How did I end up here opening a Brinklink store called Carefree Building Blocks? Quite honestly it was by pure accident.
Do you remember how the discarded and misfit toys felt from the holiday special on TV? They were a lonely sad lot and I was greatly affected by their story as a small child. As a child clear into adulthood I always did my best to fix others discarded broken toys and breathe new life into them and play with them again. I have repaired toys my whole life (I am 64 now).
I was first introduced to Lego’s through my two son’s Brian and Paul. The sets I fondly remember where from the late 80’s thru 2000, Blacktron, Ice Planet, Castle, Pirates, Space Police and of course anything to do with Town.
One day about a year and a half ago I was reminiscing about me and the boys filling the entire dining room table with our own Lego world. We made use of every single Lego base plate and brick we owned. We had huge pedestrian bridges high above the streets so the mini-figures and cyclists could travel safely above the traffic. It kept us busy for months one summer building and playing with it. That memory led me to search for used Lego’s on the internet and up popped some auction listings on ebay. I didn’t bother to fight the urge to bid. The box I won was delivered and contained 13 lbs of mixed Lego. No figures or instructions were inside so I looked for the most unusual pieces. I began searching around the internet and came across Bricklink, OMG, what a wonderful website. I discovered that each and every piece of Lego has an item# stamped on it. That people bought and sold sets and pieces and each and every Lego piece was cataloged right here on the Brinklink website.
Most of the mini-figure heads I saw in the sets we owned had the generic smile and 2 dots for eyes (except Ice Planet did have the white hair) I was blown away to find the endless array of head configurations. Further research on Bricklink helped me to understand the Lego I just bought was from 2003 and up and it wasn’t my wheelhouse so to speak. I really wanted Lego’s from the same time period that I was familiar with.
Last spring I came across Tom Alpin’s website and read what he had to say about finding a collection locally thus saving shipping and knowing that the mini-figures were included. It only took a few months when an ad popped up from a family wanting to sell ($28) one “storage tote” of Lego, and they were 15 minutes from where I lived. Pictures of the tote showed it was full of bricks, figures instructions everything I needed. When I arrived at the seller’s home she opened up the garage door and the bin that was pictured was sitting right there on the floor. We chatted a few minutes about her 2 boys and mine were the same age so that meant these were the Lego’s from the time period I was familiar with. When I was ready to hand over the money I noticed she had many more totes full of base plates, boats, bricks and figures on shelves in the garage. When I asked about them she said she would sell them too. I was interested solely to keep the whole collection together. As I was loading the car she mentioned she had 2 more totes inside with trains and would I want them? Sure I will take it all. When I arrived home I weighed everything, 127 pounds! Holy Molly let the washing and sorting begin. This little project of finding Lego’s I was familiar with and passing the summer heat indoors in the air-conditioning playing with toys was happening big time.
It turns out that there were only a dozen or so instruction booklets in the bins I bought but thankfully Lego lovers are kind enough to scan and share their building instructions online.
A year later from that one day purchase I inventoried built and logged 147 sets and 417 mini-figures all with correct legs, hips, arms, hand color, heads, headgear and utensil. I could have only completed this task because of Brinklink. I became very adept at navigating the Brinklink site and benefiting from its endless content. I was so grateful for Daniel Jezek vision and all the work that was put into this website. Soon I began purchasing missing items from Brinklink merchants to complete my sets and that gave me the idea to start a store of my own. I have been adding inventory ever since.
Just last month I came across a sad looking lot of early Lego’s where every color but black had major browning from UV rays. I am happy to rescue broken, faded or incomplete Lego bricks and sets from the early years of Lego. Only someone totally in love with Lego would spend their day scrubbing off 35 years of attic soot and stank from these little bricks and soak the worst of them in Peroxide.
Removing the leaking batteries left in the battery boxes and making them pristine and usable again and installing all new wire for the 9v train sets. I have worked hard at removing old sticky balloons, play-doh, chewing gum and even some unidentifiable substances. So all these sets and pieces in my stores inventory are ready to come to your house to play again.
I could use your help, the toys need to be built and played with again. I try to price my inventory attractively as an incentive for you to give these toys a Forever home.
Carefree Building Blocks
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