WANT! – 07/07/2010 – Outrageously Expensive LEGO Edition

Finland, 1926. It was late in his life but early in the new century when industrialist Aleksi Lego realized that the human race might one day exhaust much of the planet's resources, non-renewable and perhaps otherwise. Obstensibly a retired engineer, Aleksi requested a tub of discarded plastic from one of his factories and went about designing a new line of manufacturing units for small-scale construction. Using a simple nub and socket system, he developed the same snap-based LEGO blocks we use today. Originally intended to serve as the material for miniaturized cities, Aleksi Lego believed his blocks might save the world, if only some other inventor might come along with the means to shrink humanity down to the size of his prototype mini-figures.

"Were we the humble size of my little mini-figs," proposed Lego in Finnish, "we would consume far fresh water, far less foodstuffs, and expel far less waste. Our footprint would decrease exponentially, extending, significantly, the span of our world's habitability. If only some colleague of mine could just develop a simple shrink ray." No such ray has been developed and the LEGO block system has evolved into an absurdly expensive line of construction toys. Aleksi Lego died in a grease fire in 1932. The following year, his slow Swedish cousin Melker Duplo began work on his own blocks.

That is the story, however fictional, of LEGO's ambitious, philanthropic beginnings. Today in WANT!, we examine the line's current state of lavish, wanton excess.

Smugglin' aint easy. And that struggle begins with financing and then constructing your own modified light freighter. Enter the infamous Star Wars Ultimate Millenium Falcon LEGO set. For around 1000 bucks, you can bring home all 5,195 pieces, assemble a mini-fig scale Millenium Falcon, and spend the rest of your life trying to figure out a reasonable place to put it.

This is not, in fact, a moon. It's a regulation beach-ball sized LEGO Death Star I playset replete with trash compactor, tractor beam controls, and mini-Moff conference room. The only LEGO set powerful enough to reduce Alderan to space dust will run you about 500 smackeroos.

Also consider the LEGO Death Star II. The kit includes 3,417 pieces, but no matter how you place them, it will never, ever be finished. Even still, assembling this 25" globe of destruction is a true Endor-ance test. 

….

 

The LEGO Indiana Jones Temple of Doom set puts the golly in Kali-Ma (this jokes makes sense with the understanding that Paul always thought the racist caricature was saying "Golly-Ma! Golly-Ma!" while in the throws of religious ecstasy up until the writing of this very sentence.)  All in all, it's very exciting, what with the gravity driven mine cart track and the little fire things, and oh, the Kali Ma. The Kali, Kali, Kali Ma. clocking in at only 652 pieces, you'll hardly want to rip your own heart out in the assembly process. And at only 85 bucks, you can probably get into the spirit of the film by hiring a few local children to build it for less than minimum wage. Monkey brains.

Easily one of the most thrilling scenes in the series, this next set celebrates the famed Fight on the Flying Wing from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Look! There's good ol' Marion Ravenwood and the burly wrench-wielding nazi. Put this sucker on a lazy susan and you've got one of the most iconic fights in film history.  At a comparatively resonable 50 bucks.

This one has penguins. Three of the avian variety and one of the deformed sociopath genus. Why, it's the LEGO Batcave: Penguin and Mr. Freeze Invasion set!  Merge it with the Temple of Doom and create the coolest mashup brick by brick. There are just over 1000 pieces and one of them is Batman. Done. 884 questionably appropriated dollars.

 

Finally, not even the integrity of the legendary LEGO brick can contain Batman's looney rogues gallery, but we sure can try. $567 gets you 860 pieces to assemble the LEGO Arkham Asylum set. If only the kit included more than three or four jail cell panels or enough gray blocks to erect a wall of some kind to fortify the facility. The security cameras and Poison Ivy terrarium are an excellent touch though. And you will note that Batman is about to swoop in with the coolest accessory ever.

Comments

  1. My dad has the Batcave set. It’s pretty awesome. Just a shame you have to buy a different set just for the Batmobile.

  2. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    I don’t want to win the lottery so I can buy a new house or a fancy car. No, I want to win the lottery so I can have both Death Stars at my place.

