The Ultimate Lego Buying Guide

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The Ultimate Lego Buying Guide

Lego is statistically one of the most popular toys on the planet, and certainly one of the most popular toys to be bought online. Since the company started producing bricks in 1958, more than 400 billion have been created that capture the imagination of children and adults alike. That equates to around 62 Lego bricks for every person on the planet.

Today, Lego produces around 19 billion elements every year – that’s 2.16 million molded every hour, or a staggering 36,000 bricks, Minifigures and other assorted Lego paraphernalia every minute.

Lego is sold in two ways, either as individual elements or in Lego kits that have a specific theme such as Space, Castle or House. Today it is more common to buy Lego in kit form, and it is particularly easy to buy Lego kits on eBay and online, especially if you are looking for those rare, hard to find kits. So here are a few things to consider when buying construction toys and kits from Lego online.

How to Choose a Lego Kit

Which kit or toy you buy is purely down to personal choice. There are plenty of movie-themed kits to choose from for collectors. Alternatively more generic kits are available too, such as a fire station or farm to Olivia’s House, aimed specifically at young girls. Other available collections and kits are:

  • Technic
  • City
  • Little Robots
  • Dinosaurs
  • Vikings
  • Sports
  • Pirates
  • Airports
  • Movies and children’s programmes

But buying a kit does not limit you to building what’s on the front of the box. The whole principle behind Lego is to inspire and fire the imagination, and with a little bit of practice and some extra bricks and pieces it is easy to expand a Lego Kit’s repertoire beyond its original design. So not only is it worth purchasing a kit, but it’s also a great idea to collect some additional generic extras too.

Age

Lego is an evergreen toy that appeals to everyone, both young and old. It is often the case that parents hand their Lego kits onto their children to introduce them to the creative world of those ‘little plastic bricks’. As Lego bricks are practically indestructible, they really can last a lifetime and give years of entertainment and fun for generations of children and adults alike. Here is a small selection of the kits available on eBay and online:

Lego kit

Age range

Suitable for:

City

4 years and above

All children.

Technic

8 years and above

Older children interested in engineering and construction. Adult supervision may be required, as some kits contain electric motors

Duplo

Pre-school

Ideal for young children of pre-school age to improve dexterity, colour recognition and hand-eye co-ordination

Racers

8 years and above

Simple to build racing kits designed to stimulate problem-solving skills and improve dexterity

Movie-specific Collector’s kits

All

A selection of movie and programme-specific kits suitable both for children and for serious collectors

Bionicle

8 years and above

Superhero and movie-themed items suitable for both children and adult collectors

Clickits

6 years and above – be aware that the kits do contain small pieces

Young girls – designed to inspire creativity. A selection of party kits to create hair bands, party bags and jewellery

An environmentally friendly toy

Unlike many other types of plastic toys, Lego is made from an exceptionally durable material that does not decompose or release toxic chemicals. The company tries to keep their production methods as green as possible too, and all leftover plastic or faulty bricks are crushed back into plastic beads to be reused. So there is no need to worry that a Lego kit will ever disintegrate or degrade, and it should stay as good as new for years to come.

Lego Suitable for Younger Children

The most basic Lego kits are designed for younger children. There are a range of Duplo educational kits available online and on eBay that can inspire toddlers and children aged three to four to start exploring the world in a form that captures their attention with bright colours and develops interactive play skills. Lego for younger children also improves dexterity, as they become more adept at building and creating their own Lego world.

Duplo kits are brightly coloured to stimulate pre-school age children. The Duplo kits available also draw their inspiration from many of the most popular children’s stories that a child can instantly relate to, thanks to previous exposure to the characters and environment through other mediums.

Collectors Kits

Just like many other iconic toys, Lego has become a highly collectible product, and collector’s kits, rare toys and classics from the 1960s and ‘70s are highly sought after. Collecting Lego is now a worldwide phenomenon, and guides to the most desirable kits are published regularly. Online sales have meant that finding those rare kits and toys is now even easier, no matter where in the world you are.

It is online that most collectors will find access to rare kits and sought-after toys by Lego, and eBay is one of the commonest places to find a wide selection of Lego collectibles.

