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December 2018 Lego Income Report

This is my very first income report for by Lego Blog and YouTube Channel.

First of all I want to thank all 10 of my new YouTube Subscribers, and everyone that visited my website in the last 30 days.

Starting a profitable Lego affiliate site isn’t easy.  I don’t expect to be in the black for at least a year, maybe more  To that end, and so that I don’t go into debt spending I began to drive Uber.  Yes, I could just put all the sets on a new zero payments for 6 months credit card, but since I don’t know exactly when this site will begin to make money I decided it was better to use some of my spare time making some extra money doing ridesharing.

One thing I learned is that it is very hard to be FIRST with quality Set Reviews.

There are multiple things that make it hard to be first.  You have to know what sets are coming out.  You have to know where to get the sets (which store will have them in stock).  Then you have to quickly assemble the set AND film it at the same time.  Then you have to edit, and upload a quality review all within 24 hours.   But that’s not the end.  Throughout the month you need to promote the video (and blog post) on social media to drive traffic to the sites.

There are several great YouTube LEGO channels who seem to have a great system for doing all of the above.  I know with time and experience, I will be there, too.

LEGO Blog Costs for December 2018

Set Costs:

Overall I purchased the 3 new sets that came out spending $409.33

Website Costs – starting my website was $9.95 for the domain name  and $119.40 for a year of hosting.

Other Costs – there were no other costs at this time.

Overall I spent $538.68 to get this site up and running.

YouTube Income Report for December 2018

After starting my channel from zero videos and zero subscribers, I was able to publish 3 videos.  Only 3 sets were released last month, so that was all I did.  I spent a lot of time learning how to film, edit, keyword, and publish videos on YouTube.  I still have a lot of work to do to get them to they style that I want.

I got 10 subscribers in this first month.  If you are one of those 10, THANK YOU!

I also learned that I need to get more professional gear to achieve the look and style that I want.

Of course I can’t start to monetize my channel until I get 10,000 views.  As of right now I’m only at 740, so I still have a ways to go.

Thankfully, I just picked up 5 new Spider-Man LEGO sets, and will review those and that should help me get more subscribers and viewers.

Lego Blog Report for December 2018

One of the biggest challenges for starting the blog was learning what LEGO sets are coming soon!

Another issue is that new sets aren’t always on the sites where I have affiliate codes (like Amazon) so I have to go back and  check for links and change them as I go.

So I didn’t make any money yet, but I am increasing my subscribers, clicks, and views, and expect to be bringing in some income in the next month or two, and making a profit by the end of the year!

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All LEGO Plants from Plants Sets

LEGO Plants from Plants

The other day I did a quick google search for a list of all the new sets that include the Plants from Plants elements.

If you haven’t heard, LEGO® has made a public commitment to change from petroleum based plastics to plant based materials by 2030.  I know it seems like 2030 is a long time in the future, but in reality it is only 12 years away.  Where will you be in 12 years?

Currently only trees, leaves, and other botanical objects are made from this new plant based plastic.  Sugarcane, yes the stuff sugar comes from is the base, and it is identical in composition to all other LEGO® bricks previously made.

That means there is no way to tell the difference between the old trees and the new trees.

Right now, only two sets have the Plants from Plants elements.

The first set was released in the late summer of 2018 as a promotional set with a purchase at LEGO® stores.  I picked up a few, and I am unable to tell the difference between old and new trees bushes, and plants.

Set 40320 – Plants from Plants came with:

16 Green 30176 Bamboo Leaves 3X3
4 Lime green 2423 Limb Element, Small
3 Green 6064 Bush
2 Green 2435 Spruce Tree, Small
4 Green 6148 Palmleaf, Small

Lego 10268 Vestas Wind Turbine 001514
Vestas Wind Turbine Plants from Plants

The second set to feature the LEGO® Plants from Plants is 10268, the new VESTAS Wind Turbine.  Moving towards green energy and sustainability, it was an obvious choice for this set to have the new eco friendly parts.

The wind turbine came with 2 large trees, 1 small tree, 2 bushes, and 5 flower stalks.  I’m not sure the flower stalks are made from the new plant based plastics, but I am guessing they are.  The item number is 6135278 which is the same for all other flower bases.  When I compare it with the item number for a tree (347128) from the same set, I get similar results.  It looks like there won’t be an easy way to differentiate the old vs new.

Until then, we will have to look for the Plants from Plants logo.

Personally, I’m very excited for this change.  Our world has limited resources, and I want to make this a better place for future generations.  How about you?

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Newt’s Case Magical Creatures

For several weeks, this set, LEGO set 75952, Newt’s Case Magical Creatures, sat in my to be built pile.  I didn’t know how cool this set was until I actually saw the movie.  Once I did, I know I had to build the creatures.  That’s how it started.

This set comes with 4 minifigures, 3 brick built creatures, and a cleverly designed case to hold them all together.  I don’t want to give away too much about the movie, or the different creatures.  Let me give a little back story, that should help clear some things up, and explain more about this set without giving away any spoilers.

