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A half ton of Lego

Literally, a half ton.

I found a massive collection for sale.  I would greatly appreciate your opinion on what it is worth.

I have uploaded all of the pictures here:

To summarize what's here,

The garage in the first few pictures has several large bins of loose Lego.  I've weighed all of them and came up with a total of 350 pounds, which is roughly the weight of the Lego itself without the bins, bags, and boxes.

Not included in this total is a box with a partially assembled Star Wars Death Star model.  Unfortunately, this is incomplete and dusty.  The minifigures I noticed weren't all from that set and they're not all there either. I notice there's no picture of it, although I remember taking one.  Let's say it's 75% complete.

The dining room in the following pictures has the best stuff.  There were a handful of polybags, including a couple Clone Troopers.  Easily the most valuable items are the modular buildings:
  • 10182 Cafe Corner
  • 10197 Fire Brigade
  • 10211 Grand Emporium
  • 10218 Pet Shop
  • 10224 Town Hall
  • 10232 Palace Cinema
Obviously, Cafe Corner is the big one.

Additionally, there are two large ships, 4184 The Black Pearl and 79008 Pirate Ship Ambush.  I couldn't tell for sure that they were both complete.

The storage unit, the individual picture after that, is entirely bulk Lego in plastic storage bins.  They're almost all the same size, which I've weighed eight of at forty pounds.  At an average of five each, there are 94 bins, two of which I've doubled due to being about twice the size, I've estimated this total weight to be about 480 pounds.  Also, to clarify, this lot isn't entirely unsorted.  These bins appear to be completely sorted, as different types of parts are grouped into Ziplock bags.  Some bags are labeled, some bins are also labeled.

The pictures after the storage unit is the remainder of the collection.  For the most part it's all bulk Lego.  Without removing all of the contents of the drawers, and weighing everything from there or elsewhere, based on previous measurements I think there is roughly close to a couple hundred pounds, which puts the grand total of all bulk Lego from each location to be very close to 1,000 pounds, if not a little more.  This figure does not include the complete, to mostly complete, sets in the listed above or below.

A few of the notable sets I found:
  • 7662 Trade Federation MTT
  • 75020 Jabba's Sail Barge
  • 10236 Ewok Village
  • 10222 Winter Village Post Office
  • 10229 Winter Village Cottage
  • 79111 Constitution Train Chase
  • 7676 Republic Attack Gunship
  • 70814 Emmet's Construct-o-Mech
  • 75025 Jedi Defender-class Cruiser
  • 10193 Medieval Market Village
  • 10217 Diagon Alley
  • 8098 Clone Turbo Tank
  • 10937 Arkham Asylum Breakout
  • 6211 Imperial Star Destroyer
  • 8039 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser
  • 21108 Ghostbusters Ecto-1
I would consider everything else in that room to be bulk Lego.  One big concern I have with it all is the smell.  I'm not sure if this is an issue for sure.  But it should be considered.  There used to be nine cats living in that house.

I've come up with a few numbers.  I've considered a value for all bulk Lego together, as if it would be sold as is in one shot, as well as broken up into smaller increments.  Ideally, it would be worth a ridiculous amount.  But consider that these pieces aren't being sold individually via Bricklink.  And I've considered a value of all the sets listed here, assuming they are complete, or can be completed.


  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,120
    edited September 2015
    As well as the monetary cost, consider the cost in your time that it'll take to sort through it all, rebuild and, if it's your intention, to sell it on.

    I haven't bought a large lot for many years but when I did I often found myself resenting spending time sorting it all out, time I would rather spend on other aspects of the hobby, but having to do it as quickly as possible so I could sell it on and recoup some of the cash.
  • Bricklover18Bricklover18 Member Posts: 722
    It would take a ton of time to sort through all of that.  It would also take a lot of time to list everything to sell it.  It would probably even take even longer to make your money back on it if, you do not have the time to list it.   Just wondering, how much do they want for the whole collection?  
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    As far as sorting, that is an issue.  But a relatively minor one.  I'm not in a hurry.  I also have LUG members who can assist with that.

    Only a certain portion would be resold to recoup a percentage of my cost.  And I'm not trying to profit off of this.

    This is sort of a unique situation, which specific details I would prefer to keep private.  This collection isn't listed for sale.  And currently it does not have a price that it is for sale for.  It's in the process of being negotiated.  That's a large part of why I'm sharing this here.  To get multiple second opinions. 

