Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Building the Modulars and Sculpture sets by piecemeal

sas0214sas0214 USAMember Posts: 28
edited April 2011 in Building and Techniques
I am starting an endeavor, and I may just have lost my mind. I am piecing theTaj Mahal, Green Grocer, Cafe Corner, Market Street, and the Eiffel Tower together. The reason I have chosen to go this route, is because my fiancee and I just started collecting and I missed out on these when they were in production. And I can not afford the collectible price for these sets on Bricklink or Ebay.

I have downloaded the instruction and gotten the inventory list off of Bricklink
And I am getting a list together of all the items I need

What advice can anyone give a newbie like me on this endeavor?
«1

Comments

  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    well, if it is cheaper than buying the sets let me know and I will go that route with you. Good luck either way.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    I would imagine that some sets it would be cheaper, some it won't. I would think that Cafe Corner will be more expensive because of some of the rare colors. If you settle for some more common color schemes, it might be more cost effective.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    It looks like the Eiffel tower would be the easiest to piece together. Here is the bricklink inventory: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemInv.asp?S=10181-1

    Of the ~3400 pieces, there are only 106 unique parts, and they seem to all be fairly common. Mine sits on my desk so I'm actually looking at it as I type, and though it's my not my favorite among the sets you mention, it's very impressive, nevertheless.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited April 2011
    I presume that this effort has a focus on saving money, so you're going to find yourself doing a lot of cross-referencing pieces in Bricklink stores to:

    1) find the stores that offer the lowest price
    2) find stores that satisfy the highest number of pieces to minimize shipping fees
    3) mitigate the difference between points 1 and 2 since they are often not the same

    I usually find the easiest way to do this is to create a spreadsheet document.

    Another thing to note is that you should buy new pieces whenever possible because used pieces will vary in quality and discolored, scratched bricks will stand out like sore spots.
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    @Sas0214 - I am trying this, although not as ambitiously as you. I am just trying it with the green grocer and the cafe corner right now. There are a couple things I have found that saved me a lot of time.

    1) wanted lists. Create a wanted list for the pieces you need. http://www.bricklink.com/wantedAdd.asp You can then use the wanted list to search stores that have all the items in your wanted list. Create a separate list for each set you are trying to reconstruct and make sure to change the default setting in Bricklink to NOT notify you, or else you will be getting bombarded with emails. (Made that mistake only once :-)

    2) Use the Part out function to create the wanted list:
    http://www.bricklink.com/wantedSet.asp
    It allows you to put in a set number and specify if you want the instructions, box, figs, etc, and you can review the part list and remove any items you already have. Then you can view the wanted list by shop (http://www.bricklink.com/wantedShop.asp) and it will show you which shop has the most pieces on your wanted list, which is very helpful, especially if you are doing multiple buildings. Like I said, you can create multiple wanted lists, and create one for each building, and then you can show multiple lists at a time. The one thing it doesn't do is price compare, so you will have to spend a little time researching the pieces.

    3) Shipping costs add up quickly. When you are ordering from several bricklink sellers, the shipping costs can get high really quickly, it is not uncommon to pay $10-$12 shipping on large orders. Place orders with 10 different sellers and you could be paying a lot more shipping than you intend. I always look at the price of their item compared to other sellers, if it is only off by a small amount, I will usually pay higher to get it at the same store because it will not be cheaper to buy it at the lower price, and then pay the shipping charge.

    I have gotten almost all the parts for the Green Grocer and it has come out to cost me about $95-$100 and I was able to do most of it in a couple evenings. The Cafe Corner, I don't know, there are a couple pieces that just do not show up for sale ever, and when they do there is only 1 or 2, but the set requires 56 of them. I may just make an executive decision and change the color on that one, but one building at a time for me.

    I hope this is enough info for you. It may be a little confusing about the wanted lists in Bricklink, but play around with it and i think you will do fine. :)

    -George
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    ^ Great advice from George! I have done this a few times for Star Wars sets no longer available, and have just completed last order for UCS Falcon parts. For the smaller sets it would have been cheaper to buy a complete set off Bricklink, but for the Falcon, its definitely cheaper buying the parts (I don't know by how much, I'm too scared to add up how much I've spent!)

