Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Happy Birthday to Me !

I'm generally a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to birthdays. Finding myself one year nearer to death isn't really anything much to celebrate as far as I'm concerned. My wife thinks I've got it all wrong - she views it as a chance to celebrate having survived for another year. But maybe that's just because she's from up North where life expectancies are presumably lower.

All that having been said, I'm pleased to announce that this blog is two years old on Friday. Having previously given myself a big, self-indulgent pat on the back for having coaxed Gimme LEGO to the age of one, it would have been all too easy to let things slide having hit that milestone, but it's still going and people are still visiting. In fact, overall visitor numbers, and also the number of people following the blog, are gradually creeping up, suggesting that the time spent posting on here is worthwhile and that people are presumably getting something out of it.

Not everything in the garden is rosy, however. The Gimme LEGO Bargain Hunt ! page went great guns initially, but updates have been increasingly sporadic since I started to collaborate with Huw from Brickset on the Amazon Bargain Watch system which you may well have come across since its launch last year. For the uninitiated, Amazon Bargain Watch is a rather nifty LEGO discount tracker which has automated the process of finding the best deals on Amazon in Europe and the U.S., thus rendering my manual updates pretty much obsolete.

Anyway, one good thing about birthdays is that people generally cut you more slack than usual if you decide to get all nostalgic. On this basis, I thought it might be interesting to see which postings have attracted the most visitors during Gimme LEGO's 2-year existence, and you can see a list of the Top 10 postings below, ranked by the number of visitors.

  1. Review : Star Wars Set 10221 Super Star Destroyer

  2. LEGO Star Wars UCS Exhibition, National Space Centre, July 2011

  3. Great Western LEGO Show 2010

  4. Gimme LEGO Awards 2011

  5. Great Western LEGO Show 2011

  6. Review : Star Wars Set 10212 Imperial Shuttle

  7. Revealed : Kingdoms Set 10223 Joust

  8. Update : my MOC City Layout

  9. Preview : LEGO Star Wars UCS Exhibition, National Space Centre, June 2011

10. Review : Star Wars Set 10143 Death Star II

OK, so it isn't really very scientific - some postings have obviously been out there for longer than others so people have had more chance to stumble across them - but some clear trends nevertheless emerge from the data. My review of the Super Star Destroyer was some way ahead of the other posts in terms of hits, which isn't altogether surprising given that it was I think the first review anywhere on the net. There has in fact been a lot of love for LEGO Star Wars in general, with reviews of UCS sets occupying three of the top ten slots in terms of traffic. Reports from LEGO shows and exhibitions are also clearly popular, with four of the top ten slots occupied by show previews or reviews. I was also surprised how much traffic the updates on my MOC City Layout have been getting, although maybe I shouldn't have been given the number of e-mails I receive telling me to get a move on with it....

Set 10221 Super Star Destroyer - out in front

So what can you expect going forward ? Well, first of all, my enthusiasm for the blog remains largely intact, so Gimme LEGO will continue into its third year. I suspect that the current mix of excessively long reviews, opinion pieces, meandering event reports and general ramblings will continue pretty much as it is now. That having been said, I'm always happy to consider suggestions from readers, so if you feel inclined to get in touch with me and let me know what you'd like to see on here then please be my guest. Regarding the Bargain Hunt page, send me your tips and I'll endeavour to publish them on there. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to feature some custom Amazon Bargain Watch content on the Bargain Hunt page in due course, which should liven things up a bit on there. And yes, I really do need to press on with my MOC City Layout as there's more interest in it than I'd expected and I want to avoid another year's worth of "hurry up already" e-mails....

So thanks for reading the blog, and thanks for all your comments and e-mails. And thanks also to Huw for giving me access to Brickset's extensive library of photographs for my postings. I'd save you all some birthday cake but I'm just too greedy....


  1. Anonymous30/8/12

    In your last birthday post it sounded like you made a reference to portal when you said "It's time for cake, and that's no lie" Did you support the portal projet on cuusoo?

    P.S. Great blog and I will continue reading throuhout this next year.

    1. Guilty as charged - I'm a huge fan of 'Portal', and did indeed reference it in my "I am One !" posting. Fingers crossed that the Portal project gets greenlit on Cuusoo - I think there's a pretty good chance that it'll get the thumbs up - and if so I'll certainly be buying it. Providing it's not a complete dog...

  2. Anonymous30/8/12

    Happy Birthday! Your wife is right, you made it through another year so you should celebrate.

    I've been reading your blog since your 10221 review (which is how I found your blog to being with) and I really enjoy it. Clever writing, excellent photography, and your obvious love of LEGO will keep us reading for years to come. Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Have a great birthday.


  3. Anonymous30/8/12

    Happy birthday!

  4. Anonymous30/8/12

    Happy Birthday Dave,Hope you had a GREAT day.!!!!
    Looking forward to the next year!! Always enjoy your
    weekly blog !!!

    All the best


  5. Kevin31/8/12

    Hi Dr. Dave - Congratulations and thanks for this great blog that I've only recently stumbled upon. Here's to many more years of happy Lego-ing!


  6. Happy Birthday. Hope you got lego for your birthday :D

    Also, think of it this way - it's another year you got to build cool stuff and here's to many more..

  7. Legoman4/9/12

    Hey dave, have you been looking on ebay for bargains? I found an m-tron mega core magnetiser for £55 on there, what a bargain!

  8. Anonymous4/9/12

    Happy Birthday!! Great Blog! ;)