LEGO Article About Being Interviewed On The Collectors Show


I was looking for something else and stumbled onto this. Our guest wrote and posted a very long article about the interview he did with me on the show. I was flattered he did so and I hope everyone else who sees it here agrees that this was a nice contribution.

From BrickBlogger, November 10, 2014

(Written by William)

Recently I had the opportunity to represent theBrickBlogger on a web-based radio program called The CollectorThe interview was facilitated by Harold Nicoll, The Collector himself. It was a fun and interesting experience, so in this behind-the-scenes look I’ll talk about how the whole process worked. It may not be something you’ll need to know in your own personal life, but you might still find it interesting. And who knows? You may be doing an interview yourself some day! :)

LEGO Interview - Collectors Show

Another topic I will cover here is some of the missed questions.Before the interview Harold sent over a list of questions that would help keep the conversation on track, but we didn’t have time to go over it all. However they were still interesting enough that I thought to share them with you here. Time flies when you’re having fun!

LEGO INTERVIEW – THE PROCESS

As far as theBrickBlogger goes, everything comes straight through our admin. Not only is she monitoring the site to keep our standards up and be a family friendly environment, but she handles scheduling of articles, editing, processing news, and processing the numerous requests that come to the site. When a request like an interview comes to her attention, she first needs to vet the source. This includes how that entity conducts themselves in terms of content, as well as validate the source in terms of size and activity level. Next, she has to figure out whether or not the request is within the abilities of theBrickBlogger. At the time of this interview allergies made it impossible for admin to handle the interview herself, but fortunately I was available. Combine this with my podcasting experience and it was a good fit.

LEGO Interview with Harold Nicoll

So now the ball was in my court. Harold got in contact with me directly. We had to figure out a time to have the interview as it was going to be over the phone, which meant we had the added challenge of dealing with time-zone differences. Once that was done, it was time for Harold to send me a rough script. This is more of an outline for introducing the topic and me, and a list of questions he planned to ask. With this comes a note that many times, as the interview goes on, he might find a particular point interesting and ask a follow up that is not on the script. With script in hand, I had time to do any research I might needed for the interview, as well as touch basis with admin for any points that needed clarifying. This last point was important since I was representing theBrickBlogger in this interview. Then, it was just waiting for the call… you can listen to the full interview at the following link. It starts with some unrelated collector subjects, and our interview begins at 12:35 (if you like you can forward to that point) and goes on for about 30 minutes. Here is the link: The Collector’s Show – Collecting LEGO Interview, and you can also listen to it below. Again, my part of the interview starts at 12:35, so you may want to forward to that section.

LEGO INTERVIEW – MISSED QUESTIONS

Surprisingly, we did get through a lot of the questions that were planned. Some were slightly altered but most were present as they were in the script. However, there was one question in particular that I thought would be fun to answer. It was about the LEGO sets that were listed on theBrickBlogger as retiring soon, and whether this meant they were the best to collect. Since the show is called The Collector I was a little sad we didn’t get to touch upon this point. Thankfully I can talk about it here, so here it goes…

Essentially, a discontinued LEGO set has the potential of being a collector’s item, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be. Sure, LEGO holds its value and there seems to always be a mark-up for any set that is discontinued, but the real crux of the matter comes to whether or not it is a good collector’s item. That is a very different bit of criteria to consider. If you want to be a collector, chances are you are guided by two main principles. First, do you like what you collect? Second, does it hold value for others? Between these two major areas is where you find a collectible.

Shop LEGO Retiring Soon Sets

A discontinued LEGO set may not fall under either one of these two areas. Say, for example, a LEGO City Police helicopter. LEGO always releases new LEGO City Police sets, and likely there will always be a helicopter in the line. So while a set becomes retired it doesn’t mean it will be a great collectible. So what’s the point of keeping track of discontinued LEGO sets? Well, some of them are indeed great collector’s items (like for example the LEGO Modular Houses and other LEGO Exclusives), so knowing ahead of time when they will be retired gives you great advantage. For builders, this means that a particular arrangement of pieces will not be easy to get any more, so it’s best to stock up on them before they get retired. For resellers, keeping track of retiring soon LEGO sets means they know ahead of time which sets will be increasing in value in the near future. And for LEGO fans in general it is an indication that shelf-space is being cleared to make room for new stuff. :P

TALKING LEGO IN PUBLIC

So what can we learn from an experience like being interviewed about a hobby? Well for one, getting to talk LEGO to someone who is not in the hobby is all about timing. You’d be surprised how many opportunities are actually available for speaking in public. Not too long ago, a fellow LEGO User Group member was asked to speak at a college for a Recreation & Leisure course. Having an audience willing to listen is always a better experience than trying to forcibly bring up the topic in mixed company. A receptive audience might even result in new fans joining the hobby.

