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PAB Cups: What Did You Get?

pick-a-brick pab

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#1 ACCURATEin

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:51 AM

So the only Lego store i have had the opportunity to visit is the Downtown Disney store in Orlando, FL.   I was looking at the cup sizes and was trying to determine what was the best way to optimize the space inside the cup so you can get the most for your money.   My thought is that if you actually connect the bricks together it will allow for more bricks to fit inside the cup.  Has anyone ever tried this?


In North Carolina, where i reside, we've got our first Lego store opening in a couple of months.  When i go there, i'm going to experiment with this idea and see how much space i can occupy with the plastic bricks.


Anyone have their pick a brick story?!

:classic:
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#2 Shadows

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:00 AM

TLG themselves actually discuss this very topic on their own site, right here.

Personally, I'm all for getting the most for my money, but typically, that doesn't mean buying standard bricks unless they're an unusual colour, I save those purchases for Bricklink orders that need a little extra added to them (I'll drop 100 or 500 of some brick in an order when they're .01 or .02 to get my price/part ratio up :laugh:).

As for stacking... it just seems time consuming, plus, as I said, I don't do bricks really. The stuff I go for tends to be tiles, anything minifig related, door or window parts, sometimes plates, which I guess you could stack, but they would be a hassle later.

My only real advice is to remember to drop very small things in to fill any gaps as you go. They always have an assortment of 1x1 round plates that do nicely for that. Shake gently to get them to settle and keep filling until you can't fill any more.

Most of all, have fun. It's such a neat experience, like a produce department for LEGO. I think everyone should experience it sometime.

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#3 ACCURATEin

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:25 AM

Oh sweet!  I figured someone had already tried it.

So it looks like 136  2x4s can fit into the cup.   Which makes the bricks about 9 cents each.   I'm about to go look what the best price of 2x4s are on brick link.

It's nice Lego even posted the strategy on their website.  Thanks for letting me know about that.  :classic:
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#4 Peppermint_M

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 07:28 AM

Make sure you drop the parts small/large/small/large so you fill all the gas well. Level off the "stud" that sticks up inside the cup with tiny pegged jewls, jumper bricks and intresting prined tiles. Then you can put in the larger stuff, like a handfull of bricks or something else larger, then throw in some small parts (but not so the lie on top of the large, this means all the gaps have been filled). Repeate until full. At the very top build something that fits snugly into the lid so not a single cubic centimeter is wasted.  :tongue:
If you want to get the larger plated then place them in verticaly and ensure ti fill all the space.
I'm sort of lucky as when I get to PAB its in bags, lucky due to no space issues, unlucky in that there isn't a fixed price you pay by weight.

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#5 xenologer

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:25 AM

If youre stocking up on something small like 1*1 or 1*2 bricks, you can pour them into the hollow bump in the lid, then use some scotch tape to seal them in there. This way you can turn the lid over and snap the cup closed and still have that normally wasted space in the lid filled up.

#6 brickzone

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:09 AM

Yeah, I used the small/large/small/large technique with just a bit of shaking of the tub in between when I used PaB wall for the first time when in Munich last year. I didn't have all day to pack stuff in fanatically.

I'd love to have access to PaB here in Ireland!

#7 Eilif

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 05:06 PM

I always take the time to pack my cup.   I've found that you can usually get as much as 20% more stuff in when you carefully pack than when you just carefully pour in.  I build stacks of bricks and slide them into the box that, IIRC, are 13 bricks high.  I will use flowers, plants and 1x1 plates to fill in small gaps.  Basically, you get a solid core of brick from top to bottom of the cup with smaller stacks and odd shaped items filling in the sides.  
Other tips:
-When I buy window frames, I will stack them and fill the inside with bricks.  
-If I'm stocking up on basic brick, I will build two large blocks pieces and fill in the sides with bricks.  
-The only pieces I will take the time to stack are tiles, and even then, I will often use them to pack around other stacked elements.
-Remember to build a 4x4x3 block to put in the "stud" in the top.

There's some good pictures on Brickshelf (when it's working), and here's Here's another interesting method of packing
http://news.lugnet.c...eneral/?n=44307

Next time I pack a cup, I'll try and remember to take a picture of how it is packed.
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#8 TJJohn12

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 09:25 PM

View PostACCURATEin, on Apr 8 2009, 02:51 AM, said:

Anyone have their pick a brick story?!

:classic:


I tend to go for 1 x 2 bricks, because that's what the majority of my constructions are made of.  My best record to date is 627 Dark Grey 1 x 2s, with filler of 35 1 x 2 trans-clear plates.  That gets me down around the 2.5 cent per piece level.

I pack with columns of bricks.  The lip at the bottom of the large cup will hold 1 x 2 bricks on end, if you line all the studs in the same direction.  It's a pain, but can net you a handful more elements.

