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2012 Jambalaya exchange (US)

edited October 2012 in Community and Events
Hi all,

UPDATE 3/26:
I started a Flickr group for people to join and upload photos. You can request an invite to the group through flickr or PM me your flickr ID. Otherwise, people can email their photos to me.

Spoiler alert! Proceed with caution if you are a recipient and want to be surprised.
Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/brickset_jambalaya/

----

Welcome to the thread for the 2012 US-Jambalaya LEGO exchange! You can see I've slapped 2012 on this as a challenge for the group to complete a rotation before the calendar flips over.

Let's use this thread for status updates and discussing logistics. The original thread where @jadedanc brought forward the idea can be found here: http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/3988/lego-round-robin/p1

What: A box of LEGO will progress through our list of participants, one stop at a time. The box will be a mixed assortment of elements (thus, jambalaya!) and presumably the more variety we have in there, the better, as it will better suit the diversity of our members and the various applications of our LEGO hobby.

Who: At this point, the participant list is closed. Truth be told, the list is probably larger than ideal, and I toyed with the idea of having a post count requirement as way to inject some trust into the process, but exclusivity runs counter to the Brickset spirit, so let's demonstrate just how good a community we have here and make it a success! Here is the participant list, ordered to make transit efficient and thereby minimize the waiting.

1. rocao: CA (x2)
2. dougts: OR (x2)
3. littletoki: OR (x2)
4. jadedanc: WA (x2)
5. jocappy: WA
6. KulshanGirl: WA (x2)
7. BrickDancer: CA (x2)
8. aimlesspursuits: AZ (x2)
9. fyrmedhatt: TX
10. graphite: IA
11. curvedroadplate: WI (x2)
12. SirBen: IL (x2)
13. sidersdd: IN (x2)
14. Jenni: TN (x2)
15. allmybricks: NC (x2)
16. Yellowcastle: VA
17. MontyKensicle: VA (x2)
18. kks: MD (x2)
19. andyscouse: MA (x2)
20. murphquake: NY (x2)
21. bmwlego: NY (x2)
22. pcirone: NY (x2)
23. back to start of list

If your state is not shown correctly on this list, please PM me. Also, if you have a reasonable request to move spots in this list, let me know.

How: I'll start the box and fill a standard sized USPS shipping box (actual one TBD). I'll mail it to the next person on the list. From that point forward, the process should be:

1. Take receipt of the box (do happy dance)
2. Inform the group the box has been received.
3. PM the next person for their address if you haven't already
4. Withdraw desired parts. At this point there is no hard-fast rule how much this is. Let's just say "If there's a lot of good stuff, don't take it all" and see if a practical guideline springs forth.
5. Photograph your haul. Share it with the group.
6. Choose parts from your inventory that you are adding to the box. It should be roughly equivalent to what you withdraw. Some instances should be easy to match, i.e. polybag for polybag, minifig for minifig.
7. Photograph what you are adding. Keep this to yourself so you don't ruin the surprise, but I think keeping a record of this will keep things on the up and up.
8. Send the box to the next person on the list.

Questions, comments, any glaring omissions? Let me know...

Why: The idea of the exchange is similar to a parts draft in that one person's trash is another person's treasure. While I wouldn't go so far as to say any LEGO is trash, hopefully it will transpire that our bricks find their ways into the hands of appreciative owners. At the end of the day, the shipping costs probably don't justify the parts that one comes away with, so ultimately, this is about having fun, getting to know other members, and strengthening our community.
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Comments

  • Wow, I hadn't realized how many people were participating. Fun!

    Matching what you take out and what you put back in the box makes sense. Anything against putting some extras in (as long as it doesn't up the shipping costs too much)?
  • edited March 2012
    ^ No complaints from me. I'm going to be leaving some empty room in the box to allow for it, and had in mind your stated intention to do this from an earlier comment.
  • Just updated the list with the people that have thus far confirmed interest in a 2nd box. If anyone else is interested, PM me.

    Also, @wagnerml: you should be on the list. sorry I missed you the first tme. please PM me your state.
  • So. Much. Fun. Can't wait until the box gets to me! You guys bring joy into my life, thanks Brickset members!
  • How about just start a second box in reverse order..
  • ^ I second that, it should bring more variety to each person. It doesn't need to start from rocao, he's doing enough to start one. But it would be good to have it from someone at either end.

