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Request Valuation of Classic Space - 1980's

sdetskysdetsky Member Posts: 35
edited September 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
After coming out of the dark ages recently and reigniting my passion for Lego, I found out that my parents kept all of the Lego I collected as a child. Most of these are Classic Space sets from 1981-1988 with a sprinkling of Town and Castle along with two large bulk piece sets. The one negative is that when I was little I liked to display the sets so a number of pieces are discoloured (mostly the whites, grays and blues). The one positive is that my parents kept all the boxes and instructions in virtually mint condition.

My question is: what do I do with these sets? I've done a little research on trying to get rid of the discolouration but I'm not sure if that will work. Beyond the nostalgia of having these sets and passing them down to my kids is that they are mostly pretty uninteresting builds and sets. But I don't know if these types of sets, especially with boxes and instructions, are interesting to collectors?

Any guidance would be appreciated, thank you.

Comments

  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    They are worthless. Sell them to me. Ten bucks?

    Just kidding. If you know what sets you had, check on eBay and Bricklink, that should give you an idea what you can expect. Really depends on condition, completeness (manuals? boxes?) etc.
    Chrishughes
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    Classic Space is actually fairly collectable right now. I also wouldn't call the sets "un-interesting". Each to their own, I find the classic space sets to be quite inspiring. Especially compared to the build-by-numbers sets today. Back then Lego actually promoted creativity compared to now where it's all about the liscensing and minifigs.

    If you care to send me a PM with all of the sets that you have available I would be interested in acquiring them at bulk.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    I would say first, get an idea of what the sets are worth.
    Some Classic space has increased again over the past 1-2 years in prices, and especially if the boxes are instruction are present, and even more so if they are in good condition.
    The great thing is that you have Brick Owl Bricklink and eBay to see sets prices, and also to get replacement parts if you want to restore the sets.
    chromedigibluemodern
  • sschmotzsschmotz Member Posts: 25
    I recently picked up a few classic space sets that I had when I was I kid and I love them. Some of the grays and whites were slightly discolored and I did the peroxide/oxiclean treatment and was blown away by results. The sets looks brand new now, I couldn't believe it.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,347
    Classic Space sets are very collectable, but the discolouration will probably be an issue for many collectors; the mint boxes and instructions are a major plus point, though.

    Options are to replace all the discoloured parts with used pieces in decent condition, in which case depending on the set you should be well rewarded for your efforts, or be honest in your listings about the discolouration, sell "as is" and still make some decent money mainly because of the mint boxes and instructions.

    I'm not convinced by the oxidising treatments; I've had very variable results ranging from no effect to 'too clean', and the bricks are apparently more brittle at the end of it too.
    madforLEGO
  • SirKevbagsSirKevbags Fairy Land Member Posts: 4,030
    My #6990 Monorail returned to my my hands after being on loan today. Possibly beyond classic space but still bloody good!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    edited September 2013

    Classic Space sets are very collectable, but the discolouration will probably be an issue for many collectors; the mint boxes and instructions are a major plus point, though.

    Options are to replace all the discoloured parts with used pieces in decent condition, in which case depending on the set you should be well rewarded for your efforts, or be honest in your listings about the discolouration, sell "as is" and still make some decent money mainly because of the mint boxes and instructions.

    I'm not convinced by the oxidising treatments; I've had very variable results ranging from no effect to 'too clean', and the bricks are apparently more brittle at the end of it too.

    One method I have used is wet scotch brite-ing brick, removing the top layer of the yellowed areas using a wet brick and wet scotch brite pad(not a metal one), rubbing gingerly and pressing slightly, and then using plastic polish ( I use Novus no3 and then no2) to bring it back to a shine and feel similar to that of a regular brick. Then I wash it off.

    The disclaimer here though it is by far not perfect, and it is tricky to do without making it look like you scotch brite-d the brick. Also it is only good for brick and plate sides, but not stud top and you can scuff too much off and it will put scratch marks into the brick and make it feel differently, I try to counteract that with water, but it is hit or miss. And of course, you cannot use it on printed brick
    But in a pinch if it is a little bit of yellow, or you cannot find the part, it is not a horrible alternative. However, who knows about long term affects, that is if it is then more susceptible to yellowing in the future

    All in all I would say go to BL or brickowl and find someone that has used brick of that color you need. You can even sometimes ask if they can give you older brick as you do not need newer looking brick in order for you to try to color match the fading of the original brick.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    I'm initially disappointed when I purchase an older set how yellowed the bricks look. But then I do a basic scrub (with a mild detergent and soft toothbrush) and rinse with water, dry, assemble the set that it doesn't look half bad. I've found that with the sets that are around thirty years old (first and second wave classic space) that the bricks are a little brittle and have insane clutch.
    Oldfan
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    One of the things I do is take out the discolored bricks and set them aside. see how many sets you can build with the remaining sets. The element pallet was much smaller back then. If you can confine the number of discolored bricks to a limited number of sets, it would help the value rather than sprinkling a few discolored bricks in each set.
  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226



    I'm not convinced by the oxidising treatments; I've had very variable results ranging from no effect to 'too clean', and the bricks are apparently more brittle at the end of it too.

