Generally the very cheapest way to acquire new bricks is to buy large “classic” boxes on sale. Famously the best set for this is the 10654 Classic XL Creative Brick Box. It’s a 1600 piece set of generic bricks in a handful of colours. It’s currently retailing for $88 in Australia giving a per-piece price of $0.055 – not that much more than my average for bulk purchases. This particular set is exclusive to Toys R Us. They have reasonably frequent “buy one get one half price” sales, so if you want two or have a mate to go in with, that brings the part price down to just over 4 cents.
If you can’t wait for that, looking for a Lego sale at one of the major retailers and doing the sums on the larger classic boxes is generally the way to. I was checking out at Myer on-line a week or so ago with a Classic box set with a per piece price just over four cents only to have it fail with an out of stock message even though it looked in-stock in the on-line catalogue. The next best option was this set coming out at 6 cents per peice.
These Classic Creative Brick boxes are aimed at the parent who wants to steer their child away from following instructions to replicate a licensed property linked to a movie. They just have a pile of various, reasonably simple, colourful pieces. Some boxes have a particular emphasis. In the case of the 10703 that is lots of doors and windows.
Despite being aimed at freebuilders, the set comes with instructions for three models (a house, a micro-scale office building and a pagoda) to get kids started, and there are instructions for an additional three models (boutique hotel, corner shop and castle) available from the Lego instructions web site.
One of the things I love about these boxes is that all the models can be built simultaneously – you don’t have to cannibalise one to build the other. That feels like honest advertising when you see these models on the box and they can be built like that.
As you’d expect from TLG these are all quality builds. Pretty straightforward and no fancy techniques. I really like look of the Knights Castle, with the raisable portcullis being an unexpected bonus. You can see from the hotel and the shop that this box includes a generous supply of what I think of as “Friends” colours.
In addition to those bright pinks and purples there is a lot of trans in the set. I especially like the 46121 “Brick 1 x 2 x 5 without Side Supports” in transparent light blue. One part that was new to me was the 30505 “Wedge 3 x 3 Cut Corner” which you can see as the base of the castle walls.
An element I had never seen that is in the set is this 26597 “Brick Special 1 x 2 with Vertical Closed Handle End” It’s a new (2017) element and was used in the house build to create the hinge. There are many options for horizontal hinges made with clips, but for vertical the only option was to use a bar or one of the plates such as the 4263. This is a better option than both of those where you need a vertical hinge with no up and down play and which can be used as a connection point.