Good Luck!

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#9 Eilif

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:02 AM

After reading the Pick A Brick strategy topic, and seeing that there is some interest in this topic I thought this would be an interesting study, and one deserving it's own thread.  This will be old hat for many of you, but for those of you who are just dumping pieces in a PAB cup, give a listen...

I just got back from the LEGO Store. Here's the cup I packed
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It's not packed as well as usual, you can see alot of spaces that could be filled with 1x1 plates, but I was in a bit of a hurry.
Let's open it up so you can see the tops of the various stacks, and how it all fits together.
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And here's the top. I always put something in the lid stud.  
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Now we dump out the cup.  The brick stack in my hand is the middle that I filled this cup around. This cup was a bit more challenging to pack since it wasn't comprised mostly of bricks.
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Taking this brick apart, we see just how much you can cram in a small space.  Yep, this is just from the stack that was in my hand in the previous picture!
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Here's the other stacks that were in the cup.  I had tiles crammed in between the branches and in every nook.
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And everything else that was in the cup and not shown in the previous two pictures.
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Here's the total of everything that was in the cup
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32 2x2 trans windows
60 1x4 grey bricks
2 1x4 black angled plates
1 12x4 black plate
30 2x2 round grey bricks
12 classic yellow flowers
15 flower stems
7 pink flower sprues
18 1x4x6 door frams
12 1x4x6  barred door insets
11 black latice fences
38 1x1 trans cones in various colors
49 1x1 trans light blue round plates
31 Large tree branches
42 small tree branches
146 1x4 reddish brown tiles

506 pieces in total

Not my best performance by a long shot, but not to shabby. Now for the point of this narrative.  Now to try and fill the cup as though we were just dropping pieces in at a store.   Separating the pieces, putting them in, periodically shaking the cup down hard to make them settle in, I filled the cup just to overflowing and the results are below.
Posted Image
It all fits except:
25 big tree branches
42 small tree branches
1 4x10 black plate
11 1x4x6 door frames
32 2x2 trans clear windows

111 pieces that don't fit.  Over 20% less.  :sad:

I'm sure I could lower that figure a bit by substituting some pieces for others, but I think the result would be close to the same.  You can get around 20% more pieces per cup by packing.  It probably takes an average of 20 minutes for me to pack a cup. Is it worth it?  I've come to enjoy the challenge of packing a cup, but even if I didn't, I'd be willing to spend the time to get what is essentially free LEGO.

Edited by Fugazi, 05 February 2013 - 02:35 PM.

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#10 Eilif

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:10 AM

I just got back from the LEGO store, and I put together a pictorial essay about the importance of packing a PAB cup here.
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#11 ILikePi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:24 AM

Thanks for showing us a technique that you did in order to fit all those pieces.  :classic:  I bet if you just bought those pieces at the online PAB, it would cost around $50. I'll try to organize the pieces like this if I want to get a PAB cup next week (when I go to the LEGO Store near me).

EDIT: How much do the large PAB cups cost?

Edited by ILikePi, 11 April 2009 - 05:26 AM.

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#12 UserNameInvalid

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:28 AM

Nice demo!
Thanks.

Unfortunately in the UK the lids are behind the counter, so can pack much less in a tub.

Another example where we get ripped off in the UK.
:cry_sad:

Edited by UserNameInvalid, 11 April 2009 - 05:38 AM.


#13 ILikePi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 05:31 AM

Oh, and I have another question. How do you get to the higher holes in the PAB wall? Do you have to ask a store worker to get a ladder, go in the back of the store, or do something else?

Edited by ILikePi, 11 April 2009 - 05:31 AM.

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#14 Peppermint_M

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 01:06 PM

View PostUserNameInvalid, on Apr 11 2009, 06:28 AM, said:

Nice demo!
Thanks.

Unfortunately in the UK the lids are behind the counter, so can pack much less in a tub.

Another example where we get ripped off in the UK.
:cry_sad:
If you can even get to a PAB wall. The only one I get is once a year in Legoland and they have bags (so I have to parctice restraint or I will be stuffing it full and spending £5 per 1kg.... that could end up a lot). I wish they would put a PAB in Bristol or Cardiff.

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#15 Eilif

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:12 PM

View PostILikePi, on Apr 10 2009, 11:24 PM, said:

Thanks for showing us a technique that you did in order to fit all those pieces.  :classic:  I bet if you just bought those pieces at the online PAB, it would cost around $50. I'll try to organize the pieces like this if I want to get a PAB cup next week (when I go to the LEGO Store near me).

EDIT: How much do the large PAB cups cost?
Glad you liked it.  I think you're right about the online comparison.  A properly packed PAB cup without too many large basic bricks is far cheaper than PAB online, or even Bricklink.  Bricklink is still a cheaper source for most large brick, but for specialty and small stuff in-store PAB rules.

