After being on these boards for several weeks and posting two MOCs, I just realized that I've never properly introduced myself...
I'm an AFOL and long-time Lego Space fan. I've been in and out of the Lego hobby since the time I was about five, back when classic space was still new and castles were still yellow. I'll never forget my very first two Lego sets -- 540-2 Police Units and Charlie Crow's Carry-All. I was so psyched, since I'd seen the ads on TV (with the five color bars snapping together sideways) and I just had to have Lego! From then on, I was hooked.
For Christmas I got my very first space set, 6842 Shuttle Craft. Shortly after I got the Starfleet Voyager, and many of the space sets from the 1980-1983 catalogs. Of course they ended up getting mixed together and well worn, but that didn't stop me from having loads of fun and building my own creations.
Then, when I was eight, this new upstart toy line called Transformers came on the scene, and my Lego collecting was put on hold. Not that I didn't still build, but I'd stopped collecting new sets as all of my spending money was redirected toward TFs and other 80s robot toys. This was my first "dark age".
When I was twelve, I met my future brothers-in-law (my brother's wife's brothers) at a get together at their house. They were showing me around their room when one of them opened up a big dresser drawer full of Lego, and not just space either -- town, castle, you name it! I was amazed at the treasure trove before me, not just because of all the sets they had, but because they had all the sets that I missed out on during my Transformer phase. I was fascinated by all the new robot arms, suction cups, spaceship noses, etc. that I never even knew existed. Most amazing of all were the blue and black spacemen! I'd never seen those before, and I wanted some. Ironically, my future brothers-in-law were both losing interest in Lego. Me, I was now re-hooked, and at just the right time...
That was the year of Blacktron I and Futuron, as well as the end of classic space. I remembered thinking how weird (yet cool) it was that Lego now had space-villains, so all my Christmas list space and spending money was invested in getting as many new sets as I could. And this time, I was determined to keep everything with its box in near-mint condition. I continued doing this for a year, well into the Space Police I era, and began collecting castle as well. But then high school hit, and I shied away from collecting once more. Enter dark age number two.
When I was about seventeen, out of curiosity, I went to the local TRU to have a look at the Lego section, and once again I was amazed by what I had missed out on. Just looking at 6705 Space Explorers had me intrigued. At first I said to myself that I'd pick up just that one set for nostalgia's sake, and that would be it. But no, Lego is like those snack chips you see on TV. You can't have just one. So I began collecting Spyrius, Ice Planet and Space Police II with every spare cent I had. Of course, teenagers "aren't supposed" to have toys, and I kept my hobby hidden. I continued on to Unitron and Exploriens as those came out, right up until college. My finances wouldn't allow much by then, but I never went into a full-blown dark age, just more of a "dim age" of small sets.
It wasn't until late 2006, when I was Christmas shopping for my niece and nephew, that I came once again upon the Lego section at the local TRU. Star Wars had been around for a number of years, but I'd never been big into that theme (aside from a handful of small sets in the beginning), but looking at Aqua Raiders got me nostalgic. When I went searching on the net and found all the amazing Lego fan sites, including Classic Space, I couldn't help but break out my old collection and start building. So here I am today, hooked on Lego once again -- and this time, I intend to stick with it (on Bricklink if nothing else).