All hail the UK Daily Mirror. I have to confess that it's not my choice of daily newspaper, but every now and then they run a promotion whereby they give away free LEGO with the newspaper, which really can't be bad. We're in the midst of one of these promotions right now - 10 free sets on 10 consecutive days, rounded off with a collector's box and a playmat. There are some really neat little sets in the line up this time round, with my personal favourites being a Christmas Tree and a Snowman (just in time for Christmas), and a splendid parrot. Just buy the paper, take the voucher within to WHSmiths or TRU, and they'll give you a free set (assuming they have any left). And if you can't get to one of these stores, collect 8 different vouchers from the newspaper, send them off with a cheque for £8.99, and they'll send you the goodies instead.
|Set 30008 Snowman - just in time for Christmas|
|30005 Imperial Speeder Bike|
|30006 Clone Walker|
Before going any further, it should be acknowledged that the hoarders have a team of willing accomplices - there's no doubt that sympathetic staff in WHSmiths and TRU facilitate this hoarding behaviour. Not once did a member of staff actually remove the voucher from my newspaper when handing me my set, thus leaving me theoretically free to visit any number of other WHSmiths or TRU stores and obtain further sets if desired (which I admittedly didn't do, although I could have done). Actually, I'd go as far as saying that some stores seemed positively desperate to get rid of the sets, occasionally handing out multiples without even being asked. I remember one shop assistant who, on being asked whether he had any unclaimed sets left over from previous days, disappeared into the back of the store and returned with a shopping bag full of sets which he thrust into my arms. He commented that they were cluttering up his store, and seemed genuinely delighted to be rid of them. Hell, I left feeling like I'd done him a favour ! No better reinforcement of hoarding behaviour than that.....
Hoarding during these promotions is rife. I remember checking out one of the online LEGO forums on the day that the Mirror gave away the parrot set. One guy on the forums was boasting that he'd managed to secure 40 parrots that day. FORTY of them. When I'd finished shaking my head and wondering quite how he'd managed to do this, I started to consider what could possibly have motivated him to spend his time trying to hoard 40 parrots. And just to be clear, this guy is far from alone in behaving like this - people the length and breadth of the country do seem to be relishing the opportunity to pick up ridiculous numbers of these sets.
|Set 30021 Parrot - you can seemingly never have too many of these....|
|Set 7808 Yellow Airplane - another 2010 Daily Mirror giveaway|
This however leaves the final group - those people who get loads of sets, don't sell them, and don't even open them for parts. These are the true hoarders, those tortured individuals who, if given the opportunity, will continue to accumulate sets until they eventually drown under the weight. I've written about these hoarding tendencies in a previous blog posting and would be willing to bet that a fair proportion of people fall into this category.
|Set 30012 Microlight - part of the October 2010 promotion|