Planning for Your Lego Maniacs

As you may know by now, with four boys, our home is Lego central. I did my best to keep those sharp, pokey, kill-your-feet-in-the-middle-of-the-night-when-you’re-walking-down-the-hall bricks at bay for quite some time. But, about five years ago I succumbed, and my boys couldn’t be happier.

Legos are a very sweet part of the fabric of our lives. We’ve visited Legoland, built Lego-themed birthday cakes, and strived to keep the mess under control. As the holidays approach, I know that my boys would be beyond thrilled to open at least a tiny box of bricks on Christmas morning.

To that end, I’m planning ahead.

  • I’m taking notes on the things that the new sets that they think are cool. Eventually these might be compiled into “Christmas lists,” but I don’t want to rush that. So, I just perk up my ears when they exclaim over the Lego catalogs and magazines that come to the house.
  • I’m keeping my eyes open for more storage systems. The last thing you want on Christmas morning is a ton of Lego without someplace to put it.
  • I’m browsing the clearance section at Lego.com. They regularly offer items at rock bottom prices. The selection changes frequently and sometimes you can get some pretty cool things for cheap, like Lego shields for five bucks. (while supplies last) While it might not be the latest and greatest items on clearance, my kids would still enjoy it.

LEGO

How do you plan for your Lego Maniacs?

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  1. I thought our house was Lego central! My kiddo have been collecting them for almost 2 years now. Hubbie picked up his old collection from his parents, and doubled the number we had! I don’t know which one loves the Legos more. We’ve actually had to hide them before so my little guy would play with his other toys!

  2. I have a 10 1/2 year old and 5 1/2 year old boys and our house is PACKED with Legos. I too have done the Lego birthday parties, cakes, bought Lego candies, subscribed to the magazines, gone to Legoland and everything else Lego. I thought the obsession would diminish with age, but my husband still gets in there with my boys and builds! I’ve bought long, Rubbermaid tubs to slide under the beds and they can use the tops to build on. When they’re done, lid goes back on and the bins slide easily under the bed. I might have to go buy a couple more with Christmas coming!

  3. We’re nowhere near a legoland but Concord NC is on my list of places to go. They have a Lego store. My intention is to take the kids there and then allow them to get a mini figure to add to their collections. In addition to round it up I’ll add 2 figures to be utilized as prizes in our weekly spelling word bee for the younger 2.

    I usually get my kids each one unique set and then build upon that throughout the year(ie My youngest got space aliens all last year, my oldest star wars). I use the small sets for birthday cakes and allow my older 2 to do the assembling.

    Anyway these are a few ways the love of legos are kept alive.

  4. We are in LegoMy son turns 4 on Monday and he has already gotten 4 sets from out of town relatives, we have another on for him on Monday. We are in Lego overload! I need to find a new storage solution so I can re-claim my “good” tupperware that is currently housing them. Thanks for the links to the Lego clearance, who know.

  5. After being a mother for 23+ years, and we still have a 10 year old, Legos are a permanent part of our lives (and Knex, and Wedgits). Few things offer the potential for such creative play. We will never get rid of them! I look forward to lots and lots and lots of grandchildren playing with the same Legos! We use big tubs to store Legos in. For Knex, I use sets of large plastic drawers for the Knex so each color is in it’s own drawer.

  6. I just bought some of the mystery legos minifigures. They are 1.99 each and I bought a few for their stockings already as they always sell out at the Lego store. If you are at the Lego store, I went to the one in Anaheim at downtown Disney, if they are out of them (and they said they sell them out as soon at they get them), they will order them for you with free shipping to your house since they are out at the store. If the item is at the store, then they can’t give you the free shipping. They used to even be able to order them on the phone for you without having to go to the store if they were out of the item and you got free shipping for that. We just bought some of the clear plastic organizer carts at a garage sale to hold the legos. My son has lots of figures and we sometimes sell some of the extra bricks on ebay as a lot so that he gets more money to buy more lego sets. I buy them after christmas and in july at Target. If you hit Target the day they go 75% on the toys, you may find a store- especially in a lower income area where they don’t buy as many Legos- at 75 percent off and then they are great gifts to save for birthday parties or kids birthdays. I finally gave my teen son a set of an old plane similar to the wright brothers that I had bought a few years ago at the after christmas markdown as I was waiting until he was old enough to do this more involved set. If they want to use Christmas money from grandma to buy legos, if you have a lego store to go to, they have a vip (frequent buyer) program which will slowly net you a few points for a free gift.

