Thank you for taking time to read my journey to build the Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. This post you are reading will be in updated over time; obviously I cannot acquire all of the pieces while I build so please subscribe to my website to keep up to date.
Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon: 12 December 2015: An Idea Awakens.
If you are reading then there is a chance you have coveted the one of the most sort after Lego sets NOT available. Lego 10179, also known as The Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon, has brick statistics that would make any Lego fan drool! This Lego set has 5,195 pieces, it was originally priced at $499.99 back in 2007, now it can fetch upwards of $5000 in mint un-boxed conditions. It measures 33″ (84 cm) long by 22″ (56 cm) wide and 8.3″ (21 cm) tall. IF you’re still reading then you know the rest.
Ever since I knew this existing, which unfortunately has only been a couple of years, I really really wanted it but money was tight and it was not a priority. Now in 2015 money is less tight but I still cannot be irresponsible on what I buy, after all I have a cat to feed. There is no way I will spend over $1500 on what is essentially a collectable toy, that’s insane. However there is another way…
Looking for gold in tiny brick shaped forms.
Lego is EXPENSIVE! I appreciate it has been marketed as a toy but I consider Lego to be a luxury toy, before the internet any hope of building a model without buying a set was difficult. Now in 2015 we have BrickLink.com which is like the stock exchange for Lego parts.
You can buy all the parts for the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon not only as the original retail set, but also as a sum of its parts. There are BrickLink retailers who have already sourced the pieces together with the exception of a few rare and expensive bits, and they will sell it to you as a set but minus the stickers, the manuals and the box (which can retail for £300+ buy itself!).
BrickStock is your friend.
My first point of was a page I found while researching; Dag’s Bricks has a page devoted entirely to building the Millennium Falcon on a smaller budget. I strongly recommend reading his page for some great tips on cost cutting. From that page he links to Brickstock which is an intelligent way of cataloguing Lego pieces you need while informing you of the current prices.
Brickstock is the best tool for keeping track of prices and in some way the pieces that you have ordered. The Lego Ultimate Millennium Falcon has over 300 unique pieces; combined that equates to over 5,000 individual pieces. Thankfully you can import the Lego pieces from an existing database.
If you have a Bricklink.com account (if you haven’t then I strongly suggest you do) then you can download and import your ordered items. There is a function to ‘subject’ your ordered items from your list but it does not work correctly, after several attempts I’ve taken to subtracting the ordered items manually.
Tips for sourcing and purchasing
As of 25th December 2015 (Happy Christmas everyone) I have ordered several batches from various BrinkLink supplies totalling £274 ($408 US). Below are my sourcing and buying tips
- Use a cataloguing system that suits you; that can be a simple spreadsheet, paper & pen or Brickstock. Do not be afraid to try a few methods initially after your first small order
- Form a budget, but be flexible. Lego parts are like the stock exchange; the value of a individual part will rise and fall on a daily basis. If you are clever, then you can use software like Brickstock to set maximum prices you are willing to pay, then you export that a data file to Bricklink.com. As a guide, I’m keeping to a budget of around £500 ($750 US)
- Be flexible about the parts. When compiling the bits for the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon you will come across some very minor items which are ridiculously expensive. As I write this, the panel known as “#3456 Plate 6 x 14 DARK RED” is £20 per piece! I am sure you could find the same item in a slightly different colour that would still work.
- Buy storage containers. The Lego Millennium Falcon has over 5,000 parts, you will probably gather a majority of those parts before you can build because you won’t be able to source the parts chronologically according to the manuals.
- Commitment, this is a marathon, not a sprint. The quick way to get a Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium is to spend £3,000! The longer but cheaper way is to be patient. This will take weeks or even months to compile everything together. Don’t panic and just buy everything in a rush without checking the value first which leads me to…
- Search multiple sources for the best prices. You will be buying some parts in bulk so every penny counts. I have found some of the bricks cheaper on eBay but they not in the right quantities; in those cases I had figure out if the additional postage would be worth it. Most of the time if a seller has the quantity I want but costs a ‘little’ more then I’m happy to do that.
- Often buying used parts is cheaper than buying new. You will have to compromise on some of the bits finer details; some of the bricks I have bought used does show wear and tear. Personally I am happy to do that if it means I can save several pounds, like I said I’m all about cutting corners where I can.
Currently I am nowhere near to the actual building, I will update this post as and when I make progress.
In the meantime, please comment below if you have any questions.
Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon UPDATE: 24 Jan 2015
I’ve been pounding Bricklink for the past few weeks looking for bargains. One massive tip I can offer you is try and try to buy the parts locally in your country; the cost per brick in the UK is generally higher, but unless you’re buying in a large bulk then it is worth it.
I live in the UK so Lego parts are generally more expensive. I’m a month into this project and it is more daunting that I first appreciated.
Low volume parts order from your country, bulk items order in Europe.
Some parts are stupidly expensive; for example Lego 4592c05 can cost as much as £5 per brick!! That’s crazy expensive when you consider I need sixty of them!! Currently I’m hoping to get Lego 4592c05 cheaply by having them painting in the correct colour!
As the parts come in from the UK and Europe, the magnitude of what I’m attempting is a bit scary; the logistics of checking what parts I have ordered, if I have ordered enough of a unique part and making sure I tick orders off the main Brickstock list!
Another tip is look for storage boxes with little compartments, it really does help the sorting process. And you have to do the sorting, it is tedious but well worth it. I’m currently building the Lego Death Star which comes under 3000 pieces; if I didn’t sort then it would be very slow process.