Lego Advice

Updated on March 11, 2014
F.B. asks from Kew Gardens, NY
17 answers

Mamas & papas-

Our DS is ready to move on from DUPLO to Lego. I've never bought these, the duplos we had were a gift. Any thought or ideas for a good starter set of lego? We ordered a pink tub from Amazon, and I was pretty disappointed, as there were only three small bags of really tiny peices, and were intended for making a house and car, and not much else.

How do I get a basic starter set with bricks, a building platform a couple of guys and some bits and pieces.

F. B.

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So What Happened?

we'll be giving the pink tub to my god daughter for an early easter present. although it was marked 4+ it just seemed a bit too fiddly for our boy.

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answers from Pittsburgh on


I'm serious. You are much better off buying someone else's bin of Legos than trying to find one in a store. The Legos in the stores are all small kits that cost a fortune with complex instructions on how to build something very specific. I think the makers of Legos are crazy - those kits are usually more than $1 per Lego piece.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

"Lego Juniors- easy to build kits" are good for my 4 and 5 year old. They also like the lego creation kits where you can build several different models of "cars" for example. All of the lego pieces eventually just end up in one bin, from there they usually end up building their own creation. You have to buy the building platforms separately. You can buy single lego guys in the lego aisle as well- they come in little packets. Legos are very expensive but nothing entertains my kids more, they love them!!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Pittsburgh on

The Lego trap... I have been trying to accumulate an assortment of basic building Lego bricks (NOT the sets). I have paid A LOT of money and still feel we don't have enough bricks.

I have even looked on eBay and Craigslist. I've felt that I'd be better off buying a new set here and a new set there. Here are some of the non-kit sets:

6177 - 650 bricks
4630 - 1000 pieces
4627 - 600 pieces
10662- 600 pieces
6166 - 405 pieces

Watch for deals on Amazon, Toys R Us (BOGO 50%), Walmart (Value Bundles)

You can buy the platforms from Amazon and Toys R Us for $4.99-14.99.

I'll be interested to see what other responses you get because I've found you never have enough :-(

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Do you have a LEGO store near you?

Yeah..paying retail for them is obscene...however...buying off ebay or is another way to go.

Keep in mind - it doesn't seem that LEGO is "free style build" anymore...they are all "SETS" to build one thing. Here's what ebay has for LEGO Junior right now..

Here's what's on craigslist in NYC

I would search for LEGO PIECES not sets - that will allow him to "Free style Build" and not be "stuck" in to building.

Check with your school. They might have a LEGO club - we have one. It's great!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

It is indeed sad that Lego moved over to kits designed to build specific things rather than being a bunch of bricks for free building...however there are still options! If you get a 'Creator' set, they have bricks/etc which can be made into three different things. Also, once that the kid has built that Imperial Destroyer or whatever the kit was intended to be, s/he can always take it apart and just make anything. That's exactly what our son has done with the Lego kits he has gotten over the years, and the area under our tv is occupied with a fleet of small kid-designed airplanes, cars, and missile launchers. More organized people probably have the child put them in one bin, however the creations are pretty much out of the way and it gives that 'lived-in' feeling to the room. Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Go to the Lego website. You can purchase basic tubs of bricks as well as lots of other pieces. We started with a large set of bricks, the set of community minifigures and a set of wheels. Have fun.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Go for one of those buckets. Yes it looks half empty but thats ok because your son will be getting onther kits which after he builds will get dumped right in with the other legos. my kids started out with those buckets with the handle. we had a green one a red one and a yellow one. we now 20+ years later have a large plastick bin with drawers which pull out and both are full of legos. some of which are the original ones and others are sets from the star wars things, the harry potter things, the batman things etc. those that they can use there imagination with are great. but if he needs a starter thing go with a little car or house type kit. it gets them started. the one thing I would caution against is getting one older than his age level. they are on there for a reason. so go with them at least to start.


answers from Norfolk on

Way back when my son was that age I bought him a 10 lb bag lot of Legos off eBay (that vender was selling them by the pound - you could order as much or as little as you liked).
It was AMAZING all the different pieces there were - every size/shape/color.
One of the best Christmas presents EVER!
He started building planes/cars/buildings/boats while I had a lovely time sorting the pieces out into zip lock bags (I'm not joking - I had an absolute blast sitting on the floor going through it all).
That was the start of our unofficial Lego kingdom that now dominates the playroom.
Since then our son has built many kits and random self created creations (he did the Sopwith Camel model last Christmas) and he's sure he wants to be an engineer when he goes to college.



answers from Sacramento on

The Legos just come in small kits, unless you want to spend $75+ on the large ones. We spent a fortune on Legos when our son was really into them.

I second the Craigslist idea.



answers from Los Angeles on

Lego recently came out with a new line called Lego Junior. They are normal sized Legos, but designed for younger kids with easy instructions and simple-to-build designs. I saw some at Target this weekend. You might be able to find some good sets there.

I do think the big tubs of bricks are a good way to start if you don't want to build an actual set. Otherwise, for a young boy, maybe start with the Lego City line, which has lots of cars, trucks, planes, police and fire stuff, etc.

