With the holiday season over, the New Year often begins for LEGO fans by putting away the sets received for Christmas from family and friends. Looking at all those boxes stacked away you might be wondering how to keep track of an ever-growing collection. Will you physically remember all the sets tucked in cupboards or in the attic? How do you know you’re not buying a duplicate?
Here at Blocks, the LEGO magazine for fans, we’re very familiar with the challenges of keeping on top of a collection. So, here’s our handy guide for keeping track of any collection, no matter its size…
1. Spreadsheets to the rescue
Probably the most-used technique to keep track of anything is the reliable and easy-to-make spreadsheet. All you need to do is open a new file on your computer and start making a list of your sets. Doing this by set number and name is probably easier, as alone the names can vary in different regions, especially for classic themes like Pirates. You can also add comments in extra columns about the model, such as if it’s missing a piece, is a re-release, or other information.
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2. Wishlist it
Now this one may sound odd, but there’s actually a very useful little tool on Amazon wishlists. If you set your LEGO-filled wishlist to public, then invite your family and friends, they can see exactly which sets you’re after. Another tool allows you to see when an item has been removed from the list. This is perfect for making sure no one accidentally buys duplicate sets. And if you actually want a duplicate, like a battle pack or something similar, then you can add a comment about quantity underneath the item.
One of the best ways to organise and track your LEGO collection is through the excellent Brickset. Sign up for a free account and you’ll immediately be able to create an online repository of all your LEGO sets, and your minifigures, whether they’re vintage or straight out of the January wave. This is a powerful tool that is super easy to use, and can also be accessed on the go via a phone or tablet, so your virtual collection will be with you wherever you travel.
4. There’s an app for that
Speaking of on the phone, for all app lovers then there are plenty of LEGO collecting apps available for both Apple and Android phones. A quick search in an app-store should bring up ones for collecting sets, plus other types if you’re just a minifigure fan. There can even be some unexpected ones too, such as an app devoted solely to tracking LEGO Dimensions.
5. Write it down
While all of the above suggestions are for keeping track of your collection as a whole, sometimes you may want to know not what you have, but where you have it. If you keep your collection in cupboards, boxes, or storage units, write (or type and print it off) a list of exactly what’s inside. This means you’re not wasting hours looking for a LEGO set in the wrong location. Just remember to update the list whenever you put new LEGO away.
No matter how you keep track of your LEGO collection, it’s part of the fun that comes with the hobby. It’s easy to do and you don’t need a supercomputer to do it!