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Secret LEGO: the LUGBULK program

(Written by William)

Buying 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)


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 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


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.


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.


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

If you would like to participate in this program, I would encourage you to check with your nearest LUG, and below are some other tips for LEGO Users Groups you might like:

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • BrickBox June 21, 2011, 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?

    • Will June 28, 2011, 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.

  • SPMom June 22, 2011, 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!

    • Will June 28, 2011, 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.

  • DavidH June 25, 2011, 10:22 PM

    Great info, William! Thanks!

    • Will June 28, 2011, 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.

  • darkdragon June 29, 2011, 4:13 PM


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

    • Will July 4, 2011, 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!

  • bluemoose February 15, 2012, 5:45 PM

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

    • admin February 15, 2012, 5:53 PM

      Hey, BlueMoose! Thanks for the correction! Post updated. 😳

  • kristy May 20, 2013, 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

    • admin May 20, 2013, 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. 😉

  • Cherie December 1, 2013, 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 🙂

    • admin December 1, 2013, 6:42 PM

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

      • Cherie December 1, 2013, 7:01 PM

        Thank you 🙂

        • admin December 2, 2013, 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. 😉

  • Will December 2, 2013, 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. 😀

    • Cherie December 2, 2013, 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.

      • Will December 3, 2013, 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.

  • crescent brick September 5, 2016, 8:27 AM

    is this for adults only or can it be for kids?

    • admin September 5, 2016, 10:08 AM

      You need to be an adult to become a LUG member. Some LUGs will also accept mature teens. LUG membership requires quite a bit of volunteering, working on large public display projects, collaborations, engaging children and the general public, etc.

  • Crescent Brick September 5, 2016, 12:45 PM

    Do you know any other way other than lego pickabrick, ebay, and brick link to get cheap lego? Because we all know to build a moc that is a good size cost a lot. Which I don’t have.

    • admin September 5, 2016, 12:57 PM

      LEGO is not a cheap hobby. And especially with its popularity rising since the release of The LEGO Movie, there is really no such a thing any more as cheap LEGO. Even moms, pops, and grandmas cleaning the attick know that LEGO is valuable and won’t just throw it in the trash, or accept just a few dollars for it.

      The places to get LEGO sets and pieces is at the websites you mentioned. You can also try salvation army and such local second-hand stores, but in my experience they only have LEGO in more upscale neighborhoods, or those that are close to a LEGO store.

  • Crescent Brick September 5, 2016, 1:12 PM

    Thank you what about lego stores I’m kind of close to lego land but it cost to much to go to just the lego store which is the cheapest way to get lego in my opinion. And if I need a lot of one piece it is to expensive to order on lego.com, and you can’t find much of anything on ebay and bricklink so is there a way to get lego to open a lego store near by. Like if I get so many signatures or something like that to try to get them to open a lego store?

    • admin September 5, 2016, 1:53 PM

      Hm… I thought LEGOLAND Parks also have stores that are accessible without entering the park. I wouldn’t recommend to shop there though as you don’t get any VIP Points.

      BrickLink is your best choice for buying individual parts in large quantities. If you do your homework and willing to spend some time researching prices, you can get excellent deals. For example there could be significant price differences in color variations, or slight mould changes – neither of which may matter to you, but it would certainly matter to your valet. The best thing I have ever done for my LEGO hobby is studying the BrickLink Catalog and Price Guide and becoming very familiar with them both.

      Every single part produced by LEGO is catalogued on BrickLink, and for 99.9% of the parts you will find at least a few sellers who lists them. If you are working on large projects, find out first which variations of a part are cheaper and/or more readily available, and calculate that into your design. Common parts only costs a couple of pennies, so they can make a big difference as far as the overall cost of your project. Only use rare elements and colors where it really matters. The rest can be built from common parts.

      As far as petitioning to open a LEGO store, LEGO has been very cautious of opening them at the right places. There are entire countries where there is not a single LEGO store, even with lots of LEGO fans. I don’t think that having a LEGO store near you is that advantageous, as their prices would be just regular prices. However they are advantageous in the sense that near LEGO stores people tend to buy a lot of LEGO, so garage-sales and second-hand stores in the area will have more LEGO for cheaper prices. But even second-hand stores have been starting to understand that LEGO is very valuable, and many of them now list their LEGO stock online instead of selling them locally.

  • Hammo November 9, 2016, 9:29 PM

    This information is really useful. and after recently checking the program seems to be alive and well in 2016
    However, I’m trying to find an approx. discount to the retail price to see if it’s worth my while 🙂

    • admin November 9, 2016, 9:36 PM

      Hammo, part of the agreement of participating in the LUGBulk Program is to refrain from sharing specifics like that. I would say though that the discount is very good and totally worth it, but the restrictions are also pretty strict, including a steep minimum purchase amount. (Some of the smaller LUGs are allowed to collaborate to place their LUGBulk orders together to meet the minimum.)

      If you are interested I would suggest that you contact your local LUG (if you have one) for further details. The 2017 program just opened up this week, so if you want to participate you need to sign up via your LUG really soon.

      Also, keep in mind that while individual LUG members make their own purchases via the program, parts bought through the program are primarily meant for public displays. LUGs have restriction of when they allow new members to take advantage of the program. They don’t want someone to just walk in, join the LUG, make a LUGBulk purchase, than disappear and use the parts for themselves – or even worse – try to sell them. It would disqualify the entire LUG from ever participating again. So they are very careful who they allow in their midst, and usually require that you serve within the LUG for a while before making your first LUGBulk purchase.

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