Isavarg

Collecting pieces for my 'own creations'

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I started collecting Lego again because of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sets and have for some time now, wanted to create buildings from the films and books which Lego didn't make sets for. I was just wondering what is the best way of collecting the pieces I need to do this (I'd like to keep my favourite sets intact if I can, and not reuse them in something else.) I have collected some of the Classic freestyle sets, but I find that they don't have enough bricks of the right size and colours for me, so I was wondering how people collected the bricks they use for fantasy and historical themes. (It would be a lot easier if we still had the Castle and Viking themes but they sadly, aren't an option right now.)

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Hi Isavarg! I would go for a quite diverse approach. Often regular sets contain quite a number of interesting pieces and sometimes minifigs and accessories too. Some of the Ninjago sets, for example are really ueeful.

With bricklink though you usually get the "bigger bang for the buck" and can pick exactly which pieces you want. Prices can vary quite a lot though, so it may need some time to compare prices, shipping and stock.

Another option is buying in bulk at fleamarkets or ebay. Its a bit of a gamble there of course and you likely wont end up with exactly what you were looking for. At the same time, there might be positive surprises as well - and its often a very cheap way for obtaining pieces: people who sell their old Lego due to lack of interest often don't really know and/or care what is worth they are selling.

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When I left my dark ages, I started by buying a collection of parts from ebay. That was big enough to allow me to build things in the wrong colors. I would then rebuild it on the computer and recolor it. After which I would order the parts from bricklink. Since then I bought another collection of parts from ebay. I now have a large enough set of parts I can usually build what I imagine even if it is not with the exact pieces I initially conceive of using.

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Bricklink. But the problem is that Castle style MOCs are popular with AFOLs, meaning that many of the muted colours, greys, tans, browns, etc are more sought after and hence more expensive. The colour pallette also overlaps with Star Wars (tans for landscape, greys for ships) and Space (greys), which doesn't help.

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Thanks. After looking at some of the current sets, if I try to look past what it has been made into, there are some useful pieces in them. After some problems with e-bay sellers I try not to buy from there if I can help it. I'll just have to be creative and the bricks I don't find useful for the Middle-Earth stuff will probably be useful for detail on the modular buildings, etc. It's funny in some ways as when certain colours are used in the fantasy themes I find them too garish, but when used in the traditional modular buildings they soften the grimness of the colour schemes that's used.

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If you want new only, then retail or BrickLink are probably your only real options, and since purely Historic themes are absent from TLG's current line-up, then BL is it.

If used is cool, then BL is still an option, but my favorite is to hit up eBay for incomplete lots. Search for "Lego missing" or "Lego incomplete" and you can often find good sets that are only missing one or two bits (or are actually complete but the seller wasn't sure), for a huge drop on the original price. Another tip is to search for lots without minifigures; super hero and other licensed sets frequently sell more than %50 off because the figs are a big draw, and the plain bricks can easily be used in historic builds.

To me the biggest benefit of eBay vs BrickLink is that while with BL you get exactly what you asked for, eBay can surprise you, which is often a treat. I've gotten rare parts buried in a lot of standard stuff, seen great parts and colors I never knew existed, and bought lots where that one set I thought I was getting was actually two, with parts from several others thrown in. I've also snagged several MSIB sets, usually ~25% off or so, but sometimes as much as 60%. :moar:

Of course, the usual eBay precautions apply: compare the item to similar things, study the pictures for non-Lego bits and overall value, don't buy big-ticket items from sellers with bad feedback, be patient until the right deal comes along, etc. I've only ever had one unsatisfying experience with eBay, which really means the thing I spent $20 on ended up being worth knly $50 instead of the $70 I was hoping for. :shrug_oh_well:

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Don't forget about the official Bricks & Pieces service that LEGO provides.  It can be a bit of a chore finding what you're looking for, but if you know the set number it makes it much easier.

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Another thing about ebay is that sellers often have sets available without minifigures for sometimes a small fraction of the original price. Some resellers just pick up sets to sell the minifigures individually for a profit but don't wanna go through the trouble of sorting all the other parts out to sell on bricklink, so they just sell them off cheaply as is.  A couple of years ago I picked up a bunch of Mos Eisley Cantinas, without figs, accessories, or dewback, for under $10 a set, iirc, and have since done the same with several other Star Wars and licensed sets.

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