom city? Let me know in the comments section down below or speak to me on social media by using the CONTACTS page