    Definitely use the Part Out feature on Bricklink, and keep a track of all the parts already ordered so you don't double up! I usually delete the part from the wanted list after I have ordered it. Another thing I started to do later was to set the number of items required for each part to 1 and make a note of the actual amount I need in the 'My Remarks' column. This is because some of the parts were required in such large quantities that only a few sellers had them (in that number). By using this method you can get half of the number from one seller and half from another (along with as many other parts they have, of course).

    Also, try and see what the rarest parts are and try and get those first and add as many other items from that seller to that order.

    Shipping costs were huge for me (I'm in New Zealand, and most of my orders were from US and Europe), not sure where you are from, but it makes sense to get as much as possible from one seller, even if they aren't the cheapest price, as you will save more in shipping usually. But definitely get a feel for a good price for a certain piece, as prices can range hugely. (I needed 48 dark bluish grey 1x16 technic bricks, and they ranged in price from around $0.50 - $4.00NZ!)

    Good Luck!!! I might be doing the same if I start collecting the Modular Buildings range!
  • mixtilmixtil Member Posts: 2
    Hi,
    I've bought the pieces from bricklink for the Cafe corner (new) and some from legoshop.
    I've spend a bit less than 200$ (shipping included)
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    When, recently?! that's amazing!
    Can you recommend any sellers on there? I find bricklink impossible to use when you're doing complicated builds like that and trying to work out all the postage costs.
  • adello25adello25 U.S.A.Member Posts: 361
    I did this same thing for Cafe Corner, Market Street, and the Eiffel Tower. For the 3 sets I spent way less than purchasing them off EBay/Bricklink. My advice is to be patient, it may take a way, especiallt if you order from a few didn't sellers off BrickLink, they may not all arrive at the same time. Make sure you keep an accurate list of the pieces you have already received.

    Also, if you need, for Cafe Corner, the dark red slope bricks are very rare. I have about 10-12 extra. If you are interested in them, just shoot me a message and we can work something out.

    As for sellers on BrickLink, I like:
    1. DadsAFOL http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=DadsAFOL
    Gives great discounts if you are a multiple time buyer, and has large selection
    2. House of Logos: http://www.bricklink.com/store.asp?p=HouseOfLogos
    Has a very large selection
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ PM sent
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ (I also sent one a while ago)
  • AETerryAETerry Member Posts: 48
    edited May 2011
    well, if it is cheaper than buying the sets let me know and I will go that route with you. Good luck either way.
    Same here, let me know too!
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Those dark red slopes are back in the Pet Shop set - although not in the same quantity as Cafe Corner (2 vs 36).
  • mixtilmixtil Member Posts: 2
    edited May 2011
    When, recently?! that's amazing!
    Can you recommend any sellers on there? I find bricklink impossible to use when you're doing complicated builds like that and trying to work out all the postage costs.
    Hi,
    it was 6- 8 month ago. But now the bricklink' seller doesn't have this pieces anymore (
    US seller pinball surplus). I've bought from 4-5 sellers and legoshop.
    For me, the must difficult to buy/find was the reddish brown female hair...
    and yes, the most difficult was to keep an accurate list of the pieces!!!!
    Ask lego for the pieces hard to find !!
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 242
    edited May 2011
    Those dark red slopes are back in the Pet Shop set - although not in the same quantity as Cafe Corner (2 vs 36).
    I just called Lego and tried to order these. They are a different part number than the ones from Cafe Corner and are scheduled to be available May 27th. The new part number they gave me is 4541382. I am currently using dark blue slopes on my Cafe Corner which I pieced together for around $275. I bought all new parts instead of a mix and match of used/new.
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Anyone build the Eiffel tower before by piecemeal and is able to comment how much it all adds up?
  • mackrelmackrel Member Posts: 75
    This thread has inspired me. I am going to try the Ferris Wheel.
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 242
    edited May 2011
    Those dark red slopes are back in the Pet Shop set - although not in the same quantity as Cafe Corner (2 vs 36).
    I just called Lego and tried to order these. They are a different part number than the ones from Cafe Corner and are scheduled to be available May 27th. The new part number they gave me is 4541382. I am currently using dark blue slopes on my Cafe Corner which I pieced together for around $275. I bought all new parts instead of a mix and match of used/new.
    I just got off the phone with Lego replacement parts and was able to order the Dark Red Slope using part number 4623597. I ordered 40 so they are sending them out in bulk. Also, you might want to order the Dark Blue 1x4 Brick as it is very expensive from BrickLink and is required for the Market Street set 10190. It is available now using part 4264569.