Another point is to have an outline when you speak. This doesn’t need to be fancy or greatly detailed by any means. A handful of questions is probably all most of us need to talk LEGO. The reason why having an outline is such a good idea is because it prevents us from rambling. Sometimes our love of the hobby gets in the way of talking about it. There are just too many things we want to cover and can’t because of time. Allowing for a small bit of organization will let your ideas come across more fluidly and keep you from getting a bit too obscure in the minor details.

LEGO INTERVIEW – WHAT I DIDN’T SAY

Talking formally about LEGO is a very different story than a personal conversation. I want to make this point because there were a number of things I didn’t say during the interview. Most of these topics had more to do with my personal opinions. One such opinion has to do with me being a “purist”. We got into the concept of counterfeit LEGO, and as much as I am about keeping my collection all official, I didn’t want to couch my terms as a discussion of counterfeiting. Harold still called it counterfeiting, but I wanted to point out in the interview that many small businesses make compatible pieces that aren’t copying LEGO’s own, but rather make something original and expand on the hobby.

I also didn’t want to monopolize the interview with my own preferences. Again, specifics are great for examples, but generalities are better suited for an entry-level interview. This helped me from excluding anyone that might find it interesting. An example of this is when Harold asked “Where does one start?” I didn’t go into how well you can build or how much money you have to spend. Instead I turned the question around and said “What do you like?”As we all know, LEGO has the ability to be virtually anything we can imagine. So I turned a very specific topic into a general one.

LEGO Interview - Collectors Show

Hopefully you have a chance to listen to the interview (here is the link again, or you can use the player above to listen) and maybe you’ll find something interesting in it. My question to you is, have you talked to a group of non-LEGO fans about your own LEGO hobby? How was your experience? Did you learn something interesting during the process? Feel free to share in the comment section below! ;)

Collecting Victorian Christmas Ornaments


This week on The Collectors Show we talk with Melanie Thomas about collecting Victorian Christmas ornaments. To hear the podcast go to Web Talk Radio (www.webtalkradio) or iTunes. 

Melanie is a frequent contributor to Antique Trader Magazine and has written about this topic. Here is a link to that article: http://www.antiquetrader.com/featured/decking-halls-victorian-ornaments.  She and her husband own and operate the Arsenal of the Alleghenies in Gettysburg, PA.

Here is a link for their store: http://www.arsenalofthealleghenys.co

What If Your Collection Was Destroyed Or Stolen?


Franklin Silverstone and Linda Duram join us this week on The Collectors Show  to talk about a neat tool for collectors called, “Collectify”.

Does you collection just morph into a bundle of stuff? Do you want to have an organized collection? Do you want to ever have your collection curated? You will never be able to approach a curated level with first having a system of organization. Imagine that you lost a big collection and needed to make a claim? Collectify will help with these. Collectify has two products. One is for collectors and the other for home inventory.

Launched in 2001, Collectify for collectors started to help organize collections. The software is very easy to use and walks collectors through the process effortlessly. Just as important, the software knows the right questions to ask about your collection. And the more information known about a collection, the better.

While the software exists on the computer of the collector, it can also exist in the cloud. So if a home or is stolen, destroyed or severely damaged, collectors can still make an insurance claim as inventory exists outside the home.

There is also a feature called “comparison objects” that compares the value of what you own to other, comparable items. So it’s not just someone’s opinion about value. There is real data that is verifiable. There are plenty of insurance companies that use the tool themselves and recommend it to some of their customers.

As disaster knows no season, keeping track of important, rare or personal property is more important than before. Collectify is a very simple but powerful tool for collectors to maintain a proper inventory.

Plastic Scale Model Collecting


Thanksgiving was a short week, so we did not get our newsletter out or many posts to the web site. So if you missed the program, you can still listen.

We discussed the state of the plastic scale model with Greg Bower who came to us all the way from Japan. Greg collects and builds plastic models. I was concerned that the hobby was all but extinct, but Greg says that because of the interest in scale models in Japan, there is hope for people like me who still enjoy collecting the old scale models from Revell and for younger folks who want to get started in the hobby.

1/530 U.S.S. Hornet (CVS-12) Plastic Model Kit from Revell Germany.

1/530 U.S.S. Hornet (CVS-12) Plastic Model Kit from Revell Germany.

To hear this or any episode of The Collectors Show go to Web Talk Radio (www.webtalkradio.net) or iTunes.

First Star Wars 7 Action Figure Introduced


Remember on The Collectors Show when I told everyone to be on the lookout for the first action figures associated with Star Wars 7 tie-ins? Well, that did not take long. This story is from Action Figure Daily. To hear The Collectors Show go to Web Talk Radio (www.webtalkradio.net) or iTunes. 

