Wednesday, June 15, 2011

where wrong turns lead we will follow

There is this fantastic little thrift store a few blocks from us - we call it the Hospice Thrift, as all the proceeds are for hospice care and it is staffed by elderly women who are quite proud and particular. The prices are fantastic, and they never sell junk - nothing broken or partial  - they run it like a boutique and everything in that store is in good condition or better.

The other day Kiernen and I were about to go to the bank and the library - which when we come out of where we live, are to the left. This was my only errand, so I was surprised to find myself pulling out of our lot and turning right.

"Why did I just do that?" I said out loud to Kiernen. "I'm going the wrong way. Oh well, no matter, I'll just turn left ahead and double back."

So I did, and we were then driving up the street toward that little thrift store. It came into my head to go there, since we hadn't been in awhile and sometimes, you just never know, there are treasures waiting to be found. I needed some dowel rods for a project - perhaps they'd gotten some in? I asked Kiernen if he was interested in stopping there, and he was. I fleetingly wondered if they ever got LEGO in their store, but seriously fleetingly. I figured not - LEGO is expensive, and people who own it know its value. Old sets can be resold on Ebay for more than a person paid for them, after all. And lots of folks just plain saved them from their childhood for their kids.

Kiernen's Lego, for example, consists of pieces from my own original Lego set when I was three or four, plus additional Lego my brothers added to it growing up, plus so much new stuff. His kids will have the Lego collection to end all Lego collections, especially if we keep going at this rate.

Thought tangent aside, we got to the thrift and went in. As we approached the toy section, I noticed an unopened Bionicle box sitting on the shelf. Or Kiernen noticed it. One of us saw it and I took it down and handed it to him. $4! A steal for a 2004 (I think) Bionicle - and I also remembered Kiernen had been wanting his own Bionicle.

"Cool!" I thought, worth the trip. We looked around in the little 25 cent toy bin and looked on the shelves...and then I saw it. A LEGO Creator set. $5. I'm not one to turn down cheap Lego - an opportunity to add even more Lego to our collection? Great! I was happily showing Kiernen, then we were looking around at the rest of the stuff, when I noticed something I hadn't noticed before: a large bin on the floor with a huge clear plastic bag inside it. And it was full of...are those Megabloks?

No. It was marked $40 and it was completely full of genuine Lego. I didn't even think about it - I untied the bag to make sure, but it was true - it was almost ALL Lego. Kiernen is no fool - he knows his mother is a huge sucker for a deal, and a huge sucker for Lego, and a huge sucker. Ha! I kid. And I really am a big softie when it comes to stuff like this. I didn't have many toys growing up because my mother didn't have much money, so I completely overcompensate for my own lack of toys in childhood by making our home into what really resembles an awesome toy store.

Kiernen said hopefully, "Are we buying this, Mama?" as he helped me untie the bag and go through it to confirm that it was, in fact, Lego. (We are snobs and purists when it comes to building toys, thanks in large part to having actually purchased a Megablok set long ago - and never since.)

When we got the set home, we poured it all out to see what we'd actually  gotten.

Looks like about 9 different bases (whoa!), 2 big bags of LEGO, plus the medium bag of LEGO Creator. Cool!

 A close-up of the first bag - looks like some castle stuff:

 Bag two looks like some kind of underwater set...

The LEGO creator bag with miscellaneous pieces:


We poured it all out on the floor to see what's there.

Whoa! Click any photo to embiggen and see more detail.

a whole ship already built from the underwater set: 

 Parts of a castle:

 The LEGO creator pieces all poured out:

Some kind of ship that isn't actually LEGO:

Then later, I went online to see what the sets actually were, because it looks very much like we have two full sets - and I mean the big sets - plus some assorted bases and pieces. MSRP on EACH of these two sets is around $90. Not including the Creator set, NOT including the Bionicle. We bought over $180 in Lego for less than $50. The deal seeker in me is elated. The kid in me is screaming with joy. The me in me is totally blissed out.

Oh, and the sets themselves?

Royal Knights Castle and Neptune Discovery Lab

The directions weren't included, but Kiernen now knows we can look up directions online, which we have, and are building the castle set currently. He is truly delighted in this new score, as am I.

All for having taken a 'wrong' turn and deciding to go where that led us.

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