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Collecting LEGO polybags in Asia & beyond…

by admin on March 19, 2013

in Community Articles

(Written by fikko3107)

After my previous two articles on collecting LEGO videos and collecting LEGO instructions, today I would like to share some tips on collecting LEGO polybags – especially for LEGO fans in Asia as that’s where I’m located. Collecting LEGO polybags seems like a good idea at first and an innocent enough hobby; they are very small and affordable LEGO sets… if you can find them. And there lies the real challenge; locating LEGO polybags is not always easy… 🙄

LEGO Polybag Collection by atkinsar

But first allow me to share how I got tangled in this LEGO polybag collecting business. I got my first LEGO polybag, the #30080 LEGO Ninjago Ninja Glider in 2011, not long after getting out of my Dark Ages. At that time I didn’t know any better and I tore open the packaging. Later my dad got me some LEGO polybags, but it was only after reading Brickset member atkinsar’s Confessions of a Serial LEGO Polybag Collector Part 1 and Part 2 when my curiosity was piqued. Only owning 5 LEGO polybags at that time I gave a shot at the competition mentioned at the end of Part 2 of the article. When the results came in I was surprised; my review had come in first place! So that how – for better or worse – I got into the hobby of collecting LEGO polybags and won two fairly rare LEGO polybags to boost my collection; the #30170 LEGO Heroica Ganrash and #30182 LEGO Santa.

LEGO Polybag Sets

If anyone asks which are my favorite LEGO polybags that I own, I’d probably answer them with these below; all 7 of the LEGO Shell-Ferrari promotions. Not bad, eh? One of the advantages of living Asia! My family and I picked them up at various Shell stations in Malaysia for 12 Malaysian Ringgits (or 6 USD) each, except for the 250 GT Berlinetta and the pit-crew; those I got for the steeper price of 10 USD.

LEGO Polybag Shell Sets

So now, let’s start the LEGO polybag guide, shall we? As you might now already I’m from Indonesia, so mainly I’ll talk about the LEGO polybags available here as that’s the marketplace I’m familiar with. Unless you live in Hong Kong being a LEGO polybag collector is terribly difficult here. Well, actually being a LEGO fan in general is not easy, as LEGO sets tend to be at least 1.5-2 times more expensive than in the USA. Of course we have In’s Place, a true Asian LEGO paradise, (read: An Eastern LEGO Paradise in Hong Kong…), there are BricksWorld chains in Singapore, and we have LEGO communities such as BricksIndonesia. But still, LEGO sets are overpriced, and many sets never even make it to Asia. So it goes without saying that LEGO polybags such as the #30230 LEGO Galaxy Squad Mini Mech – which can easily be bought at Wal-Mart in the States – is difficult to find to say the least. This is why I am writing this post; to provide a little help for LEGO polybag collectors.

More LEGO Polybags

LEGO POLYBAG PAPERMATE PROMOTIONS: It is highly debatable whether these are available solely in Indonesia or not. Nevertheless, it seems that PaperMate regularly runs LEGO promotions. I recall they have ever held a writing competition, with the 2010 LEGO Hero Factory heroes as the prize. In addition, their pens are often sold in bookstores such as Gramedia, packaged with LEGO polybags and impulse sets. Rather than show you all of them I’ll just link you to this BrickList I made detailing all the PaperMate LEGO polybag promotions. Last year, I heard they even offered a Shirtless Darth Maul polybag! Usually PaperMate packages the LEGO polybag with 3 pens; 1 red, 1 black, and 1 blue. Each package costs 45.000 IDR (4.5 USD) for polybags without minifigures, and a dollar more for polybags with minifigs. Below is an example:

LEGO Polybag by PaperMate

I would like to mention for those of you who are perfectionists that the outside packaging tab is stapled through the top of the polybag, so there will be two small stapler-marks on the LEGO polybag. Also, I should note that at least in my own experience, the pens dry up obnoxiously quickly. 🙁

LEGO POLYBAGS AT IN’S PLACE: Never forget – and I mean never forget – to visit this place if you ever go to Hong Kong. One might call it a physical BrickLink. Legomaniac, who wrote the article I linked to above, stressed on the pure splendor of this place. Just to remind you again of its awesomeness here’s a picture from his post:

Hong Kong Mall LEGO Store Display

By the way, do you notice that LEGO Agents set at the corner? I didn’t take this picture, but my dad bought me that same set from one of his trips here. I wonder if the one he got me is coincidentally the same set pictured here? 😀

But now, let’s get back to the topic, Legomaniac didn’t tell you about the LEGO polybags you could find here. I’ve never been here before in my life, but this is what my dad bought me once: #30013 LEGO City Police Buggy and #30090 LEGO Pharaoh’s Quest Desert Glider. Each for 3 USD. Not too shabby, eh? Who knows what other LEGO polybags could be found?

