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Best value sets for bricks?

Hi,

I need to source a load of bricks, two studs wide and various lengths. What's the best box to get? I've gone through a few options:

1) Lego educational set - was about £50, I can't remember the set number. I've not seen them for sale for a while though.

2) Set 6177 - 650 basic pieces, about 2/3s of which are 2 studs wide. £20 from The Lego Shop or interweb.

3) eBay - varying prices, but more with shipping and I keep getting outbid!!

4) The very occasional donation from friends/relatives - just about exhausted that option!

5) Obtain some sort of sponsorship deal from Lego. I'm sure with my new range of furniture, Ikea may be interested too!

Anyway, any ideas? I need these as I'm building the side panels of my kitchen. It adds a bit of colour to my otherwise black and white kitchen. I've attached a few pics to show how I'm doing so far.

What experience do you masters of all things Lego have?

Cheers

John

Comments

  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    Below is the panel I've already done, a fillet strip and the island that needs the side adding. I've roughly worked it out as about 2200ish bricks (based on a 4x2) for each end.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    Needing two stud wide bricks will certainly limit it. The Christmas pick a brick boxes might have been great but you're a few weeks too late. If you needed loads getting a few full boxes from pickabrick might work well, but theyd be the same colour, uniform size etc.
    johnbaker
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    Awesome idea!!!i guess for my next kitchen i gotta steal that idea ;)
    Did you've checked www.bricklink.com? If you don't care wether the pieces are used i'm pretty sure you can large bulks for a decent price over there!
    johnbaker
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,298
    edited April 2013
    Bricklink or Pick-a-Brick, there is no competition for those two really. They are the cheapest options, the most reliable sources and quite simply the best for buying individual parts.
    johnbaker
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,309
    I'd go down the pick-a-brick route, but using 1x? bricks instead. You can get twice as many in a cup and they'll look (virtually) the same.
    johnbaker
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 814
    Depends on a few things-- the cheapest official source is probably the Pick-A-Brick walls at LEGO stores. You can supposedly cram in 169 2x4 bricks into a PAB cup, which costs £11 in the UK, making each 2x4 cost about £0.065. But PAB walls typically don't have a huge variety of colors. They'll have something like red, blue, yellow, and orange, or some other combination.

    BrickLink is probably going to be the cheapest source, because you'll always find SOMEONE out there that's willing to sell them to you cheaply (you just have to deal with the risk of getting low-quality bricks, paying shipping, waiting for delivery, etc). Right now, there are people selling for around £0.05 per 2x4 brick, although they don't have ridiculous quantities or anything.

    You might also want to decide what you'd do with excess pieces. If you're looking to grow your collection, you might want to get basic LEGO tubs and just keep the extra odds and ends as freebies. In that case, that might actually be your cheapest option-- it's just difficult to quantify. If you're looking to get JUST the bricks you need, I'd vote for some combination of PAB and BrickLink.

    DaveE
    johnbaker
  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    Cheers all! I'll try those other sites.

    I used the 2x bricks just for a bit of extra stability, and also as they were the correct width for the side panels. I'll do a few calculations and have a look at the 1x option.

    I don't mind if the bricks have been 'pre-loved', but as long as they've not been chewed too much.

    If you notice closely, no colour above or below a brick matches. I was quite OCD about this as I didn't want blocking of colours, and to spread them out a bit. My girlfriend suggested I let my 10 year old son help me do it. She saw by my silent look of disdain that this suggestion wasn't going to be put into action!

    Well, I best have a looksee on those websites and spend, spend, spend!

    @Diggydoes - if you do decide to give it a go, I'll be available to tell you where I went wrong!

    Cheers all, a great help. I'll post more photos once once I'm done.
    Diggydoes
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    I have a #4630 you can have for £25 delivered.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,265
    Depending on how many of each color you need, if you prefer new, you'd probably be best trying get full boxes of 2x4's or 2x6's from the PAB walls at a LEGO store. A full box is $70 and I believe was around 1000 of a single color. I counted how many were in one of the boxes I bought once but can't remember how many it was. Might have been 6-700. The stores typically have a good variety of 2x4 colors on the wall so you'd probably be able to get a decent variety. The price per part ends up being less that way for new bricks than pretty much any other avenue.
    johnbaker
  • ZeyaZeya Member Posts: 36
    I would also suggest using your local Lego brand store. (Hopefully you have one nearby. If not, some people have luck with physical locations shipping products, sometimes.) I would contact the store and show them the photo you showed us. That should buy you some "brownie points", because most people will think that's cool. You'll want to buy the boxes of bricks like people suggest. They have them in the back, not out on the floor; your average consumer doesn't know they exist. You should get as many different colors as you can.

