LEGO NINJAGO         LEGO CHIMA         LEGO STAR WARS         LEGO LORD OF THE RINGS         LEGO SUPER HEROES         LEGO FRIENDS         LEGO MOSAICS         LEGO MINIFIGS         LEGO BOOKS
Bookmark and Share

Secret LEGO: the LUGBULK program

by admin on June 20, 2011

in Useful Resources

(Written by William)

LEGO Shop at HomeBuying enough LEGO to satisfy a group of Adult Fans of LEGO (AFOL) can be a rather expensive process. After all, building life-size snowmen out of white bricks is hard when you don’t have an official LEGO Store anywhere near your club.

Fortunately, LEGO is aware of this problem. The thing is that there’s not much LEGO can do when AFOLs make up roughly 5% of the money that LEGO makes. Never fear, there is a little known secret called the LUGBULK Program.

A typical LUGBULK order. This one is by the Greater Midwest LEGO Train Club (www.gmltc.org)

:arrow: WHAT IS LUGBULK?

The LUGBULK program debuted in 2009 and still operates as a pilot program for LEGO. LEGO realizes that AFOLs are the ones that make communities aware of LEGO in a wide range of venues that LEGO does not have the time or resources to reach. Therefore, supplying these AFOLs with an affordable supply of bulk pieces seems like a really good idea.

The logistics of this project are a nightmare though if you think about it. There is no way to offer this discount to every AFOL who wants cheap LEGO bricks. Therefore, the first organization level is that AFOLs must be part of a LEGO User Group (LUG). This LUG must then register every year if they want to participate.

LEGO

:arrow: WHAT MAKES A LUG QUALIFY FOR REGISTRATION?

LEGO wants to make sure that their interests are furthered by a LUG. Therefore, LEGO has set up some criteria that will qualify a LUG. First, the LUG must be large enough. LEGO believes that ten members are sufficient for this. Second, a LUG must participate in public displays. This can be met by having at least two public displays a year. Make sure to take pictures. Also, these displays are based on the previous year so if the LUG is applying in 2011 then they must have participated in two displays in 2010. When you have all these requirements, you can move on to proving it.

LEGO still does not have the resources to verify the claims a LUG makes without some help. Therefore, your LUG will need to have its own website. This should be accessible to the public, have a one page description of the goals of your group, and link to pictures of the events.

LUGBULK order by the German LUG; 1000steine.de

:arrow: NEXT STEP IN THE PROCESS

Once you believe your LUG is fully qualified, you can now contact LEGO. Currently, the person handling the LUGBULK Program is Jan Beyer. He can be reached here.

The best time to contact Jan is in early December. LEGO likes to get LUGs registered before January 31st each year. Once registered, Jan will send you the information you need to place your LUG’s order.

LEGO

:arrow: OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Each year LEGO may change the rules of the program. The maximum a single person can order, the max number of elements, the minimum order amount, etc. Make sure to follow the rules carefully.

This program is based in Denmark which has to serve a world population. Some of the information like currency may be represented as DKK. This is the abbreviation for the Danish Krone.

Shipping is another concern that needs to be kept in mind when ordering. A good rule of thumb is that shipping will be roughly 5% of whatever your order amount is. This way everyone can pay their fair share when it comes time for money collection.

LUG members sorting their LUGBULK order.

:arrow: SUMMARY

It is very important to follow the rules of this program since there is no time to make special exceptions or babysit someone who needs help. Make sure everyone in the group knows and understands what the program is before your LUG decides to participate. Here are the rules that were used for the 2011 round of the LUGBULK Program to give you an idea what to expect: Rules for LEGO LUGBULK Program

Check with your nearest LUG if you would like to participate! ;)

Here are some other tips for LEGO Users Groups you might like:

 

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

BrickBox June 21, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Woa! I never knew about this! Thanks for the info! How do I find out if there is a LUG near me?

Reply

Will June 28, 2011 at 6:34 PM

There’s four ways that I can think of to connect you to a LUG.

1. You can start by trying Lugnet.com, which maintains listings of LUGs all over the world.

2. If you have a local LEGO store, you can talk with them and see if they know of anyone who has formed a group.

3. The slowest way is going to any search engine, type in your city, state and the words “LEGO” and “LUG.”

4. Sign up on LEGO fan sites and post asking about a LUG in your area. I recommend BrickLink.com, Eurobricks.com and Toysnbricks.com.

That should get you started. If you can’t find a LUG, you may find enough people along the way who want to form a LUG.

Reply

SPMom June 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Thanks for this info, William! Very interesting! I was always wondering how some people seem to have such mass amount of legos!

Reply

Will June 28, 2011 at 6:38 PM

Actually, this program is still fairly new. It started back in 2009. Up till recently, if you wanted a massive amount of LEGO, you had to hope that an official LEGO store was near you and that they had the pieces you wanted. Otherwise, you’d have to buy several copies of sets, which I know people who have done this and still do.

Some people even have a secondary store which they use to sell of certain pieces and keep the rest. This is the other major way that individuals seem to mass large bulk lots.

At any rate, it should be exciting to see how much larger people’s collections will get as this program grows.

Reply

DavidH June 25, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Great info, William! Thanks!

Reply

Will June 28, 2011 at 6:39 PM

You’re welcome!

This piece of information came to my attention from another fan in my local club. It’s really amazing what you can learn when fans get together.

