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[DE] Buying loose bricks in Germany?

nickienickie Member Posts: 4
Hi,
First of all, I am not a "serious" lego collector, so this is just a parent who feels lego is the best toy around for my daughter.

I will be going to germany to legoland in august. I am trying to find all my buying options whilst in Germany and see there is the store in legoland after the "factory" tour that sells bricks by weight - 9€ per 100 grams(?).
Also there are lego stores in Nuremberg with pick a brick walls.
So my question is which one is better value: the weight option in legoland or the pick a brick wall? Or am I better off getting classic sets?
Also, to counter the gender inbalance of the "non-girly" sets, someone once suggested getting female minifig heads, and this was the BEST suggestion I ever got :-) - so I bought online at the legoshop 10 heads, and my daughter has used all 10 heads already. I would like to buy more in person as well as more variety, since online there was only one option. Any clues if I can get these at legoland or in a lego store in germany?

Any tips on how to optimize our lego purchases?

Thanks for all the help.

Comments

  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,217
    Hi Nickie,

    The PAB section in LEGOland is awesome, and very expensive. We were there a couple of years ago and bought very few elements by weight. The PAB section also sells more expensive things by piece and we bought some of them such as baseplates. When we were there the sales tent had some bins of bricks that were sold by weight for a reduced price but they were a very limited selection.

    Unless there are particular pieces you're looking for I would much rather buy PAB cups at a LEGO store, the small cups can easily hold about 250g (I went and weighed one I filled this week). But if you're just looking for some basic bricks to start the collection then the Classic sets may suit you better, especially the "bright" colored ones that are aimed at girls.

    Neither LEGOland or LEGO stores sell minifig parts separately. Each sells make your own minifigure sets, 3 in stores and 5 figures at LEGOland. I would think your daughter would love any minifigures you make for her there, LEGOland has a better selection. You'll be able to get female torsos and maybe some printed skirt pieces. There were Friends accessories available at LEGOland such as the guitar when we were there.

    It's opening up a huge can of worms but it sounds like you need to look at bricklink.com or brickowl.com. These are marketplaces where people sell LEGO by the piece and I'm sure you'll find lots of female minifigure heads there, I bought some for my daughter when she first got glasses as she wanted to make herself. There's a learning curve to using these sites and lots of good advice in other parts of this website.

    Hope that helps,

    Jenni
  • nickienickie Member Posts: 4
    Jenni, such nice reply and really helpful. Thanks.
    I will look at the links provided to look for heads, but I am guessing I will bump into the same "problem" that I have with the legoshop website: postage. It is not that it is too high as you can get it free with 55€ of purchases, but I can find cheaper lego sets back home than online... and I cannot justify the cost of 11.95 for under 55 euros purchases.
    Thanks for the advise on the PAB cups vs. legoland.
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 775
    Is fabrik at legoland really bad value then? Im going there next year with the wife for my birthday and planned on filling car boot with bricks as I'd heard they have a Fantastic range there.
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,217
    @nickie postage for bricklink or brickowl should be very close to the actual costs. Therefore the first thing you do is look for sellers in your home country :).

    @kevin_hyatt Yes, it's terrible value and a fantastic selection. If there's something there you really want and would have trouble finding in quantity elsewhere then it's worth it but a car boot full of bricks is going to cost more than your tickets. I feel like we just bought a handful of translucent purple starfish because we could. There were a few other pieces but I don't remember what. The build a minifig was 5 for 10€ and had a great selection though, my daughter had a lot of fun with that. We bought our 48x48 blue baseplate there, I kind of wish we'd bought more.
    Kevin_Hyatt
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 775
    Thanks @Jenni , the bam sounds like good value at 5 for 10€.

