Sunday, May 20, 2012

A new project - obtaining a Cafe Corner

Cafe Corner (image:
Ever since returning to LEGO, I have been fascinated by the line of modular buildings. I'm pretty sure most AFOLs are in the same boat. These sets are filled with interesting building techniques and just look amazing when completed.

I've been fortunate that I've been able to pick up a copy of each building in the current retail line. However, since I just started buying sets again earlier this year, I obviously have some holes to fill. Green Grocer is still in a semi-reasonable price range and I will be on the look out for a deal on one. Market Street is the least impressive in my opinion and I can probably live with out having one, or it's at least the bottom priority for now. Cafe Corner, on the other hand, pretty much feels like a must have.

Now, with used/complete copies of CC already pushing the $700 range, I know I can never justify the expense. I've talked with a few people who successfully sourced the parts for the build through Bricklink, their own collections, and Pick-A-Brick (PAB) offerings. Some of the rare parts are a pain, but most of these pieces can be found on BL for under $0.10 a brick. Some as low as two to three cents per piece.

I started by writing up the full parts list and quantities in an excel spreadsheet. To make cost comparisons as easy as possible, I also added the LEGO element ID from the instructions sheet. This allows me to quickly plug in those numbers on PAB to see what's currently available, along with the price to just order it direct. This can then be used to make cost comparisons on BL.

Fun fact, if you ordered all the in-stock parts for the CC on PAB, it would cost about $240. Now, this involves spending $0.10-$0.25on pieces you can get new on BL for just a few cents. So I will not be doing that. I've also been advised to seek out the red slopes and a few other pieces through the replacement parts program. I'll see how that goes and will report back.

I'm excited to get this project going and look forward to adding a CC to my collection. Updates to come.


  1. Having just returned to LEGO in the last few months after a nearly forty-year absence, I am right with you on this path. Please keep us up-to-date as I would like to add all three of these without breaking the bank.

    1. At this point progress looks good. I'll go a little more in depth in a future post on the spreadsheet I created to help with the process.

      My goal is to get the whole thing, minus the original instructions, for under $300. I want the original books eventually, but those will require patience.


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