Confessions Of A LEGO Addict

Guys, I have a confession to make. I have a Lego addiction. While I am not a heavy user, I have been maintaining my fix for roughly 10 years. Over that time, If I’ve learned anything, it’s that Lego is expensive and they’re going to keep finding ways to make me feel okay about that.

I know this isn’t news to anyone. Lego is one of the most popular and recognizable brands on Earth. In addition, they have cultivated licensing with powerhouse brands like Disney, Adidas, Fender, and DC Comics to name a few. It might be easier to count the number of people who haven’t heard of Lego.

What people from outside might not know is that within the fandom of Lego there are subgenres. Some people go in for the Technic sets. Others are all about the Creator Expert series which was recently rebranded as “Lego for Adults”. I’m sure someone buys the architecture sets when they’re not decorating their basements with the severed, eyeless heads of dolls. My point is, there’s a style for everyone but minifigures are my most recent weakness.

I started collecting them during the pandemic because Lego had released blind bags of Disney minifigures and I wanted the Chip and Dale figures. I started just grabbing a bag or two on my way home and rolled the dice on what was in them like some kind of dope. Soon, I had like six bullshit Hercules minis but no Dales. There had to be a better way. That’s when I discovered the massage tactic.


For the uninitiated, the minifigure blind bags don’t just contain the figure. That would be boring and only a monster would like that. No, the minis come with hats, helmets, weapons, and all other kinds of accessories to make them worth the $4.00 price tag. Those little bits and pieces make it easier to find most figures by rubbing the bags between your fingers to find out who is inside.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Not because it’s hard to find the pieces but because it’s really fucking weird for an adult male to be rubbing a small bag of Lego pieces in an area of the store frequented by children. Aside from the weird looks you’d get from parents, the security people may also be suspicious of your behavior. See, if you’re a new collector, you may be a little embarrassed to engage in this little trick so you try to do it subtly. This really gets security’s attention. The thing is, they’re not so worried that you’re touching a toy Minnie Mouse’s “no-no place” but that you’re trying to sell a relatively rare Minnie Mouse on eBay.

After some awkward looks and a little shame, I stopped trying for subtlety and went all out. The security folks know what’s up and they could care less about collectors, they’re looking for the Pablo Escobars of Bricktopia. The more I did it, the less embarrassed I felt and sure enough, I got my Dale and unfortunately, I also got hooked.

On January first of this year, a new collection dropped. I had a Lego gift card and it was burning a hole in my pocket. After shaking off my hangover, I drove to the Lego store in Braintree. As I walked in the door, an older woman was hovering over a blue box on the counter. She beat me to the minis. I slowly walked nearby and watched as she dug through the box, rubbing every bag and fitfully shaking her head. The employees in the store looked on in exasperation.  

The woman had a wrinkled piece of paper next to her and she regularly referred to it after every bag. I was intrigued. As I got closer, I could see that this woman had a system. She spoke in short bursts at the poor employee by the register. I began to piece together her system which relied heavily on a YouTuber who insisted that certain figures were in certain places within the larger box which doubled as a display. However, this box did not adhere to that placement and the lady wanted the employees to know all about it. 

After watching her for what seemed like way too long for one adult to watch another adult rub a bag of hard plastic odds and ends, she gave up, paid, and then left. I considered digging through the box myself but after seeing it from my angle, the whole thing just felt really fucking weird. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still collecting Lego but I’m going to be a lot less weird about it. I’m just going to buy blind bags and hope for the best. Sure, I might spend a little more but it’s worth it not to be a creepy old man in a toy store. 

One more thing, I’d like to thank that weird older lady in the South Shore Plaza Lego store. She taught me a valuable lesson on that cold January morning. I learned that rubbing blind bags is a little gross and I learned that no hobby is worth getting ultra-weird over.

[This post was originally published at Otherverse Games & Hobbies]


C.W. “Sarge” Kennedy is a weird, portly war veteran living in southeastern Massachusetts. He has some kind of degree from an accredited university but you wouldn’t know it by looking at his gaping maw as he tries to operate simple technological devices. Room temperature IQ aside, Sarge is a cohost of The Citizen’s Guide to the Supernormal podcast, collaborator on the YouTube Channel Sarge the Destroyer, obnoxious Tweeter known as @bastardprophet, and part-time Instagram train-wreck. If you like short stories with questionable grammar, you can buy two of them at Amazon. He has no other valuable qualities according to people who know him.

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