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Set Restoration: Original (vintage) or new parts?

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#1 Yoshi648

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:18 AM

Here's a thought: You're going through your LEGO collection and you come across a piece that was from one of your old childhood sets that you luckily kept. For a bit of nostalgia, you decide to re-build the set. You head on over to Peeron/BrickLink for the part inventory and start scavenging your collection for the parts. As your digging through your collection, you start finding pieces that clearly were from the original set. It's obvious this was a childhood piece; it still has all your teeth marks from prying it off that one stubborn brick and all the scratches from when you drove the car it was built in down the stairs. You look around and you find the exact same piece that came from a new set you bought the other day; all nice and shiny and ready to be a part of something great. Now you have the dilemma on your hands of whether you should keep the set in its original form or restore it to look like new. What would/do/did you do in this situation?

Edited by Fugazi, 02 October 2012 - 12:43 PM.
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#2 prateek

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:23 AM

I would use the messed up parts. It might be just me, but it kinda adds to the nostalgia, even though it might make you mad that you messed up such an awesome thing. :tongue:

Edited by prateek, 15 December 2010 - 02:23 AM.


#3 Brickdoctor

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:02 AM

View Postprateek, on 15 December 2010 - 02:23 AM, said:

I would use the messed up parts. It might be just me, but it kinda adds to the nostalgia, even though it might make you mad that you messed up such an awesome thing. :tongue:
I agree. Besides, then you can use the new piece for MOCing.

#4 Churchill

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:20 AM

View PostBrickdoctor, on 15 December 2010 - 03:02 AM, said:

I agree. Besides, then you can use the new piece for MOCing.
Totally agree.  After all, it's the original set from your childhood.  Isn't that the appeal?  If you wanted a pristeen one, you could order new(er) parts off of Bricklink.  But it wouldn't be the same a one of your own childhood sets.
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#5 escortmad79

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 12:53 PM

Look for used bits on BL & keep the new bits for something else :tongue:

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#6 Piratedave84

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:17 PM

Whenever I rebuild a set from my child hood I go through the extra trouble to get the exact piece (the old one, the chewed one).

As it has been said it adds to the nostalgia and makes that more classic.  I do sometimes redo old sets in new colors just to see what they would look like.

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#7 Big Cam

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:20 PM

View Postescortmad79, on 15 December 2010 - 12:53 PM, said:

Look for used bits on BL & keep the new bits for something else :tongue:
Agreed, unless it's a super common piece.

#8 IAmWillGibson

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 02:43 PM

This is an interesting discussion for me, because I'm sorely tempted to take the time visiting home to embark on the Great Rebuild of 2010. I'm about two months out of my Dark Age and I know I have a bunch of smallish sets buried and sprinkled about the parents house, all exploded and mingled and uncatalogued. Over the holidays, thanks to the magic of Peeron and online instructions, I'm going to attempt to gather and rebuild the majestic Cosmic Fleet Voyager [6985] to celebrate what I assume would be the 23rd anniversary of me getting the set. But I'm also fairly certain at least 30 to 40% of the pieces will be absent. I guess I'm gonna have to get new ones for replacement.

#9 Enpaz

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 03:50 PM

I would say, use your childhood ones as long as they are not badly discoloured. Bricks scratched-up are one thing, but white bricks almost tan or light grey bricks almost yellow (?) are an entirely different matter. That's my opinion about this.

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#10 Sirens-of-Titan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 04:07 PM

I kind of like to think that as long as you keep the more significant pieces from the old sets it's OK to supplement with new parts: case and point; I found a whole bunch of knights from the 90's about a year ago; (they were the Royal knights with the lion head type) and I decided to rebuild a force of them; I kept the armor which was the unique part, but added modern faces with whites in their eyes, because this:  :classic: while it's a classic doesn't fit well in most MOC's today. I also supplemented with new horses and pearl swords, left their old shields in their hands and gave the king a new crown as the old one had gone from shiny gold to a dull silver in 20 years.  