    Another option is to try Bricklink. That can be tedious. But if you look through 2xX sized bricks of different colors, try to find ones that go for at most 1 cent per brick (i.e. try to find elements that are not rare/pricey). Try and find a store that has bulk amounts and maybe cut a deal with them. If you place a big order for hundreds of dollars, you can probably convince them to give you 20% off their regular price or something like that. Red, Blue, Yellow, and White are classic colors that should be in abundance.

    Another thing for you to consider. I saw a thread somewhere where a person shined up a bunch of used/discolored bricks by stacking them (like you are doing anyway) and then buffing them with an electric car buffer. Shines them right up. Since you're stacking them anyway, if you go used you might as well try that.
    johnbaker
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    graphite said:

    Depending on how many of each color you need, if you prefer new, you'd probably be best trying get full boxes of 2x4's or 2x6's from the PAB walls at a LEGO store. A full box is $70 and I believe was around 1000 of a single color. I counted how many were in one of the boxes I bought once but can't remember how many it was. Might have been 6-700. The stores typically have a good variety of 2x4 colors on the wall so you'd probably be able to get a decent variety. The price per part ends up being less that way for new bricks than pretty much any other avenue.

    from a pure-money standpoint, buying full boxes of 2x4s is more expensive than just buying cups (106 2x4s per small cup is possible). of course, at large quantities, stacking time becomes a much bigger issue.

    johnbaker
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,265
    ^ True. But it depends on how many are actually in a box. There would have to be 928 in a box to equal that price per part which might be possible but I'd have to count a box again. So it really does come down to time vs quantity desired.
    johnbaker
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ I find it unlikely that most people would value their time so low as to making stacking bricks in a PAB cup worthwhile vs. just buying the full box, assuming of course you need a full box worth.

    Now, if you find stacking fun, more power to you, go for it. However if the goal is to buy thousands of the same type of brick at a low total price, just buy the boxes and move on with life. :)
    johnbaker
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    2x4's are officially 650 pcs per box. YMMV.
    johnbaker
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ So that makes them 10.5 cents a part if the number is accurate.

    If so, then if you stack the bricks perfectly, you'd save $29.19 by doing the PAB cup route.

    How long would it take to stack up 11 small PAB cups perfectly with 106 2x4 bricks per cup?
    johnbaker
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 814
    I guess some of the question is the degree of color variation. If you need 2200-ish 2x4 bricks, and you wanted to buy *boxes*, you'd have a color variation of about 4 colors, which isn't as wide as the ones pictured.

    I think one important question in that regard is: How many is too much of a single color? If you got a box, and had 650 red bricks, would your wall be "too red"? Looking at the image, it looks roughly 20% red, which would mean you'd want about 450 bricks of 5 colors, which would sort of rule out boxes (you'd have an extra 200 per color). But if you went for something with a smaller color variety, boxes could work.

    DaveE
    johnbaker
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,265
    Or if having 200 extra of 5 different colors for a total cost of ~$350 is worth it over having to stack 2200 bricks into 22 cups at probably 10-20 minutes per cup for ~$200. Personally I'd buy the boxes, be out of the store and back to building, and would throw the leftovers up on my BL store.
  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    Blimey, I didn't realise I needed a maths degree to work this out! I wasn't after a perfect balance of colour, just a rough even spread.

    I've just won 10kg of Lego on eBay! It was quite exciting, as there I've been moaning about not winning any on there. It works out at about £6/kg.

    I really appreciate all your input. Cheers

    As an aside, I once bought 1000 nails in a hardware store, in a sealed pack. After a discussion with a mate, I counted them all. Pleased to report there were 1014 in the pack. WINNER! Except for the hour of my life I never got back.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Large bulk packs like that are generally sold by weight, even if marked by number, they know what 1 is, so they take the weight of 1,000, then add 1% or so for margin of error and go with that.

    Most items like chips and cereal are sold the same way, a day's production run will average a percent or two above the "marked" weight to be sure they are giving what they say they are giving.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    ^ So that makes them 10.5 cents a part if the number is accurate.
    How long would it take to stack up 11 small PAB cups perfectly with 106 2x4 bricks per cup?

