Friday, 24 May 2013

My spares collection.

When I first started seriously collecting Lego (Late 1978), spare parts in sets were virtually unheard of. You had all the pieces to make the set you bought and there were, usually, no spares and if you weren't unlucky, there wouldn't be any missing either. Those were the days before computers took over the checking of parts going into every bag and every box. As the years have gone by some of the pieces became more intricate and, consequently, a bit more fragile so spares started to be added to the sets to cover for any unfortunate accidents. 
   My first recollection of spare parts is when the Town vehicles first got 'headlights' in 1980 and the 1x1 plate pieces became transparent. Something in the manufacturing process made the piece a lot more brittle than the standard solid 1x1 plate. The little pieces were prone to cracking on the corners and a crack could mean loss of adhesion to the pieces beneath, or one knock and the thing split in two. Lego must have had a lot of complaints because they started putting spare 1x1 tinted transparent plates with every set that had them in it's inventory. Gradually new pieces were added to the production output and some were small and delicate so Lego automatically put spares in the boxes even before anyone had a chance to complain. This years sets seem to have the largest amount of spares I've ever seen, and they're getting bigger! 

The contents of my spares box. All the bigger pieces are from
the past four years.
Included are Train wheels, antennas, hoses with string,
a battery box, fishing rod and 6 orange brick separators.
A quick word on the brick separators. These orange tools are useful for separating bricks or plates that need a bit of leverage to release from each other. Most big sets contain one. As you can see I've accumulated six of them, but the fact you get one free doesn't stop Lego from trying to sell them in their stores for 1.99 GBP / 2.49 US$. No wonder there's always a good stock left on the shelves! 
   I'm in two minds what to do with all these bits. I could give them away to my local school but the pieces are too small and would probably disappear within a week. I could open a bricklink shop which is like the Lego version of an 'Etsy shop' and list them for sale, or wait until I have a huge amount (which would take years!) and sell them bulk on eBay. Either way I don't think I'd get much for them. Maybe I'll just keep building up the stock and my son can inherit it all...

Some of the more interesting spare parts.
A lot of these are from the collectible minifigure series where
most had a unique item which generally had a spare.

8 comments:

  1. I pezzi di ricambio sono utili, su e-bay ci sono persone che cercano spesso questi oggetti, forse è più conveniente di etsy, i collezionisti cercano anche un solo mattoncino,non necessariamente l'intero set.

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    1. Hello Mely! I hadn't seriously considered etsy, bricklink would probably be a better way for me to sell them, or, as you say, there's always ebay. Thank you for commenting! Kind regards, Brian.

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  2. Me encanta ese monton de piezas que tienes, para una miniaturista es como una bolsa de caramelos jejejej
    besitos ascension

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    1. Hello Ascension! Luckily at the moment they don't take up much room, but that is slowly changing! Kind regards, Brian.

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  3. Greetings Brian - So sorry I have been working till today and can finally catch up! TiGGy thinks you should hold onto those pieces, your son can create some cool MOC's and there are pages to showcase those such as http://www.mocpages.com/

    We hit Bricklink alot because its sooo much cheaper to get really unusual parts or minifigs

    Oh Heavens, having said that - You have the little gold Lego Academy award - if you are interested in selling, TiGGy would Love to nab that! Let us know

    Funny about those brick separators because I am almost positive the ones in the US are Red

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    1. Hi Tiggy! I probably will let my son have it all, it's the easiest option!
      Send me your address to my email: griffithsbic3@tiscali.co.uk and I will mail you the piece.
      Kind regards, Brian.

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  4. Hi Hairy Caveman! Interesting post. I'm of the mind to keep the extras "just in case." I didn't know about Bricklink--fascinating! xo Jennifer

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    1. Hi Jennifer! I think I will keep them, as you say 'just in case'. Parts do break and I'd probably kick myself if I already sold the part I needed! Kind regards, Brian.

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