Meet Jeff Viens: Inside the collection
Leggo my Lego!
Mar. 15, 2020
Over the past two decades, Jeff Viens has assembled an incredible collection of all things Lego, from vintage 1950s pieces to modern Star Wars- and Marvel-themed sets.
Some of Jeff's prized possessions include a 1958 wooden Lego toy boat; a rare town-plan set from the 1960s, and the world’s largest Lego trebuchet — which he built himself.
We're joined on this episode by Jeff’s girlfriend, Julie Blair, as well as Lego store owner and fellow enthusiast Jim Demer, who will set a value on Jeff's collection.
Jeff also surprised Lisa with a one-of-a-kind, custom-built set. Jim brought along a rare space-themed Lego set in the hope of making a trade with Jeff.
1. 1960s Lego Town-Plan Set
The boy on the box? That is Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, the grandson of Lego founder Ole Kirk Christiansen. Note the freckles and arrow someone doodled on the box ages ago. According to Forbes, Kjeld Kristiansen is the third richest Dane. When Jeff purchased this set, half of the pieces were missing. He reassembled the entire set piece-by-piece. Look closely and see that, back then, the cars in the Town-Plan were not made of bricks, rather single-piece vehicles.
2. 1958 Lego Wooden Boat
In its early days, the Danish toy company made more than bricks, including this wooden pull toy. The wheels are missing, which reduced the value, but this rare collectible is in great condition otherwise.
3. Manufacturing Center Building Tile
As we have mentioned, Lego is a Danish company. For about a decade, early on, Samsonite (yes, the luggage company) held the contract to manufacture Lego in the United States. The toy bricks were churned out of a headquarters in Colorado. This Lego tile adorned the outside of the building. It would light up at night.
4. Lego Ideas Shinkai Sub
The Lego Ideas line crowdsources concepts for kits from the fans. Anyone can submit a plan for a possible set, and others then vote. Lego then makes the popular ones. This Japanese submarine was the first-ever Ideas kit. It is unopened and worth about $1,800.
5. Handmade Facts of Life Set
Jeff has a Lego Ideas concept of his own — and a surprise for our host, Lisa Whelchel! He made a set of the Eastland school and characters from The Facts of Life. Lisa is pointing to her character, Blair!
6. Facts of Life Characters in Lego
How did Jeff make Blair, Tootie, Natalie and Jo? He used Harry Potter uniform pieces.
7. Custom-made Trebuchet
A trebuchet is a catapult-like weapon that utilizes a swinging pendulum to fling objects. This is the world's largest made of Lego. Jeff free-built the contraption, which stands at 6'2".
8. Lego Minifigures
Lego fans simply call them "Minifigs."
9. Django Fett Slave 1
This sought-after toy promoted Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
10. Light and Sound Shuttle Kit
Our appraiser and expert is hoping to trade this rare NASA set for Jeff's science-fiction collectable, the Slave 1 seen above. Do they make the trade? You have to watch!
11. Lego Train Sets
Jeff is particularly fond of train Lego. Note: The plural of "Lego" is "Lego," not "Legos." Lisa learned the hard way.
12. Lego Schoolhouse
Rule No. 1 of Lego: "We don't glue!" Another fun fact that Lisa learned. Glue is sacriligious to true Lego fans.
13. Mysterious Samsonite Box
Nobody truly knows what this empty box was intended for. A storage case? A corporate prop? Whatever it was, it is now rare.
14. The Collection
Take a macro look at the minifigures and bricks in Jeff's collection.