A TOY shop supervisor has perfect job to put in place the building bricks of his fascinating hobby.
Because 26-year-old Bryn Turnbull has a passion for collecting Lego and now has many hundreds of pieces and dozens of sets of the iconic plastic bricks at home.
The fact that he’s worked at The Entertainer toy shop since leaving university and is now based at its shop in Eagles Meadow has been a big help in laying the foundations for his absorbing pastime.
A recent financial study revealed that Lego has been a better investment than gold or bank accounts over the past 15 years, with pristine examples rising in value by 12 per cent compared to just 2.8 per cent for savings accounts and 9.6 per cent even for gold.
But while Bryn, who lives in Wrexham, is well aware of the potential financial benefits his growing collection might bring in, he says he’s put it lovingly together for love rather than money.
“I know that the boxed sets in perfect condition, like the Star Wars ones which I have, are going up in value but that doesn’t bother me because I don’t collect them for that reason. I just do it because I enjoy it,” he said.
“Like most people I did have an interest in Lego when I was younger and had a pirate ship set when I was a boy but between the ages of 11 and 18 I didn’t think much about it.
“I became a collector while I was still at Glyndwr University studying for my animation degree. I suppose that gave me a feel for the Lego which I used to see being used in animated films.
“But what really set things off was when I did a couple of work placements at The Entertainer store, which was then in Wrexham town centre before moving to Eagles Meadow last year.
“When deciding what I’d like to do as a job when leaving university it was no contest when it came to choosing The Entertainer and I got my chance when someone retired and left a vacancy at the shop.
“Working here makes it a lot easier to add to my collection, as I get to see the latest pieces of Lego as soon as they come in and I get a discount of 20 per cent to buy them.”
Bryn added: “Over the years I must have spent thousands of pounds on various pieces and the ones I have the most of are the mini figures series, which has lots of individual characters to collect. I must have hundreds of them sitting on my shelves at home.
“I also like to collect the bigger sets like the Super Heroes. I now have literally dozens of those and get them as soon as they are released. At a rough guess I’d say I have about 40 of them so far.
“Some of them I have on display at home but others are still stored away.
“Lego is going up in value, especially older ones like the Star Wars boxed sets in pristine condition.
“They start to appreciate once they have been discontinued and some which originally sold for £40 or £50 are now worth about £130. But I don’t buy them for profit.
“Some of our customers know that I collect Lego and it can be a talking point with them because having an interest in it is something which goes right across the generations. It really has staying power.
“You know when you see some dads coming in the shop to buy Lego they’re not just getting it for their kids but for themselves too.
“There’s no real reason why I collect Lego but I suppose it’s kind of a nostalgia thing and the bricks have nice aesthetic about them.
“I imagine I’ll just keep on collecting it for as long as I can.
Bryn’s boss, shop manager Karen Clutton, said: “He first started coming in to buy his Lego from us when he was student and ended up getting a job with us.
“I think it’s really fascinating that he has a hobby like this and Lego seems to be a great thing to collect as it’s been going up in value faster than gold, which is amazing.”
Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley said: “Bryn is in the right place to pursue his hobby – he’s obviously a very canny young man who’s building a great future for himself.”