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Not Just for Kids

A childhood hobby becomes an adult passion.

IT’S NO SECRET around the office that our own digital marketing associate Max Weinberg, a 28-year-old San Rafael computer geek, husband and soon-to-be-father, is obsessed with Lego. His spare bedroom has been turned into a Lego showroom boasting hundreds of sets that require frequent dusting. Unusual? Maybe, but when you do the research you’ll see the “Adult Fans of Lego,” or AFOL, is a very active and growing community. And when you consider the fact that some sets have gone up in value an estimated 2,230 percent since 2007, collecting makes even more sense. How did he get here? After he let his love of Lego lapse during his teen years — a time AFOLs refer to as the “Dark Ages” — his enthusiasm returned following the release of The Lego Movie. “I got back into the hobby when my friends and I needed to find miniature figures to use as Dungeons and Dragons characters,” he says. Beyond the nostalgia it incites, he finds the hobby great for stress relief and says it appeals to those who like to build, organize and just relax.

COLLECTOR Max Weinberg

YEARS COLLECTING? From age 4–13, and age 25–present.

FIRST PURCHASE? I don’t know what my first Lego set was as a kid, but getting back into it recently, my first large set was the iconic Tower of Orthanc from Lord of the Rings (set 10237).

FAVORITE? An old robot from the classic space sets from the early ’90s called Robo Guardian (set 6949). Holding it still fills me with nostalgia.

LARGEST SINGLE SET YOU’VE EVER BUILT? Star Wars Death Star (set 10188) that has over 3,800 pieces, and I’ve built even larger custom creations.

PRICING? Most sets range from $20 to $200 depending. But right now I have my eye on the new huge Star Wars Millennium Falcon set ($800), which is totally out of the ordinary and the most expensive set to ever come out.

WILL YOU LET YOUR DAUGHTER PLAY WITH THEM? We’ll start her off with the larger Duplo Lego blocks when she’s old enough, and then later, hopefully, she’ll enjoy being creative with our huge collection of Lego.

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