Kaiyodo Star Wars Revoltech C-3PO Action Figure 003

Kaiyodo Star Wars Revoltech C-3PO Action Figure 003

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming out next year, many overseas toy manufacturers have picked up the license in anticipation. Several of the Japanese companies have already started to release figures from the older movies, including Kaiyodo, whom is most well known for their Revoltech line. They just revealed the Star Wars Revoltech C-3PO action figure, which is going to be the third Star Wars Revoltech figure to make it to market.

Just like with some of the other Star Wars Revoltech releases, C-3PO isn’t quite the most movie accurate version of the character you can get. Though, he does come packed with accessories, detail, and of course articulation.

All in all he features 14 points of articulation and stands about 6-inches tall. He comes with a Death Star MSE-6 Fixing Droid, swappable hands and a figure stand for accessories.

Look for him to be released overseas in February. If you are looking to pre-order this figure then you are going to find a retailer that is importing him. Big Bad Toy Store is importing him and it looks like he’s going to cost $54.99.

Every Collectible Ever Made: Cincinnati collectibles startup raises first round of capital


This article was originally published in the Cincinnati Business Courier. To hear The Collectors Show go to Web Talk Radio (www.webtalkradio.net) or iTunes. 

A Cincinnati startup website that aims to build a catalog and marketplace for every collectible item ever made has hauled in its first round of outside financing.

CompleteSet, led by co-founder Gary Darna, completed its first round of financing by raising $650,000.

CompleteSet, led by co-founder Gary Darna, completed its first round of financing by raising $650,000.

CompleteSet raised $650,000 in seed-round capital last week, company co-founder Gary Darna told me on Monday. CompleteSet, now based downtown in startup accelerator Cintrifuse’s space, got the money from a group of investors. Doug Cobb, a Louisville investor who is co-founder of venture capital firm Chrysalis Ventures, led the CompleteSet funding. Cherub Fund, based in Lexington, also invested. Several other individuals who Darna described as angel capital investors, mainly from the Louisville area, participated in the investment, too.

“It was a long process,” Darna said of getting the capital.
CompleteSet will use the money for product development, hiring new people and boosting its marketing efforts. It has five employees now, but Darna expects that to grow to 12 early next year. He and co-founder Jamie Rump plan to hire several web developers and an archivist who will create content and write about the collectibles for CompleteSet’s website.

CompleteSet launched in 2012 when it joined Inkubator. It was part of the first class of entrepreneurs to graduate from Northern Kentucky University’s Inkubator program. The company launched its first product in September, taking it from the beta testing phase to being available to the public. It’s now generating revenue, Darna said.

Members sign up for free on CompleteSet’s website and enter their collectibles. The company generates revenue by taking a transaction fee of 6 percent whenever an item is bought on the site. It already has members from 34 countries and has catalogued more than 100,000 collectibles.
That might sound like an incredible amount, but Darna points out that the Star Wars franchise has generated more than 400,000 unique collectible items since it began in 1977.

Darna and Rump had been seeking capital for a while, but they had a breakthrough in raising money when they took part in the Velocity startup accelerator program in Southern Indiana, near Louisville, this summer. The company graduated from that 100-day program in late September and investor interest was piqued.

“We met a number of investors through that program, and many were from the Louisville area,” Darna said. “The process moved pretty quickly from there.”
The move to Cintrifuse gives the company its first office. The five employees had been working out of their homes and meeting at coffee shops and other spots, “anywhere that had Internet access,” Darna said.

Wither Revell Collecting and Building Scale Models


This week on The Collectors Show (www.webtalkradio.net) we meet Greg Bower. Greg is an American who teaches english in Japan and is in a unique position to know a great deal about the future of scale modeling as he lives near the center of the Japanese Action Figure and scale modeling world. He speaks Japanese fluently and loves to build models. With his credentials and interests,  Greg has an interesting take on the present and future of plastic scale models.

1/530 U.S.S. Hornet (CVS-12) Plastic Model Kit from Revell Germany.

1/530 U.S.S. Hornet (CVS-12) Plastic Model Kit from Revell Germany.

Most American baby boomers remember Revell scale models or even Moebius. Both are still around and selling scale models. But the popularity of these hobbies of things that are “put together” seem to have been overtaken by Lego. Even board games are enjoying a resurgence as a family activity. The scale model makers are not anywhere near the marketing or pop culture savvy of Lego. There is no “Revell Movie” like there is for Lego.

The present and future of the plastic scale model collecting and assembling hobby comes from Germany and Japan. To learn more, listen to The Collectors Show at Web Talk Radio (www.webtalkradio.net) or iTunes.