    Brought your patio up a treat though.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,347
    edited September 2013



    I'm not convinced by the oxidising treatments; I've had very variable results ranging from no effect to 'too clean', and the bricks are apparently more brittle at the end of it too.

    Brought your patio up a treat though.
    Don't remind me....not my finest hour.

    :-)

    When I mentioned 'bricks' above, I was of course referring to 'house bricks'.
    caperberry
  • sschmotzsschmotz Member Posts: 25
    mathew said:

    I've found that with the sets that are around thirty years old (first and second wave classic space) that the bricks are a little brittle and have insane clutch.

    This is the most true statement I can think of when building these sets.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    Don't discard the discolored elements just because you replace them. The bricks from that era had a different mold and unless you specifically seek them out when replacing them or more current designs don't exist, you're not likely to replace them properly.
    Pitfall69Ambroise
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    Have a look here: http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=74458

    It's an interesting thread about someone restoring a few of the classic sets. He replaced parts and cleaned others. Worth a read anyway.
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    I can't bring myself to using peroxide or oxiclean on Lego, so I did the same thing as @wagnerml2. My classic space sets were stored in pieces and a few years back I re-assmbled them to see what I had and what was missing. I washed all the bricks in mild dish soap and warm water and then tried to keep the discolored bricks together in small sets or hide them in the build when possible.

    Considering the age of the sets, I was surprised by how few bricks had discolored. More gray bricks had discolored than white and even a few blue. The end results turned out pretty well and chemically treating the bricks would have been overkill. If you look real close, you can see some of the discolored white bricks on the back of the #6930 Space Supply Station.

    BrewbrickedinLobotlittletokibluemodernAmbroiseHemelsidersdd
  • BrewBrew New Mexico (It's an actual state in the US)Member Posts: 182
    Seeing all these classic space sets warms my heart. Very nostalgic, but there is something intangible about the playability, creativity and building quality of these that makes me feel like they would do well if released today for the first time. What a breath of fresh air.
    plasmodiumOldfanwagnerml2
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    Definitely agree with @Brew. Such classics.
    You must have been quite the collecter back then, @chuckp!
  • OldLegoOldLego Member Posts: 28
    I recently used the peroxide/oxiclean on some old WHITE bricks and it worked AWESOME. Even ones that I thought there would be no way it could help since they were really yellowed out...but even those it made a big difference on.

    Do not use this on other colored bricks...you're basically bleaching them.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    I used to have a large collection of Classic Space, I always remembered wanting all the larger space sets (as I only had mostly smaller space sets) so when I got out of my dark ages I eventually built up a large collection of classic space LEGO. However, in the end I need to reduce my themes collected. So the lack of space caused me to get rid of my Space LEGO.
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 950
    I was born in 1975 and my first ever Lego set was #886, rapidly followed by lots of others! My best set was #6971 which my older brother gave me after an incident with the end of one my fingers and a large metal trailer.... I still have the scar but it was worth it ;-)

    I ended up giving my collection to my brother's son during my dark ages, and he enjoyed it as much as I did. It's magical stuff, but perhaps it's my age. I'd love to get a decent collection of it all one day...
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684

    You must have been quite the collecter back then, @chuckp!

    @plasmodium Yes, you could say that. With the exception of Star Wars, Lego was definitely my goto toy.

    @Lobot Not that I find your injury funny, but the comment about getting a #6971 after getting hurt was somewhat comical. Only a dedicated Lego fan would consider getting Lego as the result of bodily harm "worth it". :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    What I do to restore my old Classic Castle and Space is to find sealed or good condition Basic Sets from that era.
  • LobotLobot UKMember Posts: 950
    I was raised on a farm, had minimal sense of self-preservation, and two older brothers which combined together resulted in lots of trips to A&E!!

    It was totally worth it, and in an odd way the scar is a nice reminder of when life was a lot simpler......there are days when I wish I was still little!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    A&E??
    murphquake
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    Emergency room, aka accident and emergency, the British equivalent.
  • VBaskin2008VBaskin2008 Member Posts: 181
    I Think LEGO Should Relaunched The Space Themes From 1980 To 1989.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 517
    @chuckp ~ how do you feel about adopting a 42 year old woman? That classic space collection is just... perfect.

    For the original poster, if you're not adverse to using peroxide and oxyclean, I would recommend trying a few on the white bricks. Here are my results:

    Hydrogen Peroxide: Before and After

    But I do agree with @OldLego - be careful with the colors as they can appear cloudy and faded if left in too long.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    I've also had varied results, that I why I do what I posted previously.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    The other issue I see with the peroxide is that people report that the parts come out too white, and do not match the original LEGO color shades.
    I guess in a pinch it would not be bad to try, bit I think that combined with he possible frailty I dunno if I would do it.

