With the advent of CAD software for the Lego community, programs such as Ldraw(www.LDraw.org) give the amateur Lego bulider ways to record and document their creation's 'instructions.' For some talented people, this is a pathway to making money from their hobby. On any given day on eBAY, there are 5000+ listings for custom Lego models, instructions and minifigures. Obviously, someone is buying these custom Lego items.
As with anything, there are quality custom creations and then there is the garbage. As a Lego collector and fan, I have invested in a lot of these custom creations. Some people have a knack for creating some pretty cool stuff, that they sell on eBAY and make a pretty penny doing it. There is a huge amount of time invested in these creations by the builder. But that time investment is rewarded with numerous sales on eBAY. Let me share some of these custom creations with you...
One of my favorite custom Lego companies is ArtiFex Creations. They have a large presence on eBAY with their custom Lego lighting for various large scale models and a Lego 'cleaner.'
EBAY LISTING: Lego Brick Lights PRO PLUS Kit
EBAY LISTING: Brick Duster Kit
I have seen the lights on their R/C Turbo Tank model and they work great and have purchased the Lego Duster and it does a spectacular job of removing dust from my Lego displays.
They also dabble in model 're'creation. One such item is their Star Wars R/C Turbo Tank.
EBAY LISTING: Custom R/C Motorized Turbo Tank Instructions & Lights - Lego Star Wars 8098 7261
Awesome is all that I can say. I have bought and built this monster and it is something any Lego Master Builder would be proud of. Over 4000+ pieces, R/C controller that works multiple functions, lights, working rocket launchers, etc...It is a creation that took a year to make and I can see the love and effort that went into it.
Out of those 5000+ custom Lego listings on eBAY, the majority are for custom minifigures and their accessories. It is a huge market. Anything from custom weapons to headgear to entire figures, make up the major part of custom Lego creations. My favorite custom Lego minifigure creator is a gentleman by the name of Haunted Pirate. This guy comes up with some stuff that Lego was afraid to make. LOL. Minifigures replicating famous movie villains is his specialty. Characters such as Chucky from Child's Play...
EBAY LISTING: Lego Custom Horror Minifig Minifigure Display Chucky Childs Play
Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street...
EBAY LISTING: Custom Lego Minifig Freddy Krueger Halloween Display
Jason from Friday the 13th
EBAY LISTING: Lego Custom Minifig Jason Friday the 13th Movie Display
All in all, some awesome creations in my opinion and not a bad price. For a basic investment of anywhere from $30-$50, you can have a one-of-a-kind minifigure. He even made a couple special ones just for me. Pretty cool.
Besides custom Lego models and minifigures, there is a large selection of custom instructions that use the LDraw CAD system that are for sale on eBAY. Instructions for Star Wars models such as the Imperial Walker...
EBAY LISTING: Custom Star Wars AT AT Imperial Walker are top notch.
The most popular custom instructions are for the Lego Modular Buildings in the City/Town series. The Modular Buildings line of Legos were based on actual Lego fan's designs that Lego converted into actual sets. These sets can be combined to form an entire town block. Sets included buildings such as grocery stores and pet stores. Lego fans continue to produce new and interesting custom instructions for this Lego line and sell them like hotcakes on eBAY. Instructions like these hospitals...
EBAY LISTING: Custom Lego Hospital Instructions CD
EBAY LISTING: Custom Lego Modular Building Instructions Hospital
are also top notch custom creations. As you can see from their listings, these designers have numerous types of buildings to compliment the stock Lego sets. So in conclusion, this author can safely say that the custom Lego market is growing year to year. The amount of 'custom Lego' listings continues to rise annually on eBAY and other Lego sites. Custom sets, instructions and minifigures are being created by the average Lego fan and being sold for a profit. Build or make a quality Lego creation and there is money to be made...a lot of it. All you need is a vision, some spare time and of course, some Lego bricks...