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Which sets to start reassembling?

RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum, thanks to my sons' LEGO collection which I took upon myself to sort while in the process of decluttering my house. I have spent a week's worth going through many plastic tubs of mixed bricks and finally got everything sorted by color because it was the easiest for my brain.

Now what? I am aware of about 35-38 sets that my sons built in the past (Power Miners, Aquaraiders, Mars Mission, Atlantis, Batman, Indiana Jones, Agents, Castle, Star Wars, some Bionicle) and for which I kept the instructions booklets. However, another half of these bricks come from a friend who parted with her collection about 10 years ago and it's mostly Town, Police, Trains (x2), Soccer, Spiderman, Paradisa, Fort Legoredo, some Harry Potter and a Yoda UCS. I probably have over 200 Town minifigures alone (10 chefs, 15 police officers, 10 train conductors etc etc).

I am not personally very attached to my friend's old collection, but in the effort of parting with some of these sets, I thought the exercise of sorting them was necessary. However I received them in piles of loose pieces as well and given the large amount of basic bricks, I could probably make any set from Town if I wanted to, haha.

I think I would like to keep some of my sons' sets as they have a bigger emotional attachment to them, but others I am not sure if they are very valuable (aside from Yoda) or worth my time to rebuild. 

Any suggestions are welcome as I feel a little overwhelmed looking at the 50 heavy duty ziploc bags now filled with bricks, although nicely stored in a few bins.

Thank you!
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Comments

  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,404
    Welcome to a slippery slope.

    I personally would start with trying to piece together today, then everything else. Probably Spiderman and Harry Potter after Yoda.
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    edited March 2016
    Here are some pictures from the process. I took pictures of some of the (still) built parts to try identifying them. 
    tallblocktoo
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,437
    I suspect the assembled parts pictured are MOCs, not official sets. The bay window only comes in 3 sets on Brickset, and is not even listed in grey.

    Since you have already sorted by color, I'd start off with two or three smaller sets and use the parts lists in the manuals to pull parts for each set. by choosing a few sets to start with you can pull parts for all of them in one pass through the color-sorted bags, saves a bit of time on finding the parts.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    edited March 2016
    Those bay windows do not look like Lego to me, do the studs say Lego on them?  Actually, doors too.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    edited March 2016
    I suspect the assembled parts pictured are MOCs, not official sets. The bay window only comes in 3 sets on Brickset, and is not even listed in grey.
    That's because Brickset's database isn't complete - in a variety of ways, and for a variety of reasons.

    The window came in Dark Grey with Tr. Brown glass in sets 1349 and 6740.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,437
    ^Nice catch, TigerMoth! Where'd you find it? I tried a couple other sites and came up empty in my searches.

    Judging from the surrounding bricks, #6740 looks like a safe bet.
    Ririnettekiki180703
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,253
    edited March 2016
    Bricklink.com will be your friend as, in addition to parts you may need if missing any for a set, they also have inventory lists for sets which I think helps greatly in sorting parts into a container, or bag, to assemble later.

    Personally when I have gotten the parts sorted by color for a lot (and have instructions) or know- based on the parts- what sets are, I then start to inventory sets into bags with the larger sets first for a few reasons:
    1) typically larger sets have the larger parts. once you burn through those you then have an easier time finding parts for smaller sets (which tend to use smaller parts)
    2) if selling them, the larger sets tend to do better resale wise than smaller sets.

    Though others have touched on it, there are color variations in sets starting around 03-04 as gray moves from 'classic gray' (yellowish tinge) to new grey (often called bley) which has more of a bluish tinge I believe. The inventory lists at bricklink also help with this as well as they note what is a new color vs an older color often.

    In any case try to know the difference in the way the old and new colors look as if you are rebuilding sets you will want to ensure the correct parts and correct colors are in those sets, especially if you plan on selling them.


  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,418
    If you have the instructions, or the set number I would go off of the bricklink inventory. I have printed out many off them, and it's easy to put a set together if you have all the parts sorted by color. If you are planning on selling some sets I would make sure you mention that they were put together from a bricklink inventory. Some parts have changed a little over the years, and if you sell to a collector even if the parts are the same some have a real OCD that the parts are not 100% to that set when bought new. Bricklink will also give you some ideas of what the sets are worth. 
    Ririnettekiki180703
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Judging from the surrounding bricks, #6740 looks like a safe bet.
    Awesome, thanks guys! I can guarantee that all bricks are LEGO. It must be this set as I remember finding the bricks with the X sticker on them, and a lot of other elements from it. The person who had these before seems to have built a lot of "custom' stuff, so I am a little stumped trying to find the sets from the buildings only. I also have a dozen skateboards in the pile...
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ^Nice catch, TigerMoth! Where'd you find it? I tried a couple other sites and came up empty in my searches.
    Er, such as?

