Dahl-lightful Lego!

Time to hand over for my first guest post. My resident AFOL often joins in my charity shop adventures, but usually with a very specific haul in mind.

A bargain LEGO bag

Hi, guest blog from “Big” the Charityshophauler’s other half! As has already been mentioned I’m a LEGO fan, having escaped my dark ages a few years ago I have gathered loads of my childhood stash from my parents loft as well as adding plenty of the latest sets to the LEGO room. But I also like the thrill of the charity shop hunt for plastic blocky goodness.

Most people know that LEGO is an expensive toy, especially the licensed sets from TV and films. This means that charity shop or car boot sale finds are always thin on the ground or ridiculously overpriced. So when I do spot a set or even a bag of parts I tend to snap it up to add to my ever growing collection. 

Following our family trip to the Roald Dahl museum in Great Missenden late last year we headed off to explore the only charity shop in the village, a Barnado’s Shop. First port of call is always the toy section, tucked behind a battered Kerplunk and a tatty teddy was a small bag of bricks. It didn’t look like much at first glance, but was only marked £2 so I grabbed it ready to head to the till. As I waited for Small to choose her headphones I squished the bag about to check out what might be inside. There were lots of medium blue bricks and some wheels, at first glance it looked like Harry Potter’s Ford Anglia. There were also some large dark tan plates and red panels with stickers on. Moving them around I spied a Joker minifigure. It looked promising.

Back home we tipped the parts out on a tray, there must have been around 200 pieces, at an average of 10p/piece for most sets there was at least £20 of assorted pieces. Using Brickset.com, a website that details every set made and the parts included, as well as having instructions I was able to dust all the pieces and rebuild the car, adding a couple of missing parts from my stash and making the car from the Monster Fighters set 9466. EBay had a couple of them listed for around £25. The second pile of pieces turned into 80% of the Batman set, Dynamic Duo Funhouse. Missing the train tracks and the top of the towers its would take a few pounds of parts to complete it. Again eBay has part completed version for sale from £25, the Joker minifigure is worth around £5. So my £2 has turned into at least £50.

After completing the car I used a website called Bricklink.com to purchase the missing minifigures to drive the car and man the weaponry and it was ready to add to one of the many display shelves in the LEGO room. The Funhouse has been broken down with some pieces already incorporated into other builds. The hunt continues for the next haul.

Charity Supported

Haul

  • Bag of assorted LEGO containing the car from set 9466 and 80% from set 6857, plus Joker minifigure, cost £2, cost new about £50

Dahl-lightful

I’ve got to confess….these days the suggestion of a day out anywhere usually has me tapping away on my phone to check out two things: Geocaches and charity shops! This Saturday’s excursion was no different. As a family we’ve been feeling the love for Roald Dahl during his centenary year so we decided to round it off with a trip to Great Missenden and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

We had a great time and Small learned a lot! But, more importantly, I had my customary research to do. A sad lack of Geocaches appeared to be available to us and at first glance it seemed like a charity shop free zone too! However I was unconvinced so once the museum was all done we went for a wander. Great Missenden is a lovely little place with some great little nick nack shops and a there is a brilliant trail available touring round a number of locations familiar to Dahl fans. After we passed the Post Office and the library that inspired Matilda I noticed a Barnardo’s shop!

Not too much in the way of pickings for me but did manage to fulfil a promise to Small to get her own set of headphones…

Oh yeah and of course Big got some Lego!! But that’s another story……

Charity Supported

Haul

  • Headphones, cost £1.99, cost new about £10

Unexpected delights

Some of the best charity shop hunting often comes on from unexpected and unplanned trips. I had a random midweek day off work last week to do a few errands and have a bit of a recharge. My peace was shattered by a call from my bank letting me know my card had been cloned! Helpfully my card was blocked so needed a trip to my local branch to sort a few things out. 

Fortunately, my local bank branch is collocated with a number of charity shops so it seemed a good opportunity for an impromptu rummage. Only managed a small haul this time but it did include two Christmas presents for the small and a lovely autumn coloured Seasalt dress for me!

Charities supported:

Haul

  • Seasalt dress – cost £6, new price about £60
  • Girl’s M&S Autograph tunic – cost £2.50, new price about £15
  • Brain Box game – cost £1.99, new price £9.99
  • Total cost £10.49, total new price about £85