This set is based on the 2nd movie in the Fantastic Beasts storyline.  It comes about 60 years before the Harry Potter books we all know and love.  This movie, “The Crimes of Grindlewald” has a bad guy – Grindlewald, who isn’t part of this set.   Of course there is a “good guy” too – and that is Newt Scamander.

Newt is an amazing wizard. Not only does he know lots of different spells, but he really has a soft spot for animals.  Not just any animals, but special magical creatures.   He takes them in, so they won’t be hunted or hurt.  He befriends them and they trust him.  Of course they are still wild, and cause some mischief, but I’ll save that story so you will have a great experience watching the movie.

Anyway, I had this set just sitting on my shelf with a bunch of other sets that I figured I’d get around to building some day, or selling after they were retired and increased in value.

But then after I saw the movie, I knew these builds would be perfect for Instagram Photos.  Be sure to check out my IG page for more.

Here’s a YouTube video of my build.

Building Bag 1

In the first bag, there are 2 minifigs, and 2 flying creatures.  Newt Scamander with his Niffler, and Tina Goldstein holding a white teapot.

Lego Tina Goldstein
Lego Tina Goldstein
Lego Newt Scamander
Lego Newt Scamander

The first creature to be built is an Occamy.  It’s egg shells are made of silver, and it has the ability to grow (or shrink) into the space available to it.  That means if it is in a big room, it is a HUGE creature, or it can shrink to fit inside a teapot.

Lego Occamy
Lego Occamy

The other Creature in bag 1 is the Thunderbird.  It has 3 sets of wings – that can, according to legend flap strong enough to create a storm.

Lego Thunderbird
Lego Thunderbird

Building Bag 2

There are about the same number of pieces in bag 2 as in bag 1.  There are also 2 minifigures in this bag – Queenie Goldstein, and Jacob  Kowalski, plus an Erumpment.

Queenie Goldstein
Lego Queenie Goldstein
Lego Jacob Kowalski
Lego Jacob Kowalski

An Erumpmet is a cross between an elephant and a rhino – but has a magical power where it can inject lava (or something like that) into trees and other such things.

Lego Erumpmen
Lego Erumpment

On a side note, I got to meet Alison Sudol, the actress who plays Queenie at LeakyCon in Dallas this last summer.  I gave her one of the new (at the time) minifigs of her character, and got her signature in return.

Building Bag 3

Bag three begins to build Newt’s magical suitcase.

When I used to play Dungeons & Dragons so many years ago, one of the first possessions I received, and my most treasured one was a bag of holding.  It was a small bag, big enough for my hand to fit into, but could hold whatever I put into it.

Newt’s suitcase is exactly like that, but more.  When he opens his suitcase, a whole different world is inside.  It’s basically his own personal zoo, with different environments suited for each creature he has rescued.

Building bag three of this LEGO set hints at that zoo.  It is also similar to the recently published LEGO Pop-Up Book, however instead of using the SNOT technique it is more of a traditional plate build.

There is a cool little house built into one side and the roof opens to show what’s inside.

Building Bag 4

Bag 4 finishes off Newt Scamander’s case.   There are basically four parts:  The house, left and right sides, and the top.  Tons of great details built in.  Each section is hinged, and the entire case folds closed for transport.

Inside it is minifigure scale, but unfortunately it’s not big enought for all the figs and creatures to fit inside (that would be super cool).

Overall, this became my second favorite set from the new release of the Lego Harry Potter Incredible Beasts sets.  My favorite, of course is the Hogwart’s Express, but only because I LOVE LEGO trains.

 

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32 LEGO YouTube creators to binge watch

When I can’t build LEGO, I turn to YouTube to watch others build LEGO.

I watch everything from set reviews, to MOCS, to trains, to organization, and everything in between.

This page has my 30+ favorite LEGO Youtubers, and i think I have it set up so that it imports the most recent videos from each of the creators and builders

In alphabetical Order:

Video count and subscriber numbers are from the time of the blog post.

AFOL man
27,960 subscribers
915 Videos

Emory (the AFOL Man) started “messing around” with LEGO when his kiddo was little, and ever since then it has stuck.  He has had several dark ages, but always comes back either to run his Bricklink store, or build his city or sets and review them.

Alex Nunes
291 Videos
43,281 subscribers

Alex has been collecting Lego for over 30 years and has an impressive 330 square foot city he updates and shares videos of regularly.

Alexander studios
521,974 subscribers
26 Videos

With over half a million subscribers and only a handful of videos, Alexander Studios has truly cracked the code on what people want to watch on YouTube.  His bowling video has over 32 MILLION views, so chances are you’ve probably seen it at some point.

Almighty Arjen is trains
123,427 subscribers
83 Videos

If you like LEGO Trains, this is the channel for you!  At one level he uses an Arduino to control his trains, and other videos feature spectacular LEGO train crashes.

Artifex creation
633,660 subscribers
1668 Videos

A self proclaimed family friendly channel that’s all about LEGO.  They have perfected the timelapse or stop motion building of Lego Sets.