This way you still indeed have your old set, and the crucial parts of it came from your childhood but it looks and feels like a model that could be currently in production
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#11 LEGO Historian

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 07:36 PM

Granted this can be a daunting challenge for even the most knowledgeably LEGO collector... but reassembling old sets with vintage parts can be a really difficult thing to do.  "Pat. Pend.", "Pat. Pend. Removed", solid stud vs. hollow stud, and "lip vs. no lip on a part is only the beginning of trying to assemble old sets.  This is a very challenging scenario, and it's too bad that none of the online databases want to be bothered with the nuances of LEGO mold types over the years.  Now granted... mold overlap over the years causes a great deal of problems in this regard... but I do believe that 95% of an old set can be pretty accurately assembled with the right parts... if only the knowledge that has already been mentioned over the years to the Admins. were not ignored when presented to the online databases.

I admit that it can lead to a lot of confusion for the untrained eye or new collectors (and is why online databases try to avoid this)... but advanced collectors should have some means to be able to do so.  It's ironic that I'm asking for something that I cannot figure out how to do logically... but collectively perhaps AFOLs can come up with something.

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Also... I agree that mold variations can be extensive... for example the 2x4 brick has over 40 mold variations, but a lot of those have to do with the numbers printed inside the mold, and I'm not advocating going to that extreme.

I also realize that the number of admins working for the databases is limited... and what I'm suggesting would take a lot more workers than is perfectly logical.

Maybe I should just be happy and not bitch that I parsed out over 2000 sets into separate boxes, and now I have the ability to reassemble them without difficulty (although for me there's still a learning curve).... Posted Image

Edited by LEGO Historian, 09 September 2012 - 07:38 PM.

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#12 AndyC

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 10:10 PM

The problem with doing that is that you need an authoritative source on every possible variation, which variations of parts were used in any given set and then comprehensive instructions on exactly how to distinguish the exact version of a part. And the more extensive such a database becomes, the more work is involved if some slightly different variant is discovered (because suddenly a whole bunch of previous classifications becomes highly dubious. And let's face it, even Bricklink occasionally contains set details which are a little bit off at times, despite having a much more limited classification system.

When you consider that, as you say, there are at least 40 variations on a 2x4 brick, the work involved in going through even a moderately sized collection just becomes a monumental task. And if, the reason you're doing so is to sell them on, that almost inevitably results in either you having to sell them at extortionately high prices or to value your own time so little that you're never really reclaiming what you deserve for the effort put in. And of course it's all made worse by the fact only the strictest of purist is ever really going to care that they have the exact type of yellow 2x4 brick that would have been in the set originally (and for them it'd probably cheaper, easier and more reliable to track down a MISB than to put in any of the effort involved).

I don't think a system to precisely identify LEGO parts will ever be practical until cheap, but accurate 3D scanners are ubiquitous and easily automated across a whole collection. And it would still require some pretty epic work to accurately accumulate details on older sets' part usage.
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#13 Faefrost

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:13 AM

Wouldn't this also be somewhat maddened by the simple fact that at least back then, Lego did not isolate different variations of productions runs of similar parts? Once a 1x2 brick was made it went into the same hopper as the others, regardless of mold lines, Lego lettering, pat pending etc. So the parts were not necessarily isolated between sets or even used in a first in first out manner. The best you can really do is catalog production variations over a given time period, and indicate that these particular variants might be applicable to a set of a given vintage. (so you would never find a 1990 brick in a new 1980 set. But you could find almost any variation from 1980 and earlier in that box.)
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#14 LEGO Historian

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:05 AM

Oh,  no, this would indeed be sort of mddening.  There 's so many variables, that it would indeed be very difficult to do.  I was able to do it with the Yellow Castle parts because I kept many of them segregated from other parts.  I think that ordinarily it isn't worth the trouble.  In the case of the Yellow Castle sets.... I had the yellow parts separated.  The other parts were not... and it wasn't even worth my while to parse out the other color parts in the set.

But I think it would be nice to have the Pat. Pend. and Pat. Pend. removed parts isolated as a separate group of parts... which is even (cost wise) more important than newer bricks with cross-supports.  I think that LEGO AFOLs are smart enough to understand the 3 main varieties on the underside of LEGO bricks and plates... 4 if you include cross supports on the bricks.  But I can agree that PIP location or mold numbers is asking way too much of what collectors want.

Usually I can tell if a "used" set has been re-assembled from different parts... if there is a great amount of differences in the condition of the parts... that's usually a good sign that this is a re-constituted set.

Edited by LEGO Historian, 10 September 2012 - 07:08 AM.

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#15 Fugazi

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

Merged with a similar discussion. :sweet:
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#16 loyalroyal

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:18 PM

Hello,

Recently i've been sorting one or two of my LEGO sets, and i've been wondering; if i were to replace a missing brick (identical, new and genuine) from a set,
would i have a moral obligation to state i'd done so, were i ever to sell the set on ebay?