  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    The good news is that clearly whoever owns/owned this is a hardcore AFOL collector.  This means you aren't likely to find the bins full of other brands or a bunch of non-LEGO. The person obviously invested a lot of time and energy into their collection, so it's probably been pretty well cared for.  

    At a glance, the collection is easily worth somewhere north of $10,000, and it could be double that even.  So it's a question of cash on hand, intent after purchase, and of course, time 

    good luck !
  • Bricklover18Bricklover18 Member Posts: 722
    ^ great points, I completely agree with you.
  • pharmjodpharmjod Member Posts: 2,916
    I assume this is likely an estate of someone no longer living or no longer unable to maintain it. If you are dealing with family just wanting it gone, I'd personally start low. Offer $3-$4k and go from there. You need to decide the max you are willing to spend and be ok with walking away. That is how you get the best deals. It really all depends on the circumstances the seller is in. Of they need to just move it and quickly, you can likely get it cheaper. If you are dealing with the actual AFOL then they know what they paid for everything so it just depends on their circumstances again. How badly do they want / need to move it.
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    dougts said:
    The good news is that clearly whoever owns/owned this is a hardcore AFOL collector.  This means you aren't likely to find the bins full of other brands or a bunch of non-LEGO. The person obviously invested a lot of time and energy into their collection, so it's probably been pretty well cared for.  

    At a glance, the collection is easily worth somewhere north of $10,000, and it could be double that even.  So it's a question of cash on hand, intent after purchase, and of course, time 

    good luck !
    Thanks.  I agree with you on both counts.  I highly doubt there will be any non-Lego products mixed in.  Also the value you've mentioned is in line with my estimate.
  • DaraghDaragh Member Posts: 363
    I think there is something very sad about looking at all those pictures. I wonder do all the guitars belong to the Lego fan too.

    Even removing it all is a big job and if there were nine cats you would need to set up an almost industrial scale system for bulk cleaning and drying, then all the sorting. That is one big project! As to price, as mentioned the circumstances will determine what the seller will take, that may or may not relate to the actual worth of the lot. It has to be worth at least $10k, but in that condition and considering the effort required to clean and sort, not to mention rebuild to either keep or sell on, I would offer half that initially anyway. 

    BTW I didn't notice a lot of minifigs, do you think they are all there, as you will know that will have a major impact of the value.

  • klatu003klatu003 Member Posts: 729
    Wow!  That actually is very sad.  The collection is "up to date" and there is an very nice fitted out Lego room.  Perhaps I should start estate planning for my horde.
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    Woah. The owner is definitely an AFOL, and $10K was also the first number that popped into my head, but given the state things are in and the work that needs to go into it, you should probably make a lower offer. It looks like they could have had a very nice, organized hobby room, but things just got out of hand. The dark side of all collection-based hobbies, I suppose. 

    Good luck with this, and I'm sure I'm not the one one interested to see what comes of it!
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,248
    If the person in charge of it hasn't any idea of the relative value, I'm sure they'd be happy to take $3k if you haul it off.

    Particularly if it is an Estate - most executors (administrators or executrixs) don't have the time or motivation to pay attention.

    You are rescuing those Lego - don't be bashful!
  • pharmjodpharmjod Member Posts: 2,916
    @SumoLegoMy thoughts exactly. Of course if that is the case, you could even go lower and see what happens. Unless you have someone else working them that you don't know about you may be in the drivers seat =)
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    Daragh said:
    BTW I didn't notice a lot of minifigs, do you think they are all there, as you will know that will have a major impact of the value.

    I think for the sets you see, they're likely to all be there somewhere.  The bins primarily had bricks.  Aside from a few promotional/collectible minifigures, there aren't very many, relatively. But I wouldn't expect to find a complete set without its minifigures.

  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,248
    If you're anywhere near Western New York, Michigan or Ohio... drop me a PM - I'd be happy to help!
  • jonboy2000jonboy2000 Member Posts: 259
    I once bought a box of lego from a cat owner, only to find that  1 of the cats had most definitely pissed/sprayed in it.  Had to soak it all in a bucket, hose it down and then put it through the dishwasher.  Still didn't smell great as a bulk lot but not too noticeable as individual sets.  A profitable but not pleasant experience : )
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,248
    I find Saruman on the bridge of a SW vessel a tell-tale sign that these belonged to an interesting AFOL.

