Pick A Brick Cups (PAB)

Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
edited January 2014 in Buying & Selling Topics
This is probably old hat for many on this forum, but I have this nerdy impulse to see how I can get the most lego pieces into a pick-a-brick container. I'm sure everyone who has purchased one of these containers full of lego pieces has their own methods to pack in the bricks, but I thought it might be interesting to see what those methods are for future personal reference.

A few years ago, I had an opportunity to go to Orlando, FL for a convention our company was putting on. It was my first opportunity to actually visit a Lego Store, which was a very pleasant experience. As a gift for one of my kids who was into legos, I decided to purchase him a large pick-a-brick cup filled with miscellaneous lego pieces. Being a combination of nerdy, curious, and penny-pinching, I decided to experiment (in the store) to determine how I could get the most parts into a single cup.

My ultimate solution in the store was to snap the large pieces together into a single larger unit and then fill in the voids between these larger units with smaller pieces. I figured doing that would eliminate the most "empty space" in the cup. In hindsight, I wonder if it might have been more efficient not to snap the pieces together because there are voids in the back of the individual pieces that could hold partial pieces (and in some cases whole pieces). That said, snapping pieces into other pieces does fill some of the void the other pieces. (Yes...I am a nerd for even bringing all this up).

This discussion is a bit off the wall, but I am just curious how those who consider themselves professionals at this sort of thing pack the cups.

Moved to Buying/Selling by YC 1/29/12
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Comments

  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    I snap plates and bigger bricks together and fill in the voids with little stuff.
  • thebearcollectorthebearcollector Banned Posts: 30
    edited January 2012
    I only go to the lego store three times a year and buy the small size. But thats just me because i buy other big sets there. So how much do you spend and get at pick a brick online/in store
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    I will usually get a large cup's worth once a quarter and then how ever many PAB boxes I get during the BF/Christmas promo (had 12 this year). My store is about 45 minutes away or I would probably go more often...plus the elements on my store's PAB wall are sometimes a bit bland. I'd really like to see some doors/windows for a change but those seem to be super-rare.

    A Lego Discovery center is opening up about 10 miles from me...they have a Lego store there, does anybody know if they have PAB there as well? (I heard that Lego doesn't run the store, that Merlin Entertainment does)
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    I've only been to a Lego store three times in my life (typically order from [email protected], Amazon, or other Misc. sites). What is a PAB box? What do the promos typically have? Can you elaborate?

    We are getting a Lego store this spring that is about 40-45 minutes away and need all the info I can get...
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    edited January 2012
    I've only been to a Lego store three times in my life (typically order from [email protected], Amazon, or other Misc. sites). What is a PAB box? What do the promos typically have? Can you elaborate?

    We are getting a Lego store this spring that is about 40-45 minutes away and need all the info I can get...
    http://thebrickblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/LEGO-VIP-Black-Friday-Pick-A-Brick-Box.gif
    http://brickupdate.com/images/120123_lego_pick_a_brick4.jpg

    These are typically given out during the holidays. You have to spend xx+ amount in order to receive one PAB box. Sometimes, you might be able to get more than on PAB box with your LEGO purchase. Speaking of a LEGO Store, the city of Vancouver is also getting a LEGO store in April.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    @LegobrandonCP - Thanks for the info. Spending money isn't a problem, so maybe I'll have some of these in my future!!!
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited January 2012
    @Yellowcastle - Thanks for the link! You are welcome to combine this thread with the other one since they are along similar lines.

    Not to go off topic, but what are the dimensions of these boxes? Does the purchaser get to pack them or are they handed out in packed condition by store employees?
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Since the boxes are different than the cups, I think both threads can coexist. As far as the art of maximizing the box, I think you'll find all the info you need in the link above.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    @Yellowcastle - Okay...Thanks!
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    Boxes are 11x11 and 9 bricks high (but can easily make it 10). There has been discussion in the other thread I believe, but the boxes can fit the equivalent of a large PAB cup.

    Outside of the holiday giveaways, the best bargain, if you have kids, is to have a birthday party at a Lego store. They offer the boxes at $5 a pop as party favors, and you can usually buy extras so its like getting large PAB cups for $5 each instead of the regular $14.95.

    And with that said, I am actually off to the Lego Store right now to fill up a bunch of the holiday boxes.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    So they give you empty boxes that you can fill anytime? A cube would be so much easier to fill than a cylinder.
  • tommyboatommyboa Member Posts: 35
    @cbaker1974 Chicago has a PAB in their store, and it was sorted by color with misc parts, but I was holding out for the Lego store at the mall around the corner, but they had one part/one color bins. Wish we would have bought at the LDC.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,349
    The Boxes definitely are nicer if you want brick
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    ^^^
    The Holiday boxes can be filled from the day after Christmas until the end of March. The birthday boxes can be filled anytime.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    How do they know that you've filled it only once? Do they mark the box somehow?

    Until now, I've only known about the cups. I've got to get some boxes!!
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    yeah, they cross off the UPC and/or sign the box to show it's been redeemed.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    How do they know that you've filled it only once? Do they mark the box somehow?
    I promise you...there is no danger in reading the other thread. I have checked it myself and it is safe. :o)

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    They usually mark the box, but sometimes they are just too busy and don't...

