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Legos in Bulk

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Cheapest way to buy Lego bricks

Legos are a forever toy. Without moving parts, they last a really long time, can be assembled and reassembled in infinite arrangements, and have a long-term appeal even for old kids like me. But they are relatively expensive if you want to make something big. Seeking out the best discount boxes from Lego, or from resellers, they cost about 10 cents per piece. Smaller sets are even more expensive. I wanted to build a wall of Legos, but there was no easy way to buy standard bricks in bulk from Lego. So I went to the Chinese and found a whole army of knock-off Legos from China available on Amazon. They cost about 2.5 cents per piece.

The best option for the standard blocks are packs of 1,000 bricks for about $25. I recently needed 15,000 pieces for a 25 foot tower of Lego I am building, so I bought bulk packs from five different knock-off vendors. All five sources sell bricks that are pretty indistinguishable and interchangeable with authentic Lego — and with each other.  They are about 99.8 percent exact. When building my tower, once or twice I notice a very slight gap between one level that would not be there in genuine Lego. Also there can be very slight variation in color, especially between vendors; the yellow of one is not 100% the yellow of the other. There is a slighter variation of color within one source but it is not noticeable unless you build in a solid color. For 99% of most uses, these subtle variations will not be a problem, and the fit will not be a problem. Reviewers on Amazon who actually counted the number of pieces included verify that you do get at least 1,000 pieces. Out of 10,000 pieces so far I’ve only encountered 6 pieces that were malformed.  Some Amazon customers have complained that the larger bricks are less durable than the real thing when disassembling, but I am not joining and unjoining parts, so I can’t tell. For my purposes these work great.

So which knock-off to use? Because these bulk bags are sold as “random” selections it is hard to say. Toysopoly included more browns and orange bricks than the other brands, but I detected some color variance from other brands. Big Bag of Bricks had a lot of purple. They also had a pack with lots of Lego pastels  — light blue and pink. I used Play Platoon and Wonderbricks and Brickyard and didn’t notice anything special but a random assortment, with different amounts of gray, or roof tiles. None of these include any special items beyond basic bricks. Any of them will be perfectly acceptable substitutes for real Lego if you need large quantities. At the time of my purchases, Big Bag of Bricks had the cheapest prices, at $25 per 1000 pieces.

Prices go up and down. I use CamelCamelCamel and The Tracktor to track the lowest prices for these packs and buy whichever one goes lowest, which has been Big Bag of Bricks in recent months.

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-- KK 06/23/17