Posts Tagged ‘technic’

Storing your LEGO

February 4, 2014

So I just recently was asked on my Facebook page about how to properly store your LEGO. What’s the best way to sort them? By part? By color? By kits? Just dump it all in a box?

Well, I wish there was a simple solution, some magical formula that I could give you that would instantly be the answer. Unfortnately, as most AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO) know, there is no magic formula. And sorting and storing your LEGO will change as your collection changes (and most likely grows).

The solutions that worked for me when I was a child, heck the solutions that worked even 5-10 years ago, won’t work for me now and I will have to reevaluate it probably in another 5 years or so — if not sooner.

When I was a kid, I kept all my LEGO in one box, but early on I realized how frustrating it was to find that one particular piece, as it was always at the bottom of the box. So by age 11 I had started sorting my LEGO to a small degree.

Now, I sort and store my LEGO by part and color. My storage system is certainly on the extreme side, very similar to the storage system that I had when I was a Master Model Builder at LEGOLAND California. But I need such a system as I literally build day in and day out. I have to know where all my parts are at all times.

Most of my LEGO are in drawers like these
LEGO Room 6

And my desk looks like this
LEGO Room 2

LEGO Room 3

Now it is rarely this clean, as I tend to be a messy builder.

When I was younger I just had 4 of these “nuts and bolts” drawers (I call them that since you usually find them in hardware stores) where I stored all my little LEGO elements — weapons, feathers, food, etc. As you can see that set of 4 has grown…

Here’s a close up of the “nuts and bolts” drawers
LEGO Storage 4

I also have a fairly large collection of these official LEGO storage drawers (which unfortunately they are phasing out)

LEGO Storage 2

I like to keep one element per set of trays, its a nice way of seeing how many of what color you have.

I have a lot of the LEGO drawers and containers, as you can see in this picture.
LEGO Room 1

This is in no way all my LEGO, and I have tons that still needs sorting (which is a constant problem for me).

But enough about me, what’s the best thing for you to do? Well as most of you probably don’t have quite as much LEGO as I do, there are some steps you can take to solve your storage problems.

1) Sort by part, not color — its much easier to find a particular color in a bin than a particular element type in a sea of one color. You don’t have to have everything super sorted like I have it. You can put similar things together — technic parts, tiles, clips, etc.

2) If it is your child’s collection, involve them in the sorting and storage process or it will never work — You can have all the LEGO perfectly sorted for your child, but unless they are involved, and actively sorting the bricks themselves, it won’t work. The only reason my LEGO sorting has worked for over 25 years is that I was the one who initiated it when I was younger. My parents didn’t care how I stored my LEGO, but I did, as I took my collection seriously from a very early age.

3) Don’t keep your LEGO sorted by kit — unless you are an adult collector that wants to keep them organized this way, I highly discourage keeping your LEGO by the kits they came in. The whole point of LEGO is to mix them up. The new LEGO Movie addresses this very issue.

4) Sort them by how you build — depending on your building style, that can determine your sorting and storage system. If you are a car builder you want lots of wheels, tires, rims, etc. If you build castles you want castle walls, gray elements, roof elements, etc. Since I build anything and everything, that is why I have a super sorted collection. But the things I use with regularity — bricks, plates, tiles, etc — are in the easy to reach places while the things I hardly ever use — castle parts, technic, wheels, etc — are accessible, but not in easy reach.

5) Start your storage and sorting small — You don’t have to do it all at once. I’ve been doing it since I was 11, and my storage system is constantly changing as my collection grows and fluctuates. You can just get a few “nuts and bolts” drawers, a few containers. Then as your collection changes your storage can change.

As a side note there are a couple Flickr groups about LEGO sorting — LEGO Storage Extravaganza and LEGO Sorting

So, what do you do to sort and store your LEGO?

Sword in the Stone

December 6, 2013

The Sword in the Stone

This truly epic scene by Chris Maddison is awesome! I love the Disney movie Sword and the Stone and Chris’ version of it is simply perfect.