Reply

darkdragon June 29, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Will,

Great info. Maybe I’ll just link people to this blog instead of having to explain everything every time i mention LUGBulk. Hahaha. :)

Reply

Will July 4, 2011 at 2:57 PM

That’d be a good idea.

The first time I heard about it, the person who told me didn’t know the full details. So, having a handy reference to show people is definitely useful.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Reply

bluemoose February 15, 2012 at 5:45 PM

‘Jan Beyer’ is a “he” rather than a “she”. Just thought you’d like to know :o)

Reply

admin February 15, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Hey, BlueMoose! Thanks for the correction! Post updated. :oops:

Reply

kristy May 20, 2013 at 7:57 AM

Great info…. thanks heaps. My son that has ADHD and ODD is obsessed with lego, he can build sets aged 16+ and he is only 5. He hasn’t got much lego and i was searching for bulk lego to buy for his birthday and this popped up. unfortunately he wouldn’t be able to be part of LUG lol but the hope of me finding bulk lego somewhere for the little trooper is still there.
lego is his little “fantasy land” when he is building lego models he is so calm and focused which is a massive deal to us, not to mention i love lego too lol

Reply

admin May 20, 2013 at 10:50 AM

Kristy, glad to hear that your son is having lots of fun with LEGO. As far as where to get bulk LEGO, you can try garage-sales and second-hand stores, but this very much depends on your area/neighbordhood. You can also check graigslist. It is often a great place to pick up unwanted LEGO right in your area and you have a chance to check it out personally. If you don’t mind shopping online, eBay is a great option for bulk LEGO. Just make sure that the seller is reputable and they know what they are selling. Buying LEGO on eBay can turn into a great adventure or a horrible nightmare. So always check the feedback, ask questions, and only bid when there are lots of detailed pictures of the exact bulk lot offered for sale. I actually found that instead of searching for bulk LEGO lots, you often get much better quality and much better deals if you search for specific sets, then narrow down your search to used or incomplete ones. Hope this helps some. ;)

Reply

Cherie December 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

I know this post is a couple years old now. Do you know whether this is still the person to contact or would you happen to know who the current contact is for LUGbulk? I am a member of a relatively new LUG who meet the criteria, but nobody seems to know who to contact. I know that it’s a time sensitive thing to be able to participate in next year’s LUGbulk. Any info would be fabulous thanks :)

Reply

admin December 1, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Cherie, I’m going to get you in touch with William. He can answer all your LUGbulk questions. ;)

Reply

Cherie December 1, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Thank you :)

Reply

admin December 2, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Cherie, please see Will’s response, and I have also emailed you the latest LUGbulk application file Will was talking about. Hope this helps. ;)

Reply

Will December 2, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Hey Cherie,

Well, a few things have changed over the years. In Fact today December 1st is the deadline for sending in an application.

Now the LUG has to participate in 4 events with 1 being at a major show like a museum display.

20 members need to participate.

Your order needs to be at least $4,500. That’s after the conversion from DKK.

But what you need is the contact info the email address they want questions directed to is lugbulk@LEGO.com

They are kind of slow about responding due to the fact that they are processing all the applications at this time.

I’m going to send the admin all the files for the current LUGBulk rules to either update this post or have as reference.

If you email me or the admin we can send you the files.

I’d also recommend getting in touch with Kevin Hinkle. He helps LEGO User Groups with various support and information and can answer questions like this. It’s also how LEGO officially recognizes your LUG as a LUG. His email is Kevin.hinkle@LEGO.com

You can have up to two contacts to talk with Kevin, but one will need to be a LEGO Ambassador. And if you don’t know what that is he will be able to help you with that. Essentially it is a person who signs a nondisclosure agreement and talks with LEGO more directly. LEGO will then use that person as a point of contact for surveys and other corespondence to gauge interest in certain things as well as become a voice for LUGs and their local community. There’s a special forum and everything.

They are the ones who know about things like LUGBulk.

Hope that gets you started in the right direction. :D

Reply

Cherie December 2, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Thanks for the info. I’d heard that in years past the deadline was in early January. Pity. Even with the changes, we still would meet the criteria as we’ve done 4 events, two of them major events and we certainly have more than 20 members that participate in the shows. At least we have a starting point for the next round if they continue Lugbulk.

Reply

Will December 3, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Yes the deadline used to be in early January. However, it also used to bit of a guessing game that took a lot of time where you’d ask for 100 different elements, then they will say what is available. And if it is more than 80 you have to reduce your list.

This was then peppered with a lot of non communication.

Now once you get approved everything is online. You’ll have one person who has access to the online list and one person that handles the money, which I think can be the same person.

You could try asking for an extension for the 2014 deadline. Not sure if they’ll do it but it couldn’t hurt to ask. At the very least you can get on the mailing list for the next year. It usually comes early November now with the December 1st as the new deadline.

This change was to hopefully move the process further so that LUGs could have the chance of getting pieces sooner for the shows in the year they participate.

Where is your LUG based out of?

Also did you get a hold of Kevin Hinkle?

He does have the ability to support your LUG with free LEGO both in loose brick and set form. Part of it is to support the LU
G itself, the other free stuff comes as help support when you do events.

There’s even more support he can provide which I’m not at liberty to talk about, but I’m sure your group would appreciate it after contacting him.

And tell him Will from SacBB sent you. ;D

I know he’s not in charge of the LUGBulk program, but he may help in getting you ansers quicker.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Comments Feed

Current ye@r *

Previous post:

Next post: