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How do you stack your Pick a Brick cups?

I was visiting the Orlando Lego Store the other day and as I was talking to a few of the employees, they jokingly told me how crazy some people get in terms of efficiency at the Pick a Brick sections. Stories of how people would individually stack studs and bricks to make the most out of the cups. Theyve also seen loads of different designs and layouts inside of the cups and people that even asked if they could put stuff OUTSIDE of the cup.

This made me curious and I had to ask, how do you pack your Pick a Brick cups efficiently?

I for one used to just cram pieces in the cups and even in the little indentation on the cap themselves. However the employee I was talking to did say that he once tried out a comparison of a throw-everything-in cup vs a neat stacked cup and he managed to put in 120 extra pieces!

Comments

  • theLEGOmantheLEGOman UKMember Posts: 1,525
    I'll stack plates and bricks if I have time, like if I got a lift into town and getting the bus home, if your in a car park though, then it's often cheaper to sling them in, but tap them down abit. Putting round 1x1 tiles into the gaps left over.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,765
    If I have the time, I stack bricks. And always fill in with 1x1 round plates or other small parts.

    If buying 2x4s check this ...


    BrickarmorKevin_Hyatt
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,079
    I stack bricks. I did a comparison once with 1x2 bricks - I found I could fit 3 small cups worth of loose bricks into one small cup when stacking them.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,151
    How much time do you have VS the greatness of getting the max bang for your buck?
    Me I had decided a while ago it is just not worth an extra 20 minutes of crying/screaming kids, crowds around the PaB section and what not to sit there and perfectly stack brick, let alone stacking square pieces, in a round cup. At least when it comes to 1xX brick ) I am really good at doing it, but just decided it is not worth the extra time and energy. Now that is different when I get the gift boxes, as those are square I try to maximize the use as it is easier to fit brick into one of those.

    I still try to be as efficient as I can be, piling tiny parts in the bottom to fill the little indention for the cup and knocking the cup on the counter to settle parts, and filling the top 'stud indention' with whatever, usually 1x2 brick or chairs or something, and use a small piece of tape on them so they do not fall out (because I also gave up trying to be fast enough to flip the cup top onto the cup without spilling all over) but I just have largely given up trying to stack bbrick and smaller parts anymore.
    And exception would be if it is a new color I want, but for the 1x2 brick with masonry pattern for example, they were so hard to find that when they did have them I was not about to sit there and try to stick them all together to watch someone else walk up and take handfuls to jam into a cup so I just dumped into the cup and knocked the cup down.
    But like windows or window/door frames, larger plates (like 6x6 or bigger) or something I tend to still stack because they are larger parts and does not take me long to 'stack' those.
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 672
    1. Filler like 1x1 plate or cheese slopes to flatten out the bottom of the cup.
    2. Various layers of whatever. Go about a half-inch at a time. If it's large elements, use more filler parts to fill in gaps.
    3. fill stud of the cap and do a fast flip to trap some elements in there.
    4. Press down the cap very carefully until it stays. You know you've done well if this step is difficult.
    5. After you leave the store, remove the cap and let elements flow loose in the bag (prevents elements from getting damaged from the compression in step 4.

    Really depends on what you're filling it with. The larger the element, the more you have to think about maximizing efficiency.
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    you know you can buy a box of anything from the PaB wall if you really need a bulk amount (example: 2x4 bricks, I bought 6 boxes at 750 bricks each box) the value is better than the cups are and you don't have to waist time stacking/building to optimize the cups.

    That said, I tend to spend time and optimize the bricks, filling in any gaps with what ever will fit, store near me allows for taping lids on of your cup is overflowing but still somewhat contained. (this got me an extra row of 2x4s on top of the rest of my parts)
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,101
    Somebody did a whole article on how to stack Lego in a cup to get the most for your money. Unfortunately, I dont know what magazine it was or when it was printed.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    @GallardoLU for a lot of parts the box isn't as good a deal anymore even without stacking since the boxes went up in price from $70 to $100. I bought 6 large cups of 1x4 bricks a few weeks ago and didn't attach the parts but for the first cup I made sure that all the bricks were standing on end to get the most in there without snapping together. The other five cups I just quickly placed them in some what arranging them but spending no more than 3-4 minutes on each cup. 6 cups was ~$103 I think after tax and I got about 100 bricks more than a box for a couple bucks less. If I had stacked the other 5 like the first it would have been 250 or so more bricks than a box.
  • david325david325 Member Posts: 138
    I just dip the cup in the 1x1 round plates and fill it up. Not sure stacking the 1x1 round plates would be incredibly advantageous.
    madforLEGO
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,079
    UK stores don't allow you to buy boxes now.
  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Northern edge of London, just before the dragons...Member Posts: 1,403
    I've only ever used the PAB wall once. In the run up to last Christmas my purchases got me three of the small, cube-shaped boxes. I went back to the store in the New Year on a weekday morning, intending to spend my time and basically craft a solid block of bricks that was the shape of the box, in order to fill it completely.