    BrickLink is what most people use, but for older sets, Peeron can be better - it's not been updated for about five years, so few people use it - but that means it's faster! It's also simpler (some people would say "dated").

    All the sites have their own strengths and weaknesses. None of them are 100% accurate.

    As @madforLEGO said, be careful about colours - but with an extra reason or two. Brickset uses TLG's naming; other sites usually don't. The same goes for part numbers. If you switch sites half-way through life can get confusing, especially as the mapping isn't always 1:1.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,437
    I tried brickowl and bricklink - should have tried Peeron :)
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84

    Though others have touched on it, there are color variations in sets starting around 03-04 as gray moves from 'classic gray' (yellowish tinge) to new grey (often called bley) which has more of a bluish tinge I believe. The inventory lists at bricklink also help with this as well as they note what is a new color vs an older color often.

    In any case try to know the difference in the way the old and new colors look as if you are rebuilding sets you will want to ensure the correct parts and correct colors are in those sets, especially if you plan on selling them.
    Excellent advice. I have noticed this variation and planned on separating the "new" from the "old" colors, especially since there are some old and worn out looking bricks that are not as marketable, mostly in light grey. When I started putting back the Yoda parts, I noticed this with the dark brown and stayed true to the original color. 
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    My fear is that if I start putting together smaller sets I risk to run out of pieces for the larger, more valuable sets. Thankfully the Harry Potter and Spiderman ones are not huge and I know that I don't have many of them, although I did find 4 Spiderman minifigures. I think that I'm going to start with the most recent sets after these ones since they have all the funky pieces that I need to park somewhere instead of trying to find a sorting category for it. Thanks everyone!! I'll probably keep bugging you with more pictures. :-)
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Ririnette said:
    My fear is that if I start putting together smaller sets I risk to run out of pieces for the larger, more valuable sets.
    Do them ALL, before you think of disposing of ANY of them.

    Not only will it solve the problem you mention, but it will also mean that when you make a mistake and allocate a similar piece to the wrong set, you'll be able to back-track and fix the problem. It won't necessarily be easy, but it'll be possible.

    Incidentally, before you proceed down this route, are you sure that your son will never come out his "dark age". There are many people here who regret disposing of their childhood sets when their interest has been revitalised, perhaps when they have children of their own. It didn't use to be a very fashionable thing to do, but that's changed rather, as this whole site indicates.
    Ririnettehewmankiki180703
  • Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 486
    If you're in wisconsin I'll help you sort and build them :D
    No really though I agree with the idea that you should keep your sons sets. I have messaged people on ebay who are selling their kids stuff and told them to keep them. The memories they will have in twenty years will be priceless.
    Ririnettekiki180703
  • cmrt1014cmrt1014 Member Posts: 396
    @Ririnette, I'm just taking a (second) break from doing this for my son's sets.  His sets were a bit more organized (read:  partially, or mostly put together), but spread out more geographically (i.e. he, intentionally, or not, hid some pieces from me), and there were more of them.  I had initially started this process in Oct 2015, took a break for the holidays, and have to get back after an about 5 week break now to finish up.  His closet is now filled with storage boxes that have identified sets in them.

    The one thing that saved my sanity while doing this was the brickstock program. ** This allowed me to get a set mostly together, and easily keep track of which parts were missing (usually small parts).  I also created a spreadsheet where I kept track of which sets I had identified (do I have the instructions, container (for some sets), the box, how many pieces are missing from this set, etc?), and as I got further along, where I had stored the collection of parts for a given set (this last part was vital, as when I found a piece - or pieces - that belonged to a set, finding where the rest of the set lived was critical).  

    I second the advise others have given you - including keeping all you have, until you're sure that it won't be wanted later.  And starting with the small recent sets does give a moral boost with the number of sets completed - or mostly completed - at the beginning.

    Although I think you've already done this, I will just add my experience:  Take everything apart!  There were several parts that I thought I would not find - bigger parts - but then when I took apart one more "little" MOC my son had done, there it was!

    Ask again as you move through, and of course, we'd all love to see more photos!


