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New member needs some help please


Hello.  My kids and I are new to this site and to “collecting” LEGO.    We have been building for awhile but that has lead to bigger endeavors.  We just bought 26 pounds of mostly jumbled LEGO from an estate sale.   We like trying to hunt down pieces and rebuild but with most of these we don’t know where to start. Any help with just set numbers so we can look up instructions would really be appreciated.  The picture is of some of the more distinguishable parts.  Thank you


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Welcome to brickpicker!  going through big lots of older pieces can be a lot of fun, and the pieces you've shown are from a wide variety of sets.

Here are a few tools to start with:

  • bricklink.com : a very complete place to buy and sell lego parts
  • brickstock: (http://brickstock.patrickbrans.com/) an inventory program that uses the bricklink database.
  • https://brickarchitect.com/labels/ : a set of labels to organize a collection.  Depending on how serious you end up getting into this, it helps to stay organized.  I started with bead organizers from the local craft store, but eventually moved up to labelled hardware drawers.  The BA site has a good overview of some other options. 

The big advantage of brickstock is a better ability than the web site to filter parts.  One can load a few pieces into an inventory file, and the program will show which sets those pieces come in.  If you select multiple pieces, it can narrow the sets down rather quickly.  It also has the ability to search the bricklink database by multiple keywords (size, color, sticker features, etc).

For an example, if you search bricklink for "MT 5581" based on the sticker at the top of your image, it will lead you this part: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?id=86001  This page has a link for "Item appears in 1 set", which links to https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?S=5581-1  the Magic Flash set from 1993.  You can then click on the inventory page for that set, and look for other parts from that set that are in the lot at hand.

After spending some quality time with the bricklink catalog, either on the web or through brickstock, the process will become much faster.

A 2nd trick is that (almost) all LEGO pieces have a part number printed on the them.  These numbers match the bricklink catalog, and so if you can find and read them you'll be able to ID the piece straight away.  For example, if you look underneath the white 4x6 plate with studs along along three sides, you should see the number "6180" printed underneath somewhere along the edge.  This piece is https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=6180 in the catalog, and named "Tile, Modified 4 x 6 with Studs on Edges".  The bricklink catalog includes stickered and printed variations of pieces by adding additional symbols after the part number.  In your case, I was able to find your part here https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=6180pb039 by loading the part number in brickstock filtered by the "Tile, Modified, Decorated" type, selecting the color, and then scrolling through until I found the sticker pattern that matched. (BTW, this is unique to Set 7676)

Hope this helps. 26 lbs is a lot to comb through, but some of the most creative designs my kids have made came out of bulk lots, such as yours, with interesting and unique pieces and no instructions.  Enjoy the new adventure, and Happy Building!


Edited by SpaceFan9
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Thank you all.  At least we have a place to start. It is fun discovering these new sets and building from random lots like this can be a lot more fun than simply busting open a new set.  The search and discovery is what we enjoy.  

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