    Buying a tub of LEGO from Craigslist today so I'll have different things to share. Thank you brickset for further enabling me :)
  • Reverse order is a possibility. The benefit is you are receiving a box from different contributers than the first. The drawback is that the separation between the boxes isn't kept constant, so that people in the middle of the list will get the boxes back to back, and the people at the ends of the list will wait a long time between boxes.
  • edited March 2012
    I might be able to start the 2nd box (I'm near the middle). I need to send it out by Monday however, as I'll be on vacation starting Tuesday.
  • We would need to be careful not to mix up the boxes if we start a 2nd. The people in the middle won't necessarily know if the box they just received should go up or down the list. :o)
  • I really think some sort of reverse order is best so you don't get 2 boxes from essentially the same person... I am near the end and am willing to start box #2.
  • edited March 2012
    Well, if we start the 2nd one in the middle (with me for example), and just have them all go in the same direction (down the list), we should be good.
  • Can we get the names in rocao's list above hyperlinked to profiles?
  • We would need to be careful not to mix up the boxes if we start a 2nd. The people in the middle won't necessarily know if the box they just received should go up or down the list. :o)
    There could be a print out sheet of all the names of recipients in the box, and people could cross out their names as they receive the box, just to have some redundancy in making sure the boxes are going in the right order.

    However, the same can be accomplished if people just post in this thread when they receive the boxes and the first post list is updated continuously.


    I am also up for a second box by the way, I seem to have some trouble in viewing people's profiles on this board so it's a bit difficult to send rocao a pm.
  • Just put a big label in the box that says its BOX 1 or BOX 2 and the person can look up here who it goes to next.
  • Question about the box itself, it will be shipped in a USPS Flat Rate Box but will there be a firm box inside such as light weight tupperware? If so, this box can be coded as 1 or 2, or even by color such as Red versus Blue.
  • Looking forward to this! I also think a 2nd box is a good idea.
  • I'll recommend again so it is here that it will probably be cheaper to use the non flat rate box if using a medium priority box and not filling it completely. If it is packed full flat rate might be cheaper but a 1 gallon freezer bag of average legos is typically around 2 lbs and thats like $9.25 (IA to GA which is longer than anyone leg of this) which is $2 cheaper than the flat rate.

    But since both types of priority box are free at the post office the sender could always pick which way they'd prefer to send it and grab a new box.
  • Can we get the names in rocao's list above hyperlinked to profiles?
    The things I do for you lot... All hyperlinked.
  • Heh, except that I beat you to it with just adding "@" :P
    No collision control though, so your last update wins
  • ^^ Whyyy didn't I think of that? :-(
  • edited March 2012
    Gracias @Matthew / @rocao.
  • edited March 2012
    I thought about it, and I agree that the value of receiving and sharing with different people outweighs any impatience we have, so I think reverse order is the way to go.

    I'll send some PMs out to everyone I have on the list to confirm their participation, and find out if they are in for a 2nd box. If we have some people declining the 2nd box, I am going to put in alternates who missed my cut-off.

    I'm planning to bag the parts within the box, and it will be clearly labelled as box 1. From my experience, shipping LEGO flat-rate does not present any value, especially since we're already making efforts to shorten the distance. I will most likely use a non flat-rate priority box. People are still welcome to use the flat-rate if they find it convenient. I think the only requirement should be that it is sent priority.
  • ^ agreed, USPS priority. if you ship online you get free delivery confirmation and also get a 5% discount. all you need is a printer. even if you print on plain paper, its easy enough to use clear box tape to attach it to the package.
  • ^ I want my box shipped, dougts! None of this "meet me at the Lego store"! :D JK.
  • On that note, seeing as how I'm next in the list and still have a swarm of PAB boxes to fill, a couple new elements of note in my local wall:

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=4865 in white
    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=2432 in black and light grey
    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=4864b in trans clear
    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3039 in trans clear
  • edited March 2012
    I have 5 or so different polybags set aside to put into the box. I'd like to hear some quick opinions on whether I should just keep the polybag intact or part them out. Friends Mailbox (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=30105-1) is an example.
  • ^ I'll go by whatever is decided, but I would have put them in intact. Any CMFs I put in won't be but that's because they're all opened so that I could give away the base plates.
  • edited March 2012
    Hi everyone, nice to see things so organised over here. I just have an idea for those who will be putting extra stuff in (i've seen some of the piles of stuff some folks have amassed and it's pretty mind boggling).