    However, not being sure of protocol, I jokingly asked one of the members of staff if 'that was the done thing', or whether it was considered to be 'taking the mickey'.

    The reply I got suggested that yes, that would be considered a bit off, so I ended up just dropping things in in the most efficient manner, rather than building a cube.

    Still got a load of useful parts though!
  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    I try to be creative and stack bricks in towers, that I then put in a sort of cone, to fill the strangely shaped cup.

    After having stacked bricks and plates, I pour some 1x1 round plates or flowers or plant stems into the cup to take up the remaining space. And shake it a lot, and sometimes bang it into the counter to get the smaller pieces to settle.

    In my experience I get about 1½ cup worth of bricks as opposed to just throwing the bricks into the cup.

    Oh, and please note that the trick shown in the youtube-video from "your creative friends" will not be tolerated by the store. The lid has to fit on the cup - you cannot build something above the cup, and then just add the lid on top.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,079

    Oh, and please note that the trick shown in the youtube-video from "your creative friends" will not be tolerated by the store. The lid has to fit on the cup - you cannot build something above the cup, and then just add the lid on top.

    Depends on the store. Personally I've never ever 'clipped' the lid on, and I've boughts dozens of cups from a total of 4 different stores. I always ask for sellotape to tape the lid on, and have never been refused. I always (well, mostly) try to ensure that the lid at least touches the cup, as it can get silly otherwise. I do remember one cup though, where there was half an inch gap between the cup and the lid! I don't make a habit of that though.
    madforLEGOtiminchicago
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,434
    My store tapes down tops by default.
    madforLEGOslovakiasteph
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 778
    Stacking is certainly worth it for rarer colours but can take time so ask yourself "how much is my time worth?". Work an hours overtime instead of spending that time stacking and buy a few more cups :D

    Also, I've never had a problem with not clicking the lids down in all three stores I buy from. I would consider it rude to ask staff to tape down a lid where there is a gap between cup and lid.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    @CCC Thanks for the video. Most 2x4s I've gotten so far was about 115 stacking vertically in the center and dropping a few along the sides. I always take one of the smaller cups and put in a handful of smaller pieces (dots or 1x1 plates) and shake them into the larger cup to fill the gaps.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,765

    Stacking is certainly worth it for rarer colours but can take time so ask yourself "how much is my time worth?". Work an hours overtime instead of spending that time stacking and buy a few more cups :D

    Sometimes it is a challenge to see how much you can get in there. That is half the fun of a PAB cup.
    timinchicago
  • Poisso3Poisso3 Member Posts: 196
    When I have the time to actually pace myself while filling the cup, I usually take the 1xX bricks and line them along the inside of the cup all the way around and fill the void, if there are any, with studs or the flat finishing plates. When I don't need the 1xX bricks, I generally just put the bricks the best way I can to get them in; shking the cup as I go to help the studs, 1x2 plates, etc to settle.

    I have never had anyone at a Lego Store tell me that I had to have the lid snap down, and when the cup is a little over filled, they generally just tape the lids down.
  • jediami65jediami65 United StatesMember Posts: 474
    edited July 2014
    Poisso3 said:


    I have never had anyone at a Lego Store tell me that I had to have the lid snap down, and when the cup is a little over filled, they generally just tape the lids down.