    -------------
    **
    (It's free in collector mode, but well worth the $20, if the full version is needed - and no I have no affilation with this program other than as a very satisfied customer)  
    Ririnettekiki180703
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    TigerMoth said:
    Ririnette said:
    My fear is that if I start putting together smaller sets I risk to run out of pieces for the larger, more valuable sets.
    Do them ALL, before you think of disposing of ANY of them.

    Incidentally, before you proceed down this route, are you sure that your son will never come out his "dark age". There are many people here who regret disposing of their childhood sets when their interest has been revitalised, perhaps when they have children of their own. It didn't use to be a very fashionable thing to do, but that's changed rather, as this whole site indicates.
    To be honest, even myself (who used to help build most of these sets for my sons in the past) - I have a hard time with the idea of parting with them now, especially after all this work. I keep bouncing between wanting to have sets put aside and using all the bricks to build stuff out of books. I would say that I'm convinced that I won't sell my sons' stuff, but when it comes to the old sets that i received... I never built or played with them and my attachment is not the same. Once I manage to get sets put together I suspect that my opinion will change. I am a bit of a perfectionist. If the set isn't complete, I have a hard time liking it because of its imperfections. Can't wait to go through the process, it feeds my OCDs. :-)
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84

    cmrt1014 said:

    Although I think you've already done this, I will just add my experience:  Take everything apart!  There were several parts that I thought I would not find - bigger parts - but then when I took apart one more "little" MOC my son had done, there it was!
    I hear you!! My sons are very attached to their minifigures for example and keep hiding them. They are teenagers now but still like to play with them. I expect to keep finding bricks all around the house - the only regret I have now is about all those that went down the vacuum years ago. LOL

    I will check out brickstock, although I noticed that Bricklink has lists with checkboxes and that looked perfect to me. 
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    This time I believe that I reached the end of the pile, phew!! All that is left partially assembled are these trains. How many sets are in here you think? 
    tallblocktoo
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Bonus question to all: once I gather all the parts for a set, say, based on Bricklink, do you suggest that I actually build the set to make sure that everything is accounted for? I am thinking of Yoda and that is already giving me a headache, but the brick list between brickset and bricklink is a bit different, and I don't know which one to trust.
  • cmrt1014cmrt1014 Member Posts: 396
    @Ririnette :  The advantage to me of brickstock is that I saved a brickstock file when I was working on a set.  If I couldn't find all the pieces at that time, it was easy to create another brickstock file with all the missing pieces inventoried in it with the set number as a comment.  What a joy it was to put a final missing piece in with the rest of a set.
  • cmrt1014cmrt1014 Member Posts: 396
    @Ririnette : My answer to the bonus question:  Either build it yourself - or double check against the parts list at the back of the instruction book.    Bonus answer:  Did you know that a lot of instructions are available online on service.lego.com?  So, if you find some sets that you don't have instructions for, I found this to be a great resource.  (If you already knew this, take my bonus points away!) :)
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    Ririnette said:
    Bonus question to all: once I gather all the parts for a set, say, based on Bricklink, do you suggest that I actually build the set to make sure that everything is accounted for? I am thinking of Yoda and that is already giving me a headache, but the brick list between brickset and bricklink is a bit different, and I don't know which one to trust.
    Bricklink's inventory is a million times more accurate than Brickset's, especially for older sets like Yoda.
    gmonkey76kiki180703
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    Oh, and to answer your question, it depends.  If you plan on selling on Ebay, pictures of the built set are greatly beneficial for your ad.  Otherwise, you can chance it and not build. But be prepared for an occasional missed piece.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Ririnette said:
    Bonus question to all: once I gather all the parts for a set, say, based on Bricklink, do you suggest that I actually build the set to make sure that everything is accounted for? I am thinking of Yoda and that is already giving me a headache, but the brick list between brickset and bricklink is a bit different, and I don't know which one to trust.
    Whoa!

    I said none of the sites was 100% accurate.

    Brickset isn't accurate because parts that are no longer available weren't listed. If you read the bit at the top of the inventory it says that it's only 80% accurate. That's because of the way they're obtained (automatically from TLG) - it's not so much an error as a known limitation.