Collectors looking for something that is a little more reminiscent of bygone times would be advised to check on eBay and online for Lego Technics – a range of kits and toys that are not dissimilar in style to Lego’s rival ‘Meccano’. They may not have the slick looks and commercialised appearance of the later kits, but Technics have emulated a simpler design and have a unique charm of their own, particularly for collectors who remember the kits from their own childhood.

Replacing Missing Bits

Lego kits are designed to include everything needed to create the house, farmyard or even spaceship on the front of the box. But inevitably bits do get lost, eaten by the dog or mislaid. It is not always necessary to buy a complete kit if a few pieces have gone missing in action, and Lego has a huge range of generic parts available that can work as replacements. However, if a vital component to complete a kit has gone missing then it’s worth going online to eBay and searching through the listings. Using specific search terms will help track down the exact part, and it is worth keeping a watch on regular listings to ensure that an opportunity to complete a collection is not missed.

Lego seems to have a policy of regularly discontinuing kits, and this makes rare parts difficult to find. Again, replacement parts can be found online, on eBay and through collector’s clubs who often have a ‘swap’ service where members can exchange hard-to-find parts with one another. Many of these clubs advertise regularly on eBay, making it the primary location to hunt down Lego rarities.

Populating the Lego World

The advent of Minifigures in 1974 made it possible for fans to populate their Legoworld creations with figures. The earliest figurines were very basic, but the introduction of movable figurines in 1978 really brought kits like Castle, Town and Space alive. It was now possible to man the ramparts, create street scenes and send a manned rocket into orbit. Minifigures are now a staple part of most Lego kits, but they can also be bought separately on eBay.

Buying Affordable Lego

One of the biggest accusations levelled at Lego is its price. But there is a good reason why Lego is more expensive than other generic ‘brick’ toys, and that is the quality. A huge amount of detail goes into every kit and toy produced, and Lego has even taken its place in galleries and exhibitions around the world, resulting in a small but very popular movement that regards some Lego creations as ‘Art’. But it is also exceptionally robust, which is why some kits go on to become family heirlooms.

It is possible to collect Lego on a budget, as not all kits are out of the pocket-money price range. Start small and build up slowly is the best advice – collect the basic kits first and then go online to track down rarer kits to develop a collection. Buying Lego on eBay is the easiest and most cost-effective way of building up a collection without spending a fortune. Collectors and first-time buyers alike will find a wealth of affordable kits and toys online, whether it is a one-of-a-kind rarity or a bucket of bricks to start a pre-school child’s collection off.

Lego can also be regarded as an investment, as a highly competitive collector’s market has sent the value of some rare kits spiralling upwards.

How to Buy Lego on eBay

The easiest way to buy Lego kits and toys is to explore eBay. If you’re new to collecting Lego then a browse will give you a good idea of what is available. Simply visit eBay and go to the drop-down menu of categories at the top of the page. Select Toys and Games and this will open up a list of sub-categories. Go to Construction Toys & Kits and click on Lego. This will then redirect you to a complete listing of all toys and kits available.

In the side bar you’ll see a list of secondary search terms that should help you to narrow your search down. Under theme you’ll find kits that are movie-specific, and a huge range of other classic kits like Vikings, Pirates, Robots, Castles and Dinosaurs. If you’re looking for individual parts, go to Item Type for Minifigurines, Accessories and even Magazines. Because Lego is such a vast field, you can try narrowing your search using a specific term if you know exactly what you’re looking for. Just type the words related to your search, such as ‘Lego Minifigs Policemen’ into the main search box. For further tips on how to search eBay, go to their Search Tips page.

Conclusion

Since 1958, Lego has been firing the imagination of children and adults, and it certainly seems that its appeal is still as strong as ever. Every second approximately seven Lego kits are sold somewhere in the world. From early learning kits that help pre-school children with their dexterity and co-ordination to collectors’ kits worth thousands, Lego has something for everyone.

With so many different toys and kits to choose from, collecting Lego can become a lifelong hobby. Lego can also help to bridge the divide between generations, encouraging children and adults to create and build things together. Lego is an evergreen toy that inspires creativity and an exploration of the imagination and, for younger children, acts as a fantastic introduction to the world around them. A wide variety of Lego kits and toys are available for sale at competitive prices on eBay.

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