How to find useful bricks and parts
Unfortunately, the lego factories management doesn't seem to realise that the power of Lego is not rebuilding an exact copy of a Harry Potter castle, but in designing yourself things with preferrably a large collecion of generic bricks and parts. The toyshops hardly sell these generic things anymore.
How do you get useful parts then? Here are some hints.
- Ordinary bricks are least expensive in the so-called Creator sets. Though they have relatively many small bricks in them, I think it's the best way to get your basic set of ordinary bricks. The box always specifies the contents. Available in toy shops, drugstores, department stores and just anywhere where they sell everything - this may vary per country.
- Well-sorted toy shops sell the well-known gray and green base plates. Once I found boxes of roof elements in a toy shop.
- Lego.com is the official Lego shop. Click the tab 'Exclusives and accessories' and choose 'Bricks and pieces by shape'. It's quite expensive and the assortment seems to get smaller every time I visit the store. Yet I found useful stuff there.
- The well-known sites for second-hand stuff in your country usually have a toys section and perhapse even a Lego subsection. It's a jungle to find something useful.
- Bricklink.com. This website connects sellers and buyers of Lego worldwide. The assortment is overwhealming, most is second-hand, there's no quality guarantee and you're guarantueed to find unique items.
Be warned. Don't make the mistake to go shop straigtahead. You'll end up with a full cart of items that appear to be offered by 30 different sellers of which 29 won't process your order because they either don't ship worldwide or the order is too small. Here's is the way to do it.
On October, 11, René Schulte writes about shopping with Bricklink:
"I would advise buyers to make a wanted list, you can do that under your own account. This especially comes out handy when you know what you need for a new building project. When you're done, you can click on 'By shop'; you get them sorted by the amount of items they can deliver. On this page they also display the minimum order amount. This way you keep the number of shops, and thus the shipping costs, in hand (you can also select on the seller's country). Of course you can check out the store policies.
- First, register. It's free, brings no obligations and necessary to be able to do anything on the site.
- Now click the Members tab.
- Left, under 'List of members' Choose 'By location'. Select your country. Sort by Feedback rating, select Sellers and click Go. I assume the bigger sellers will get more feedback - a better method to sort is not available.
- In the list of sellers you click on a seller's name in the Store column.
- First, read the conditions. Avoid disappointments. Each seller has it's own selling, payment and shipping policy. Also: for shipping within the own country sellers most often have better policies - that's why I advise to select shops in your own country.
- Under the Parts header, left, you can shop as much as you want. Shopping works with the usual shopping cart system. Use the 'view cart' button to guard your budget. Finally click Checkout to buy. Don't forget the minimum and maximum order policy of the seller. Carefully read the instructions and conditions on the screen.
- Bricklink.com is not responsible for their members. If you don't trust it, don't do it. An advantage of shopping in your own country is that you can call or even visit them (if they provide that info). Bricklink presents a contact form to mail a seller.
In your wanted list you can also see the rare items, and decide to shop most items at them.
The by shop method only presents you the items on your want list and nothing more, which means that you don't have to scroll and search that much. It works for me and many other buyers do it this way."
- I'm interested in good hints, Please mail them.