Monday, March 29, 2010


Once again my craigslist monitor has nabbed me another sweet deal. While I was up in Portland this last weekend for my brother's wedding I got 30 pounds of LEGO for $120. That in itself is a great deal at $4 per pound, but mixed into that lot were some truly amazing sets. First, set 10182 Cafe Corner, 10123 Cloud City, 10185 Green Grocer, 6209 Slave I, 7785 Arkham Asylum. Now not all of those are 100% complete. Particularly Arkham Asylum is only 25% or so and there are some missing minifigs, namely the printed legs and arms Boba Fett. Still, this is one of the best finds I have come across in a long time. All the parts are clean and look pretty much brand new. The kid that had these sure did take care of them. I plan on keeping most of this lot, but my wife is starting to tell me we are running out of room to store my LEGO. I plan on bagging up one gallon bags and selling off what I don't keep. Pics will be posted soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

April Store Flyer

Getting back on track to uploading the monthly store flyer. Here's the new one for April 2010.

The Prince of Persia sets are out! You can find them now at so soon they will be showing up in stores. Buy them between April 26th and 30th and get double VIP points. Also shown is the cute Ducky for the MMMB. They are really starting to advertise Lego Universe. The new online game from Lego that is currently in Beta testing.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

LEGO Whitening Guide

I posted about this on here before but I thought I should do a more in depth guide for this process strictly from a LEGO user's point of view. First I must give credit to the guy's over on Retr0Bright's site. These are the people that pioneered this process and have perfected it for everyone else to use. Also thanks to The Brothers Brick for posting about it last year. I would have never found out about it if it wasn't for them. Now on to it.

If you are like me you have a bag of parts that have been exposed to the Sun for too long and are now yellow-y. This process will reverse the effect of UV light and change those yellowed bricks back to their original color. I will try and answer any questions about this process in this guide. The picture at the top shows a well-yellowed 1x4 brick and the same brick after 2 1/2 hours.

What do I need?
- Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) between 3% and 12% (10 - 40 volume)
- An "Oxy" detergent
- Sunlight or UV light
- Plastic gloves
- A container large enough to hold the solution and your bricks (preferably Glass or clear plastic)
- A measuring cup that goes up to 500 ml
- Yellowed bricks

Yes, those are all supposed to be white.

That's it. There is another recipe for the solution that involves Xanthum Gum and blending it to make more of a paste but I found that a straight liquid works fine for LEGO. Make sure that the Peroxide is the clear/ liquid form and NOT the cream form. The cream has added chemicals such as Terpene which will harm the LEGO. Most "Oxy" detergents will work. The ingredient we are looking for is tetra acetyl ethylene diamine or TAED. Now some detergents don't list this as an ingredient but if it says Sodium Precarbonate and Sodium Carbonite you're good.

Sunlight or UV light is also needed. The UV blacklight should be UV-A with a range of 300 - 350nm. That is the ideal range to get the process going.

The Recipe

- 500ml of H2O2
- 1/4 tsp of "Oxy" detergent

First put on your gloves. Best way to do this is measure and pour the H2O2 into the container. Then add the 1/4 tsp of Oxy to a small amount of warm water to help it dissolve then mix the Oxy and water into the H2O2. Adding a little water won't do anything to the process. It will dilute it just a little but not enough to effect anything.

Once it is mixed together the reaction is starting and you need to add your LEGO parts. A trick to make it so the parts don't float is to dip them in slowly so all air bubbles get filled in. Or submerge them in water first then put them in the H2O2.

Now wait. Depending on severity of discoloration and strength of the H2O2 it can take anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours to reverse the damage. Check every few hours to see if everything is ok. If you see tiny bubbles forming on the parts then you know it is working.

When you see parts that are done. Get them out and rinse them off. Set them aside with a fan to dry them quicker. Enjoy your new looking older bricks!

DO's and DON'Ts
DO - keep an eye on everything. Check every few hours to submerge any floaters and to pull out parts that look done.
DO - use this on printed parts. If the printing is in good shape there shouldn't be a problem but if the printing is old and worn you might see some fading.
DO - set your container on tin foil. This will help reflect the light back into the LEGO.

DON'T - put any metal parts in (wheel axles). The Oxy will eat at the metal and turn to rust
DON'T - leave in a hot place. Yes you want it in the sun, but if it gets too hot the plastic can warp
DON'T - use more then a 1/4 tsp of Oxy. Using more won't make it go faster. In fact it won't do anything but waste your detergent.

For more questions, look at the FAQ in the next post.

LEGO Whitening FAQ

If your question isn't answered here, comment and I will try my best to answer it.