LEGO Polybags

LEGO POLYBAGS AT LEGOLAND MALAYSIA: this is also not a bad place to buy LEGO polybags. I visited here last year for vacation and found a few polybags. I didn’t take pictures while I was there, but I can give you a list of the LEGO polybags you could find: #40010 LEGO Santa with Sleigh Building Set, #40034 LEGO Christmas Train and #40035 LEGO Christmas Rocking Horse. These are all Christmas-themed, and of course we also have Halloween: #40020 LEGO Halloween Set and #40032 LEGO Halloween Witch. Strangely, we have this sort of out of place Thanksgiving LEGO polybag as well: #40033 LEGO Thanksgiving Turkey. These are all LEGO holiday exclusives so they are really hard to find otherwise.

LEGO Polybag Collection

There are also downsides of shopping at LEGOLAND Malaysia. The above LEGO polybags costs 24 Ringgits each, or 6 USD, which is a bit steep. And don’t forget about the costly entry to LEGOLAND, 140 RM (45 USD) for adults and 110 RM (35 USD) for children and seniors. These prices are of course not worth paying just to get a polybag, but if you happen to be vacationing there you may want to hunt for some LEGO polybags as well. Please note that online booking is cheaper.

So these are some of the places I would recommend if you would like to get into LEGO polybag collecting. If you are at other locations besides Asia, look for LEGO polybags at stores that already sell LEGO. They are often in the seasonal section or at the checkouts. You can also find them at odd places like grocery-stores, gift shops, etc. Half of the fun of collecting LEGO polybags is the trill of the hunt! And if you do find them it is worth picking up a few extras as they are great for trading with other LEGO collectors.

 As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’m a TFOL (Teen-Fan-of LEGO) and this is my third article here at theBrickBlogger. Questions, comments and feedback are welcome! Please share below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Fikko3107 March 19, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I made a few typos; I had 5 polybags, not 3, at that time. And the 2010 hero factory heroes wasn’t the price; It was the Prize. Honestly, who wants to pay $6 ($11 down here) just to enter a competition?

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admin March 19, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Okay, I will fix those for ya. 😉

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Fikko3107 March 19, 2013 at 10:25 AM

And admin, I always wondered why you link to Bricklink. Why not Brickset?

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admin March 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Because Bricklink has a much more reliable database (especially for older sets), and because you can buy the set right there on Bricklink from sellers from all over the world. Brickset only has external links to LEGO, Amazon or eBay, which won’t help someone, especially if they are looking for a discontinued set. I wish somebody was nice enough to direct me to the Bricklink database before I discovered it! It would have saved me so much searching and so much money! BTW, I very much appreciate Brickset as well, but it is a database for collectors, not a marketplace. Whereas Bricklink is both. So it’s more practical. 😉

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Strider March 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM

For me the big problem is the time . My family just doesn’t have the time to go around and search for polybags, no big deal for me though, if I am going to buy Legos, I want something big. But man you sure do have some good ones in there 🙂 Like the Darth Maul and the Heroica. I only have one polybag and thats the Gandalf one from The Hobbit. Keep up the good work. And although I do not think I will ever visit Hong Kong I will be sure to check that place out. I love that Lego castle forest set, and man that yoda is old. I just hope it doesn’t fall of the shelf someday 🙂

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Strider March 19, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Whoa, I see the Lego chess set in there, awesome. Do you know how much the prices are? I mean how much the sets are compared to when they were new? Also I think I will keep getting the newer sets, cause in ten years from now there going to be pretty special too.

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Fikko3107 March 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Strider, I do not own the Darth maul. It was simply a picture for show. I also wasn’t the one who took the pictures of In’s place, but judging that I got the winter toy shop there for about 6 dollars cheaper 2 years ago, It goes to show that prices here could get very cheap! It is also possible to buy pieces, minifigures, sets without minifigures,etc. It’s like Bricklink landed on. The real world!

And yes, The heroica one was nice, and is only available in Canada. Sadly, I don’t own any other heroica sets, and it’s not exactly displaying material!

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Strider March 19, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Oh, well the picture is still neat.

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Umar March 24, 2013 at 10:41 AM

you actually went to malaysia? that is where i lived.

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Fikko3107 April 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Oh. Really? Indonesia was pretty close to Malaysia. Been there a few times. But when I visited Legoland, I didn’t went to KL; Just Johor Bahru.