The Sword in the Stone

I love the technic connectors as bare winter trees and the slight glow on the alter. πŸ™‚

The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder’s Guide Book Review

November 28, 2012

Now before I start my review, I have to post this disclaimer — If you’ve been reading me for a while you’ve probably figured out that I’m not a Technic builder. Never really have been and most likely never really will be. Sure I use Technic parts all the time. But I almost never build exclusively in Technic and with the exception of the new jewelry display racks I designed a couple months ago I hardly ever think about building with Technic exclusively.

I would like to thank No Starch Press for providing me with a copy of this book so that I could review it.

There, now that that’s over with I’ll start my review: πŸ˜€

My first impression as I thumbed through this book that it was very, very in depth but at the same time it was very wordy. Now I get that Technic guys usually are engineers in training (or professional ones when they grow up) but even so, this book had almost way too many words. I suppose it comes from me being more on the artistic side rather than the engineering side, but I’m much more of a visual learner.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of pictures in the book as well. Even if I am not a Technic builder, I know all the basic fundamentals. I’ve built my share of Technic models over the years, and as I said, I use the elements all the time and I am fairly versed in their uses. So looking over this book (without fully reading it I must admit) I can tell that it really does show pretty much everything you need to know about how to do all the basics for practically every Technic technique out there.

What this book is invaluable for is for learning all the basics without having to figure them out by yourself. Learning how to create a properly working pneumatic system or a gear shift without all the trial and error is awesome.

I see this as a very valuable tool for those that are just starting to forge the waters that are Technic models. Someone who loves all things mechanical and wants to know how they work. I do recommend it for the burgeoning Technic builder out there or even those like me who have been building for a long time but who don’t know all the basic Technic do’s and don’ts.

Dynaway Sorting Plant

January 20, 2012

I know I could certainly use one of these.

I’m not a Mindstorms person, but I love seeing what other people can make with them. BrickIt has created a Brick Sorting Plant. It only works for 2×4 and 1×2 bricks, but it does sort them in both size a color.

It’s build for a company called Dynaway (www.dynaway.com). They use this model to demonstrate their manufacturing execution system. The model is designed to fit inside one large flightcase, for easy transport. The model is the second model we’ve build for Dynaway.

I’d love a sorting machine, only mine would need to be much bigger and sort every LEGO element in every color. Hey, one can dream right? πŸ˜€

Bricks by the Bay Preparations

March 8, 2011

Goodness gracious this month seems to have a lot in it! I’m busily making lots of my LEGO keychains and jewelry for my vendor table at Bricks by the Bay. This year I thought I’d display my keychains and pins differently by having display racks. Now of course they can’t be regular display racks, they have to be LEGO display racks! πŸ˜‰

P1250361

The frame mainly consists of black brick, technic bricks, and minifig jousting sticks.

P1250363

Today I built lots of American flags, trains, penguins, Pac Man ghosts, hearts, skulls, and cats as keychains. It seems like a mixed bunch of models, but of course people have lots of different tastes. πŸ™‚

If you are interested in purchasing any of my LEGO models and can’t make it to Bricks by the Bay you can check them out at my Folded Fancy Creations Etsy shop.

I still have lots more to do before I’m fully ready for this upcoming LEGO Convention and at the same time I’ll be going up to Costa Mesa this coming weekend for the Grand Opening of the new LEGO Store at South Coast Plaza. I look forward to helping out with the 8 foot tall Yoda build and hanging out with my fellow LEGO friends. And naturally I will do my best for all of you who can’t make it out to the Yoda build so that you can share in the fun. πŸ˜€

Building Display Sets

March 1, 2011

I mentioned earlier about the Brand Ribbon Models for the LEGO Store that my LUG (LEGO User Group) was asked to build for the new Costa Mesa LEGO Store. Well imagine my surprise when I got three huge boxes last week that was filled with LEGO sets!

P1250255

Man, when I got all these models it was like Christmas! 66 sets were sent to my house and at first I didn’t know why they had sent them to me, but then a quick conversation with the new LEGO store manager I found out that they were all the sets on display. And it wasn’t just small sets — Ultimate Collector Imperial Shuttle, Harry Potter Diagon Alley, and the Tower Bridge were also included.