    Although my guess would be someone turned everything upside-down.  An odd lot to say the least!
  • ISDAvengerISDAvenger Member Posts: 205
    edited September 2015
    I'd buy it for $2500.00 for a quick sale lol.
  • DedgeckoDedgecko Member Posts: 798
    First thought... Who died?

    Second thought... I'd buy that for a dollar!
  • brumeybrumey Member Posts: 1,002
    if this was mine, i ll have to quit my job!
  • DraugDraug Member Posts: 34
    edited September 2015
    Just over a year ago, I bought a 600 lb bulk lot.  It is a huge amount of LEGO.  If filled my mini-van without the seats out.  Make sure you have the space to store it.  Over a year later, and I still haven't made the time to tackle sorting it out. The plan was to pull the most valuable sets out, and sell them to recoup my input costs.  Then, pull out the "coolest" sets for my kids, and lastly add the rest to our family's playing LEGO.

    The lot was purchased from an AFOL who had kids, and wanted to move on to a different hobby.  They built and played with all of their LEGO, but it was clean and in good condition. No sets were looted, but it of course couldn't be guaranteed that every set was 100% complete as they were mixed into about 15 large Rubbermaid containers.

    There are 160 sets with instructions, and possibly some without. The instructions are in good condition, but not mint, since they have been used. The whole lot was played with by two kids and their dad for roughly 10 years, but like I said, it is in good condition. All of the sets are from the years 1999 to about 2004.  While I wasn't fortunate enough to have any modulars or UCS sets, there are a number of valuable sets from Harry Potter, SuperHeroes, Trains, Castle, Star Wars, and other themes.

    When I bought the lot, I was very eager to start sorting. I went through the instructions, pulled the lowest sold values (world wide) for those sets from BrickLink to get a lowest expected value.  It came out to just over $8,000.  I had paid $2500, so it looked good.  But, I still haven't made the time to do anything more with it.

    I guess, from my experience, make sure you get a really good deal.  I'd say about 1/3 of what you actually expect it to be worth, because the task to recoup your money could take you a year or more, like it is taking for me.  Life is just busy and gets in the way.  Make sure you don't need the recoup the cash you are spending anytime soon.

    All that being said, I am still very happy I bought the lot.... just nothing is happening fast!
  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,559
    How was it advertised? If you found it presumably someone else can find it too.

    Remember some people will work faster than others, so I wouldn't hang around getting your offer in if you are serious.
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Member Posts: 1,643
    The value of this lot has to be up over $10,000.  Assuming you are somehow related/friends/neighbours I can understand not wanting to low ball, but as others have said this is days just to get it out the house.  It's interesting that a lot of sets are incomplete but there doesn't look like a great deal of MOC work, just sets with pieces missing.  There is a lot of hints of other sets that aren't cheap like the rancour too.  Assuming you had the time it would take anyones collection to another level!

    Is it worth asking about determining a value at a later date?  Either through selling some of the valuable sets or once you have sorted a bit better.  This way you don't have a huge initial investment and you can check the completeness of the real value sets to make sure your valuation is correct.
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    edited September 2015

    The collection isn't advertised anywhere.  I just stumbled on it.  Basically, I found a little bit of Lego for sale locally.  After a little discussion, I discovered there was much more.  Believe it or not, a large portion of the original collection has already been sold.  This is what's left.

    I'm primarily helping however I can to sell the entire collection.  That may or may not mean I'll end up with a portion, or even all of it, myself.  I've given them information on what's there, as well as some advice on how to sell.  I told them the collection as is, is worth a minimum of $8,500 (which is based on a per pound price of $5 plus about $3,500 for the sets that appear to be complete, or worth the time to put together) with an upper range closer to twenty thousand (I did this before I started this thread).  This is pretty much in line with the second opinions I've received so far here and elsewhere.  I don't know that I want to disclose what I've offered, but I believe it is a fair number, considering all factors.  
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    Some of the offers here were really Low-Balls.  I have paid much more for smaller collections.  That being said, much of the advice given here is spot-on.   I used to buy large collections to build up our own collection, and recoup some money on the better parts.    I have been burned a few times, and have run out of time and patience for such endeavors.

    Also since part has sold, that would be a red-flag in my mind.   But it sounds to me like you have a pretty good handle on it, and have made a fair offer.  Good for you, and I hope you get it.  It does look like a really nice collection and I am sure you will find some great surprises in there if your willing to take the time to sort through and clean everything up!

