Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012: A Year in Review

Last January, I made a year-in-review post and today I'm going to do that again. So here was my 2012:

LEGO Set of the Year:

In 2011 the top set that I acquired was unequivocally Medieval Market Village, and in 2012 I acquired its immediate successor, 10223 Kingdoms Joust, which is an equally impressive set, and taken set-by-set was probably the most impressive or iconic set that I acquired in 2012--but I don't think it was the Set of the Year for my collection. That distinction belongs to 9472 Attack on Weathertop.

As I blogged about when I first got it, Attack on Weathertop was my first Lord of the Rings LEGO set, and I was deeply impressed with it--more impressed than I expected to be before I opened it. It's well-designed, has excellent minifigs, a great parts selection, and best of all (from a Tolkien fan standpoint) it's set in Middle-earth. Although if you told me to pick one set only, I would probably take Kingdoms Joust simply because it is so much larger, it would not be without a longing backwards glance at Attack on Weathertop, and within the context of 2012 being the year the Lord of the Rings LEGO was first released, it is a worthy Set of the Year.  

LEGO Theme of the Year:

Last year the Collectible Minifigs were my Theme of the Year and on the basis of simple volume, they would make a compelling case again this year. The Dino and Monster Fighters themes that came out in 2012 were both excellent original themes on LEGO's part, though I have but a single set, with a single minifig, between them. NinjaGo continued to be a major presence in the LEGO world as well, but was barely a blip on my radar. All that I bought this year in any sort of quantity were Collectible Minifigs and Lord of the Rings LEGO. Part of this was due to financial considerations. What with the expenses of getting married and then waiting unemployed to get my green card, I did not have the disposable income for most of the year to spend on LEGO. A Collectible fig here or there, and a few VIP points-fuelled Lord of the Rings sets were all I could afford. (The Kingdoms Joust, referenced above, was a very early purchase indeed--all the way back in last January.) And with that in mind, the clear champion theme this year was the Lord of the Rings.

When LEGO announced that it had acquired the license and was developing sets, I feared the worst, which is to say sets as forgettable as the entire Pirates of the Caribbean line. What I got--and yes, this may have something to do with my status as a Tolkien fan--was another Star Wars line, and I daresay I said enough good things above when talking about Attack on Weathertop to explain my decision for naming the Lord of the Rings my Theme of the Year.

LEGO Minifig of the Year:

 Last year I declined to name a Collectible Minifig as my Fig of the Year, and I'm going to again this year, but it's worth noting that there was no real stand-out minifig addition to my LEGO-verse this year. It did not change drastically this past year due largely to the fact that "REAL LIFE" things kept a focus on the story side of LEGO to a largely background position. Among those that did get some sort of attention was the Black Falcon knight (redux), who comes with Kingdoms Joust.

MOC of the Year:

This is a new category, and one that I think I may not have included last year due (among other things) to the fact that I haven't made a lot of MOCs over the past few years--and certainly haven't posted many online. But I make a few this year, and even managed to post a couple. The one that says "2012!" more than any other was not a complex MOC; indeed it was quite simple... but I made 75 copies of each half.

Other Thoughts...

In general, 2012 was dominated by becoming an adult. I graduated with my Masters degree, I got married, and my wife and I went through the wranglings of getting my Green Card. All of this kept LEGO to the sidelines--but the sidelines are where LEGO has been in my life for years, and it's a comfortable place. LEGO had a chance to be centre-stage as favours. at my wedding and was there as part of solace during the long wait for my work permit. In general it was a Castle/Lord of the Rings sort of year. I've always been a Castle fan first, but this year there was little room for anything else, and the fantasy angle had the opportunity for a lot of attention with the new Middle-earth lines, attention that I foresee persisting into the next year as more Hobbit sets come out and find their way into my collection. That was my 2012 in LEGO... what was yours?

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