  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    edited May 2011
    ^ @Nicksbricks - That is awesome!! I think I am going to go the same route. To be honest, I didn't know about the replacement parts department. I guess I just call replacement parts and place an order? I guess they would have to ship it from Denmark or something? I live in California, USA, but I could wait for the parts if need be. :-)
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^ Yes, thanks also... having spent almost the whole day on bricklink was wondering about those pieces.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    by the way, anyone any hints on getting the dark red arches at anything like a reasonable price?
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Sorry, I meant dark blue arches ... time to go to bed ... brain not working - that bricklink is hard work ... dont fancy doing that again in a hurry ..
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    I actually just finished buying all of the pieces to build the Market Street (I was lucky to be able to buy all the other modular houses when they were released) and my costs came out to be about $380 with shipping included. Shipping was quite a lot with 11 orders totaling around $50 :( . I was able to get about 95% of them as new pieces with ordering from Bricklink and Pick-a-Brick. As has been mentioned before the most expensive parts were the Dark Blue arches which ran me about $9 a piece used. And then the next most difficult part to find was the White Flexible hose that is used for the railings. You need 4 of them in the set but there are only 4 listed for sale on bricklink and 1 of sellers didn't ship to me. There for i had to substitute the "tabbed" version with a "tab-less" version. But still, overall i saved a lot of money even with paying a decent price for some parts and shipping. At $380, this is still cheaper than the $530 Used set i just saw that sold on eBay (or even the $1400 MISB ones that are listed on eBay). Good luck to anyone that decides to take this route as well!
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    And i also HIGHLY RECOMMEND creating an Excel spreadsheet to help keep track of what pieces you need/have as well as to help compare prices. It takes some time to get it put together and put in values of piece prices, but it is a lifesaver.
  • glbuysglbuys Member Posts: 1
    The Taj Mahal set is stil for sale at a shop in Cape Town, South Africa at a price of ZAR3648 (roughly US$520). Don't know if they would deliver internationally. Try this link: http://toyssouthafrica.com/shop/index.php?route=product/search&keyword=taj m&model=1.

  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    @zaxter2001
    Thanks for the blue arch info - gave up trying to get one at a reasonable price and got one from italy for €10. Mad! Will worry about the 4 for market st later (Im doing cafe corner and market street together to reduce postage overhead). Still have about 10 parts I havent sourced, will sit tight for those. I have a feeling that people reading this thread have cleared out bricklink in the EU for now :)

    I'll be doing an XLS soon, once I have all the invoices (as I do for alll my lego), but I reckon the end cost for both will be in the region of £400ish.
  • SenatortombstoneSenatortombstone Member Posts: 8
    edited May 2011
    I admire your courage and dedication. I have just learned to live with having missed out on these sets, and hope that they will be re-released.
  • pookiepookie Member Posts: 156
    I'm also just about done with ordering parts for Market Street and Cafe Corner. Like Si_Dorking_Surrey I decided to combine both sets due to shipping cost and parts availability. When done damage is around $500. for both complete sets with minifigures. I must say that its been fun hunting down these parts, but at times it felt like a part time job. At one point I was up till 2 in the morning on bricklink hunting for parts from multiple sellers.
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    @pookie I've done worse, i've been up until 5 a.m. searching around bricklink, but i'm just a "kid" as a just graduated college engineering student so it isn't that difficult for me to be up that late :P
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    edited May 2011
    When my bank balance recovers I think I'll start getting parts for the Modulars. I don't think it'll be as hard as the UCS Falcon was, only about half the number of parts for these and not the huge quantities of each part. Its definitely a fun way of doing it, makes the build that much more enjoyable after spending so long collecting parts.
  • gruetzmacherdgruetzmacherd USA, WIMember Posts: 30
    edited May 2011
    Did anyone create an inventory list of parts needed for the second level of Cafe Corner, Market Street or Green Grocer?

