“I became more obsessed,” McConville said. “That’s when I realized they were worth something.”
McConville began buying Lego sets not only for himself, but also to sell them online once they were discontinued. Before he knew it, he had 3,000 games stored. Opening his own store made sense, he said.
“I was going to be happy to pay rent and have some fun, but it has become my full-time job,” McConville said. “I still have anxiety and stress, but this is my escape. It doesn’t feel like a job.”
When buying used Lego from customers, McConville accepts anything from vintage games from the ’60s to boxes of unsorted Lego for which you’ll pay between $15 and $30 per kilo. He also sells on consignment.
Do you want to sell your old Lego? follow these tips
- Clean the bricks as best you can. The better the condition, the more they are worth
- If you still have the box and instructions for a game, bring them even if they are not in good condition.
- Even if a set is missing bricks, it can still be worth something. Replacement bricks can be obtained
- Minifigures are worth more than bricks
- If the bricks do not have the Lego logo on each stud, they are fake.
The most expensive game he sold was a Star Wars Super Star Destroyer for $2100. He currently has a rare elf cafe for $950 and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands for $1600. Anything related to franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, DC Comics and Marvel tends to sell well. And McConville can sniff out winners: in 2020 he bought 10 Strange things Games at $330 each. Its value has more than doubled.
The store also has a corner with comfortable chairs, a table and a stack of Legos for visitors to sit and build.
“I have 30 to 40 locals who come here every week to build Lego and play games. Some kids come every Thursday or Friday after school,” she said.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that the store concept got off to such a good start in a city that loves all things retro and where subcultures thrive.
Spurred on by the boredom of pandemic lockdowns and the popularity of televisions lego masters, McConville said that being an adult “Lego nerd” had become totally acceptable. It’s also a plus that decades-old Lego bricks still fit together with new ones.
Travis Matheson, a leading member of the Melbourne Lego Users Group and Melbourne’s annual Brickvention, said interest in Lego had skyrocketed and he was seeing an increase in inquiries from members.
The Melbourne Museum will also host the interactive Bricktionary exhibition from September 3.
“People are realizing that Lego isn’t just a kid’s toy,” Matheson said.
McConville will take up residence at Grazeland in Spotswood from Friday night and will trial it for a month with the aim of staying permanently. There, he will be selling a variety of $6 collectible minifigures and $15 Creative Packs, containing around 100 pieces that can be turned into a car, animal or house.
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