Big Lego reviewers are always talking about their “Hauls” – usually referring to a large Lego.com or BrickLink order they made. But the rare treasure trove is a used lot of Lego parts and sets. When I saw a Craigslist post for “20 lbs of Lego” for $50 that had some interesting looking sets in them, I jumped at it. As my daughters and I sorted through things, we quickly realized this was, indeed a “Bargain Bin” (as we labeled the lists on Rebrickable) – even beyond the typical “$10/lb” that used Lego goes for.
From sets alone we did pretty well. There were 5 different “tiny” sets (6833, 4900, 6812, 6510, and 6811) – some of which I swear I remember from my own childhood collection. On the larger side, 4022 – C21 Sea Cutter and 6265 – Sabre Island were nearly complete. 3053 – Emperor’s Stronghold, 6580 – Land Jet, and 6939 – Saucer Centurion, though missing minifigs, were completed easily from our collection & a BrickLink order. 4026 – Create Your Dreams, 4917 – Mini Robots, 8815 – Speedway Bandit, and 8024 – Universal Building Set were brand new, still in bags! The set that really caught my eye, though, was 3409 – Championship Challenge. Though missing a couple of sidewalls (and all the players), this set was fully complete with turf, nets, and launchers to create a full soccer field. Once assembled I didn’t think it was all that playable, but my daughters quickly figured out the mechanics and soon had ninjas vs stormtroopers playing soccer back and forth! Though one hilarious outcome was that after flicking the players repeatedly, they always seemed to be very interested in the turf!
Ignoring the tiny sets (who all were either promotional items or could be bought very cheaply), and the Technic sets (which don’t have original pricing data and are otherwise still pretty cheap) the original retail price of the other 8 sets totaled $183! To buy them used on BrickLink would cost around $174…minus the Emperor’s Stronghold, which as of Jan 2021 only has 4 listings worldwide, starting at $115!
And then there’s 8002 – Destroyer Droid. As much as I love Technic and enjoy Star Wars sets, this wouldn’t be high on my “buy” list – but when I realized it’s the only set in Lego history to contain many parts in “brown” (a color that becomes brittle pretty easily), I was intrigued. Originally retailing for $50, this one now goes for over $100 by itself on BrickLink! Unfortunately, it’s missing a couple of the tubes that are some of the pricier parts, but still – quite a value!
Beyond the sets, we sorted and inventoried over 2,700 individual Lego pieces! Rebrickable gives the ludicrous “value” of $2,217.95 on this, which is a ridiculous 80c/part. BrickLink says I could buy all of these parts for $540 across 9 different stores which is a more reasonable 19c/part. Even at the “good” value of 10c/part or my target “bargain” value of new sets at 5-6c/part, these pieces alone more than made up for the price of the “bin”. Heck, we found 7 different magnet pairs which alone go for $2.50 each on BrickLink
Driven by this high, we bought another set of “8 gallon bags” for $40 from FB Marketplace. Unfortunately, this was much less of a bargain. Over half the pieces were knock-off bricks which, as purists, we had to evict from our house (perhaps someone at Goodwill would appreciate them – there’s a lot!). We did find 2-3 newer sets which ended up as supplemental Christmas gifts, but from what remained – many of the bricks were severely discolored and/or had no clutch power remaining. We ended up sorting these into a “$40 Meh Bin” list (2,560 parts) and a “$40 Super Meh” list (636 parts). While we certainly got more than $40 worth of contents, it was certainly less enjoyable than the first go-’round. At least my oldest and I both enjoy meticulously sorting and counting these parts (and sometimes the others help, too)!
But that’s what you get when you hunt deals! Sometimes it’s an amazing outcome, and other times…. meh! I’m probably not re-liquidating these onto BrickLink (and I wouldn’t even bother listing most of the “Meh Bin” anyway), but it was a fun experience and certainly provided hours of sorting excitement, in addition to creativity fuel for a long time to come!