    I am thinking of making my buildings taller and wondered if anyone else had done a second-story inventory that I could borrow before assembling a needed parts list from scratch.

    Thanks in advance!
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,187
    I needed a couple more pieces that's not available via Pick a Brick to complete the Market St and went online to LEGO customer service. I selected Lost a part and picked out the pieces that I still needed. LEGO responded promptly the next day with a total price (they didn't itemize), seemed reasonable since it probably included shipping. Unfortunately they did indicate that the dark blue 1x8x2 arch was not available. The prices averaged $.75/piece, which is good if their rare.
  • pookiepookie Member Posts: 156
    edited May 2011
    Its slim pickings for Market St parts.
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    I was surprised i was able to find every piece except for one kind when i was getting pieces for the market street, and that was all in one night.
  • pookiepookie Member Posts: 156
    Hows that since the Dark blue arch and white hose are close to impossible to get? Or did you change the color for those pieces?
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    I was able to get 5 blue arches, but i had to get used ones, as new was almost $30 more. And as i mentioned in my post above, i did have to substitute the white hose. As in the bricklink inventory has "tabbed" (1996-2009) versions of the hose, i subsituted in the "tabless" (1985-1995) versions that were the pieces predecessor.
  • pookiepookie Member Posts: 156
    I got the white hose with black ends. I'll wait and see if LEGO brings the dark blue arch and hose. For now I can complete market st
  • applebappleb Member Posts: 2
    Alternatively, maybe pick up an extra two or three Fire Brigades today at retail and store them unopened.

    When Fire Brigades become retired (which could be any day now), I am sure they will rise in price similar to match the overpriced sets you are missing. Then you can sell or straight trade them for the equally retired Cafe Corner or Green Grocer.
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    I'm kind of curious as to how fast or how much the price of sets like the Green Grocer, Fire Brigade, Grand Emporium, and the now Pet shop will increase over time. I say this because it seems like everyone is beginning to get the modular houses now so there is a larger quantity. As well, everyone seemed to join the collection process when the Green Grocer came out and missed the Market Street and Cafe Corner which I think has resulted in their overly inflated prices and making it quite difficult to get pieces for them. Just my 2 cents worth after collecting all of these houses over the past 2 years.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    ^^ to further that point, set speculation has become a much more vogue pasttime. Meaning that more people are buying sets and sitting on them in MISB condition with the hopes of selling them from a profit when they retire. The law of supply and demand would dictate that the sets will be worth less because more of the MISB sets will be availalbe. Just a thought.

    Also, in my opinoin, the Cafe and the Green Grocer are much superior sets to the Fire Brigade. If you could trade a FB one for one, I would do it in a heartbeat!!
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    edited May 2011
    I have just finished ordering all of the pieces brand new for the Cafe Corner from various sources on Bricklink and directly from Lego. My interest in modulars came with the new Pet Shop. I promptly grabbed Green Grocer off eBay for a reasonable price and ordered the Fire Brigade and Emporium from Lego. I knew I wanted Cafe Corner but did not wish to pay the very high resale price. I only go for new pieces after receiving poor quality used parts in the past from Bricklink.