    No doubt those people who want to throw in piles of extra stuff (additional to the exchange) out of sheer generosity of spirit are doing so with the intent that people along the line are meant to take a little of the extras out, as a gift from them, and to not feel greedy or guilty for doing so.
    The thought struck me that the unassuming types amongst us who probably should take an extra gift are just the sort who wouldn't dare, and would just do the standard exchange as normal.

    So i just thought i'd suggest, that if people are going to put in a ton of stuff, intended as generous gifts to all, maybe they could indicate their wishes with "please take one, from X" included with the package and/or with the photos, or something like that. In order to prevent the box(es) filling up with extras upon extras of stuff which nobody dares take.


  • I have 5 or so different polybags set aside to put into the box. I'd like to hear some quick opinions on whether I should just keep the polybag intact or part them out. Friends Mailbox (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=30105-1) is an example.
    My thought would be to keep the polybags intact. I'm guessing polybag collectors would love to use this as an opportunity to build their collection and would be swapping polybag for polybag. I know I have some I'm planning to drop in when it gets to me.
  • So i just thought i'd suggest, that if people are going to put in a ton of stuff, intended as generous gifts to all, maybe they could indicate their wishes with "please take one, from X" included with the package
    Very good idea! I'll be sure to do that.

  • edited March 2012
    @pcirone
    This might make for a good opportunity to meet each other ITRW. @murphquake and I met last Sunday and that was awesome.
  • ^sounds great maybe at roosevelt field store.
  • I wish I had read about this earlier - I would have liked to participate as well. If this one goes well, perhaps there would be a possibility of multiple boxes, but each with its own circuit?
  • @rocao
    One more thing, which is extremely important, though i'm not sure whether or not it's been implied, but probably should be made clear, is that the LAST person on the send-to list should also be the ORIGINATOR of the box.

    So, for example, if your above 22-person (box 1) list was the full journey, there would be a step 23, which would of course be rocao.

    This completes the cycle properly, so that the person who started it (by only putting IN) gets to end it by getting the box back (and finally taking out). Otherwise you would have a situation whereby the last person on a linear list would just be getting a load of stuff sent to them.


  • Question: Are we still doing a UK to US and vice-versa cross over?

    If so, I would recommend that the inland journey that the overseas box makes is in reverse order to the homeland box e.g. the UK box would be sent to 22.andyscouse, travel up the list, and be returned to the UK by 1.rocao. While the US box, which started at 1.rocao, would be sent to the UK by andyscouse.

    (i.e. the originator of a box would be the one to return the overseas box to the overseas originator). This is to avoid the person at the end of the line having to foot both overseas post costs (i.e. if UK box was sent to rocao, to end its journey at andyscouse, he would have sent two overseas packages, the US one, and then return of the UK one).

    It's much simpler than it sounds, and by drawing it on paper, stage by stage, you'll see what i'm saying.
  • @legomatt I guess we can still take some time to decide whether the overseas exchange is feasible, and see how the jambalaya goes first. Personally I think it's a great idea, and even though I probably wouldn't be the one sending it overseas due to my placement on the list, I would gladly help offset the cost for whoever does send it when/if its time.

    I see what you mean by the order of shipment and I agree that is how it should be done, if only to get more piece diversity by randomizing the order more.
  • @bmwlego is correct, meeting me IS awesome ;-)

    @rocao I'm down for the second box as well, do you need my info or did @jadedanc forward it to you?
  • For box #2 I'd actually vote on a bit more random of a sequence. One Idea that seems like it would be fun would be for the first person to put write everyone's name on a small brick (or a sticker) and put them in a baggie... when you finish with your batch you pull one at random (close your eyes no peeking!) and send the box off to them... Then you take your name out of the list, or better yet build something with the ones that are already used.... what about using a set of brick calendar numbers for this, with a printed list of handles and addresses to work through?

    just a thought...
  • Box 1 is en route to @dougts from Northern California to Oregon. Hopefully it doesn't get too wet in the rain, but the pieces are in a zip-lock bag, anyhow.