Beyond the brick
392,552 subscribers
1773 Videos

Beyond The brick is a different kind of LEGO YouTube channel.  The go around and interview builders, visit LEGO shows and talk with MOC makers, and even show behind the scenes things for LEGO itself.

Brick Bros UK
84,655 subscribers
1628 Videos

Tom and his Brother Drew run this channel,   They are truly expert builders, as they created the TRON set which became a real LEGO set after 10,000 fans voted for it.  They show off MOCS, have free tutorials, and share the latest LEGO news, too.

Brick toy co
39 Videos
2,725 subscribers

A pretty new channel, they do reviews, speed builds and share MOCs.  They have a good video production level, so I’m excited to see what they end up doing!

Bricks on the dollar
1825 Videos
4,900 subscribers

Clutch has a huge Bricklink store, and never holds back on his videos.   More of a how to collect, find deals,  Hauls, and live with LEGO instead of builds, or reviews.

Bricktsar
3168 videos
49,904 subscribers

BrickTsar is a true AFOL.  He’s got quite a collection of bricks he talks about and shows off.  Again more of a behind the scenes, or living with Lego, over reviews or MOCS.  One of my favorites.

Brickvault
1237 Videos
445,082 subscribers

This channel is run by a few different people and they have news, reviews, MOCS and speed builds.

Brotherhood workshop
117 Videos
211,220 subscribers

Easily one of the best stop motion animation Lego Channels, the Brotherhood Workshop combines LEGO, popular movies or pop culture, and humor to create new and entertaining content.

Custom Bricks & Models by Ren
12,109 subscribers
447 Videos

A fairly new channel with great MOC instructions and alternative builds.

Down Under Bricks
647 Videos
22,784 subscribers

Everything from MOCs to reviews.  Hauls to comparisons.

ellieV toys
610 Videos
865,948 subscribers

Lots of Toy reviews in addition to LEGO.  You can hear the enthusiasm in her voice.  One of the few YouTube reviewers who focuses on the Friends series and Disney Princess series.

Forest fire 101
112 Videos
1,028,446 subscribers

Another one of the few LEGO YouTubers with over a million subscribers.  Focusing on animation, this channel isn’t always appropriate for younger viewers.

Jangbricks
4022 Videos
1,090,711 subscribers

Proclaimed by many as the best, Jang does reviews, and has an incredible LEGO city with mostly custom buildings.  Lots of Trains, which are my favorite, too.  Be sure to check out his organization videos, as they are simply amazing.

Just2good
2372 Videos
357,667 subscribers

Another one of the popular channels, this channel focuses on hauls, reviews of older and newer sets, and MOCs.

Keep on bricking
500 Videos
10,445 subscribers

This channel is all about custom MOCs, and building better LEGO creations!

Lionbricks
319 videos
17,267 subscribers

LionBricks is a TFOL (teenage Fan of Lego) who does city updates, MOCs, Reviews, Hauls, and Time Lapse builds of sets.

Michael Hickox
138 Videos
1,269,223 subscribers

Here is another one of those million plus Youtube LEGO stop motion channels.  With great story lines, high level production, and clever short videos, Michael has found the secret to YouTube LEGO success.

Rebel Builder
294 Videos
14,477 subscribers

If you love Star Wars LEGO, this is the channel for you.  Not only does he review LEGO sets, but he has some great MOCs and a moon base that can’t be missed.

Ru brick
29 Videos
5,376 subscribers

This husband and wife team does updates of their LEGO city, and goes into amazing descriptions of their strategy and building techniques.

Sariel’s LEGO® Workshop
582 Videos
191,635 subscribers

Sariel has 2 channels, but this is the bigger of them.  Here he does Technics MOCs and updates, and lots of power functions and electronics updates with LEGO.

Solid Brix
496 Videos
257,889 subscribers

Stop Motion Animations, News, Reviews, and an incredible Star Wars MOC that can’t be missed.

The brick Lab
189 Videos
3,997 subscribers

More MOCs and Mods with an emphasis on custom city buildings.  I especially like his minifig scale furniture tutorials.

The brick show shop
268 Videos

The Brick Show used to be one of the largest YouTube channels out there until they violated the 3-strike rule.  Now they are rebuilding their brand on their store channel where you can find MOCs and Lego Reviews.

Zazi nombies
592 Videos
1,384,042 subscribers

MOCs (mostly weapons from video games) are the specialty of this channel with over a Million Subscribers.

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Grindelwald´s Escape

Earlier this week, My wife got me tickets to see the new Harry Potter Fantastic Beasts movie “The Crimes of Grindlewald” a few days before it’s general release.

Suddenly all the new LEGO Harry Potter sets began to make sense.

View this set on Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2S7M1YV

About half of the new Harry Potter Lego sets were based on the Classic Harry potter scenes – Quiddich, the Hogwarts Express, and the two builds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizzardry.

But two sets are based on new characters in the Fantastic Beasts Series, Newt’s Case of Magical Creatures and this set – LEGO Set 75951 Grindlewald’s Escape.

