I went to the Lego store yesterday, hoping to meet the $50 threshold to secure the Spring VIP pack. I intended to buy a couple of pick-a-brick (PAB) cups and a few build-a-minifigures (BAM). Alas, my store was out of the Spring pack, and they didn’t “magically” have any House of the World 2 promos left either. Further, their BAM hadn’t been updated since Q1, so it was down to PAB to determine if I would get anything. Luckily, I needed some great stuff on the wall, so I bought a cup.


After posting earlier this week about how PAB cups are an economical method to stock up on Lego parts, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to see how much Lego I got for my money.

I calculated the US prices for the pieces from Lego online PAB and compared that to my $15.99 PAB cup haul. PAB cups are a flat fee, $8.99 for the small and $15.99 for the large cup (before taxes).

I purchased one large cup I strategically packed to get the most pieces possible. Once poured out, it creates a large pile of parts. Time to sort and count everything!

Here’s a table of everything I had in that cup, showing the quantity, piece price, and what those pieces would cost if bought from Lego.com.

PieceColorCountOnline PriceOnline Total $
2×6 PlateMedium Stone Grey24$0.13$3.12
2×2 Plate, CornerBrick Yellow9$0.06$0.54
Angular PlateRed6$0.09$0.54
Dragon’s FireTransparent Orange52$0.15$7.80
Roof TileTransparent Orange21$0.08$1.68
Roof TileBrick Yellow29$0.05$1.45
Star SymbolWarm Gold22$0.07$1.54
Design Element ShaftWarm Gold24$0.19$4.56
Roof TileDark Green232$0.08$18.56
Roof TileRed6$0.08$0.96
Roof Tile Inv.Dark Green9$0.14$1.26
Limb ElementLavender6$0.26$1.56
Plate w/ KnobWarm Gold18$0.06$1.08
Plate w/ KnobDark Green25$0.06$1.50
Plate w/ KnobWhite13$0.06$0.78
Nose ConeDark Stone Grey50$0.05$2.50
TapMedium Stone Grey82$0.06$4.92
DoorTransparent Light Blue7$0.47$3.29
Door w/ PanesBright Yellow6$0.47$2.82
WallTransparent Clear15$0.83$12.45
Brick w/ ArchRed8$0.07$0.56
Stud w/ HoleDark Green45$0.04$1.80
Plate w/ StudDark Stone Grey10$0.13$1.30
Plate w/ SlideDark Green19$0.05$0.95
Plate w/ BowDark Green42$0.14$5.88

I’m surprised by these numbers – I didn’t think the PAB cup would equate to saving over 80%. Eight hundred sixteen pieces for $87 is a Lego dream come true! I even had a few other random pieces that I haven’t included in the analysis.

On the surface, this seems like a ridiculous saving, and it is. But as with anything, it’s only a deal if you were going to get it anyway. Before purchasing PAB, I ask: are there enough pieces here to cover the cost of the cup that I need? If that answer is no, then it is not good value. After all, if your PAB is going to sit in a drawer, then it’s a waste of $16. I hope that makes sense.


To evaluate this PABS’s value, I’ve sorted my haul into pieces I would have bought for current projects.

First, I need green elements for the campground. My biggest purchase was the 1×2 wedges, aka roof tiles; I picked up over 200 of these – perfect for texturing. They filled about a quarter of my cup! Likewise, I got the plates with bow for the same reason. I selected a few other elements in green that would be useful for texturing and designing green spaces in my city. I couldn’t quite envision what the inverted slopes and plates with slides would be for, so I only picked up a few of those. The dark green open studs are superb for adding detail to flowers and other flora around the city.

I was giddy seeing the 1x6x5 transparent walls available on the PAB wall. I had these pieces in my cart, so this was a 100% purchase I would make anyway. I want these elements for several reasons. First, my city needs to use these to elevate builds so they look like they are flying. The other reason is these walls are superb for custom MOCs. Between these wall elements and the green wedges above, my PAB cup has more than paid for itself. Everything else is a bonus.

I selected a few doors as I will build a custom fire station, and yellow doors should work for that. The transparent doors are for the custom hospital and the vet office I planned.


PAB walls tend to have plenty of decorative elements, and it did not disappoint me yesterday. I stuffed 52 fire elements into my cup – perfect for my firefighters to battle. I may have too many of them, but I can also integrate them into large fireplaces. The gold shafts are the same pieces used on Santa’s Sleigh, and I have an idea for these in my 2023 winter village. As for the carrots, I have an excess of the green stalks for them as you always get an extra one in sets, so getting some carrots is an excellent pickup. I have the Farmers Market van so they can integrate with that scene, and then kitchens and gardens throughout the city. It’s a fantastic element to add details and color to city life.

The lavender limbs – well, I don’t have a plan for them, so I got six. Nonetheless, anything related to trees, flowers, or shrubs will always find a home in the city. Same with the gold star studs. I can see these dotted in many places.

We are now into the pieces I got without a specific purpose in mind (except for the white and gold jumpers, as they will be invaluable for the winter village). However, they are sufficiently generic to the utilized in most Lego buildings or vehicles.

I picked up 2×3 light grey plates, as these are invaluable in many builds. Further, MILs road plates need this size so they’ll always have a purpose. The transparent orange wedges can go in a fire or on vehicles are warning lights. The dark grey cones are an excellent element for adding details to building facades, so I selected a few. The remaining parts were only to add to my inventory, even the random ones!


There is one more part that I got many of – the tap element. Might be wondering why I want so many taps! Well, I’ve seen a few examples of these used in the facades of buildings and thought it looked splendid. So, that is what these are for. Granted, I wouldn’t have bought these from PAB online, but when I saw them, I remembered the effect they could have.

Finally, I want to share a trick that might be obvious: to fill walls with pieces and stick them in the center of the cup. They create a column in the middle that you can fill other elements around. I do this with plates and bricks are well. It is a great technique to pack as many pieces as possible.

So, that was my haul and what the pieces were worth. My cup paid for itself with the transparent walls and the green wedges I would purchase anyway. Everything else in the cup was “free” in a way, and I know I will find a way to use them all to bring life to the city.

Unless you are a bricklink seller, there’s no need to fill more cups than you need. I didn’t get other parts on the wall because I couldn’t visualize using them.

What do you think of my haul? Did the Lego online price of the pieces ($87) surprise you? Let me know in the comments below!


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