    I had occasion to do 7 small cups worth when the store was recently selling all the olive green 2x4s from the Chima displays. Took me about 1.5 hours, and I'm certainly no expert. so maybe 2-4 hours for 11 of them

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    dougts said:

    I had occasion to do 7 small cups worth when the store was recently selling all the olive green 2x4s from the Chima displays. Took me about 1.5 hours, and I'm certainly no expert. so maybe 2-4 hours for 11 of them

    2-4 hours strikes me as reasonable, lets say 3 hours. In that case, your time would be worth $10/hr, unless you find stacking 2x4 bricks into cups for 3 hours to be fun, in which case, have at it! :)

    I don't know about you, but I suspect most of us get paid more than $10/hr, and if someone doesn't, he/she isn't in the market to buy $350 worth of bricks to decorate their kitchen. :)

    Just over a year ago I was struggling to fill a ton of PAB boxes. The first 20 we packed really neat, we stacked bricks, we sorted and arranged them to get them as neat as possible. By the time we were filling our 50th box, we were just tossing parts in, no longer caring. It is fun, for the first hour or so, even more so when using all the parts on the wall (not just 2x4 bricks), but then it gets REALLY boring. Half of those boxes remain untouched since, they are sitting closed up in a box in the corner, never even bothered to open them. How sad is that?
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    @LegoFanTexas Pick a local good cause you feel passionately about and just give them away. You will feel way better for it.

    I salute the folks who can patiently squeeze every mm out of a cup. I start with good intentions but within 30 seconds I've lost the will to live and just want it filled up as quickly as possible.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,964
    edited April 2013
    LEGO Building Fun #5549 is currently reduced from £19.99 to £14.99 at www.smythstoys.com, and the EASTER20 discount code is still working today, so you can knock it down to £11.99. Great value for new bricks.

    That works out at only £0.0184 per brick, although it does also contain a bunch of non-2xN bricks - even so, it's probably still better value than buying bricks from the PaB wall.
    johnbaker
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,309
    It is fairly easy to get 170 bricks per cup, and quite quick if you build/stack them correctly before putting them in. A video guide is here:



    You can also add small parts around the circles of bricks, but if going for speed and just 2x4's don't bother.
    johnbaker
  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    That's a great video @CCC shouldn't take too long to fill those cups. I'll give that a go!

    @paul_merton 2 boxes ordered, cheers!

    Problem is, all this Lego coming in, my missus will be badgering me to get it all done. Oh well, it's not as if it's proper work, is it?!

    Cheers again everyone.

    John.



  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    kevbags said:

    @LegoFanTexas Pick a local good cause you feel passionately about and just give them away. You will feel way better for it.

    I salute the folks who can patiently squeeze every mm out of a cup. I start with good intentions but within 30 seconds I've lost the will to live and just want it filled up as quickly as possible.

    @kevbags @LegoFanTexas - I'm a worthy cause!!! Haha. Maybe not so local though...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,309
    I like the panels, although they are a bit too regular for me. I prefer the irregularity of crack filling ...

    image

    I wonder if something like that could be designed to break up the regularity of the large rectangle shape.
    johnbaker
  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    One more, while I'm at it:
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,309
    I'd never get away with that.

    Next job, the cat's bowl!
    johnbaker
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    Talk about a dream kitchen :0)
    Those studs will be a bugger to clean! Did you consider a layer of tile to finish or are you going for the studded look?
    johnbaker
  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    I've a variety of cleaning methods:

    Toothbrush, bristly attachment to dyson, microfibre cloth etc.. The only thing I haven't got is the want to clean it!

    I have thought about a layer of tiles to finish it off, but I'm undecided. I calculated how many I'd need, and I think it came to about £30 worth, so I'm undecided at present. That was for a white tile, but I'm considering a coloured tile also. I do quite like the studded look now. Possibly something Freudian there....

    @CCC I think you may be onto something there. I'll have to seal it, but the cat eats dry food, so shouldn't be a problem. Hmmmm, watch this space....
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    CCC said:

    It is fairly easy to get 170 bricks per cup, and quite quick if you build/stack them correctly before putting them in. A video guide is here:



    You can also add small parts around the circles of bricks, but if going for speed and just 2x4's don't bother.

    Filling 2 small cups at 100+ per cup is also easy and much better value than 1 large cup with 170 in it

    In fact, a general rule of thumb for most pab parts is that small cups present better value tha large
    johnbaker
  • johnbakerjohnbaker Member Posts: 21
    Excellent, cheers. I'll give that a try.

    Thanks again.
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