    I've walked out twice now without them marking the boxes, and yes they know I'm doing it, and really, I'm the honest type so it doesn't matter, I just throw the boxes away when I get home.
  • avoiceoreasonavoiceoreason Member Posts: 224
    ^But I'm sure there are others who don't. I have just gotten a nod from employees on occasion after filling the boxes, but I too just toss them when I get home. Honesty is a good feeling. Wish everyone shared it.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,349
    How do they know that you've filled it only once? Do they mark the box somehow?

    Until now, I've only known about the cups. I've got to get some boxes!!
    They usually use a hole punch, at least at the store I am at, to physically mark them.
    I have used them for temp storage of parts when I am done using them at a store.

  • tdhbrtdhbr Member Posts: 188
    I just throw the boxes away when I get home.
    Of course, you have another 25 or so empty ones sitting there ... :)
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    ^ Ha.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    @LFT - We all just want to be you... :-)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^But I'm sure there are others who don't. I have just gotten a nod from employees on occasion after filling the boxes, but I too just toss them when I get home. Honesty is a good feeling. Wish everyone shared it.
    Yep, earns me good Karma points...

    I believe that doing the "right thing" has brought me many blessings in life, it draws like minded good people to my world and circle and keeps bad people at a distance. I'm sure that sounds crazy to some people, but truthfully I live a blessed life, why would I want to mess it up with bad Karma?
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    My buddy notenoughbricks has some tips on packin' a PaB Cup to maximum potential...check it out... http://www.flickr.com/photos/notenoughbricks/sets/72157624766209816/
  • gmpirategmpirate Member Posts: 1,654
    I guess if one really enjoys the process its worth it. I wouldn't feel good about spending an hour on it however.
  • jocappyjocappy Member Posts: 207
    PAB wall was fully stocked today in Tigard, Oregon.
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    edited July 2012
    I have a stupid question: Stupid because the answer is probably somewhere out on the internet, but I did not find it: What's the price of a small PaB cup in the Lego stores? I know the big ones are GBP 11, and I thought the small ones are somewhere around GBP 6 to GBP 7 or so, but I'm not sure anymore. Does anybody know?
  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224
    I think they are £6.
  • Short_RoundShort_Round Member Posts: 161
    £6.50 iirc
  • CalvCalv Central EnglandMember Posts: 847
    Definitely £6.00. I bought one last weekend from Milton Keynes. You get 50p off if you refill it next time.
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    I place a few of the largest size pieces of choice in the bottom, then add some of the smallest to fill in the spaces, then continue in this manner finally topping off with as many very small pieces as I can possibly fit in it. I also bump or jostle it periodically to settle the contents.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    gmpirate said:

    I guess if one really enjoys the process its worth it. I wouldn't feel good about spending an hour on it however.

    I spend almost an hour per cup and enjoy it - it's quite meditative, plus a challenge. "Why pay for air?" is my motto. Also a great way to get to know the staff if they're not too busy.

    Tiles are great space fillers especially small ones. The lime 1x2s I added just as filler yesterday would have costed £7 on BL, pretty good for an £11 cup!
  • TyoSoloTyoSolo Member Posts: 539
    1x1 round trans studs (if you need/want them) to about 1/3 of the cup, then push other bricks into them - automatically reduces air - got about £40 worth (BL) for £11. Very happy.
  • brickriverbrickriver Member Posts: 27
    you know this would be a really cool game to play at the conventions. people get one large picka brick cup. and then the all get the same elements. the one with the most elements in the cup win. the cup has to be snapped closed.
  • AFFOL_Shellz_BellzAFFOL_Shellz_Bellz Member Posts: 1,263
    ^ Sounds fun to me!
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,076
    Hi everybody, just came back from my local store (based in Germany) and i´m shocked, the prices for the PaB Cups have been raised from 8,99€ to 9,99€ (small cup) and from 15,99€ to 17,99€ (big cup)! Is it the same in other countries too? I know that a lot of things get more expensive with a new year, but this much???
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    Just called my favorite LBR in Frisco, TX. They confirmed PAB cups are the same price, and knew nothing of a price hike US-side (yet).
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Looks like its the EU's turn to get the TLG hosing =(
  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,076
    Now it will be interesting to know if other EU Countries get the same "treatment"as we do over here!
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128

    Looks like its the EU's turn to get the TLG hosing =(

    hey, I'll take a price hike on PAB in exchange for still getting discounts on Exclusives

    BTHodgeman
  • SilentModeSilentMode UKMember Posts: 542
    Word is we've been given the same treatment in the UK, without even the common courtesy to have a reach-around.
    bellybutton290
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,449
    edited January 2014
    Yes, the UK stores have also seen an increase in the price of both tubs, by 99p each. I spent a little time yesterday doing a value comparison between the two tubs (here: http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/13434/uk-value-comparison-of-pab-tubs#latest), as the price increase changes how much value they are in relation to each other.

    I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. Keeping them at the same price despite inflation increases just isn't realistic. Apparently the Build-A-Minifigure prices have increased as well.
    jasor
  • jasorjasor United StatesMember Posts: 839
    ^It's interesting the dynamic a price change can make on value. That was a good read @Paperballpark .
  • dneuldneul Member Posts: 369
    I was in the des Peres store today and the pick a brick cups increased by $1.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    I'm gonna have to drop a four-letter word...

    Sigh.
    y2joshthenosPenkid11
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,909
    Is this in relation to the new specialty parts added to the wall?
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 1,834
    Yes so I was told.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,128
    Great we get a price hike so we can get crappy parts no one needs in mass quantity
    klatu003
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