Lego 75951

With 2 minifigs, a Thestral, and a black Carriage there aren’t a lot of pieces, but the minifigs are exclusive, as is the magical horse.

The first minifig is Gellert Grindelwald.  He was a very hard to get minifig in the blind bag series, and here he is a bit different (and better if you ask me).  The other is Seraphina Picquery, who has a one of a kind purple wand.  There are also some blue trans fireballs that can be launched directly from a minifigures hands which are pretty cool, and pretty easy to loose.

Originally introduced in “The Order of the Phoenix” Thestrals are invisible horses that are classified as dangerous, but can be tamed.  Also they can only be seen by people who have witnessed death.  They are only currently available in this set.

The Technics attachment for the front two wheels.
The Technics attachment for the front two wheels.

The final, and biggest build is the carriage.  Black (of course) with a removable top and opening doors, there is room for a minifig inside on a red seat, and another in front in a brown chair.  The front two wheels are attached using some Technics Bricks and that allows them to turn side to side, as well as rotate.

Overall I like this set a lot- I did quite a few shots with it on my Instagram account when the movie was released, and I think I’ll leave it together and find a spot for it in Brick Land.

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New LEGO sets being released in December 2018.

LEGO Movie 2 sets Coming in December

Update 11/20/18

I’ve just learned that there will be 19 new sets on December 26, 2018 from the upcoming LEGO Movie 2.

As I look through the list I see a few “must have” sets including UltraKitty, Benny’s Space Squad, and Metal Beards Heavy Motor Bike.  Which ones are your favorites?

  • 70835 $119.99 Rex’s Rexplorer!
  • 70828 $79.99 Pop-Up Party Bus!
  • 70831 $69.99 Emmet’s Dream House/Rescue Rocket!
  • 70830 $69.99 Sweet Mayhem’s Systar Starship!
  • 70834 $59.99 MetalBeard’s Heavy Metal Motor Trike!
  • 70829 $49.99 Escape Star and Heart in Emmet and Lucy’s awesome buggy!
  • 70820 $49.99 LEGO® Movie Maker
  • 70825 $39.99 Queen Watevra’s Build Whatever Box!
  • 70826 $29.99 Rex’s Rex-treme Offroader!
  • 70827 $29.99 Ultrakatty & Warrior Lucy!
  • 70832 $29.99 Emmet’s Builder Box!
  • 70833 $29.99 Lucy’s Builder Box!
  • 10895 $29.99 Emmet and Lucy’s Visitors from the DUPLO® Planet
  • 70836 $19.99 Battle-Ready Batman™ and MetalBeard
  • 70821 $19.99 Emmet and Benny’s ‘Build and Fix’ Workshop!
  • 70824 $19.99 Introducing Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi
  • 70823 $14.99 Emmet’s Thricycle!
  • 70841 $9.99 Benny’s Space Squad
  • 70822 $9.99 Unikitty’s Sweetest Friends EVER!

New Star Wars Sets Being Released in December

According to the Lego website, there is only one set being released December 2018.

With over 1000 pieces, and an initial price of $129.99 this new Star Wars Lego set includes 5, minifigures, an Advanced Tie Fighter, and has lots of playable features.

LEGO OVERWATCH Sets Coming soon

A few weeks ago was Blizzcon, where one of the most talked about events was the release of the LEGO Overwatch Sets.

Based on the popular videogame with the same name, this is the first time LEGO group has collaborated with such a theme.  Typically they work with movies (like Star Wars) or superheroes (Like Marvel).  But based on the amount of on line chatter and hype, I have a feeling this is going to be a very popular and collectible series of sets.

Right now, the six sets are available for pre-order on the Lego store website.  Totaling  274.94 to pre order all of them, I’d suggest clicking the button now to lock in your order before they run out of stock.

According to the website, ordering now will guarantee shipping by Jan 1, 2019.

  1. 75970 Tracer vs. Widowmaker. (129 pieces) $14.99
  2. 75971 Hanzo vs. Genji. (197 pieces) $19.99
  3. 75972 Dorado Showdown. (419 pieces)  $29.99
  4. 75973 D.Va & Reinhardt. (455 pieces) $39.99
  5. 75974 Bastion. (602 pieces) $49.99
  6. 75975 Watchpoint: Gibraltar. (730 pieces) $89.99

I have been able to find the set names and set numbers.  There are photos out there too but as you know I only publish my own pictures on this site.

LEGO Spider Man Sets Coming Soon

Also on good authority, I understand there will be five new LEGO Spider-Man sets released most likely in December 2018.  Walmart was reported to be the store that would be getting the sets, but we will have to see as it is too early to tell right now.

  1. 76114 $39.99 Spider-Man’s Spider Crawler
  2. 76113 $19.99 Spider-Man Bike Rescue
  3. 76115 $49.99 Spider Mech vs. Venon
  4. 76113 $9.99 Spider-Man Car Chase
  5. 76134 $29.99 Spider-Man: Doc Ock Diamond Heist

If you know of any other LEGO sets being released this month, please let us know in the comments below.  Include your Instagram name, and I’ll be sure to give you a shout out and follow

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Storing Lego

sterilite 3 drawer Lego

At some point, it becomes necessary to sort LEGO to quickly and easily find the piece you need.  There are lots of different ways to organize the bricks, and I’ve tried most of them.