    I do keep many of the parts that are sun faded, or discolored, as you never know when you may need filler brick that will never see the light of day again (as a mountain builder or whatnot) or you are building something so monstrous that the different discoloration does not mean much.

    I do agree though, as 'bland' as the coloring appears for space, it was a wonderful line from 80-89 for those with imaginations and they are all really unique builds for the most part, but I really REALLY miss blacktron and SP 1.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    "In space, no one hears you scream"
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,047
    Classic Space was my era. My first Space set was the 918-1 One Man Space Ship which I saved all my pocket money to buy. I still have it to this day.

    When I first started coming out of my dark ages, the first set I bought on Bricklink was the one I always wanted as a kid, #497-1 Galaxy Explorer, just to get it out of my system.

    After seeing this thread, I've dug out some of my other remaining space sets and am rebuilding with my kids this weekend. However using pieces that are decades old reminds me of the saying 50 Shades of Grey!

  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684

    @chuckp ~ how do you feel about adopting a 42 year old woman? That classic space collection is just... perfect.

    @littletoki Well, I often joke about selling our kids on ebay to add to my Lego fund, so if we're ever in need of replacements, I will let you know. :) Thanks for the compliment about the collection.

    @iso3200 Great 1st post-dark age Bricklink purchase! The #497-1 Galaxy Explorer is a great ship, one of my favorites as a kid. If I had to pick one set that symbolizes Classic Space, its the Galaxy Explorer.

  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    I had a big set of Lego, #911 and then when I was about 8 I was at a summer camp and we had a trip to the local village. They had this gift shop and I saw this set if Lego which is the #6801 Moon Buggy. It had this little space dude and I think it was £1.30. I had 80p and the lady running the camp gave the rest to buy it 50p and it was a lot of money in '81. I had to save my pocket money to pay her back but it was worth every penny.

    3 years later I got a computer and totally lost interest in Lego but when I came out of my dark ages about 4 years ago now I tracked one down on ebay and ended up accidentally with 2 of them. I actually went nuts and bought about 12 different classic sets of varying quality and my wife almost flipped out when she found out how much I'd spent on 'plastic' as she calls it. fair enough.

    I only ever had 2 classic space sets and about 6 minifigs when I was a kid. I was back home and found the Lego I had...totally destroyed, teeth marks, broken pieces, worn and filthy. Made me a little sad.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    @beegeedee - Sad as an adult, but as a child you obviously got your parents' money's worth out of it. Don't be sad... think back on the joy you got out of the toys when you were little and that's what they were for you.
    beegeedee
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    ^^ I would bet the teeth mark thing is pretty common. When I re-assembled my sets, I found the 1x1 plates really took a beating.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    Yeah, my old sets and parts look pretty beat-up, and the parts look like chew toys.. did not really remember doing that but that is what BL is for :-)
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,879
    I would love to see some "new" Classic Space set designs get produced. Cuusoo maybe? Even if we're talking light bluish gray, it would be cool, and I think Lego would be surprised at the demand.
  • sschmotzsschmotz Member Posts: 25
    I too wish Lego would revisit the Classic Space theme. With all the new parts and technics that have come out over the years I'm sure they could make some really awesome looking sets while keeping the classic look. They were the sets that were first introduced to many current AFOL's like myself. I would buy new sets without a doubt.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    ^- I agree, less is more sometimes and these are relatively basic type sets that also should foster creativity as well.
    I just loved the grey and blue colors of the classic space and the interesting parts that almost solely came with classic space sets.
    Plus bring back crater plates!!! even in the new greys!, it does not matter, and you can use them for SW too, anything space. I think those would sell fairly well.
  • madfiddlermadfiddler Member Posts: 21
    Apologies for bumping a thread, but I just wanted to chip in. I had a number of Classic Space kits when I was a kid, and remember a number which I always wished I had, so I decided to collect and build the entire collection. It took 18 months to source (and pay for) the bricks, but now I have every one produced according to Brickset. I only have around half the instructions as yet, but am constantly on the look out. I ended up breaking them down earlier this year as they took up too much space, but I had a thoroughly enjoyable time on this project :)
  • jdylakjdylak Member Posts: 281

    Apologies for bumping a thread, but I just wanted to chip in. I had a number of Classic Space kits when I was a kid, and remember a number which I always wished I had, so I decided to collect and build the entire collection. It took 18 months to source (and pay for) the bricks, but now I have every one produced according to Brickset. I only have around half the instructions as yet, but am constantly on the look out. I ended up breaking them down earlier this year as they took up too much space, but I had a thoroughly enjoyable time on this project :)

    I had a lot of sets when I was a kid but sold what I had to fund my Town collection many years back. Always wished I didn't but I bought an auction off of ebay that yielded of sets that I originally had a TONS I never did. Never selling off classic stuff again. Those were the best sets.
  • seonadancingseonadancing Member Posts: 92
    The all-terrain vehicle was the first set I ever had, and I lost it during my dark age. I was able to BL one and made two more in LBG and red. I just recently bought one in box.
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