  • burnsiderburnsider Member Posts: 75
    I cringed when I saw that vacuum next to the LEGOs!  It's like having a smokers convention at a gas station.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Member Posts: 2,442
    edited September 2015
    Yeah. $10k is a reasonable offer from the pictures. I saw about a couple of them.

    Were all the minifigures there?
    A lot of pieces need cleaning.
    To make some money off it, sell minifigs separately and clean them a bit and sell the sets As Is.

    I thought I saw Town Hall in not necessarily the "big one" compared to Cafe Corner, right?
  • hoyatableshoyatables Member Posts: 873
    WOW.  A few thoughts to add/reinforce:

    - I have to agree, the fact that someone else got to part of it immediately sends off a red flag for me.  However, if that person left a Cafe Corner as well as a number of other high value sets, maybe not.
    - Given that we have basically all of the modulars and many of the other Direct to Consumer sets, I have to think there's a chance that some other high value sets might be buried there -- UCS Falcon, Taj Mahal, Grand Carousel, Eiffel Tower all come to mind.  That said, you would think those sets would have also been assembled and at the top of the surface.  Or perhaps those were the types of sets that someone swooped in and picked off.  
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,248
    If you want a basis of comparison, here's a listing for something less impressive and probably far more expensive (brick for brick).
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,009
    Is the collector selling this or someone else?
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    I didn't have the time to verify the minifigures.  There was just too much there, and I had a LUG meeting to attend.

    No red flag.  What was sold was several dozen sealed sets, which were easy to sell.  This is the hard part, what's leftover.  Nothing in the pictures have been listed for sale online so far.

    I looked for those especially valuable sets and didn't see any evidence of their presence.  I did briefly discuss those sets specifically, including the Statue of Liberty, and it doesn't look like any of them are included, unfortunately.  I can say for sure that nobody came in and picked those off, leaving everything else behind.

    My offer was just declined, which I expected to happen.  The absolute minimum they're looking for is a reasonable amount, I feel.  I'm simply unable to afford it, especially after buying this collection recently.  I'm trying to get some friends together to help with the purchase.  I don't know if we can get it all.  But if not, this will be available to anyone in the near future.
  • pharmjodpharmjod Member Posts: 2,916
    Max I would even consider is $2-$3K just because of the hassle. Even then I would be hesitant. Is it worth more than that? Sure. However you have to know your limits :)
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    edited September 2015
    drdesignz said:
    ...especially after buying this collection recently...
    I'm not sure why that link shows up that way.  It should be:

  • pacific4931pacific4931 Member Posts: 3
    The tricky thing with lots like this is that there is a lot of value there, but the sheer size of the lot and the logistics of handling it (i.e., sorting, cleaning, etc.) really offset a lot of the value.  It's a nice lot, but clearly it is very unorganized and would require a lot of time to disassemble everything, thoroughly clean the parts, and then build the set inventories back up.  If it were me, I wouldn't pay more than $3k-$4k for the lot.
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    I looked everything over again, and I too am starting to agree with the conservative estimates.  Pretty much everything in the Kids/Cats room looks like low-end bulk lego.  The Modulars are nice, and the plastic bins with what seem to be sorted pieces??? Seem interesting.  

    I did not even read the Cat part. Yuck.  Whoever gets this has a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE, job ahead of them.  I think you really only know how big if you have ever purchased a 500 pound bulk lot.  I have more than once, and its a labor of love that left me thinking I would have been so much better off just buying what I wanted in the first place.

    Its pick-a-brick and lots from true collectors for me from here on out....   At first I thought a lot of people were Low-Balling, but the more I looked at it I think its good advice.

