Ask a LEGO Fan

Buying a Set Piece by Piece

Posted in Marketplace by lfanquestions on September 2, 2009

Chip writes:

Thanks so much for the great forum!

I discovered the large oversized Lego minifig (3723) a short time ago, and would love to build it – until I discovered they appear to sell for $450 or so, which is out of my league.

However, I got the directions from the Lego website, the inventory of parts needed from Bricklink, and have set about trying to build this piecemeal by finding the individual parts. Unfortunately, there are 92 different parts in the piece! I’ve been looking on Bricklink for parts, I just bought 19 of the 92 parts from eBay, and didn’t know if there was a better way to go about this. Any insights as to how to best assemble what could be described as a WIDE variety of parts (albeit in only four colors – red, yellow, green and blue) would be appreciated. Thanks!

Dear Chip,

My recommendation is buy all of the bricks on Bricklink.  Research sellers with large store inventories.  Print out the set inventory (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItemInv.asp?S=3723-1&v=1&bt=0&sortBy=0&sortAsc=A ) so you can take notes next to each element.

The green plates are more difficult to find in the proper quantities so I suggest looking for these first.  You should be able to buy all of the bricks you need from 5-10 sellers.

The crux of assembling a set from pieces on Bricklink is to minimize the number of stores you order from to reduce money lost in shipping fees.  This brick research will take a considerable amount of time but should save money in the long run.

Sincerely,

LFan

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4 Responses

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  1. Joel said, on September 2, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I’d suggest using the “part out to wanted list” feature of Bricklink, to make it easier to see which stores have the most pieces. To do so, you go to the catalog listing for the set in question (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?S=3723-1), and use the “Part Out” link in the “On Wanted Lists” section. I highly recommend creating a new wanted list for the parts from this set. You may want to check the “Set My Minimum Desired Qty for each Item to Qty of Items in Inventory” checkbox.

    After you get the parts added to your list, it’s time to go shopping. Click on the “Wanted” tab in Bricklink, and then they “By Shop” tab. Then, select the correct wanted list from the dropdown, and set the sort to “Lots (Unique).” You will then be able to see which stores have the largest number of lots of parts. If you click on a store, it will show the particular lots (that are on your wanted list) that are available, and if you set the checkbox mentioned above, a note will be shown that displays the needed number of parts. There’s even an “Auto-fill cart, Min” link, that will allow you to easily fill your cart with just the right number of parts.

    Good luck!

    • Chip said, on September 5, 2009 at 1:46 pm

      This was a HUGE help – I was able to part out what I still need and get great orders placed! Thanks a million for your help Joel!

  2. Kevoh said, on September 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Also, try out the “Wanted List” feature on Bricklink. Enter in all the parts you need, and use the “By Shops” listing to find stores that have all (or at least most) of the parts you need, all from the same place.

    • Chip said, on September 5, 2009 at 1:47 pm

      This worked out perfectly – and saved me a TON of time! Thanks a million for your insights, Kevoh!


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