Over the years I’ve come up with a method to sort and store LEGO bricks that allows me to find the exact piece I need in just a matter of seconds.  But getting to this point took a lot of work, and the storage method I use takes up a lot of space.

Currently I have 51 large Steralite drawers, and 384 smaller Acro Mills storage drawers separating LEGO pieced down to individual shapes and colors.

When I was just starting out, I only had a few sets, so it was easy to just keep all the pieces in a plastic  bin that I got from Target.  It wasn’t too big, had a removable top, and clear sides so I could simply see what was inside.

But over time, the number of sets I collected grew, and I quickly needed more space.  

At first I decided to get a few more, and larger bins like the one I had but it didn’t take too much time to outgrow that, too.

I needed a long term solution.

Something that would be good for both accessing pieces quickly, not take up too much space, and of course look good.

But before I got there, I had to try a few different variations, because I needed to see what would really work, for me!

All these different suggestions are  great ways to store LEGO bricks and sets, but ultimately I ended up with a solution that was pretty unique.

Over the years, my LEGO organization and storage changed – here’s the basic progression.  

  • Big bucket
  • Multiple Bins
  • Color storage drawers
  • Sort by shape and color

Basic LEGO Storage methods

Like I mentioned above, I started storing LEGO in a big bin.

After unboxing and building a set, I’d play with it for a while, maybe take some photos for my LEGO Instagram, and then put it on display or toss it into the bin to be used as spare parts.

While this system works when you have less than 10 sets, this isn’t the best term for making MOCs, long term storage, or overall organization.

Using IKEA to Store LEGO

Lego Storage in Ikea Bins
Lego Storage in Ikea Bins

My second attempt at storing LEGO in an organized way was to use the Ikea Trofast system.  I’m not the first person to ever think of using Ikea to Store LEGO, and lots of people have used this method.  It has 2 parts, the bins and the frames, both of which come in different sizes so it is easily expandable as my LEGO collection grew.  I started with a simple series of small, and medium bins, but quickly outgrew that method into multiple large bins and several larger frames.

Ikea Trofast for Lego Storage
Ikea Trofast for Lego Storage

A Trofast unitl like the one above costs around $60, and will easily fit into a standard size bedroom.  There are 6 drawers, and space on top to display completed sets.

But as my collection kept growing, It wasn’t long before I needed a new, better storage method.  

Using Sterlite Drawers for Lego Storage

About the time I was filling multiple Trofast units, I began to work on my city, creating MOCs and custom builds.  

I was wasting too much time looking for pieces, and not enough time building!

I needed a better way. I wanted an expandable system that was not too expensive, and easy to get.  I also wanted drawers that were removable, see-through (so I could easily identify the LEGO parts inside), and I wanted the drawers to be more shallow, and not too deep. Sort of like a removable tray that was easy to dig through.

That’s when I saw this video by JangBricks.

It looked like heaven!  Look at all that plastic storing plastic!

He uses a ton of Sterlite drawers to sort his LEGO collection into colors and general style.  

Each drawer has a specific color, or specific shape, or particular style of piece.  He also uses some clear plastic dividers to sub categorize items within each drawer.

I thought this was the perfect method, and I began the reorganization process.

How to Sort LEGO Bricks

Moving from a single bin Lego Storage to multiple drawer units took a lot of time.

 I started by buying a few of the drawer units Jangbricks uses.  At first I bought a couple at a time from Target, but when I needed more I turned to Amazon and started buying the 3 drawer storage units in bulk.

I started with just 2 3-drawer units.  Each drawer is approximately 32 x 32 cm, and about 6.5 cm high.  I had 6 drawers, and way more LEGO than would fit in them. But I had to start somewhere and so I began the first great sort

To begin sorting, First I filled an old shoe box with several handfuls of bricks from the Trofast bin.  There were all kinds, shapes, and colors of bricks, minifigs, plates, slopes, and special pieces mixed in together.

What I needed was a quick way of sorting.

I took out all 6 drawers and arranged them in a rainbow in front of me on the floor.  Each drawer would get a specific color, or specific kind of brick. Here’s how I filled the first 6:

  • Black pieces (all kinds)
  • White pieces (all kinds)
  • Grey pieces (all kinds, and all colors of grey)
  • All other colors (all kinds)
  • Minifigs
  • Special Pieces
Sorting Legos
Sorting Legos

I should also note that I separated every single brick.  There was nothing saved. No sub assemblies, no special builds, no Mocs, or sets.  If it was in the bin, it got taken apart into the smallest LEGO unit possible. Single pieces.

I hand picked everything.  I’d first go after all the white bricks until they were gone.  Then I went to Black bricks.  And on and on.