    I took photos of the parts I have included. Was there a general consensus if the photos should be posted? I remember someone posting that they thought it should be required, if possible, and those wishing to maintain the element of surprise, simply need not look. I agree with that view.
  • ^Agreed. Pics should be mandatory. Adds to the real world feel of the exchange, helps foster and build the community spirit that gets thrown around so often. Makes the exchange more of an interaction between us as opposed to between the USPS and our mailboxes.
  • edited March 2012
    ^I think that might have been me on the UK thread.

    Blimey, though, a box already underway! That's so fast!

    Another reason I thought would be good to have the photos public, is that it might (no might about it, WILL) help people speed up their decisions.

    If you have a rough idea of what's coming, you can think about what you might exchange for whatever you see, or perhaps mentally prepare a personal draft 'wish' list.
    Much speedier than only being able to mull the whole thing over only when the box arrives.

    The other thought i had would have been photo's could have been posted for wider approval, before moving a box on. Obviously, there's not a lot a person can do to prevent a greedy exchange, but public photos would certainly act as a self-regulating preventative measure.

    I also thought (but probably too late to do) that the originator creates a master list of contents. Whenever a person recieves the box, they PM the originator with current contents list upon receipt, and then again with their removals/additions.
    This would enable the originator to know what is taken at every stage, and also be able to spot if things had been undeclared (due to the next person at each stage reporting to the master list).

    Did that make sense?
  • Box 1 is en route to @dougts from Northern California to Oregon. Hopefully it doesn't get too wet in the rain, but the pieces are in a zip-lock bag, anyhow.

    I took photos of the parts I have included. Was there a general consensus if the photos should be posted? I remember someone posting that they thought it should be required, if possible, and those wishing to maintain the element of surprise, simply need not look. I agree with that view.
    I like the idea of posting photos. One for what was taken, and one for what was placed. Was that going to be done with a flickr group then, to externalize it (for those who want to be surprised)? Links could be provided to the images, and thus someone who is only interested in seeing what someone took could just click on those types of links. Otherwise I suppose a thread for "2012 Jambalaya Exchange - Taken" and another for "2012 Jambalaya Exchange - Placed". But that seems a bit busy.
  • edited March 2012
    ...continuing my own post

    ^^ although, thinking about it some more, my idea wouldn't work... (as a very unscrupulous person would just report what they took as missing, effectively pointing the finger at an innocent previous person). Dang. So very nearly had it.

    :o)

    Anyway, best of luck with the box - with a bit of luck it can make it across the pond and complete a UK leg before returning home, too. :o)
  • I think we're trusting the community to be fair with their subtracts and adds, and putting the ultimate rigor to control it may place unnecessary extra effort into what should be a simple exchange between members.
  • @legomatt: I think you're overthinking it. I think posting photos will mostly be a fun way to follow and document the progression of the box. A good byproduct of this is that if something were to go awry or appear untoward we could retroactively pinpoint it with photos.

    However, I think it's more than likely that the safeguards don't need to be activated so we don't need to overburden the process, for example, by getting approval before sending on the package.

    Ultimately, the contents of the box are probably not worth more than $30, so I don't think it's a likely target for outright theft.

  • I really like the idea of posting photos. It's almost like being there to watch them open the box.

    A Flickr group with an external link might be a good idea just so that people who want to be surprised can avoid it until they've sent out the box to the next person.

  • edited March 2012
    I started a Flickr group for people to join and upload photos. You can request an invite to the group through flickr or PM me your flickr ID. Otherwise, people can email their photos to me.

    Spoiler alert! Proceed with caution if you are a recipient and want to be surprised.
    Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/brickset_jambalaya/
    Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76558623@N04/sets/72157629312207142/
  • ^ Looks like a good variety to start with. Thanks. Whoever sends it back to @rocao be sure and get that man some red 2x4s.
  • *must refrain from looking*

    It's going to be a very loooong week.
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