Lego Challenge #23: That’s no moon! (Buying used Lego sets)

Today’s challenge: Disassembling, sorting and getting ready to build a used Lego model

Buying used Lego sets…

You can frequently purchased Lego sets used for at least a 30% discount from retail. That’s a nice discount on any Lego set, but the savings becomes more significant for very large sets that can cost 400$ or more, and these large sets are rarely discounted in stores. Older sets which have been discontinued sell for a huge premium if they are unopened, so purchasing it used may be your only option. Also think about whether or not the set has stickers. I prefer not to apply stickers, so you might want to confirm that they were not applied, or confirm they were applied correctly before buying a set.

I purchased a used Death Star set this weekend for a nice discount from MSRP, but the set came pre-assembled. I’ve described my process for breaking the model down and preparing to build it again.

After sorting by color, I sorted each color by type of brick

After sorting by color, I sorted each color by type of brick

My first step was to disassemble the model. I recommend doing this while your paying attention to something else like a TV show or movie, as I don’t want to spoil the fun of building the model by seeing the building techniques up front. To save time and effort, I sorted the pieces by color into 1 gallon ziplock bags as I disassembled the model. (Sorry I didn’t take any photos halfway through the dis-assembly.)

Sorting the dark grey bricks

Sorting the dark grey bricks

After disassembling and sorting by color, I had 3 gallons of light gray bricks, 1 gallon of dark grey and several quart-sized bags containing accent colors.

Completely disassembled with bricks sorted by color and type.

Completely disassembled with bricks sorted by color and type.

I’m planning to finish my 30-day challenge before rebuilding the Death Star, so I will set my many bags of bricks aside for now.


Yes, you can save money by purchasing a used set in great condition, but it may take around 1 hour for each 1000 pieces to disassemble the model and sort everything well enough to make re-assembly easy. Make sure the savings are worth the time commitment. (In this case I disassembled the model while watching TV, so I definitely think it was worth the savings.)

project time: 2 hours to dismantle and sort by color, 2 hours to sort each color into logical groups of bricks. (TBD to re-assemble using the instructions.)

Today’s post is part of my Lego Architecture Studio 30-day Challenge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please solve this math problem * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.