The first drawers each had a color in them, or at least a color theme.  If a piece was black, it went in the black drawer. If it was white – into the white drawer.  This included plates, bricks, odd shaped pieces, technic, clips, doors, windows, whatever. If it was the same color it went in the drawer.

Grey was a bit different – I followed the same basic rule – ignoring shape, but focusing on color.  This included light grey, dark grey, and very light grey. 3 grey colors in one drawer. As you can imagine, this drawer filled up the fastest.

Sterilite drawer full of minifigures
Sterilite drawer full of minifigures

Minifigs got their own drawer.  Complete minifigs, as well as minifig parts that may have been separated: legs, torso, arms, hands, heads, hair/hats.  I debated about putting weapons, or tools in this drawer, but decided these should instead go in the Special Pieces drawer.

The final drawer was the special Pieced drawer.  This included pretty much everything else: trans and clear bricks and plates, things minifigs hold, wheels, large odd shaped pieces, fabric pieces like sails or carousel canopies, printed bricks, bricks with stickers.  If it didn’t fit into one of the 5 drawers above, this was the catch all for everything else.

Special Lego Pieces
Special Lego Pieces

As I filled a drawer completely, I would then buy another set of 3 drawer Sterilite units for Lego storage.

It took a few weeks of sorting to get through my big bin of parts. I’d spend a few hours every night after dinner filing drawers.

Soon I had 3 drawers full of minifigs.

My Special drawer began to get full, and I broke them out into Power functions, boats, and trains.

When I had 3 or 4 full bins of color bricks, I began to sort them into their individual colors:

Red, blues, greens, oranges, pinks & purples, yellow, and all others.  It was a beautiful plastic rainbow.

Quickly I went from 6 drawers to over 40.

And when my Lego Ikea storage bins were empty, I sold them on Craigslist.  That’s when my final phase of sorting began.

The absolute best way to sort LEGO

Now that I had a room full of LEGO bricks sorted by color into individual Sterilite drawers it was a thing of beauty.  But it still took too long to find a specific part. Going back to YouTube I saw a video by Kevin HInkle, and how he sorts his bricks:

This was perfect!  I would be able to quickly find any piece I needed in a matter of seconds!  

Look at all those Akro-Mills 64 Drawer Storage units!

Every drawer has one type of piece. 

It might be a white 2×4 brick.  It could be a red 1×6 tile.  Or a 2×2 L-shaped plate.

Really, when you are looking for a piece, you aren’t looking for a specific color, but instead you are looking for a particular shape.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could find all the 2×4 red bricks in a few seconds? What if you needed a blue one, or a black 2×10 plate?  Or the ever hard to find 1×1 grey plate, or a blue 1×2 jumper. With this system I could get any of these immediately, and in quantity if needed.

Of course this meant I needed to invest in an entirely new type of storage drawers.  I found these 64-drawer storage units by Akro Mills on Amazon. Each drawer could hold between 8 and 100 LEGO pieces depending on size.  Each 64-drawer unit would hold one color – 64 different pieces, sorted into its same shape, and color.

Acro Mills 64 drawer Storage
Acro Mills 64 drawer Storage

Since I already had done the hard work of sorting into color, I thought it would be easy to sort into shape.  Not so! It takes me about a week to sort out a full color into one of these units. Every week I order a new unit from Amazon, and when it gets filled, I simply order another.

Here’s the pattern I follow for each 64-drawer LEGO storage system.  Remember each is a single color

Plates Plates Bricks Bricks Tiles Tiles Slopes
1×1 2×2 L-shape 1×1 2×2 L-shape 1×1 Round Brick 1×1 2×2 L-shape 1×2
1×2 2×2 1×2 2×2 2×2 Round Brick 1×2 2×3 1×2 inverted
1×3 2×3 1×3 2×3 1×1 round plate 1×3 2×4 1×3
1×4 2×4 1×4 2×4 2×2 round plate 1×4 1×3 inverted
1×6 2×6 1×6 2×6 1×2 round tile

2×2 round tile

1×6 Technic Rods Cheese slopes
1×8 2×8 1×8 2×8 1×2 jumper 1×8 Technic

Plates

Double cheese
1×10 2×10 1×10 2×10 2×2 jumper 1×10 Technic

Bricks

2×2
1×12 2×12 1×12 2×12 1×12 Technic

Pins

2×2 inverted

 

Now, not every color comes in every shape, so those drawers stay empty, but maybe someday LEGO will make that shape, and I’ll have a place for it.

Obviously some things don’t fit in the tiny drawers.  Thinks like base plates, LURPS, longer pieces, 5×6 wall plates, fences, odd size slopes, lamp posts, and so on.  These stay organized in their specific color drawer. It’s still super easy to find the piece I need because I don’t have to sift through so many pieces to get to the exact one.

Overall I’m very happy with this storage method.  It has taken me a long time to sort and organize everything, and I’ve spent some money of drawers, but not as much as I spend on LEGO.  

But I have saved a lot of time.  I can find any piece I need immediately.

Plus it looks pretty cool, too!

How do you store your LEGO collection?  What is the best way you’ve discovered?

