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Legos... sorting and selling. Help needed.

I have quite a few sets (Star Wars, Marvel, Lego Batman, Lego Movie, Chimna, Ninjago, Friends, Elves, etc.) from about 2008 forward. Toddlers came along and slowly destroyed them. Now they sit in giant bins. It pains me to sell them by the pound (the Death Star and Ewok Village are in there!).

I first started sorting by color. Very quick to sort, but inefficient when it comes to sorting into sets. Then I started sorting by size... Wow... Lego has created a zillion little specialized legos. I don't have enough bins to sort through all of these.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!


  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 857
    If you want to keep any sets, or to sell for best return, I’d try to keep anything that hasn’t been disassembled together and try to replace the missing parts. I hope you kept the instructions, but if you didn’t, you can download them from BrickSet. You should probably check BrickLink first to see which sets have enough used value to be worth the time reassembling. The bigger sets like the #10188 Death Star and #10236 Ewok Village are obvious candidates for keeping together.

    If you want to keep the parts for building your own creations (MOCs) then you will want to sort by type, but you don’t have to give every little part its own bin. Just think ahead to when you will be looking for a specific part and sort such that it will be easy to find. I sort a lot of parts by general type; so large plates, smaller plates, skinny (1x) plates, bricks (2x2, 2x3, 2x4, etc.), wheels, minifigs, cones, round bricks, etc. The size of your collection determines how many bins you’ll need. Search these forums for sorting advice. There are several long threads about this topic.

    If you just want to reassemble all your sets from a huge pile of pieces, I’d do the sorting by general type first, then just start pulling out the instructions and building. You’ll be doing a lot of digging through bins, but it will be easier if big parts aren’t hiding small parts and you don’t have to dig too deep.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Minnesota, USAMember Posts: 77
    I'd suggest that, no matter how you sort your parts, separate all the black parts from the rest, and perhaps sort the black by size. It's so easy for a black piece to hide in the shadows of other bricks!
  • buggysdadbuggysdad USAMember Posts: 4
    Thank you both for the advice.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,381
    edited March 13
    IMO sort by color first.
    I used to buy LEGO lots and sort by color into plastic bins.
    You can get really detailed and try to sort by part type but I would say do it by color

    Also, if you do not want to have to rebuild them all at once, I would strongly suggest getting inventory lists from for each set you had to get the exact part list (you can also print out the list with pics of the parts on the list as well). Print it out, go through the parts by hand and build the inventory of the sets using bins or large gallon/2 gallon ziploc bags to hold each set (or multiples I would imagine are needed for something like the DS).
    You can also get the instruction books from BL (which can also make a set worth more if you are planning on selling)

    It will be painful and time consuming no matter how you sort first but it really has to be done manually, and is well worth getting them back into their sets to ensure completeness (and anything missing can also be found at
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 276
    I agree with @Astrobricks on sorting by piece type because I have sorted big bulk lots by color and regretted it later as I try to find a certain colored piece in a bin of that same color piece. My suggestion is to choose some general types like he said - 2x...plates, 1x1 bricks, etc. When you come to pieces like 1 x 2 plates that are modified, all of those can go together no matter the modification. With slopes, you can decide: do all 1x...slopes go together? All inverted no matter the size? It's whatever works for you for space and for places that you have to sort the pieces into. 
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,912
    edited March 14
    maybe you don't need a lot of bins.
    you can have a thousand of different parts in each bin with minimal sorting, recently I built extreme adventure, 2382 pieces. basically poured the bags of small pieces in a small container, bags with medium pieces in another, and bags with big pieces in another. I could find most pieces quickly (like in seconds). after a while building you know which containers contains which parts and for the rarest parts you may even remember the position where you last saw them.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,043
    If it was me I would.... Get a superking bed sheet and lay that on the floor. Then tip all of the Lego on to it and spread it out.

    Find the relevant inventories from the web... Then get finding bits. I would not waste  time with a pre-sort.

    If you need to at the end of the day  bunch all the Lego up in the sheet and put it away in the corner until your next session.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,694
    If you have already sorted by colour, then keep that sort. Maybe sort each colour into bricks, plates and everything else. Then go through the inventory for the sets a colour at a time. You don't need too much space since you are doing it one colour at a time.

    Also it is worth checking used prices for sets before you sort them. Some will be worth sorting out. Others will not. And do a minifig sort first. If you are missing those, the set may not be worth sorting out.

  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 312
    edited March 14
    I'm in the process of rebuilding sets from medium sized bins, and so far I find that sorting by colour and general piece type works best. So yellow plates, yellow bricks, yellow small parts, that sort of thing.

    Even then, my back is in agony after a few hours of it. A bed sheet on the floor without any sorting from the large bins sounds like absolute hell, despite how much I loved it as a child. 
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