The pieces in any Lego set will be the same size as the ones in the pink tub. Those are normal sized Legos - only duplos are bigger.

If you have a Lego store near you, you can buy pieces by the brick, so maybe you can just go and choose the ones you like. This will be expensive though.

Target generally has the best prices, but Toys R Us has a much bigger selection. Both will match any advertised price.



answers from Los Angeles on

The new Lego junior batman set and car set are really simple and cute. Also check out Play Well's website. They have a video on setting up a starter set. We did not need to make it as we have a pass to Legoland so you can imagine the amount of bricks and kits that brings with it. Another vote for starting with mini figure bags. It gets them used to building with such small pieces but has a quick pay off with a figure to play with. The bags right now are from Lego movie. I know the pink box you bought. That is typical of the amount of bricks and figures for the money if you bought it at retail( amazon or toys r us). Big vote for Lego store and VIP card. You earn money back to use on line or in store and comes with a great magazine 6 times a year with no cost. Lego saved my darlings vision from needing to wear a patch so I can say nothing but wonderful things about Lego. ( well I could complain about the price but its no worse then Disney stuff ). Have fun!



answers from Portland on

I like what Anne suggested about the 'creator' kits.

We started out buying bags of legos at garage sales/consignment shops. Now we have an entire gift wrap container (one of those long ones to slide under the bed) FULL to the top with legos. As my son has received/bought kits, he assembles them and then the pieces eventually get incorporated into The Mass (which I am trying to help him keep sorted and organized, a Sisyphean task if there ever was one. He's been going strong on these for quite a year and a half or so and does a LOT of his own building.

The LEGO Play book is great, too. I wasn't as much of a fan of the Lego Idea book, but there are lots of books for young builders to give them ideas. Sean Kenney has some you can perhaps check out from your library. We also did watch some YouTube videos on building catapults and trebuchets, too.


answers from Boston on

These are easy to find at yard sales and often on CraigsList. They can be expensive but they are worth it. The Lego stores let you buy exactly the colors you want and in the quantities you like, but it would be better if you had some experience before you went that route. I think the sets that help you build just one thing (a Star Wars vehicle, an underwater research station, whatever) can be helpful for kids who need guidance and who like to follow instructions, but they can be frustrating for others because the outcome is pre-determined. I'd suggest you go for a starter set and then get a base that lets the child keep everything flat so it doesn't topple over. Legos are designed to take TIME so a child has to have patience or fine motor skills or both. Having a child use their imagination is great - but they have to see the pieces for their shapes and length, vs. colors.

There are a few less expensive knock-offs you can look into as well. I also find the Lego sets vary by what theme is popular in the movies (Star Wars is just one, but you get the idea). So things change over time. The nice thing is, they do grow with the child. We had some that were related to pirates, others connected with castles & knights, and so on.

You could consider a divided storage container from the hardware store or dollar store, with compartments. Those are good for keeping the special pieces (little people, accessories like torches or glow-in-the-dark pieces, and that sort of thing) separate from the basic bricks. It's not worth sorting the bricks by color or size, in my mind, but these small and unique pieces are probably worth your time.

We also had a table with 4 building base plates on it, and a hole in the center with a mesh bag. It wasn't cheap but it gave our son a place to build that kept the blocks off the floor, and it was easy to move out of the middle of the family room floor. You could use any small table - kid height - and the flat squares (like linoleum tiles, almost) just sitting on top.



answers from Chattanooga on

I browse craigslist a lot looking or things like that. Even if I can only find a small amount (though, people don't usually list small amounts of stuff like that...) it's still a better deal than retail.

Then, just toss them all into a garment bag, toss in the dishwasher, and voila! Nice, clean Legos. :)



answers from Santa Barbara on

I think ebay is so expensive. These crazy people try to sale a lego set for twice the retail and claim the set is hard to find.

Anyway, your son is still young and you decide what set. Once they get a bit older they start to have a real opinion on the lego set. I agree they are over priced, yet still a top pick (my son will request a certain set for Christmas and be over the moon if he gets it). Go to target and view the cases with the sets already put together. It will give you an idea of size. The City line will give you more bang for your buck vs Star Wars (or other popular series).

Usually no deal can be had. I sold the toy story sets on craigslist for a few dollars off retail (used sets that my son out grew). So if you save the box and all the pieces you too can resale for close to full retail. I have not bought of craigslist yet because I fear there will be important pieces missing.

If you buy just pieces you are allowing your child to use his imagination vs. following the instructions to build the set. Many educators (moms/dads) know their kid will learn more from using his/her imagination.



answers from Beaumont on

I would get them on Amazon. You can buy the specifics you're looking for. My kids loved the people more than the actual pieces. Then we got the platform and some kits specific to their tastes.



answers from Wausau on

The Legos in the pink set you mention are the same size of bricks you will get with any standard Lego set. (They also make micro sets, which are even tinier bricks.)

Even though there are suggested building instructions, you can make what you wish. My kids try the model instructions once, then take it apart and make their own creations.

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