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Lego Pop up Book

Lego 21315 Once upon a Brick

It’s a few days after Halloween and I just got back from my local LEGO store.  I was there early for the release of the new LEGO IDEAS Pop-up Book.  and let me say, this set is a lot cooler than I thought it would be.

Lego Once upon a Brick
Lego Once upon a Brick

Before I start talking about the 850 piece set, let me begin talking about the LEGO IDEAS.  This is a website where you can submit a MOC, or design a set, and once it reaches 10,000 votes it is considered by the powers at LEGO and has the potential to become a real set.

That’s what happened in this case.

Opening the box, there was six bags and a pretty thick instruction book. The first 2 and part of bag 3 have all the pieces to build the “book” part. The rest of bag 3 has all the pieces for the Little Red Riding hood Scene, and bags 5 and 6 have the pieces needed for the Jack and the Bean Stalk scene.

Building the Book

The “book” part of this set is only really 3 colors – dark green (also called Earth Green), black and Dark Brown.  There are a lot of pieces with studs not on top “SNOT”, so it is very important to make sure they are placed in the proper orientation.  Most of the SNOT pieces are on the outside of the book, so you can attach the name plates, and some decorative pieces.  However there are several SNOT pieces inside the book, both as areas to attach parts of the scenes, as well as for some decoration.

Lego Once upon a Brick SNOT
Lego Once upon a Brick SNOT

The “pages” of the book are tan bricks, built perpendicular to the covers of the book, and yes, they are attached via SNOT pieces.

Inside the book there are a few different places to attach the scenes.  The main one is using technic pins for the primary scene.  This allows the scene to fold when the book is opened and closed.  Also, as part of this moving mechanism, is a window, which allows for a little bit more depth at the folding point.  It’s hard to describe, so maybe this photo will help.

Lego Once upon a Brick Technic
Lego Once upon a Brick Technic

Another attachment place for parts of the scene is near the top where there is a 4 stud long SNOT piece on each side.  This is where the bed and kitchen scene for the Little Red Riding hood went.

Lego Once upon a Brick SNOT
Lego Once upon a Brick SNOT

Finally, there is a bar connected to the inside spine of the book.  This allows for some taller elements to be put in, and in the case of the Jack and the Bean Stalk Scene, a unique folding build that extends when the book opens.

Little Red Riding Hood Scene

The first scene to be built in the Lego Once upon a Brick Book is the Little Red Riding Hood scene.  The creators decided to re-create one of the most important scenes for this build – the moment when Little Red Riding hood comes to the house and knocks on the door.  The Wolf, dressed up as Grandma, opens the door, and you can use your imagination to play out what happens next.

Lego Little Red Riding Hood
Lego Little Red Riding Hood

There are 3 minifigs in this scene, The Big Bad Wolf, Grandma, and of course Little Red Riding Hood.  Plus you get a folding house with details like opening doors and windows, a fireplace, and some flower elements.

Lego Little Red Riding Hood Minifigs
Lego Little Red Riding Hood Minifigs

There is also a brick built bed, and a small table scene with a pink cup and teapot.

Jack and the Beanstalk Scene

My favorite scene is the green Jack & the Beanstalk one.  It comes with a regular minifig (the giant), and also a nanofig (Jack).  The main folding scene is a brick built cloud scene with a turning windmill and some orange rooftops.

Lego Jack and the Beanstalk
Lego Jack and the Beanstalk

But my favorite part of the whole set is the expandable beanstalk, that grows as you open the book.  Using the pin connector on the inside spine of the book, the creators have carefully assembled a 4-brick wide beanstalk that doubles in height!

Lego Jack and the Beanstalk Rope
Lego Jack and the Beanstalk Rope

A rope element, is attached to some of the SNOT bricks inside the book, and using a parallelogram effect with Technic bricks, a castle in the sky rises at the top of a brick built beanstalk when the book is opened.  When closed, it carefully and neatly folds into a 4-brick wide build inside the book.  Ingenious!

Final thoughts about the Once upon a Brick Lego 21315

Sometimes, when I build a creator set, it gets repetitive, and boring.  The instructions require 6 detailed columns that are exactly the same.  Not with this book.  The only thing that was even slightly repetitive was building the front and back cover, but that was quick and easy.

I really like the 2 scenes that it came with.  I also like how it is super easy to MOC other scenes.  I could see lots of other versions of this book coming out with different fairy tales, or even branded series like Harry Potter or Star Wars.

One thing I wish this book had was a printed tile that could go on the spine with what scene was inside when you opened it, just like the title of a book has on a bookshelf.

Do you have this set?  If you want one, it can be purchased on Amazon.com and delivered right toy our door.  Use this link to purchase Lego set 21315, Once upon a brick and help support our site!

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Starting a LEGO Blog

Using a laptop to start a LEGO Wordpress Website

Have you ever wondered: How much does it cost to start and run a LEGO blog?  Can I make money from having a LEGO review site?  Do people actually make money from a LEGO website?