    It was quite the challenge and my first parting out a large set. I am sure I overpaid quite a bit but gained much experience. My total will be ~~$350 shipped. My best advice is to part out the set and then go for the seller with the most lots in your home country. I was able to get ~1800 pieces from one seller. With the roughly 200 remaining pieces I then recommend calling Lego customer service and then see what they have. I mistakenly went through 6 sellers to get the remaining parts and no doubt overpaid. At the end I got smart and contacted Lego and they had almost everything I needed for quite cheap and their service is excellent. The most expensive part was 1 blue arch that Lego no longer carries. Brand new it set me back $17. Thanks for the tip in the above posts regarding the new dark red roof tile pieces and the dark blue 1x4 pieces directly from Lego....that really saved me.

    I estimate I have overpaid around $50-$60 so hope my tips can help someone else. All in all I learned alot and if I ever get the bug to collect Market Street I will know the best way to go. If Lego introduces the blue arch in a future set I will surely make an attempt!

    Just wanted to add going through this process really makes you appreciate the price point of these modulars at retail, so if you are on the fence do yourself a favor and get the sets in retail stores while they are still available.
  • adello25adello25 U.S.A.Member Posts: 361
    edited May 2011

    It was quite the challenge and my first parting out a large set. I am sure I overpaid quite a bit but gained much experience. My total will be ~~$350 shipped.
    Wow! Really looks like I decided to build my Cafe Corner and Market Street at just the right time. I spent about $350 total to build each set by piece mail.

    I've also built another floor to my Grand Emporium and another 2 floors to my Cafe Corner by piece mail.
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    edited May 2011
    And i guess i failed at my first run at Bricklink as I spend $380 on just the Market Street :( don't know what i did wrong :(
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 242
    For Market Street, I bought most of the pieces from Lego and spent $150. Pieced the rest together from a few sites on Bricklink and ended up spending $300.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    edited May 2011
    And i guess i failed at my first run at Bricklink as I spend $380 on just the Market Street :( don't know what i did wrong :(
    I don't think you did anything "wrong". For new pieces I have a hard time believing you are currently going to be able to complete Market Street for less than $300 unless you get very lucky, but I could be wrong.

    Does anyone know if it is considered "poor form" to call Lego customer service with a very long list of parts. I called on 8 parts and that by itself was quite involved. I imagine calling on a couple hundred the rep might get upset.

  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ I was actually curious about this myself. To those who are ordering a high number of unique elements: are you going through each one individually on the phone, or is there a batch request form?
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    edited May 2011
    If you're in the US (seller only ships to US), here is a ebay listing for a lot of Dark Blue Pieces, and if you look at the picture, it looks like there is 1 Dark Blue 1 x 8 x 2 Arch. The listing is for $8 + Free Shipping as a buy it now listing. that would cover the cost of the one arch alone and then you have other pieces you might be able to sell. Just helping out. (i'm in no way affiliated with the seller)

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260786449284&ssPageName=ADME:B:WNA:US:1123#ht_500wt_1156

    Only 1 hr 45 minutes left when i'm posting this at Noon CST

    P.S. I already asked the seller and the items pictured are the items you will receive
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,187
    Instead of calling you can go online to the customer support section and do the same thing. The prices of the sets have gone up dramatically over the past several months so it should not come as a surprise that the rare parts (i.e. white hose and blue arch) have followed the trend as it leaves little opportunity to obtain these sets otherwise. The next thing to go up, if they haven't already, are any sets that contain these rare parts.
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 242
    edited May 2011
    ^ I was actually curious about this myself. To those who are ordering a high number of unique elements: are you going through each one individually on the phone, or is there a batch request form?
    Most of the pieces you can get from Pick-A-Brick Online. As far as hard to find pieces, I have ordered more than 10 from Lego customer service.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    edited May 2011
    If you're in the US (seller only ships to US), here is a ebay listing for a lot of Dark Blue Pieces, and if you look at the picture, it looks like there is 1 Dark Blue 1 x 8 x 2 Arch.
    Unfortunately that arch is not the 1x8x2 arch. The one pictured is readily available on Bricklink.

Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.