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Rekindling my love of Legos.

As a quick prelude to this War and Peace post, a bit about where I see myself with Legos. I find myself gravitating more toward the prepackaged sets to build and display than scratchbuilding models. While I do find scratch building interesting, I want to get my current collection built and display ready before going anywhere else with the hobby.

As a kid I'd play with my Legos all the time. Fast forward, and I'm now in my 30's. All this time, I've always still glanced at Legos and remembered all the times as a kid I played with them.

After a recent trip to the Lego Store in Baybrook Mall (south of Houston), I couldn't stand it anymore and had to pull them all out and get them back together. However, there's a catch to my enjoyment...they're all disassembled and mixed together. Not to mention that most of the instructions are gone (however, I was able to find the instructions online to most of the sets I had as a kid, and have mixed up in boxes). Fortunately, I was able to remember most of the bigger sets that I had (and enough of some of them were in recognizable chunks), and use that information combined with a round about timeframe of when I received them (late '80s and early '90s) to find pictures of the sets, set numbers, and instructions for them. There are still some pieces that look like they belong to a specific set, but I don't remember what that set would be. Next, or so I thought, was to build them...

After getting the 6274 Caribbean Clipper built (minus minifigs, boats, and cannons), and starting the 6389 Fire Control Center and 6285 Black Seas Barracuda, I realized that I had to get organized in some way. I then separated the bricks and pieces by color and type, then bagged them up in Ziploc bags. In organizing them, I found that I was missing some key set specific pieces. Fortunately, a trip to the storage room allowed me to find most of what I was missing, but still not enough to finish many of the sets. However, the pieces that are missing are holding up progress.

After realizing that, and getting frustrated with it, I decided to go out and buy some new Lego sets (7965 Millennium Falcon, 9493 X-Wing, and 75055 Imperial Star Destroyer) to keep my drive going while having the piece of mind in knowing that all of the pieces were going to be there. I got all 3 together in about 2 evenings, took a bit of a break, and got back on my old sets.

This new drive allowed me to complete (minus minifigs) the 6389 Fire Control Center, 4010 Police Rescue Boat, and 6923 Particle Impaler, while getting started on the 1682 Space Shuttle Launch, 6057 Sea Serpent, and 6086 Black Knight's Castle. In doing so, I found that time (and I) was not kind to my sets, as many pieces were chewed up by the dog I had while I was in jr. high and high school, had sticky stuff all over them (can be cleaned), or were just plain lost over time. Some of the pieces are bricks (one in particular is a grey 16x1 brick for 6086), others are a bit more specialized (lower masts for 6285 and 6057, and hulls for 6271 Imperial Flagship), in addition to some wheels and tires. I've looked at Lego's Bricks and Pieces site, but my sets were not listed.

Short of buying all new sets, is there anywhere I can find some or all of these pieces?

Thanks,
Shannon

Comments

  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,283
    Welcome, Shannon!

    Round these parts might I suggest that, if you're after assistance, then you refrain from using the term 'Legos'. It tends to produce reactions that vary from mild tutting to outright apoplexy!
    Lego (indeed LEGO) is definitely the way to go.

    Good luck in your search!
    Andor
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,770
    Bricklink and Brickowl are the best resources for buying Lego parts. Good luck!
  • ChrisJThunderChrisJThunder United StatesMember Posts: 115
    Hi Shannon and welcome to LEGO-dom! I just made that up on the spot so don't go quoting it :)

    I've been having similar issues with restoring my BIONICLE Bohrok and yeah, I've found that Bricklink (http://www.bricklink.com) is the best place to go. The pieces are fairly well-priced (with some notable exceptions :P ) and if you ship from a vendor in your country (I'm in the US and I learned this the hard way) then shipping is pretty good.

    And don't underestimate eBay - while getting individual bricks is a pain there, they have a lot of assorted bricks from sets that people couldn't or didn't assemble that may just have what you need.

    Best of luck!
  • TLGTLG Member Posts: 125

    Hi Shannon and welcome to LEGO-dom! I just made that up on the spot so don't go quoting it :)

    I've been having similar issues with restoring my BIONICLE Bohrok and yeah, I've found that Bricklink (http://www.bricklink.com) is the best place to go. The pieces are fairly well-priced (with some notable exceptions :P ) and if you ship from a vendor in your country (I'm in the US and I learned this the hard way) then shipping is pretty good.

    And don't underestimate eBay - while getting individual bricks is a pain there, they have a lot of assorted bricks from sets that people couldn't or didn't assemble that may just have what you need.

    Best of luck!

    Spot on, also be careful on brinklink, ask the seller about the conditions of the pieces.
  • mydartswingermydartswinger Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the welcomes and advice.

    Another question pertaining to rebuilding the sets and acquiring the parts. What's the best way to go about figuring out what parts are missing? Build a set until I find a missing piece, then move onto another set until I have a decent sized order and/or cannot move on with any set? Or should I build until I find a missing part, then continue digging up the parts for that set, noting what parts are missing and place my orders that way? Maybe a combination of the 2?

    Thanks again.

    BTW, is it just me, or are the new instructions far more oversimplified than the old instructions?
  • ModelMamaModelMama New ZealandMember Posts: 27
    Just a suggestion, but if you know the set number, then use the Inventory function on Bricklink - or the parts list here on Brickset, although I find that's patchy for older sets. Go through your collection matching what you have against the list, either note it as 'have' or delete, until all you're left with is the missing bricks for your Bricklink wishlist. Which you can then go and check 'By Shop'. And it can be worth checking the Catalog entry for those missing bits too - I often sub a later but similar mold, and that info is often in the Catalog. Depends how purist / perfectionist you want to be.
    And no, it's not just you. Often see comments in this forum that newer LEGO instructions are much more simplified.
  • mydartswingermydartswinger Member Posts: 3
    With the disarray that my sets are in, I'm not worried about getting the piece with the correct mold date, as long as it's the right color and part.

    Thanks for the tip with Bricklink. I was looking at it unregistered, so didn't see the inventory function until I registered.

    I did manage to find new set instructions that weren't oversimplified, but that may be due to the complexity of the set. I picked up a large TECHNIC set, and it's given me a more complex build than the standard sets. While it feels far more tedious (all of those pins...wow the pins), it's been a more enjoyable build for me.
  • ChrisJThunderChrisJThunder United StatesMember Posts: 115

    With the disarray that my sets are in, I'm not worried about getting the piece with the correct mold date, as long as it's the right color and part.

    Thanks for the tip with Bricklink. I was looking at it unregistered, so didn't see the inventory function until I registered.

    I did manage to find new set instructions that weren't oversimplified, but that may be due to the complexity of the set. I picked up a large TECHNIC set, and it's given me a more complex build than the standard sets. While it feels far more tedious (all of those pins...wow the pins), it's been a more enjoyable build for me.

    The pins. It's always the pins in everything except the original BIONICLE 2001 - 2003 sets :P So I'd say I feel sympathy but I haven't really been there lately
  • The_Mad_VulcanThe_Mad_Vulcan SeattleMember Posts: 162
    Bricklink is great for getting those missing pieces (or just extra copies of your favorite bricks). I like ToysPeriod for instructions and parts lists. I've yet to find a set they didn't have the instructions and parts list for, but I here there are some older ones missing.

    The trick to finding what sets you used to have is by finding odd pieces in your collection and then looking them up, either at ToysPeriod or Bricklink. Both list the sets that the specific part came in. Usually, that is enough to spark my memory. But in the worst cases it can be process of elimination by finding the set that includes parts you have and excluding ones that have parts you don't and don't recall ever having.

    Then I use this site to keep track of my sets.
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