    After talking with someone who did it before am now looking at doing the triple of Windsor, Billund and Gunzberg in one holiday!
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,217
    @Kevin_Hyatt We did Billund and Gunzberg in one trip staying at the hotel in Billund and a cabin in Gunzberg. It was fun but my daughter, 10 at the time, was kind of done with LEGOland by the end. Fortunately she's recovered now :)
    Kevin_Hyattlegogal
  • nickienickie Member Posts: 4
    Hi Kevin_Hyatt, in case you have kids, you can always do Playmobil FunPark which is in the same area of Germany - to break the theme! Also, and again with kids, otherwise I am not sure I would do it when I was not a mom: some lego Discovery centre. Finally, when we visited disneyland last year, the lego store was actually one of the highlights!  :)
    Kevin_Hyattlegogal
  • Kevin_HyattKevin_Hyatt UKMember Posts: 775
    We've got 6 kids so it would be too much taking them too! Called in 40th Birthday babysitters!
    Just me, my wife, a road trip and some LEGO!
    Salamalexlegogal
  • DrakuhlDrakuhl Member Posts: 3
    nickie said:
    Hi Kevin_Hyatt, in case you have kids, you can always do Playmobil FunPark which is in the same area of Germany - to break the theme! Also, and again with kids, otherwise I am not sure I would do it when I was not a mom: some lego Discovery centre. Finally, when we visited disneyland last year, the lego store was actually one of the highlights!  :)
    Playmobil? Sinner, repent!
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 546
    Is fabrik at legoland really bad value then? Im going there next year with the wife for my birthday and planned on filling car boot with bricks as I'd heard they have a Fantastic range there.
    I've heard that you are limited to 100g of any one element. Can anyone confirm? I could easily buy 100kg if it were unlimited :)
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,217
    @DadsAFOL I don't remember any signs to that effect but don't think I bought more than 100g of anything.  Most people just dump stuff in altogether so I don't see how they could possibly enforce that.  Also at 9 euros per 100g what element could they not be making a ridiculous amount of money on?
  • flecskiflecski Member Posts: 70
    I think I bought more than 100g of caterpillar tracks last year. I know they seemed to work out cheaper from there than any other source.  We had loads of the things when we left.
    Some of the best bits are on the wall behind the counter (checkout), so have a good look there before you queue up. (sound bricks, pneumatics)
  • SalamalexSalamalex UKMember Posts: 191
    According to the website there is a limit of 100g per element.
  • Poisso3Poisso3 Member Posts: 195
    When I was there last October, there was nothing said of a limit,  only that it was 9€/100g. The price did not count towards the large baseplates or the pieces that were in cases (ie: animals, light bricks, etc) which had the prices listed at the cashier. 
  • flecskiflecski Member Posts: 70
    Reporting back from Gunzberg.
    They have signs on some of the element boxes saying limit of 100g per person per day. a lot of those are technic pieces, although its also on 1x1 studs.
    And no pneumatic pieces this year.
  • Poisso3Poisso3 Member Posts: 195
    Did you see any hard to find bricks?
  • nickienickie Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input. Just back from Germany and ended up not buying anything by weight. The faktory in Legoland was simply too messy and full of people. I wanted to make 5 minifigs with my daughter but it was too confusing: girl heads were mixed up and too hard to find, there were wasps everywhere and we just could not stay in the same place (my daughter was bitten by a wasp as soon as we entered legoland so her tolerance threshold was zero). And personally the layout of store there was simply not too lego-friendly.
    As for legoland it was a disappointment lego-wise (not theme park wise). Too many wasps as well! We had a much better time in the store store in Nurmberg where we explored the new sets, bought several sets, made 3 female mini-figs (with really nice pieces), I was able to ID several of the female figs from the halloween series (interestingly when we were in the lego store in disneyland, the people in the store helped us "feel" the figs, whereas in legoland and in the store I kept getting the same reply: it is a surprise!), used VIP points and got the Ninjago polybag. For us, much better experience in a lego store than in legoland for Lego buying.
    legogal
  • DfenzDfenz IrelandMember Posts: 39

    I love that LL Fabrik attraction which is more akin to a warehouse than the PAB wall in your LEGO store. We were asked to use separate bags in the LL Fabrik attraction last weekend to help staff monitor the 100g per element per day rule (not sure that it applies to the more basic pieces). It does help to maintain stock levels somewhat. Lots of useful plates, tiles, plant pieces etc. in rarer colours. If you get a Merlin premium pass you'll get a voucher booklet that will allow a one time 20% discount on the price - otherwise its 10% with the card. Useful place to pick up rarer 32x32 brown and grey and 48x48blue baseplates. The discount tent's loose bricks were priced at 9euro per bag which the sign said could take up to 500g. Lots of unprinted Chima wolf heads on top of lots of smaller pieces of various colours.