  7. Another thing, Costco has usually 2 bigger lego sets that this year save you about 10. They had a firefighter type one and 2 star wars ones that was 40 something instead of 50 something. That is the best discount I have seen for new sets but the Costco ones always are gone before Thanksgiving in our area. The star wars ones was a starfighter and the other one was I think General Grevious set. If you have a family member that wants to buy them a favorite set for Christmas, I would call the store and see if they can ship it for free to you if they are out of the set. The popular new sets like some star wars sets do sell out at the lego store in December. Also, my mom has been buying them each a nice set each year for christmas at the lego store and they have been offering a free pick a brick box to redeem in january or february with a certain price purchase around the holidays each year so we added that to their christmas gift. Legos are popular, especially the sets that my teen sons want as they seem to be in love with the popular star wars sets that everyone else wants. I just let them know that we can’t afford some of those sets but that is what birthday money, ebay money from selling some bricks and garage sale money is for- for them to buy some sets they want. Hope this wasn’t too much info! Also, I check out the most popular sets and sometimes there is a 10.99 set that is on the popular list best selling list on the website and find out if that is a set my kids really want. They might be happier with a specific lower priced set instead of a bigger set that is on clearance- something to think about for the older lego guys who have more specific legos they want. I bought a small lego bbq set for maybe $5 last year and my son really thought it was cool so that was a good buy since I spent less than the other set I was contemplating. Right now they have a 3.99 wizard set listed on the most popular sellers at the lego webiste that might go well with some other legos your child already has, especially if he likes harry potter type sets.

  8. One of my husband’s coworkers told him her teenage son didn’t want his legos any more and would we be interested? Ummm …. YES!

    I keep debating with myself whether we need a lego table or not. I know our lego storage leaves much to be desired (currently lego in our house lives in a plastic dresser on wheels, not an ideal building situation)

    Don’t you just love living in a house rotating lego artwork on display? One of my favorite toys that the kids have for sure :-)

  9. Often in the Fall TRU will have buy one, get one 50% off sales that I try to take advantage of. We just had a lego party for my son and I bought the $4 mini kits BOGO and used that as our “build” and then it went home with them as their party favor.

    Lego also sells a minifigure ice cube tray that I used to with different colored candy lets to make edible little men to decorate the cupcakes and fill the loot bags. (I also bought candy lego bricks from “oh nuts”.) People also use them to melt crayons down and make lego men crayons–just search lego and crayon on ebay–super cute!

    Also–last year Amazon had lots of big lego sets as part of their lightning deals right before Christmas. We were able to get one of the large house sets for a steal! I saw they just had the 31 minifigure set for under $40 at one point this week, so I’ll be keeping my eye on that to see if it drops to an even better price.

  10. Sarah Myers says:

    There is a really cool pre-sorter stack of trays that we saw for legos. The idea is that each tray, when stacked, has a grid where the size of the grid decreases in size as you go toward the bottom tray. Stack the trays up, dump the legos in, and after a little shaking, voila! the legos are presorted! I believe you can find a link or picture on Amazon.com — they are called Blox Box (I think).

    Also, to help our young boys keep their legos off the floor, we have told them that the lego dragon will come while they are asleep looking for legos to eat off the floor. The basement floor is kept clean and the lego dragon has only “eaten” legos three times since he has started to come to our house two months ago. The boys love the character and making up stories — like he lives in a lego castle and has a lego dragon mommy and daddy.

  11. I did the same as another poster – bought a set of mystery bags. Some I let them open. Most I’m keeping for stocking stuffers. One really neat lego gift that each boy uses daily, is a large flat square so that you can build your lego creation or scene on it and then move it at the end of the day by just picking up the whole thing on the square. Keeps the creation from falling apart. (I think they’re about 15 x 15 or larger)? My boys love to use them for making lego movies too.

  12. DD (6 years old) has asked for Legos for Christmas this year. My mother can’t wait. She still has totes full of our Legos from 20 years ago. Every so often, she (62 years old) and my brother (40 years old and still living at home…. long story) pull them out and play with them for weeks at a time. I guess it is true…. you never outgrow them!

