Lego Nostalgia: NBA Streetball 2 vs 2
My son likes basketball and Lego. The Boston Celtics is one of his favorite NBA teams. Last Christmas, I wanted to get him minifigures of Celtics basketball players. At the present, Lego does not sell any NBA theme sets anymore. That's unfortunate because the kits are cool. The only good choice it seems is to buy from a Lego marketplace online. Brinklink.com fits the bill. I have used this site which connects Lego buyers and sellers all over the world.
I only wanted to buy Celtics minifigures. However, only Paul Pierce was available. So I pick whoever was selling it at the least price. One trader had a minimum buy for $5. Since there he sold other NBA minifigures, I just added them to the order. There was Garnett, Allen, and Shaquille O'Neill in other team uniforms prior to joining the Celtics. That was close enough for me.
Along the way, I decided to add even more minifigures. One neat thing about Bricklink is that you can communicate between buyer and seller. I asked the seller of the minifigures where he got the Lego NBA players. He showed me links of NBA themed Lego sets. There was a small kit of one on one type game with Lego minifigures performing slam dunks. The seller check if he still had any but said he had two of the two on two sets and bigger kits.
So the price of my $10 dollar budget grew to $29 and $10 for shipping. After locating all the pieces, the seller packaged and shipped the kit through regular mail in Canada just after New Years day. My original plan was to buy everything before Christmas but between me and the seller, we were too busy to answer e-mail. I eventually got the used Lego kit 3431, NBA Street Ball 2 vs 2 a little more than 3 weeks later.
I put the kit together and was impressed. The minifigures of the NBA players are mechanically different than other Lego kits: They have internal springs that allow you to catapult a small basketball into the air. It was difficult getting a ball into the hoop but it can be done after a little practice. I have a video that demonstrates the process.
The Lego kit number 3431 was released by Lego to the market in 2003. The used kit by the seller had one missing piece but it wasn't critical. There are some Lego kits where one unique tiny missing piece in the beginning of the assembly instructions that if missing would totally prevent you from building the rest of the kit. The missing piece was not that.
I wish they still sell Lego NBA kits in stores again. It could happen. In the meantime, Bricklink is available for purchasing kits released in the past.