They say that the average Christmas shopper is spending more money on themselves during their gift buying than ever, and I know Sherlockians are no different. Not all of us tend to wander non-book shops as randomly as we do when Christmas shopping, and as a result, Sherlock-related surprises pop up when we're off the beaten path.
For me, the latest trip brought the puzzle that is Lego Mini Figures, Series 5. This may be old news to many a Sherlockian collector, and I'd even heard about a Sherlock Holmes Lego Mini Figure a while back, but what I didn't realize was that it was one of sixteen figures all sold in an opaque packet that makes it impossible to identify which one is inside . . . unless on has a very sensitive sense of touch. It occured to me that Sherlock's magnifying glass might be the key item that would reveal which packet he was hiding in, and I made some tentative attempts at feeling around for the lens's rim.
After about five packets, I start feeling a little ridiculous and gave up the attempt. What did I need with one more little Sherlock totem, after all, even if he had Roger Moore sideburns? I had two Playmobil Sherlocks, in any case.
Later, though, I had to do a little internet research to see if there was an easier way to pick a Sherlock from all the snowboarders, Royal Guards, and lumberjacks. (Sounds a bit like a Monty Python sketch, doesn't it?) But as much as they got it down to technical specifics of bump patterns and package weights, it still all came back to feeling around for that magnifying glass.
And while I might, on a whim, shell out three bucks for a Lego Mini Figure of Sherlock Holmes, even though I'm hardly a collector any more, I think I'm drawing the line at spending all that time in a toy store feeling up Lego people for a one-out-of-sixteen shot at Sherlock.