Where do I buy Hydrogen Peroxide?
H2O2 can be found in many places. Your local drug store will probably carry a 3% solution. Larger percentages can be found at beauty supply stores. Sally's is a worldwide chain and it is where I get mine. Remember to only get the "clear" kind and NOT "cream". Also 10 volume = 3%, 40 volume = 12%.

Does this only work on White?
No. I have had success using this on blue, old gray, and trans clear. I will warn you though, blue and old gray need to be watched. If left in too long the will become bleached. Or as the guys on Retr0Bright call it "bloom". So be careful with blues and old grays.

Lego Restoration Clear
Will this fade printed bricks?
Usually No. If the printing is in good condition it should hold up to the process. If the printing is all ready faded or worn it may suffer more fading. All my printed parts have turned out ok. My suggestion is to test this for yourself.

Lego Restoration White Flag
Does the solution last forever?
No. Once the Oxy detergent has been mixed in with the H2O2 the process has started and the Hydrogen is being depleted. Once all the Hydrogen is gone, it will no longer work.

Why leave it in the Sun? Isn't it what started the whole thing?

True, the UV light made your parts turn yellow. But the UV light is what makes this process reverse itself. The UV light gets the Bromine atoms excited again but this time instead of oxygen we are force feeding it hydrogen. See next question.

How does this work?
LEGO bricks are made from ABS plastic. A common chemical found in ABS from the 80's to late 90's is Bromine. Bromine is a flame retardant and its natural color is brown. UV light degrades Bromine and it attaches to oxygen atoms. These brominated chemicals start to move around in the plastic, usually coming to the surface, and show their natural brown color. The solution and UV light break down these radical Bromine atoms and replace the unstable oxygen atom with a more stable hydrogen atom. That was the really brief explanation, for a more scientific one head over to Retr0Bright.

Why use Gloves?
Hydrogen Peroxide can burn your skin. Using plastic gloves will protect you and allow you to work more easily with the solution.

Is it bad if the LEGO is floating?
Kind of. Try your best to submerge all the parts and get rid of any air bubbles. Toothpicks work wonderfully there. If the solution isn't touching the plastic it won't work. So if it is out of it, nothing will happen.

Will this Oxy detergent work?
My advice is to check on Retr0Bright. They have tried many different brands and have answered this question many times over there.

How much does this cost?
Not a lot. 950ml of H2O2 is less then $6 and the Oxy detergent (which my wife all ready uses so we have it) is less then $10.

My part is taking forever, is it working?
Weaker H2O2 (3%) will take longer then stronger (12%) ones. Also if the part is really yellow, it will take longer. I have noticed that the thinner the plastic the faster it goes. So an old Pirate Flag will take less time then a 2x8 Brick.

Can I leave this going over night?
Yes. If you are using a UV lightbulb feel free to keep this going. If you are just using the sun not much will change in the dark. Remember to watch blues and old grays.

Are these bricks now immune to UV?
No. These bricks are not immune to UV. They can get yellowed if left in UV light. So please take care of your LEGO.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lego Universe

I have been chosen!! I received a beta invite to LEGO's upcoming online game Lego Universe. I have been playing MMO's for over 10 years now and have been a fan of LEGO for my whole life. So an MMO about LEGO is something I think I would enjoy.

I've played the game a few times now. They limit the hours when the servers are up and being on the West Coast gives me odd play times. Now, I can't say too much because I did agree to an NDA. What I can say is that it seems to be a good game for 8-12 year olds, as they are the targeted age group. As an adult, this probably won't be something you'll play. There is one feature that might catch AFOL's eyes. Let's just say I would love to see one of Brian Kescenovitz' Dawn Forge Mechs in LU.

Being a BETA build there a lot of bugs and unaccessible areas. I hope that I get to keep exploring it and seeing the improvements in the game. I will keep you posted with information that I'm able to give.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Its Been SOOOO Long!


It's been a really long time since I last posted. Since the holiday season I have acquired a good amount of LEGO and sets. My wife came to me and said that after new years we should look to find LEGO to buy and sell. This got me all excited because the fact that she is interested and excited about LEGO and I love finding good deals. Since the beginning of the year I have been scouring craigslist for good deals. The first few months were slow and the postings weren't the best. I have only bought one lot off a guy and my wife and I have all ready turned that around for a nice profit. That profit has now gone into buying a few classic castle sets.

So to name a few sets that I have gotten: 10197 Fire Brigade, 7595 Army Men on Patrol, 6075 Wolfpack Tower, 8084 Snowtrooper Battle Pack, 6066 Camouflaged Outpost, and a bunch of random parts and instruction manuals. I will soon update my lists with everything that I have.

I still need to post new photos of my collection as it is still growing and taking over the apartment. I'm going to try and post at least once a week. And keep posting cool news and updates as I find them.