Ask a LEGO Fan

Building sets from a mixed lot

Posted in Inventories, Sorting, & Storage by lfanquestions on November 24, 2009

Joao writes:

I have a bag full of bricks from my childhood and for which I don’t
have the assembly instructions anymore. Is there a way to find old
assembly instructions for LEGOs? I don’t seem to be able to find them
in the official website.

Also, it has been so long that I can’t remember all the sets that are
in the bag, apart from the big ones (airport, police station, some
technics for example). Is there a database that I can plug in what
bricks I have and it will tell me what sets I can build with them?

Thank you,



Dear Joao,

Archives of old Lego instructions are hosted in two locations online:

The second site current is inoperable and looking for a new home on the web.

Search these sites by set number or year to find the instructions.  If you remember the set is in a certain theme (ie: Town) you can see all of those sets on an archive site:

You can create an inventory of all of your elements on Creating the inventory will allow you to see which Lego sets can be built out of your elements.  This process can be time consuming so you may want to take my alternate advice below:

The first step is to build the sets that you know.  This will lower the amount of bricks in your bag.

Next, look for unique elements or minifigures.  Look up the element on BrickLink or Peeron:

For example the 1x4x2 Fence element can be seen here:

This page lists the colors and numbers of sets the element appeared in.  By clicking on a color it will show you the sets that element appeared in:

I hope this information is helpful to you.



One Response

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  1. Misha said, on November 24, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    That’s exactly the process I went through when I “rediscovered” my old pile last year. There were some larger sets that I still had instructions for, and a lot of small impulse sets that I’d totally forgotten.

    It’s also useful for ebay bulk purchases – though you may or may not get lucky getting full sets in those.

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