    Employees always tape mine and kids cups for me at all NJ Lego stores and even in the Downtown Disney store, most of the time I don't even have to ask.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,079

    Stacking is certainly worth it for rarer colours but can take time so ask yourself "how much is my time worth?". Work an hours overtime instead of spending that time stacking and buy a few more cups :D

    I'm salaried, so that isn't an option. I'm not normally pushed for time when I'm at a Lego store, so I don't mind.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    The "how much is your time worth" question is subjective as well since what you would do with the time if you weren't filling the cup is really the question. I know how much an hour my salary is worth but I wouldn't be working instead of filling a cup. I know how much time I spend on my Bricklink store as well so if I have orders waiting I know filling a cup is eating into my free time outside of both my full time job and the store. And since filling a cup most of the time goes into the inventory of my store its a trade off of getting pennies more off of my cost of inventory or just getting home and getting it into my inventory.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    I love watching the kids at the PAB. And they watch me stack, align, and pull some TETRIS moves to get that thing jammed packed.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 807
    I thought the original poster meant what do you do with all of your empty PaB cups?!?

    I've got near or just over a hundred of them and they are stacked insider an empty Creator Family Vacation Home box and the lids are in 2 shoeboxes. I use the cups and lids for sorting. They are awesome for this purpose.

    This topic is fascinating as it routinely is revisited in new threads lime this one or the older threads are revived.

    I was able to stack 656 1x2 bricks inside a PaB cup and two of these were almost equivalent to 3 cups where the bricks were just dropped in.
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 778
    I like to use small pab cups as I reckon you get more for your money what with the extra lud space. Plus four small pab cups is just over £25 so get the £25+ freebies!
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 672
    Oh, and don't forget to give a periodic shake or tap to the cup as you fill it so all the contents settle.
  • JediMasterBuilderJediMasterBuilder Member Posts: 5
    Our LEGO Shop is great! The staff will help the customers to maximize the amount of bricks in the Pick a Brick cups. Usually, the cups are overflowing and they tape the lid to the cup.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark Near ManchesterMember Posts: 4,079
    edited July 2014
    @Kevin_Hyatt‌ I did a comparison of the cup values here: www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/13434/uk-value-comparison-of-pab-tubs
    Kevin_Hyatt
  • AndorAndor United StatesMember Posts: 252

    bmwlego said:

    I thought the original poster meant what do you do with all of your empty PaB cups?!?

    I've got near or just over a hundred of them and they are stacked insider an empty Creator Family Vacation Home box and the lids are in 2 shoeboxes. I use the cups and lids for sorting. They are awesome for this purpose.

    This topic is fascinating as it routinely is revisited in new threads lime this one or the older threads are revived.

    I was able to stack 656 1x2 bricks inside a PaB cup and two of these were almost equivalent to 3 cups where the bricks were just dropped in.

    I thought that too. Interesting methods.
  • AndorAndor United StatesMember Posts: 252
    This is probably posted somewhere on the forum but I didn't see it so,how much dollars is a Pick-a-Bricks cup?
  • CupIsHalfEmptyCupIsHalfEmpty CanadaMember Posts: 547
    I only get to a Lego Store PAB wall a couple times a year, and usually they are in a Mall and my Wife is shopping for a couple hours. So in that sense if I wasn't "Busy" at the Lego store filling PAB cups, I would be sitting on a bench so when I fill PAB cups I have the luxury of time being on my side.

    I use the small cups with the stacking technique on page 6 of this price comparison 1000steine.com/brickset/miscellaneous/Documents/PABCostComparisonAnalysis.pdf

    I've now done it enough times that I can do it by memory. The above technique assumes it's okay that the lid is 'just' touching the cup which I've had no problem with at any of the stores I've been to. When it comes to anything other than 1x2's then it's the shake and jam method.


    madforLEGO
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,151
    j

    I only get to a Lego Store PAB wall a couple times a year, and usually they are in a Mall and my Wife is shopping for a couple hours. So in that sense if I wasn't "Busy" at the Lego store filling PAB cups, I would be sitting on a bench so when I fill PAB cups I have the luxury of time being on my side.

    That would be my plan too, if my GF wasn't standing next to me filling a cup or at the BaM box.. Drives me a bit crazy to be honest as then she wants to go to other stores as well, leaving me to either fill up another PaB cup (which Im sure LEGO does not mind) or have to sit on the bench.
  • dannyrwwdannyrww WisconsinMember Posts: 1,395
    The first time I got a pick a brick cup I was told to go back and put more in and they could tape it down. Ever since I've always made a point to fill it to where the lid touches but not clicks. Now given the only time I've done the picka brick is when there is something really special that my daughters want (usually horses) which are often pieces that do not fit normal (btw we fit 11 of the new style horses in a cup and filled in the backs and the nooks and crannys. Once the Horses were out we still had about half a cup of random pieces. Imagine how many horses could fit if they weren't such awkward shapes).
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