  13. We have no plan for Legos. And so they are often stepped on and Mama squeals (because they hurt, as you well know!). I must investigate some type of plan because my 5yo son has just discovered those Lego fire trucks, planes, etc. that you can put together and take apart a million times. He will be easy to buy for this Christmas. :)

    Incidentally, my 17 month old swallowed a Lego this week. *sigh* Still waiting for that to re-appear!

    And are there Lego magazines?? My son would think that is the best thing ever…

    -Lauren

  14. My son LOVES lego’s too. Target is a great place a few times a year to keep your eyes open. We got my son like 10 sets this year, which we divided for Christmas and his birthday on clearance and did pay squat for them. Also sometimes Target has Lego coupons you can get off their site, which you can stack with a sale and make out pretty good. I’m struggling to find a decent storage idea at a decent price. Would like to get them a Lego table, but in my opinion they are crazy priced!

  15. My sons are 8 and 10, and have been on the Lego bandwagon for what seems like FOREVER! In that time we’ve accumulated one of those big rubbermaid tubs full of Lego. Check Craigslist for people that want to get rid of it – I paid $100 for 7 lbs of Lego and 7 lbs of MegaBlocks last Christmas (mixed together, including boards, people and specialty pieces) – the owner needed the money and while we did have to sort and clean it, I considered it a steal! My niece was thrilled to get all the MegaBlocks! One awesome tip we stumbled across somewhere is to get a large flat sheet, put all the Lego ON the sheet, and that’s where the bulk of the Lego stays while they’re playing (besides the stuff that’s built into something). When they’re done playing, all they have to do is gather up the four corners of the sheet and drop it into the rubbermaid container – DONE! It makes clean-up quick and we SELDOM have stray Lego pieces for my feet to find! We also have a plastic dresser with small drawers for all their “special pieces” or sets that they want to keep separate.

    • @Josie, Putting a sheet down to play on is an awesome idea! Too bad it’s too late to help with the pieces that are currently scattered across the family room;)

  16. All this Lego talk brings back so many memories of my four younger brothers! My parents still have all their Legos, and they would never get rid of them . . . at least until the boys want to take them for their only families!

    My own girls haven’t gotten into the big kid Legos yet, but my oldest plays with her Duplos longer than any other toy. Whenever I see any at a yard or consignment sale, I snap them up. Whatever the seller is charging, it is going to be significantly less than what you pay in stores. I actually scored a tub of regular Legos at a yard sale recently for a song; I’m saving them for a little while until I think my four year old is ready.

  17. We are just entering the lego phase. My dad picked up 3 huge plastic totes full of used legos for $50 a couple months ago. I mean THOUSANDS of legos. One of the pirate ship sets in there I found on amazon for $89, so I think we got a steal! We bought one of those 3 tiered shelves with the different colored plastic bins on amazon (I think it was $60). Now all the legos are sorted and stored by like shape and size. It keeps the madness at bay, but easily accessible. I think my husband likes them just as much as my 4 year old! They will sit for hours building airplanes or boats then the hanger to store them in. It it so much fun to watch!

  18. We have a daddy and three boys who are Lego maniacs. Legos everywhere. Definitely going to look into the block sorting/storage box. Never thought to check the clearance section on the website. Great idea! Did anyone catch the BBC show where James May had a house built of Legos?

  19. christine says:

    I discovered that Borders sells Lego sets AND they allow you to use their coupons on the sets. So I have used 33% and 40% off coupons on Lego sets at Borders. Once in awhile Borders issues a 50% off coupon but I have not been able to make it there when those coupons are issued.

  20. Oh my goodness! We have a little Lego maniac at our house too. Have you seen this sorter/storage bin? Dump the Legos in the top, cover, and shake. They sort by size and it’s easy to keep track of those teensy pieces. http://amzn.to/bEF7lk

  21. i have seen some really cool new lego board games, guess I know what our nephew is getting this Christmas.

  22. AllieZirkle says:

    This made me think of you (plus her reference to her life as mom lol)
    http://www.moneywisemoms.com/2010/10/in-lego-house.html

  23. we use the underbed storage boxes too. they dont like to put stuff away b/c they are still working on it so they can set it on top of the box. great creative play!
    we got the lego advent calendar for the second time this year, it is well worth the money! My 2 little girls share it and take turns opening the day!
    I hit the lego clearance HARD too!

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