    legogal
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    @Jenni  way to go seeing more than one LL park on a trip to the EU!! I combined Billund and Windsor with a few days general sightseeing between them, and it worked well. With round trip flights to Europe now priced between 1000 and 1500usd, it is a great way to see more for less. Except for a few rare parts, bricklink seems to be more cost effective than all the LL parks for buying parts in the US. But the parks surely are a helluva lot of fun!
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,217
    @legogal Thanks, but I was actually living in France at the time, we drove on that trip. The year before we visited Windsor, three Brickset friends and four LEGO stores in about a week :). I miss being close enough to hop on a plane to go see friends at STEAM for the weekend, but I'm glad to be back in a town with a LEGO store.

    In my defense though, the year before we moved there my daughter and I spent 4 days in England attending a Brickset picnic (right off the plane) and visiting @legonut80 (by train) before moving on to check out France. Hence my reputation for insanity in certain circles (and legonut80's for letting us stay with her).

    Most of my loose bricks come from the PAB wall.


  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 732
    Hubby and I also visited the Playmobil fun park near Nurnberg on the trip to LL Gunzburg, and we seniors had a blast! The fun park is better for little kids under 8 or so while LL was more suited for kids 3-99!
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,217
    That's why we skipped it, Becca was 10. And we wanted to do other things near Munich.
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 241
    edited December 2015
    As far as shopping at LL goes, I was a little disappointed with "the tent" on our trip this year in October. The loose bricks in the containers were mainly grey chima pieces and very few other useful items. So we skipped that. I got a couple of series 4 Mixels at 2.99 Euro each, which is good value for money parts-wise.

    As for real bargains on loose bricks, I can now recommend Bricklink myself. I used to be a little sceptical for a long time, but decided to finally pull the trigger when I saw that a special part I looked for (the metallic gold dish at the front of the 2015 Christmas Train freebie) was available there for 6 Eurocents apiece at a German seller. In the end I bought about 500 new bricks and pieces for about 35 Euro including postage, which for the parts I got was tremendous value for money. The same parts at Lego S@H Pick-a-brick would have been three to four times as expensive.
    So yes, Bricklink does seem to be a viable option for getting special parts for a very attractive price. Of course you have to look around a bit to find a seller that offers most if not all of the parts you are looking for, otherwise postage can get the best of your bargains.
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 241
    edited December 2015
    nickie said:
    Thanks for the input. Just back from Germany and ended up not buying anything by weight. The faktory in Legoland was simply too messy and full of people. I wanted to make 5 minifigs with my daughter but it was too confusing: girl heads were mixed up and too hard to find, there were wasps everywhere and we just could not stay in the same place (my daughter was bitten by a wasp as soon as we entered legoland so her tolerance threshold was zero). And personally the layout of store there was simply not too lego-friendly.
    As for legoland it was a disappointment lego-wise (not theme park wise). Too many wasps as well! We had a much better time in the store store in Nurmberg where we explored the new sets, bought several sets, made 3 female mini-figs (with really nice pieces), I was able to ID several of the female figs from the halloween series (interestingly when we were in the lego store in disneyland, the people in the store helped us "feel" the figs, whereas in legoland and in the store I kept getting the same reply: it is a surprise!), used VIP points and got the Ninjago polybag. For us, much better experience in a lego store than in legoland for Lego buying.

    That is kind of funny to hear. About the wasps I mean. Not the fact, that your daughter was stung by one of course, but that there were so many in the first place. Because when we were there in August a couple of years ago, our daughter was also stung by one while waiting at the 4-D cinema and I also felt there were enormous amounts of wasps everywhere.
    This year we went in October and thankfully there were hardly any wasps (thanks to the cold temperatures and rainy weather).

    And by the way, concerning the shopping experience, one has to remember that LL is not owned by Lego any longer and therefor can't really be compared with the Lego stores elsewhere.
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