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umar April 18, 2013 at 6:13 AM

why don’t you come to kl. it is fun because in sunway lagoon, it got the first 5d theatre and the largest water slide in the world

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Fikko3107 May 10, 2013 at 7:51 AM

Yeah, I’ve been there. Of course not on that trip to Johor Bahru, but on other trips. I even visited Langkawi.

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Umar May 31, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Langkawi is awesome cos’ it got many attraction. :>

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Chris of Yoda Archives March 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Nice article!
Polybags are nice to collect just to get a sample of a theme. You may have to hunt for them.

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Legomaniac March 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM

That’s a great article fikko3107. Polybags are indeed not as assessable in Asia as in N.America. When I was in Canada they were in Lego stores and in Wal-mart. They don’t sell these in Toys R’ Us in HK which is quite a shame.

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ninja of awesomeness March 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

awesome 😉

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Frank March 19, 2013 at 12:52 PM

I guess it’d be neat to collect poly bags but…Less room for LEGO’s, and a irritated mom.

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Fikko3107 March 19, 2013 at 7:52 PM

That’s sort of the point. Owning a 100 polybag sets would take up far less space then a complete series of Modulars (but not necessarily cheaper or better) But be careful though; you may find yourself coughing out $200 for a chrome C3PO!

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CD's Lego Blog March 19, 2013 at 5:29 PM

POLYBAGS ARE SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!

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Ray March 19, 2013 at 8:51 PM

The problem with the polybag sets is they seem to be so flash-in-the-pan. There’s no way to know when they will come out or in what chain of stores, and even when there is a sighting there’s no promise that the stores in your area will even have them. Once you miss them, they are gone, not like the larger sets that are reliably on shelves for half a year at least. I’ve managed to get a few from Toys R Us and of course the Lego Store promotion ones, but I have a feeling I’ll be getting most of the rest from eBay.

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Håkan March 19, 2013 at 9:31 PM

They sell expired sets? That’s pretty cool…

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Fikko3107 March 19, 2013 at 10:27 PM

Yeah, it’s really cool. Sadly, super popular themes and unpopular themes are oftentimes unavailable. But they have Avatar and classic castle!

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Maxx March 20, 2013 at 8:24 AM

Great post, well written and fun to read, thanks:)
I can read your exitement/enjoyment over your collection.

Do you collect all polybags you can find or only certain sets/years?
I have a polybag here (I have more on BL) that I would be willing to send to you for your collection:)
It’s set 1551, but with a Danish packaging, if you are interested, just contact Admin, she can get you in contact with me.

Keep collecting and try and make good pictures of your collection.

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Fikko3107 March 21, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Yes Maxx, I do take polybags from every year. I always find old sets charming, and a Danish packaging only sweetens it!
I’ll contact you shortly.

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Paijo March 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Great review. Very entertaining.

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Legoman640 March 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Holy crap! That’s alot of polybags!

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Mustafa March 30, 2013 at 4:49 AM

Wow I am a big fan of u from this moment thx ALOT for the info I live in uae. I haven’t found a single polybag here although I have been living here for 5 years

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Mustafa March 30, 2013 at 4:55 AM

If u can plz help me find polybags although u live in Malaysia me and my lego collector friends will be very pleased if u can help us by telling us where they sell polybags

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Fikko3107 April 8, 2013 at 10:40 AM

1. I do not live at Malaysia. I live in Indonesia.
2. United Arab Emirates, huh… tough… Google is your friend! Unfortunately, I found no good results. Well, good luck to you, Vulcan greeting, part of the excitement is tracking it down!

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TheMagicOrder December 3, 2013 at 6:19 AM

I live in US and i cant stand people chargingd 2x-5x what a product costs just because you are in a different country, Heck i would go crazy without regular JRPGs getting ported over here.

Anyways I buy/sell/trade quite a bit in the collectibles/hobbies and have a constantly evolving product list. If you are looking for something specific Send me a message

TheMagicOrder.ml@Gmaik.com and i see what i can get do for you,

P.S. i ship to over 40 countries as well

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Fikko3107 December 8, 2013 at 4:13 AM

The thing is, LEGO is considered a “Luxury goods” here, so it gets sort of an excise tax-you know, like the kind that Cigarettes and Alcohol gets.

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lego fanatic February 18, 2015 at 10:19 PM

Hi
I love collecting poly bag too, I found this great site which sell some great collection of poly Bag in Malaysia. Here the link http://www.brickmonsters.net/Lego-PloyBag
Enjoy:)

Happy Hunting

Reply

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