|I bought this for $15 and it was a steal just because I stacked the bricks first. Look below to see what I mean.|
|No kidding. This is for real. The contents of both containers were all in the container above.|
WHAT: Pick A Brick at your Local LEGO Store
DOES: if you use good spatial reasoning, you can save BIG!!!
INVEST: $ your time but use this as a life and math lesson for the kids. It's a win-win.
TOOLS: Fertilize Responsibility and Courtesy, Family Fix-its
EXPERT OPINION: In this case, that would be me!!!!!!!!! Because I am super cheap!!!!
I have been trying to campaign for a different style of LEGO building with my children - one that is kit free. It all boiled down to how to taking inventory of our plain bricks. To my surprise, I found out that we had so few plain bricks. This is because so many of our LEGO are comprised of these kits. I think it was about 90% of our LEGO pieces were from kits.
What does that mean for us? It means that things are going to be kinda ugly. Imagine you had to build a brick house and all the bricks were different colors. That may be cool for the little ones but for kids 8+? It's hard to satisfy my oldest with such a color scheme. I now think I know why he builds so many little planes. They were small and never needed tons of similar color bricks. But planes can get tiring and with sexy pieces from Ninjago or Star Wars... well, all I can say is that a house with different color bricks will not satisfy him and so holiday lists get written, "Dear Santa, Can you please please please buy me the Ninjago Temple of Light? Please?"
|Flowers-no longer a luxury. You basically have all this "free space" It's a waste not to use it. Pretend you live in a cramped NYC apartment and then you'll do just fine.|
So I started to look for same colored bricks everywhere. It was not easy. I did find some on Amazon and while the prices didn't look horrible, I wondered if there was a better way. And there was!
|Organizing via stacking brings more efficient building. Learned that in Evil Mad Scientist.|
Connect/Stack and Save
There is a section called Pick A Brick (I think that is what it's called). You can shove as many LEGOs as you want in the bigger container for $14.99 (price in one LEGO store in NYC). I remember watching my son shove handsfuls of 1x4 brown bricks (he wanted to make Great Wolf Lodge) into the container and then I saw an opportunity.
Why not stack and then put into the container? After briefly showing my son how it could be better to be stacked, he started stacking them right away. And then he raced to the cash register.
Wait, now, hold on," I said. "You have a lot of empty space in between those stacks of bricks!" So after some fuss and muss, my son and I started shoving smaller pieces into the container. Amazingly, we were able to fit in sooooo much!
|Approximately 210 new brown 1x4 bricks PLUS a WHOLE bunch of other pieces are in this container = $14.99 Love those yellow square tiles. They make a great floor. (update: 1/14- We can now do 270 bricks!)|
|This is a basic math lesson using familiar manipulatives to teach kids- cool! Each Brown 1x4 brick is $0.20. And what is $0.20 x 200? ANSWER= $40.00 and no other pieces included and you must pay shipping if you're not spending $75! That's messed up for folks who don't have a LEGO store nearby but I'm not complaining. Pick A Brick on LEGO.com has so many bricks to choose from! You are limited as to what you can get at the LEGO store (brick and mortar).|
|At the time of publication, there were no brown bricks of this size but I paid $34.87 for 200 of these. $34.87 divided by 200? Answer= $0.17 per brick and free shipping. This is more expensive than my retail store "stack and save" option but this Amazon option may not have what you need. You might be able to find it on eBay and Bricklink though. You gotta look around and so if you don't have time and this Amazon option has what you need..... it's up to you.|
On the same day, I remembered that I had just bought 200 of the same size and same color bricks for OVER TWICE THE PRICE on Amazon. There aren't too many sellers of same color-same size bricks on Amazon- new or used! Ugh! In my son's container, he literally packed in over 200 1X4 bricks and a whole bunch of other pieces for less than HALF of what I paid on Amazon!
Well, of course, I am returning them but given the reaction of the sales associate at the LEGO store, it doesn't seem like a lot of kids are doing this when they gather bricks into those containers. If that is the case, then I strongly urge you to try this out! My son loves loves loves having same color bricks- bricks... real bricks and not a curvy piece of something that can only be used as part of a plane or something like that. (update: I never returned them.. we kept them. No LEGOs ever leave our home. We even have two sets of the Seaside House)
|Seriously still can't believe this. I can't wait to go to the LEGO store in a different neighborhood and see if they have different bricks that I can shove and save and then feel like a million bucks!|
I realize that one may be apt to get a less optimal deal if he were to choose larger bricks. This is true but I think the lesson is to get kids thinking. You can have them test it out on the spot as there are lots of containers to try out. Hopefully, the selection of bricks will be different at each LEGO store and thus we can go out and buy even more bricks that are same size and same color. Your child is bound to be smitten with his project. I know mine was.
One More Tip: Our next purchase at the LEGO store using this container will be $0.50 for (reusing container) off PLUS $5.00 off because we are part of the VIP program (free to join rewards program)
Idea for the future: I wonder what kind of a deal you can make with a store manager at a LEGO retail store. If anyone has an experience to share, I'd love to hear it!
Next tip to be shared on another day: How to get a lot out of Brink Link.
Next tip: How we organized our LEGO to make it easy for kids to sort and search efficiently.
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Disclosure: Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review. The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review. Reviews are never promised.