So there was nothing to do but gather some of my fellow LUG members and have another building party! πŸ˜€

P1250260

P1250258
Some models took only minutes to build (Hero Factory) while others took hours. We all had a fun time and the chance to build a whole bunch of LEGO sets was just plain cool. πŸ™‚

We’ll be setting all of these models up at the store this Sunday and then next weekend is the Grand Opening!

LEGO Store Grand Opening Event:
South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA
March 11 – 13
Help a real LEGO Master Builder construct an 8-foot tall LEGO Yoda during our 3-day Grand Opening Celebration weekend! You’ll get a free LEGO Star Wars Certificate of Achievement for helping, while supplies last! Plus, visit the LEGO Store during the event to enter for a chance to win a $50 LEGO Store Gift Card! No purhcase necessary to enter.

I’ll be there all weekend and I plan on covering the weekend here for all of you who can’t make it. But for those of you who can, I look forward to seeing you there! πŸ˜‰

10214 Tower Bridge

August 6, 2010

In the same vein of the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal the 10214 Tower Bridge promises to be a great addition to the large scale building series.

At first glance this model doesn’t seem quite as impressive as the Taj Mahal, in fact it almost looks like a fan created MOC (my own creation), that is until you take a closer look at the Hi-Res picture. πŸ™‚

This model is teaming with lots of small details and new elements, the most notable in my mind as well as many others is the Tan cheese slopes! Up until this set cheese slopes in tan (which come in virtually every other color) have been but only a much requested dream element of LEGO fans. But of course its not just the cheese slopes. There are multiples of tiles, technic wheels, windows, and if I am not mistaken (which I might be πŸ˜‰ ) baseplates in medium blue.

Although there is no official word, with the part count at over four thousand pieces this will not be a cheap set. It will most likely be in the $300 range like the two previous Building sets. The Tower Bridge is slated to be available this October, at least from what I can find on BrickSet. There is also a forum on Eurobricks discussing the set.

Robo T-Rex

February 18, 2010

Alyse or Remi aka Bolt of Blue (I’m not sure which) created this crazy articulated reptile.

My first attempt at gear-based articulation joints. I don’t think I could have chosen a more difficult shape! He stands, barely. There’s 5 articulation points in the legs, but trying to extend the legs at all just busts axles. Dude needs to shed some pounds.

Loosely inspired by this crazy German commercial for… something…

A very impressive and slightly terrifying model. πŸ™‚

Looks like Walter is in a bit of trouble. πŸ˜€

2010 LEGO Set Previews

September 20, 2009

If you’ve paid attention to any of the multitude of LEGO blogs, forums and photo sharing sites lately, you’ve probably started hearing rumors or seeing thumbnails of what will be available in 2010. Several of the much talked about themes are the new LEGO Toy Story, Prince of Persia, and Atlantis. Although I like to see the newest sets as soon as possible. sometimes the thumbnail images are so small and blurry that its almost not even worth trying to decipher what they are supposed to be. πŸ˜•

At a recent sponsored event in Russia called Festival Rossiyskogo Fan Forum LEGO Alexander posted pictures of some of the 2010 sets that LEGO displayed.

Update: Looks like all the images were taken down. 😦 I guess we’ll just have to wait a little to see the official images. πŸ˜‰

He took several pictures. From what I saw, 2010 is going to be another great year for LEGO. πŸ™‚

Like Fathers Like Sons

July 1, 2009

Since Father’s day just passed us, I thought this was a pretty appropriate MOC for the day (somehow I totally missed mentioning it on my blog). David Pickett aka fallentomato has created this scene combining both Technic figures and Minifigures together. He did a really good job of matching the figures and I love the micro cars and castle on the floor. πŸ™‚

My only problem with this scene is it brings up my constant gripe about LEGO being geared for boys. There has never been a Technic girl figure and I have always wondered why. I’m sure I would have paid more attention to Technic sets as a child if there had been a female figure to play with. And I’m sorry, but Belville and Scala just doesn’t cut it with me. They never have. The only thing good about them is all the accessories that were produced because of them.

Okay, gripe over. πŸ˜€ Good job David!