    drdesignz  It may be a blessing in disguise that you are not getting this. 
  • preusspreuss Member Posts: 101
    Is it just me or anyone else feels incredibly sad by looking at these pictures? I can't stop thinking what has happened to whoever put this collection together. As I was going to bed last night I told my wife the story and asked her to make sure some of my LUG friends help her out if anything happens to me.
  • drdesignzdrdesignz Member Posts: 110
    I agree with the time issue.  No doubt it's a monumental task to sort through.  However, the cat smell is not likely to be as big of a problem as it seems.  Eighty or more sets sealed in the original box were sold recently on eBay, and the feedback is 100% positive.  I'm confident the vast majority of the remaining collection, the Lego sorted and stored in individual bags in all the bins, has been cleaned.  The original owner was a huge seller on Bricklink with thousands of sold orders and a positive feedback of 99.9%.  It seems reasonable to assume that could only be possible if the parts were cleaned prior.  That still leaves a lot in the room to consider.  But it's something I could handle relatively easily, should it be an issue.
  • smeghead28smeghead28 Member Posts: 5
    That would take years to sort out!
    It's a bit odd how some things such as the Technic cargo plane has the fuselage mostly complete looking but it has no wings on it,makes you wonder why?
    Almost looks like it belongs to a hoarder by the way some of it just seems tossed to one side.

  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    To me it looks like it belongs to KIDS.  I'm in the middle of helping my son clean out his rather large walk in closet.  Looks a lot like that.  A fact I made him well aware of if he happens to be reading this. =)
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    And anyone else wonder whats up with that Death Star?  That was a lot of work for what they have there....
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,729
    ^ I figured it was an MOC of sorts. 
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 Member Posts: 1,431
    It'd be a hassle since he says he doesn't want to pay with all of the containers. So you'd have to repack everything. Um. .no
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,248
    I would purchase that lot with no reservations - but I also enjoy torturing myself with seemingly endless projects.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Member Posts: 2,442
    SumoLego said:
    I would purchase that lot with no reservations - but I also enjoy torturing myself with seemingly endless projects.
    Perfect project for a retiree, for sure.
  • PmhPmh Member Posts: 128
    edited September 2015

    5k euro seems reasonable,wich comes down to 10/kg

    everything above is to much.

    Person wants to sell and doesn't want to spend a lot of time selling,would be silly to pay prices that people try to get on ebay. There is quiet a big difference in the bid and ask for modular.

  • PmhPmh Member Posts: 128

    No red flag.  What was sold was several dozen sealed sets, which were easy to sell.  This is the hard part, what's leftover.  Nothing in the pictures have been listed for sale online so far.

    That's a giant red flag for me tbh.

    Person already sold all the good parts, people who bought must have seen this lot as well and where not interested,maybe they picked out some items already.

  • CCCCCC Member Posts: 20,559
    Also bear in mind that if it was a BL seller, then the rarer / expensive parts may have been removed from sets and sold off already. It is often easy to recoup 50%-100% purchase costs for a set by selling just a few parts, then the profit is made from selling the bulk later.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    I buy a lot of very large lots, although admittedly this would be bigger than any, but here are a few additional points to consider in negotiations.

    1)  The Cleaning of the bricks because of the smell needs to be factored in by the seller.  What that is worth is impossible to gauge without smelling it.

    2)  The Seller needs to understand that the "value" of the individual sets in the lot (Modulars, etc) is only realized fully if the sets are verified completed and separated out.  That is time spent on their part and from what you say, they may not be AFOLs and therefore may not be as keen on such a task as the rest of us might.  Therefore that risk and effort on your part needs to be reflected in the price.  Also the value of other desirable sets that may be subsumed in the huge lot are severely compromised because of the time and effort that it will take to separate them out.

    3)  If they were to sell all of the "desirable" sets to maximize their profit, then they really are left with a bulk lot of lego which in that quantity the would undoubtedly have to subdivided to sell.  That would insure NO complete sets in any one divided lot and therefore merely a per pound bulk price.

    4)  Buyers for a lot of this magnitude are few and far between.  The combination of having both the liquid capital plus the excess time to sort is very unique.  They need to consider that as well.  

    Good luck on rounding up your posse!  If the deal falls through, send me a PM with asking price and location and I might be interested.

  • legogallegogal Member Posts: 754
    Wow! This is very, very sad. Brings to mind ....a tornado/hurricane/earthquake/mental illness, all of which my family has muddled through. Looks like it was organized at some point in the past, but very sad to see now. Makes me want to finish sorting out all of my sets and parts; this process is almost complete because I am missing a few critical parts from a very expensive modular that I ignorantly dismantled a few years ago. 

    Also makes me want to dispose of the sets/parts I don't want or need anymore. Have consulted family members as to which ones to keep, and we now have a list of what we can dispose of to make it easier to play with the rest of our collection. 

    May this be a wake up call to all seniors to get our shit in someone else can easily deal with it when we check out. 
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