    Also, the intro to this piece got me scratching my head and wondering, "Is that really where Legos got their start? Aleksi Lego wanted to create affordable small-scale construction?" I seem to have momentarily forgotten who wrote this article. Nicely done, Paul.

  3. Where are the propellers that will ultimitely make burly Nazi into dog food?

     

    A Lego Store opened near me in the Queens Center Mall, and upon seeing it, I instantly reverted back 20 years in age and ran inside. A sales clerk inside started chatting me up, and the convo went like this:

     

    Lego Store rep: "I’m glad you decided to choose the Lego Store today! These sets are the best gift for any children, and will really expand their imaginations!"

    Me: "Yeah…um…I’m buying them for myself…"

     

    …And now to this day, I haven’t heard the end of that encounter from those that were with me. My favorite sets were always the elaborate castle sets, and while my parents never bought me the really big ones, I had a few of the smaller ones which also had cool rooms and trap doors and other awesome components. My ultimate ambition (well, one of them) is to build a bitching castle which will combine the Castle and Space Police sets (and maybe others), to build my ultimate moon castle!

  4. Wonderful.  I’m inner child is doing back flips (he’s much more athletic than I recall).

  5. Clearly that "I’m" should be a "My".  Sorry.

  6. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I also kind of really want the Lego Pirates stuff. 

  7. @comicBOOKchris the props are on the back…just like in the movie.

  8. Ahhhh……………………..Legos….The rich kid’s MEGABLOKS…………..

  9. Not comic related, but I desperately want the LEGO Taj Majal. That thing’s the bee’s knees.

  10. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    As far as I can tell, the most expensive Lego set available on Amazon is the 2882 piece, 2’9" Statue of Liberty at just under 4 thousand clams. 

  11. I utterly love Lego and this article makes me weep with joy. Not literally, otherwise I’d be mental.

  12. Holy crap.  Is that Millenium Falcon incredible or what?

  13. @Paul – Melker Duplo = priceless. Thanks.

    The Batman stuff has been discontinued by Lego – having a 5-year-old nephew and a Lego store in the local mall has taught me that tough lesson. Although I do take a little joy in making children cry through disappointment.

  14. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Dan – A bunch of that Batman stuff is in stock on Amazon and through a few of their affiliates. Have at it! 

  15. Endor-ance test… sir, you’ve outdone yourself.

  16. They did a Lego version of the tumbler batmobile that I want like no ones bussiness.

  17. I try to keep things like this away from the sight of my 8 year old, as it’s safer for my wallet.  I do find myself looking at the Arkham Asylum set and asking just how many 8-12 year olds have 567 smackers just lying around.

  18. That ‘Falcon looks fantastic. 

    My god, did those things cost that much when I was a kid?  It’s no wonder my parents never got them for me.

  19. That is freakin’ awesome.  I want ’em all.

  20. Man those Star Wars discontinued sets have skyrockedtted in price.  I collected a bunch of the sets (including the UCS X-wing) when they came out in the late 90’s early 2000’s, even bought a few at toys.com.  At the time the most expensive SW set was still under $200.  eToys.com had some great prices, before they closed down.  I looked at getting the Falcon a couple years ago, and iIrc it was about 1/2 that price, but I may be wrong. 

    Oh, also check lego.com, it seems the items they still cary are a bit cheaper there.

    Now you got me wanting again, this column is trouble.

  21. My mother-in-law got me the Lego Death Star I playset for Christmas a year and a half ago.  It’s amazing!

    I think it will be several years before I’m allowed to tell or laugh at any mother-in-law jokes…

    The best thing about the Falcon is it’s to scale with the minifigs!

  22. As a proud owner of the Millenium Falcon kit, I can say it’s awesome. Took a few weeks to build with an hour or so most nights, now it sits nicely in the corner looking awesome.

     This beauty is coming out soon, http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/10212_Imperial_Shuttle , a mini-figure scale version of the Imperial Shuttle. Mmm. All my money gone. 🙂

     I’ve got that Temple of Doom set somewhere too.. just haven’t built it yet. Where can you possibly fit a 3ft. long bit of track? 🙂

  23. I have that Deathsar II; it is over 2 ft tall and took forever to put together. A gift from a very understanding wife.