Model Building Tips – Navigating Bricklink

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Bricklink is a valuable resource for getting LEGO elements, both common and rare. Just in case someone doesn’t know, Bricklink is kind of an Ebay for LEGO buying. Anything and almost everything LEGO has ever made can be found there – if you know where to look. But that’s just the problem. There are literally thousands and thousands of different types of LEGO elements in different colors, etc. How do you go about looking for just one thing?

I have found that it can be a bit of a challenge finding exactly what it is you are looking for. Even with all the LEGO knowledge I have (about 25 years worth!), I still find it tricky to find what I want. So here are some tips on how to navigate Bricklink:

1) When looking for a particular element, narrow down your search by specifying the exact color you want.

2) If you don’t know the name of the element that you are looking for, do you remember a particular set it comes in? I have found many times that I don’t have the exact name of an element I look on Peeron to find a set that I know that piece is in. For those of you who don’t know, Peeron is a online resource that inventories almost every set that LEGO has ever produced. It helps if you know the theme and name of the set. Sometimes the name on Peeron is different from that of Bricklink, but not often.

3) Use the Browse feature on Bricklink. This is a really helpful. The more that you can narrow down your search – color, type, brick or plate, etc – the easier it is to find.

4) Check out the stores. Look inside them and just browse through them that way. You might not find the element you want in the color you want, but if you find it in a different color you can copy the name of the element in the search area and then look for it that way.

I hope these tips help. If you have any additional tips, let me know. :)

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5 Responses to “Model Building Tips – Navigating Bricklink”

  1. Dan Says:

    The BrickLink catalog (which you can search as well) is also an incredible resource. Peeron often has different part or color names from BrickLink, and sellers are asked to list sets based on the BrickLink inventories instead of the Peeron ones.

  2. Chris Says:

    I’m just an amateur, but I have a couple of tips that have saved me a lot of time on BrickLink:

    1) BrickLink has sets too, so you don’t have to jump back and forth between Peeron and BrickLink. This also makes more advanced “detective work” a lot easier. For example, if you have a particular piece and don’t know what set it came from, you can look up the piece, click the link to get the list of all sets it appeared in, then click on a particular set and see all the parts making up that set. (I find this useful when I buy a lot of used pieces and am trying to figure out which sets the previous owner actually had.)

    2) My friend showed me this, and I had to smack myself on the head for not noticing it before. It has saved me literally hours of time searching on BrickLink since then. If you already have a piece and need to find it on BrickLink, look on its underside – most pieces have the element number molded into the piece on the bottom! You may need a magnifying glass, as some of them are pretty small. Also, there are a number of pieces that do not have the number molded into them because there’s just no space for it, but the majority I have checked do have it. Just search for the element number on BrickLink, and voila, there is your piece!

  3. modelbuildingsecrets Says:

    Thanks for the tips, I really appreciate it. :)

  4. Andy Says:

    Have you tried BrickStore?
    It installs on MS Windows and keeps a local database and pictures.
    Its search field hones the list as you type. It also can pull up a browser to show BrickLink

  5. KIM Says:

    I WILL ORDER IT FOR FREE

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