I have too!  I’ve always wondered if it is possible to fund a LEGO hobby using a website, social media, and affiliate links. So that’s what these series of posts are about. A behind the scenes look at what it costs to collect and review LEGO sets.

This is the first of many monthly income reports. I’m not selling any products, starting by using Amazon.com links and other affiliate programs to generate income.

Website Launch Date:  Mid October 2018

October 2018 Expenses:

  • Domain Registration $9.95
  • 1 year of hosting $119.40

October 2018 Income:

  • $0 – Just started, and don’t have any traffic or affiliate income yet.

If you decide to buy a LEGO set, I hope you will use one of the links from this website. It won’t cost you anything extra, and I’ll get a little commission if you do. So Thank YOU.

How to Start a LEGO blog

I don’t know if you have ever started a website before.  I have, and it’s pretty simple.

Basically there are two ways to go – free websites, and custom hosting.

I’m not going to get into the free websites at this point because they won’t allow me to do what I want to with this site, which is have affiliate links.

Instead, I want to talk with you how I bought a domain name, set up a hosting plan and installed a WordPress site in about 15 minutes, and for less than $10 a month.

When you get a custom website you have to pay for two things – the domain name, and the hosting.

It works like this – the domain name is the address – or URL.  In my case it is “theBrickLand.com”.

I paid $9.95 for one year of registering this name.  I know there are better deals out there, but to keep things simple I registered the name from Dreamhost, which is the same place I have my website hosted.  By doing this I don’t have to change any settings, or keep track of different websites.

This is also a one time charge (per year).  I can register for multiple years, which I might do if this site is successful.  But for now I just want to test this for 1 year.

The next thing I had to pay for was the hosting.  Basically this is paying for some computer space that is ALWAYS connected to the internet, and able to store all the pictures, files, bandwith, and process the website stuff, so that when you visit my site, you get my site.

In my case, Dreamhost charges me $119.40 per year for bandwith, hosting, and all the things needed to run a website.  That comes out to 9.95 per month.  Less than $10.  If you click here and  sign up with Dreamhost they will give you some discounts –  check out that page to see what plans and specials they have running right now.

My website is running a standard version of WordPress, the most popular blogging and website platform in the world.  I have a free template, and a few free plugins (like the table generator on the MY SETS page).

There are a few other things you need to start a website, but I’m not counting them because I didn’t buy them new for this project, and I already had them:Computer, Camera, and of course all the LEGO sets I’ve collected over the years.

I’m also not paying for any promotion.  No advertising, no buying followers, nothing!

Also all the photos and pictures on this site are my own.  Usually taken with my iPhone.

I have an Instagram account where I post pics and stories of my city everyday, and I’m in the process of starting a YouTube channel as well

My goal is to collect one copy of every new set released in month. You can see the sets released for each month on my LEGO Release Dates page, where I research and list all the coming soon sets.  Just so you know, I am not being paid by any companies to do this.  I don’t get any free sets, promos, or have access to insider information.

I simply use the same websites and social media sites  that everybody can see to identify and gather information.

Eventually, my goal is to have a thriving LEGO city with trains, MOCs, and sets.  I hope you will join me on my journey!

 

 

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New LEGO sets being released in November 2018

Lego 21315 Once upon a BrickNew LEGO sets being released in November 2018: Right now, the only two sets I know being released in Nov 2018 are the Ideas pop up book and the re-release of a Wind Turbine. With over 800 pieces, the Ideas Pop up Book is the first ever brick made book with a pop up scene of Jack and the Beanstalk and/or Little Red Riding Hood.  4 new minifigures will be included in this set. The wind turbine is a collaboration with Vestas, the largest producer of sustainable energy, is based on a previous set 7747.  This new set however is reportedly going to contain some more of the ‘Plants from Plants’, as well as some Power Functions modules.  And it will be over a meter tall according to reports.

LEGO Sets Coming soon

On a separate note, if you are looking for the LEGO Overwatch sets being released in collaboration with Blizzard Entertainment, all I have heard is they will be released sometime in 2019.  Personally I’m surprised they aren’t being dropped before the holidays in 2018. I have been able to find the set names and set numbers.  There are photos out there too but as you know I only publish my own pictures on this site. edited to add – these are the set names, piece counts, and set  numbers as released by LEGO group at Blizzcon.  There is also a LEGO Overwatch page on their website, and a coming soon page on LEGO Shop saying that pre-orders will ship on January 1 2019 https://shop.lego.com/en-US/Overwatch-Sets?CMP=SOC-OverwatchThemeReveal
  1. 75970 Tracer vs. Widowmaker. (129 pieces)
  2. 75971 Hanzo vs. Genji. (197 pieces)
  3. 75972 Dorado Showdown. (419 pieces)
  4. 75973 D.Va & Reinhardt. (455 pieces)
  5. 75974 Bastion. (602 pieces)
  6. 75975 Watchpoint: Gibraltar. (730 pieces)
If you know of any other LEGO sets being released this month, please let us know in the comments below.  Include your Instagram name, and I’ll be sure to give you a shout out and follow