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How to start building a collection

Fortunate1Fortunate1 Member Posts: 5
Hi, My son has just discovered Lego agter a trip to the shop he was given a lego man keyring by a santa, he has quickly become obsessed with this liitle man and is asking for more. My question is what is the best way to start off a collection which sets are best for the young kiddies, should I start him off with one of the big expensive ones or a few smaller cheaper ones. are second hand ones better value, Im a lego novice and with not a big budget to spend would love some expert advise, as i can see this becoming a long term interest.

Thanks :)


  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    How old is your son? what themes caught his eye in the store?
  • goshe7goshe7 Member Posts: 515
    I think you can get good "playability" with a combination of smaller sets. You can get the 3 smallest Monster Fighers sets (swamp man, mummy, werewolf) for under $40. Plenty of good and bad guys, vehicles, and scenes to make things work. Similar pricing for other themes with similar results. For a pretty modest investment you can see if his interest continues.

    Another option would be one of the basic brick sets and a baseplate. Combine that with the above and you have plenty of creative building options.

    I wouldn't do just the latter. As a kid, I built a lot, but the playability was driven by the minifigs and vehicles.

  • goshe7goshe7 Member Posts: 515
    As for the actual "how" you are hitting peak retail LEGO buying season. :) Toys R Us just had a BOGOHO (although you do have to watch as their regular prices are generally above MSRP). K-Mart has somewhat frequent sales. Target and Wal-Mart will have a couple sets on sale each week during this season.

    You will also see similar sales in the spring before Easter.

    Prime LEGO buying season (for me) is January and July, when the big stores start running clearance sales. There are reports of outlandish deals like 75-90% off. I've managed to find several items around 50% off in years past at Wal-Mart, Meijer, and K-Mart.
  • Fortunate1Fortunate1 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for all of that information he will be turning 5. and he is interested in anything "boy" dinosaurs, trucks, cars, motorbikes etc, he is a really busy kid and this is the first time I have ever seen him sit still and quiet for more than 10 minutes while playing with this lego man. It seems like Santa might have to give him some gift vouchers and wait for the post schistmas sales it seems. Thanks :)
  • Fortunate1Fortunate1 Member Posts: 5
    WOW I cant believe prices even %50 off here, when i was in the store earlier today there was a 1 day only 15% off and there was a man there stacking up. He said you never see them that cheap, apparently 20% off after season is common but you cant be guarunteed to get anything decent.
    Though I live in Australia and from your comment on Wal Mart i take it you in the US.
  • goshe7goshe7 Member Posts: 515
    Oh, Australia... That changes things a bit as I have heard LEGO is very pricey there. So 15-20% might be a good deal.

    Hopefully someone familiar with import regulations can chime in. For some sets it is actually lower cost to buy on a secondary market (BrickLink or eBay) and pay for shipping to Australia compared to purchasing locally. Go figure. But I suspect one needs to be fairly savvy in watching the postage rates and import duties to make this really cost effective.
  • Fortunate1Fortunate1 Member Posts: 5
    I have been checking out a few in recent days and they work out to be about the same if i am buying on sale as buying online and having shipped, though if i were to buy more, it would work out cheaper as postage per item would be less, but i cant afford to spend 200-300 on lego just becasue it is a good deal. though I would love to get my hands on some toy story sets i came across those online and i think that one will have to be added to the wish list.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    I sell a lot of sets to Australia. really only works out on the direct/exclusives, which are heavily marked up in Australia, available from limited outlets, and the high cost of shipping is more than absorbed by the savings. for run of the mill standard themes, the shipping to Australia is prohibitive, unless you are buying a bunch of them at once maybe. Last I checked, import duties were waived for shipments under $1000 AUD (this was like a year ago), so that isn't really an issue.
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    I am a Adult Collector and my son is infatuated with most anything Lego. For me this has an advantage. I buy the sets I like for my collection and then let him play with them for a little while. I can easily find out which sets he likes best doing this. Some sets I thought he would love (Ninjago) since he likes the cartoon he never leaves built for very long. So... No Ninjago. My son's favorite of the sets are any with the Dinos and the Police (Forest and City).

