ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lego bricks - not just for children any more

Updated on July 5, 2013

AFOLs: Adult Fans of LEGO

Used to be that LEGO bricks were only for kids. Maybe some Moms and Dads would get interested and build something. And there was the rare adult who got totally hooked and built amazing creations - but that was the exception, and until the rise of the Internet, those rare birds had a hard time finding out about each other.

Once the adult fans of LEGO - AFOLs - could find each other online, though, amazing things happened. People learned from and were inspired by each other. They got together in person in groups and built more amazing things together than one person could alone. They built train layouts and invaded the model railroaders' train shows - and often won the "people's choice" type awards for the layout that visitors loved best. They designed models that the LEGO company itself made into sets. And they had a whole lot of fun in the process.

They still do. How about you?

Bulk lego bricks for sale
Bulk lego bricks for sale

Where do adults get all those LEGO bricks?

One thing you may notice about AFOL creations is that they are often quite large, and contain a lot of LEGO bricks. Not only that, but because adults tend to go for realism, they contain a lot of bricks of the same color, and it may be a less common or even downright rare color. Where do all those bricks come from?

I can tell you from my own experience that there are several ways to accumulate the LEGO bricks you need to build a model you're planning.

The most obvious is to buy them direct from LEGO on their Shop at Home website. "Pick a Brick" services allow you to buy large quantities of a single color and shape of brick. Unfortunately the selection is often, shall we say, whimsical, and the prices for standard rectangular bricks are very high. Pick a Brick works best when you need a lot of a fairly uncommon piece that just happens to be available at a decent price. Grab them while they last.

Another very useful source is Bricklink. Here, thousands (yes, really) of adults sell the bricks they don't need themselves in order to fund their LEGO hobby. Some run it as a genuine business. They buy official LEGO sets on sale, sort out all the pieces, and sell the pieces individually or in bulk to whoever wants them. Bricklink is by far the cheapest way to directly buy brand new standard bricks - the only way you'll do better is if you can find used LEGO at garage sales (good luck with that!). Bricklink is also your best hope for old and rare pieces if you're looking to replace a piece from an old set.

if you're prepared to work, though, the cheapest way to get LEGO bricks is to become a seller on Bricklink and part out sets for sale yourself. Buy sets that contain the pieces you need, keep those pieces, and sell the rest. It's not unusual to cover the cost of the set by selling the pieces you don't want, so you get the pieces you do need for free, in dollar terms. I did this for a number of years and the hourly rate turns out not to be so good if you actually value your time.

Lego books

Along with the flowering of adult LEGO fans has come a wide variety of books written partly by and for those fans. Up to the late 90's there were very few LEGO books available at all - "The World of LEGO Toys" was pretty much it - but now you can find LEGO books for every type of theme or building interest, including ones that your parents would definitely have disapproved of.

LEGO instructions on the Kindle

I've added several of my small LEGO instructions to the Amazon Kindle store. Did you know that you can read Kindle books on your computer, iPad, or other non-Kindle device? Yep, you can download free Kindle reading software from Amazon that allows you to read Kindle books on just about anything.

Did you enjoy reading this lens? Would you like to leave some feedback, or just make a suggestion? I'm always glad to hear what more you'd like to see here!

Thanks for visiting!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      dannystaple 

      6 years ago

      You may want to check spelling of some of the Lego terms - "midstorms" should be mindstorms. I love the selection of Lego books, I'd also love to hear why you like each one! Lego is one of my favourite subjects - I read a lot of Lego lenses!

    • myneverboredhands profile image

      myneverboredhands 

      8 years ago

      Lego is really good for creative people for any age actually... Nice lens.

    • profile image

      marsha32 

      9 years ago

      I am adding this to the featured lenses on my own legos lens.

    • profile image

      KidsPlayKitchens 

      9 years ago

      My brother in law got into MIT because his entrance essay was about Legos! So, they're pretty much one of the best toys you could possibly find for the brain.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      I love legos! Cool lens.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)