Dont really plan on selling :laugh: just wanted people's opinions!

Cheers!

#17 LegoFjotten

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:30 PM

Opinions will differ, for me it would depend on the set and how you present it...

"100% complete vintage 80's Lego blah blah..." - just ain't right if you've replaced parts

For your average city set from the last 10 years, no big deal if a part has been replaced with a newer one (again, for me personally).

Personally, I would just come clean with something like "A few missing parts replaced with new parts from BrickLink". You probably won't get a better price if you withhold it anyway...

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#18 Deathleech

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 09:30 PM

I wouldn't think so as long as it's the EXACT same brick (e.i. from same mold/design with no changes whatsoever).  I mean what does it matter if it's a yellow 1x2 brick from 1980 vs 2010 if they look the exact same and have the same design?  Now if it were a changed piece or color and Lego updated the design, or a custom piece that's another story...

Edited by Deathleech, 20 January 2014 - 09:31 PM.


#19 MKJoshA

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:34 PM

I agree with Deathleech. As long as it's the exact same piece, it won't make a difference and I don't think you have to mention it. The only exception would be if all the pieces looked older or slightly played with except for the one you replaced. Then it would be obvious what you had done and should be mentioned to any potential buyers.

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#20 Herky

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:39 PM

I have purchased 2 sets like this and "restored" several other sets of my own like this...it's really up to the buyer, but I would suggest you disclose it.  I made sure to restore mine with the exact same piece, which cost me a little more, but I felt that the sets from the 80's deserved to be restored with the parts from the 80's.  I just missed out on a few sets from the 60's...Lego Esso Gas Station, Lego Fire Engine and Lego VW set, the Esso went for $400, and VW went for close to $800.  No missing parts but if you were to pick up one like that and you replaced with a part not from the 60's I would say yes, devalued set.  



#21 naf

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:51 PM

I've been restoring my old sets and ran into the same issue.  I wanted to replace with parts from the 80's that had the same mold.  However, as I looked into it I found out that sets can actually have a variety of different molds for the same part.  This occurs if Lego was transitioning from one mold to the next during the set's production.

For me, I stopped being so anal about it. I'm never going to sell my sets, I just wanted to replace the beat up bricks with new ones so that the model looks nice on my display shelf.  The only time I try to get "original" bricks is if it's really obvious.  For example, if the set has 1x1 modified plates with the thin ring, I would replace it with the thin ring instead of the newer mold with the thick ring.

If you're restoring to sell, I'd definitely mention it and take plenty of pictures.  No one likes surprises, especially if they paid good money for a set.

#22 loyalroyal

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 11:22 PM

Thank you all for your great responses guys - a great experience for my first post on here!

Naf and Deathleech refer to 'molds' and on that i wondered if anyone could further advise me (sorry!)

I was trying to re complete my market street, one of the missing pieces was a 40379 dinosaur tail end section. I found one in my collection but noticed it was slightly different to the original on market street - the difference being a small black hole in the side. Unfortunately i don't remember which is the right one, and its something that bothers the perfectionist inside me! :grin:  

Does anyone know how i can find out which one was used and where I can buy that exact variation of the brick/mold?

Cheers again!

#23 Deathleech

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:25 AM

Brickset and BrickLink are pretty good ways to view a set's inventory.

#24 TheLegoDr

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:59 AM

I agree with Deathleech. The above two places will show you the inventory and you can find out the element ID number in relation to the pieces you want. There are different ID numbers depending on if it was retired and brought back or if they changed the mold for whatever reason. So you can find which piece was the exact kind for your set, so when you purchase them you will have the correct original piece.
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#25 naf

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:10 PM

Here is a similar thread that I posted when I was in the middle of piecing together my old sets:  http://www.eurobrick...66#entry1618392

As I said, I ended up just getting nice looking bricks, and didn't pay that much attention to specific molds.  The only ones I do pay attention to are the 1x1 plates modified with ring, and the 1x1 plates modified with clip.  These mold changes are actually visibly apparent as the ring and clip parts look different, so I try to match those whenever possible.

Also, be sure not to mix up the grays.  You're going to want to replace old gray parts with other old gray, not the newer bluish gray color.  The same goes for dark gray as well.



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