    BrickLink and Peeron used to rely on user-entered inventories - so they're only as accurate as the person who entered it made it. Sometimes they were created by people looking at the instruction manuals, which means they're likely to have the right number of bricks of the right sort of size, but the detail might leave something to be desired - in particular, BrickLink used to have a reputation for getting certain colours wrong.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,402
    @Ririnette You probably have 2 #4561 and 2 #4511 train sets. Which means you should have 4 train controllers and 64 pieces of curved track and 4 straight track to go with them. 
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    oldtodd33 said:
    @Ririnette You probably have 2 #4561 and 2 #4511 train sets. Which means you should have 4 train controllers and 64 pieces of curved track and 4 straight track to go with them. 
    That sounds about right, just that I only found 2 controllers (and I have not counted the tracks yet). I also seem to have one extra passenger (blue) train car, which may or may not have been sold separately. This is quite the puzzle to solve. Thank you! :-)
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    I also wanted to mention something to you all - this has been by far the most engaged and warm welcome I have received on a forum, and I've been around since the beginning of the Internet. Thank you so much everyone - I appreciate all the help. You are quite a passionate bunch of people. 
    gmonkey76bendybadgerMaffyDiso3200kiki180703Toc13tallblocktoo
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,402
    @Ririnette If you have posted pictures of all that you have it looks as though you are missing one of the train bases to the #4561 trains, they came with two cars each. One was a passenger car and the other an enclosed car carrier. The cars for that train were never sold separately, but for a nice plot twist the cars for the #4511 train were and they were #10157 and #10158
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 984
    How old is your son?

    Personally, I wouldn't do anything with this legos other then box 'em up for him to discover years later.  Let him rediscover his youth just as he left it.   For you, if you want to build lego, go buy some sets to build

    I have 3 kids who have pretty much moved on from lego, I store their stuff in boxes just how they left them.  If they tore apart an X-wing, it's stored in a a box as is.  I'm sure in other totes are the remaining pieces if they want them.   Nothing has been thrown away...I've kept all boxes and instruction, so later they'll know what to hunt for.   
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    oldtodd33 said:
    Which means you should have 4 train controllers and 64 pieces of curved track and 4 straight track to go with them. 
    I just counted. I have 45 curved tracks and 6 straight ones. Now how does this fit your equation? :-)
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,089
    ryjay said:
    How old is your son?

    Personally, I wouldn't do anything with this legos other then box 'em up for him to discover years later.  Let him rediscover his youth just as he left it.   For you, if you want to build lego, go buy some sets to build

    I have 3 kids who have pretty much moved on from lego, I store their stuff in boxes just how they left them.  If they tore apart an X-wing, it's stored in a a box as is.  I'm sure in other totes are the remaining pieces if they want them.   Nothing has been thrown away...I've kept all boxes and instruction, so later they'll know what to hunt for.   
    Can I endorse this suggestion completely?
    Just as I was coming out of my Dark Ages, my family were visiting my parents and my mother dug out all my old LEGO for my daughters to build. It was, frankly, amazing to see all these old sets in the exact same state as my brother and I had left them, probably 28 years earlier. My last Classic Space starship MOC was there, just as if I had stopped playing with it the day before.
    It brought back so many memories that I spent hours that night going through all the old sets and parts, rebuilding many others.
    thedingman5
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    ryjay said:
    How old is your son?

    Personally, I wouldn't do anything with this legos other then box 'em up for him to discover years later.  Let him rediscover his youth just as he left it.   For you, if you want to build lego, go buy some sets to build
    I have a 16 and a 14 yr old. I don't mind saving their legos at all, I think it's a great idea, but I am most conflicted about the old sets that my friend gave me and that none of us built before. I think I have enough bricks there to build myself a whole town. Maybe that's what I should do :-) Save their sets, find myself a challenge with the old sets. We all win. ;-)
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,732
    I would definitely do that - look at it this way; if your sons come out of their Dark Ages, then the odds are high that they'll start wanting to collect more than just the sets they loved as kids. That's exactly the point when having a bunch of bricks from sets you never actually built up is a blessing! 
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Hi all, thank you for your replies so far.

    Here is a little update. I have made progress in my sorting, I have finished sub-categorizing most colors : red, yellow, green, blue, dark blue, tan, brown (4 shades of it), white. I also set aside the printed pieces and the ones that still had stickers on them. I made progress in gathering the pieces for UCS Yoda and the tiny Harry Potter set (Flying Lesson). Once I finish those, I will do the trains as they were not as scattered as the other sets. In other news, I ran out of plastic baggies, so I need to go back to the store and buy more before I attack the black and greys.

