The healing power of LEGO
Mini figures are in big demand with some so rare they’re selling for more than $350 in a new shop dedicated to the childhood fantasies of LEGO.
Sean McConville has lived and breathed LEGO since opening Brickfield in Macauley Rd in April.
He has 4000 mini figures and he seems to know all of them personally.
His venture as a second-hand LEGO dealer and “escape artist” has attracted more publicity than some celebrities.
The media loves his story, the tragic tale of his life that he has transformed like a Harry Potter movie into a brave, new, exciting realm.
There are LEGO wizards in the back room of the shop sorting through pieces to make sure every second-hand set is complete.
And there are understudies making up heritage sets and getting ready to launch their own fantasies at Brickvention, the signature event for LEGO fans.
“I’m reliving the nostalgia of childhood,” Sean admitted as he took North West City News through the shop. “My parents couldn’t afford LEGO. It was out of their reach.”
Sean’s transformation occurred after the tragic death of his wife four years ago. He quit his job in the corporate sector and used the life insurance money to start a business that would help him recover.
“What can I do that I enjoy?” he asked himself. Before he knew it, he was up to his ears in LEGO, buying up second-hand pieces from deceased estates, getting deliveries and learning all about the sets, some so rare they retail for a mint.
A Star Wars set made 20 years ago for nine-year-olds and over is valued at $110,000. It is so precious Sean takes it home every night.
“Rarity is the important factor in price,” he said, with some sealed sets selling for a lot more than second-hand compilations, for example.
He also sells individual parts, labelled out the back, (he has 400 kilograms) and has pieces sorted according to colour.
One of his volunteers is Bean Furletto who’s making a Harry Potter Diagon Alley, a cobblestoned wizard alley, for Brickvention, beginning with the set then expanding the village further with his own imaginings.
“I’m making double the buildings in sets,” Bean said. “The original had 6500 pieces. Mine will be about 10,000.”
For the shop, Bean has built Jable’s Palace, an old 2014 Star Wars set, which is on display, like many other unearthed heritage sets.
“This it totally different from reality,” Sean said. “You get to build and play. It’s very relaxing.” •
Caption 1: Sean McConville and his LEGO mini figures.
Caption 2: Volunteer Bean Furletto getting ready for Brickvention.