Brickset.com and BrickLink.com are two of the most useful and helpful resources for LEGO fans who want to delve deeply into the hobby. BrickLink is known as the unofficial online LEGO marketplace, and it is definitely the best place for buying and selling anything related to the LEGO hobby. BrickLink also has the most comprehensive database of all LEGO sets, parts, minifigures, instructions, accessories and other items ever released by the company. In addition, BrickLink got some other very cool features and tools we talked about here: BrickLink New LEGO Design & Build Features. 🙂
Brickset’s primary function is also to be a database, and a place where you can track your own LEGO collection (you can achieve this on BrickLink as well, but in a more roundabout way). However, Brickset’s database is focused on modern sets, and their database is lacking on older releases. And, because Brickset pulls data from LEGO’s own servers, the parts lists for each set are not as accurate as on BrickLink, where database admins manually check the accuracy of set inventories. Still, Brickset is the most convenient website to track and share most of your LEGO collection.
Fortunately, Brickset and BrickLink works together and shares information, so you can use either websites as your primary resource, and can find links to the data of the other site on every page where it’s relevant. (It’s always nice to see LEGO fan sites and resources cooperating like this).
Besides being a database, Brickset also got some unique features that may not be as obvious to new users. We have talked about the BrickList, which list the sets your favorite LEGO designers worked on (see: Who Designed Your Favorite LEGO Set?), and we also discussed Brickset’s integration with Rebrickable.com, allowing you to check what other official LEGO sets and custom models you can build with the pieces you already own (see: Brickset & Rebrickable Alternate LEGO Builds).
Today, I wanted to show you another feature of Brickset that you may find useful, this time under The Document Library section. The Catalogues page lists scans of UK, US, and European sales catalogs that were released between 1966 and 1999. You can click on any of the catalogs on the list, and flip through them page by page, or you can also download the PDF. I know this will be a trip down memory lane for many LEGO fans!
In addition, the catalogs are linked to Brickset’s main database. This enables you to see which catalogs a particular set appeared in, and to open them at the appropriate page. To see this in action, go to, for example, this page, then click on the Catalogues tab at the top. The feature is the result of the meticulous work of Huw Millington (the owner of Brickset) and his daughter, Alice, and is an immensely useful resource for research purposes, or just for nostalgia’s sake.
Also part of the Brickset Document Library, a new collection that was added recently is scans of the LEGO Ideas Books that were published in the 1970s and 1980s. The LEGO Ideas Books were a regular fixture in LEGO’s product lineup and provided a wealth of ideas and inspirations for young LEGO fans. Here, again, you can either flip through the pages of each issue, or download the PDF. Scanning the LEGO Ideas Books was done by Brickset member Xiaolong. Check them out, I’m sure they will brick back fond childhood memories!
There are some other interesting scans in the Brickset Document Library, like the UK LEGO Club Magazines from the 1970s and 1980s, and some other miscellaneous pieces. If you would like to save a link to the Brickset Document Library for further reference, log into your Brickset account (or create one), and add it to your personal menu found under the red tab in the navigation bar.
Brickset would like to build a library of LEGO-related documents with the aim of providing the most comprehensive and high quality repository on the internet. If you have printed materials that’s missing from the library that you would like to scan and share, get in touch using their contact form. The form is located at the bottom of every page on Brickset.
What do you think? Did you find some interesting documents in the Brickset Document Library? What else would you like to see added? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also like to check out the following related posts: