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Help with Make-A-Wish project

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Hello.  I am involved in a Make-A-Wish for a 12 year old boy in Pennsylvania, USA with a brain tumor.    His wish is to visit the Lego factory in Denmark and Lego has already volunteered to make that happen (thumbs up to LEGO!).   He also mentioned that he would like a Lego table to build a Lego Town.   So locally, we built the Lego table in the attached picture and put several of his previous builds on it.  

To finish the Wish we would like to give him a nice stock of loose Legos to support his Lego building.  The base of the table is made up of shelving units and we would like to fill these with loose Legos.  I attempted to order loose pieces and quickly realized I was in way over my head.   So we are looking for a kind volunteer to provide us with a suggested list of pieces to purchase.   Since he is interested in building a Lego town I think the inventory should be somewhat focused on providing pieces for buildings and foliage (or whatever else goes into building a town).   Or does someone sell a large set for this purpose?  We'd like to do better than the official Lego sets (like 10704).

We would like to do this well and a budget of $1000 for the pieces was suggested but none of us really know what we are talking about.   After looking last night and doing some quick calculations, I'm thinking that a budget of more like $2000 may be necessary to do this right.   Or what is an appropriate budget for what we are attempting?

I realize that this is not a simple question but what would be most helpful would be a detailed shopping list of specific pieces and colors.   Is it better to stick with a limited number of colors and lots of different shapes or vice versa?  Or should we give him a basic set and then give him a credit at an online store?   I am thinking that it is better to try to physically stock what he needs since in talking to him I think the thing he really likes about building Legos is that it is within his control (as opposed to his current real life) and he might need help to do ordering.

I think some general suggestions as to budget and scale would be helpful to start, then I can provide a final budget number and perhaps some direction to be used to generate the final parts list to order.  

I suspect that there will be offers of donations of used pieces but we do need to order these as new parts since his immune system is compromised from the chemotherapy.   

Thank you.


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Two sets I’d really recommend are fun in the park and fun at the beach. (For people) maybe a few blind bag  minifigs? Also maybe some road plates? Try a few big classic brick boxes

or even a serious play box (lots of bricks, I know it’s generally for companies but... so many bricks).

Lots of wheels and tree pieces would be good as well as car bottoms and plant pieces. I hope your wish goes well for him and that he gets better. :classic: 

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I can imagine that's a overwhelming task. Budget wise, I wouldn't have a figure, it depends on the sets.
Same goes for parts, 2nd hand is cheaper, but you don't know where it's from, what the quality of the bricks are, if its complete... And I'm kind of a germofoob, so yeah, I pay more for new bricks. :blush:

I'd recommend you get in touch with one of the offical Lego stores in the USA (store list click here), since most of them have 'Pick-a-Brick' walls & almost every available set.
Also everything is purchasable in bulk (even loose Lego from the pick-a-brick wall). Maybe they can even help you out with some kind of deal? :wink:

Set recommendations; city accessoires, city people pack, beach people pack, creator skate house, creator winter house, creator poolside house, creator modern house, creator family villa, modular buildings, roadplates & lots of vehicles. :laugh:

Edited by -zenn

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OP said the child has a compromised immune system from the treatment so that rules out 2nd hand Lego and Pick A Brick walls (since many random hands are stuck into the bins).

Pick A Brick [PAB] on the Shop @ Home site is a good option but the orders are hand-picked by Lego employees so that might be the same concern as above (same with the Bricks and Pieces [B&P] service and Bricklink). The Lego services take a couple weeks to get the order and its also hard to recommend specific bricks to get as there's something like 7000 different piece/color combinations available/in production at any given time. Ordering lots of bricks can be daunting even to someone who's familiar with the service and has a specific list of needed parts for a specific design but for someone inexperienced and with no specific desired list to order hundreds of different parts I think makes this option is a bit unfeasible. I order bricks all the time but its usually for a specific creation and even being familiar with the selection system its still rather tedious.

So with the stated budget, the kid's fondness of City/Town, the complexities of ordering random bricks and the immune system concern I would get him a whole bunch of Creator and City sets. While you can certainly get a nice pile of bricks for a decent price with PAB/B&P, the large Creator sets have among the best price per piece of all Lego so you could get the most Lego for him with the stated budget and I'm guessing the kid builds above his age level (he has two sets in the picture that are) so I wouldn't worry about the suggested ages on the boxes. Get him some of the Creator Expert modular buildings ($0.06-0.08 per piece is about as good as it gets), a bunch of the minifigure-scaled Creator sets and a bunch of regular City sets. With that budget you can get him a pretty large amount of Lego that will keep him happy, building and playing. Given the immune system concerns, the budget and theme that he likes that is what I would suggest.

The trip to Lego HQ will be one heck of an experience. If I was in his shoes I probably would want the same thing. I hope he gets well.

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