    If you want to help me in the identification game, here are some shots of the printed pieces. I can't wait to finish categorizing all colours to start assembling. Now where is that little grey brick with LEGO printed on it? Alas I have to go through 6 bags of dark grey to find it.

    tallblocktoo
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Anything exciting in the photos above?? I will post the white printed bricks later today.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,253
    Ririnette said:
    Anything exciting in the photos above?? I will post the white printed bricks later today.
    Fort Legorado
    Grand central station (train)
    TV van and helicopter
    Some juniorized sets from the late 90's
    Those long beams are for garage door pieces, so you should have a load of 1x2 brick with slots in their sides that match the slot in the long pieces
    Ririnette
  • kizkizkizkiz londonMember Posts: 95
    Those top red pieces are from Atlantis sets. Lots of pizzas makes me think teenage mutant ninjas turtles
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,253
    edited March 2016
    kizkiz said:
    Those top red pieces are from Atlantis sets. Lots of pizzas makes me think teenage mutant ninjas turtles
    A LOT of sets have pizzas in them back then. Could be part of the Grand Central station, could be the pizzeria (which had 5 in it alone). The old #4561 also had 3 pizzas in it.

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemIn.asp?P=4150p02&in=S

    Ririnette
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    kizkiz said:
    Those top red pieces are from Atlantis sets. Lots of pizzas makes me think teenage mutant ninjas turtles
    A LOT of sets have pizzas in them back then. Could be part of the Grand Central station, could be the pizzeria (which had 5 in it alone). The old #4561 also had 3 pizzas in it.

    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemIn.asp?P=4150p02&in=S

    That's right! So many Town sets have pizzas, and I already found a few (pizzeria, train station and speed train) that would account to this many of them. I also have 2 on Tan colour instead of yellow. ;-) Definitely no Teenage Mutant Ninjas, even though I wish I had a set from this theme!! Thanks guys!
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84

    Those long beams are for garage door pieces, so you should have a load of 1x2 brick with slots in their sides that match the slot in the long pieces
    Eureka! Now that's where these were from... They had me stumped alright. I think I have this one thanks to the blue jack: http://brickset.com/sets/6369-1/Auto-Workshop
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,254
    I think some of them may be from town sets released in 1997 and after. (juniorized sets as someone said)
    those blue pieces with stars, I think it's town too, but from before. 1995 or 1996. I think race vehicles in the lego island video game had similar patterns and it featured models from 95 or 96.
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,732
    edited March 2016
    From the yellow pieces:

    - the car bonnet/hood with a 1 on it is from 6550 Outback Racer
    - below that you've got a set of three printed 1x4s, and below them there are some sloped bricks with a headlight print which, along with the red/white striped 1/x4s elsewhere in the pic, might be from 6565 Construction Crew
    - the 1x4 tiles with woodgrain effect look like the bridge pieces from 6584 Extreme Team Challenge
    Ririnettekiki180703
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Bingo!!


    catwranglerkiki180703
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84

    From the yellow pieces:

    - the car bonnet/hood with a 1 on it is from 6550 Outback Racer
    - below that you've got a set of three printed 1x4s, and below them there are some sloped bricks with a headlight print which, along with the red/white striped 1/x4s elsewhere in the pic, might be from 6565 Construction Crew
    - the 1x4 tiles with woodgrain effect look like the bridge pieces from 6584 Extreme Team Challenge
    I would have never found these. Thank you so much! :-) Now I know where the tent is coming from too.
    catwranglerkiki180703
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 984
    @Ririnette ...are all these sorted pieces just from the stuff your friend dropped off?  Is the next step to pull directions and just start building hoping a set is complete or do you have a pretty good idea already about what sets are complete or not?
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    edited March 2016
    @ryjay that's exactly it ... *sigh*. At this point I don't have certainty that any of the sets are complete, although some small ones might be. So that's why I asked which ones I should start assembling first because I have no idea how far the available bricks will take me.

    Technically, I could have all these sets and more... http://brickset.com/sets/ownedby-Ririnette.

    All I had to start were piles and piles of bricks... the trains were the most complete, but even there I cannot even guarantee that they will even work.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,402
    ^ The trains are almost certainly going to work. I have never seen a 9V motor fail and I have more than my fair share of them.
  • sklambsklamb speaker of American EnglishMember Posts: 478
    That's quite an impressive list! I would definitely start by trying to reassemble either #7094 (King's Castle Siege) or #7783 (The Batcave...Invasion)--two large sets with definite resale value should you choose to go that route. Looks like a lot of fun!
    Ririnette
  • RirinetteRirinette CanadaMember Posts: 84
    Brace yourselves, here are the grey and white printed pieces. This is a little overwhelming. And... I have a faucet and vanity mirrors? Whoa.


    tallblocktoo
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