Last weekend the family and I made our monthly trip to our local Lego Store. For me, the trip had two goals: I needed to pick up the draft set for my next LUG meeting and I was looking forward to getting some cool parts from the Pick-A-Brick wall. The set was in stock, so I went back to browse for treasures in the PAB wall.
Much of the time, I just skim the wall. I walk along with my small cup and take handfuls of interesting pieces as they come. I’d actually been through the store a few weeks back and done exactly that. This trip however, was of a different sort. There really weren’t many bricks that interested me. I grabbed a little handful of 1×1 light blue translucent round plates and then I saw something that made me change tack completely: a nearly empty bin of 1×2 light blue translucent tiles.
I started scooping tiles into my small cup when I realized something. One the things that I want to start building is micro-scale fantasy landscapes and architecture. I’d like to use those lovely little tiles for lakes and moats and streams. It was time to go all in. I poured the contents of my small cup into a much larger one and began to fill it in ernest with tiles.
With this one purchase, I could make sure that I could make all the water that I desired. My wife laughed at my extravagantly large cup filled with those watery blue tiles. I carried it around as we finished our shopping. Looking back, I can see catastrophe that dropping it would have created.
When we got home, I counted all of those tiles. My curiosity and love of numbers was getting the best of me. While my wife and son assembled some of our other purchases at the table, I dumped out my cup and started counting. I made squares of 50, two at a time and ticked off the hundreds on a piece of scratch paper. For the rounds, I just stuck them together in sticks of 10.
My final count was 1595 tiles and 179 rounds. With well over 1600 pieces, I paid less than a penny apiece. Those tiles go for about 2 cents apiece on bricklink, but even with that low price I paid less than half of what I would have elsewhere. Not a bad little deal for me. Now I have that cup sitting on my work table. Who knows what it will inspire me to build.