    Another thing I do is take my son to the store with me and watch him and see the sets that he looks at and picks up the most. I dont buy for him then and there unless he has done something that has earned a new set, then come back later and buy it for a gift at a later date.

    Another great place to start and this is actually how I started with my son is just get him a bucket of bricks. He ended up geting 2 of the same bucket on X-mas about 2 years ago (he was 4) and has been building since. Last year we had to get his sister her own bucket as she wanted to play with Daddy and Brudder! All and all give your son a bunch of bricks, new, used, or sets and let him and his imagination run wild. Always encourage his creativity!
  • Fortunate1Fortunate1 Member Posts: 5
    Yes My Husband joked it would be cheaper to take a holiday to US and bring back a lifetime supply if lego with us. Im not sure why it is so expensive here, but thats with most things, our neighbours just moved to Canberra from Seattle and they were very shocked at the cost of buying even the basics here.
  • Brick_ObsessionBrick_Obsession Member Posts: 656
    Lego has a very good website and has great features that allow kids to interact on the site and play games. I would start there, let your son play and "surf" the Lego website, you will quickly pick up what he likes and dislikes.
  • BastaBasta Member Posts: 1,259
    edited December 2012
    Hi Fortunate1,

    Yes, In Australia our Lego is more expensive then just about any where else in the world and although I buy most of my Lego from OS (, & you can get some good deals in Australia from time to time.

    From my experience the two cheapest retails stores for Lego are Kmart & Big W, with Kmart being a little better price wise most of the time (This can vary set to set though). Both these stores sell some Lego at around 10% below Recommended Retail all the time. When they have sales, some items are quite competitive with US pricing. Myer will also have "Buy Two Get One Free" on Toys about twice a year, which can make for some great deals if you can find 3 items of similar price to buy.

    My son is 4, turning 5 early next year, and he is a big fan of, Police, Fire, Ambulance and Trucks. So the city theme is what he has the most of. Have a look at some of the following sets, as I think they are a good size (You still will probably have to help construct at first) for this age group. Tipper Truck #4434, Ambulance #4431, 4x4 Fire Truck #4208 & Prisoner Transport #7286 These retail for $29.99, but they were all $23 last time I checked at Kmart.

    Lastly a couple of things, check out Target this week as from Thursday they have a "Buy One Get One 50% off" on all toys. Currently they have City Garbage Truck #4432 listed at $23 and the City Police Station #7498 at $99. (RRP is $149).

    If your son likes the Cars animated movies, Toys R Us in Belconnen had all the Cars sets on clearance at about 50% off a week or two ago, I'm not sure of stock levels, but they had a heap of the Cars Tokyo International Circuit #8679 for $79.95 which at that price is decent.

    Anyway have fun with it, Lego is a great toy for children and even us older folks.

  • beegeedeebeegeedee Member Posts: 380
    My son, who just turned 3, loves playing with the creator houses, any lego cars and lego in general - he's not fussy. He likes the minifigs and coupled with a creator house it's actually hilarious to watch - up and down the stairs, having coffee, making them chat. I usually give him a simple car from a polybag and a couple of surplus minifigs to play with. He has to be supervised as over time he gets rougher with the lego and it ends up in bits but he does love it.

    He has been allowed to play with lego since he was about 18 months old and to be fair he's not swallowed a piece yet.

    A small creator house like seaside house or log cabin if you can get your hands on one, a couple of sets with a couple of cars (police chase has 2 and a trike) and anything with animals or dinosaurs is good - the dino sets should be coming down in price and I got 2 for him, stored away, at 75% off. Also throw in a few collectible minifigs just for variety and you're set.
  • kezkez Member Posts: 831
    If your son likes dinosaurs and lego, why not get him some of the lego dino theme.
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