I'm pretty sure the large cup  (the one I packed) is 15 dollars. I think the small size cups are 8 dollars.

View PostUserNameInvalid, on Apr 10 2009, 11:28 PM, said:

Nice demo!
Thanks.

Unfortunately in the UK the lids are behind the counter, so can pack much less in a tub.

Another example where we get ripped off in the UK.
:cry_sad:

That stinks. I suppose that means that they require that the lid has to snap  on completely.  At the stores around here, I walk up with the cup lid held on.  They tape it down and no one has ever bothered me for the lid not being able to snap completely on.  It's only a few piece difference though.

View PostILikePi, on Apr 10 2009, 11:31 PM, said:

Oh, and I have another question. How do you get to the higher holes in the PAB wall? Do you have to ask a store worker to get a ladder, go in the back of the store, or do something else?

At the stores around here (Chicago, IL and surrounding area), the highest holes are for display only.  If you have a good relationship with store staff, they may be willing to look in back for something specific.  I was in Portland Oregon, however, and they would only go in back for other pieces if you were buying a whole shipping box of PAB.

View PostPeppermint_M, on Apr 11 2009, 07:06 AM, said:

If you can even get to a PAB wall. The only one I get is once a year in Legoland and they have bags (so I have to parctice restraint or I will be stuffing it full and spending £5 per 1kg.... that could end up a lot). I wish they would put a PAB in Bristol or Cardiff.

I've heard about this. I'm puzzled as to why they do it differently in different countries. I was told that at by-weight PAB walls, it can be a good deal if you pick pieces that are lighter, or too bulky to pack well in a PAB cup.

If anyone is curious, the cup in the first post was packed yesterday at the Downtown Chicago LEGO store.  If you are interested in those pieces, I would move fast.   Sometimes the selection stays for along time, but often the good stuff disappears quickly.

Edited by Eilif, 11 April 2009 - 03:16 PM.

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#16 Peppermint_M

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 09:28 PM

The bags are similar to a ziplock and are about the size of a LP cover in surface area. You can pretty much stuff it full. I was surprised to find that everything i needed and wanted was ony about £3, sadly the minifig parts are not in boxes, you have to pick them at the till.

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#17 Skinny Boy

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:33 PM

Thanks for this Eilif! Really informative, and will certainly be remembered by me when if I get to a PAB with cups.  :wink:

View PostPeppermint_M, on Apr 11 2009, 02:06 PM, said:

If you can even get to a PAB wall. The only one I get is once a year in Legoland and they have bags (so I have to parctice restraint or I will be stuffing it full and spending £5 per 1kg.... that could end up a lot). I wish they would put a PAB in Bristol or Cardiff.
Aww, poor you. I wish they'd put a PAB in Ireland!  :angry:
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#18 Commander Andrew of 501 st

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 10:55 PM

Thanks for making this topic...the same day I go to a Lego store and fill the cup up like a child mind you! :tongue:
But really thanks for this so knowing that the 15 minute away Lego store will be a more Full-Filling trip. :grin:
Bad-Pun...
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#19 prateek

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:25 PM

nice strategy :thumbup: just one question for people that have been to disney parks, is there a PaB in Disney World or Disney Land?

#20 Raven Brickroft

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:36 PM

Oh lawdy. I really wish there were PAB walls here in our country. Instead, we get stuck with almost always having 2x the US price for sets here.

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#21 ILikePi

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 11:58 PM

View PostRaven Brickroft, on Apr 11 2009, 03:36 PM, said:

Oh lawdy. I really wish there were PAB walls here in our country. Instead, we get stuck with almost always having 2x the US price for sets here.
What country do you live in?

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#22 Raven Brickroft

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:25 AM

View PostILikePi, on Apr 12 2009, 07:58 AM, said:

What country do you live in?

Philippines. It's expensive having LEGO as a hobby here.

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#23 Ricecracker

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 01:29 AM

View PostSkinny Boy, on Apr 11 2009, 06:33 PM, said:

Aww, poor you. I wish they'd put a PAB in Ireland!  :angry:

Or Canada.

#24 prateek

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 02:59 AM

View PostRicecracker, on Apr 12 2009, 01:29 AM, said:

Or Canada.
I agree 1000000% :thumbup:

#25 keetong

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Posted 12 April 2009 - 04:36 AM

View PostSkinny Boy, on Apr 12 2009, 08:33 AM, said:

Aww, poor you. I wish they'd put a PAB in Ireland!  :angry:

View PostRicecracker, on Apr 12 2009, 11:29 AM, said:

Or Canada.
And Australia, then I could finally finish of my MOC, it only need 1x1 Dkgray tiles



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