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how do you find your cheap bionicle?


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I use any that can give me results, offerup, ebay, mercari etc work pretty good.

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Bazinga! I've been a Bionicle Fan since early 2015 and have been aware of it since 2008. Was a bit late to the party due to my age, but that doesn't matter now. Looking for krana and sealed G1 sets at below market value if possible, (otherwise it'll be a few years before I care to collect sets I don't care as much about) Bohrok Kal and Krana Kal Mask Pack sets are ones I am particularly looking for atm.

I go by Nektann or Marcato usually online.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hunting for decent prices takes time and effort. All platforms people have mentioned are good - eBay, Mercari, thrift stores. Typically, "deals" are made when someone is just trying to get rid of something and isn't extremely informed of their specific value. This is usually the advantage of a thrift store, but it depends heavily on your locality. If you live in a big city, there's typically a lot of other collectors also looking. If a deal is pretty wild, most people are gonna see it on eBay. It requires sleuthing.

Just in general, this is probably the highest prices I've seen BIONICLE prices go for in my many years of collecting. The pandemic really inflated most collecting circles, as people suddenly turned to hobbies and interests to keep themselves entertained. I used to joke about how little "value" BIONICLE stuff seemed to retain (depending on the set for sure - but still). Not sure if we can predict in any way where the chips fall on how those prices will ease. I'd say keep in mind what you're looking for, use websites like eBay for sold listings and Bricklink to ascertain value. Are you wanting complete sets in box? Are you mainly just interested in the sets?

Personally, I do eBay and thrift stores. You win some, you lose some. A local store had a bag with a mostly complete Exo-Toa for about $5. Pretty good - but keep in mind I go here weekly and keep an eye on Lego stuff that gets sold. A complete in canister Tahnok was $6 at that same store another time. But most places nowadays can search pretty easily for what a set is worth and get an approximate. Lots tend to be really good for pricing - you will almost always get things for cheaper than you would otherwise. Good for getting started too, if you are looking more broadly. There are still plenty of lots that have miscellaneous Toa, Rahkshi, Bohrok, etc... Last year I got a boxed Ultimate Dume that also had a few sealed Rahaga and Matoran inside (I had been bidding thinking they just had the boxes, due to my eternal search for impulse set boxes). Keep saved searches, check frequently, keep general prices in mind, and you'll find stuff eventually.

Bricklink is also a friend, depending on what you're looking for. Things are often expensive there, since they are known, but you can still find deals. Some sets are much cheaper for parts alone, but keep wary for sets with rarer parts. For example, did you know the Exo-Toa has approximately 25 half axle/pins in black that sell for like $3 each? MUCH easier to buy partial or complete Exo-Toa. Learned this the hard way for fixing up the many partial Exo-Toa I've run into.

As for what I buy - mostly individual sets I'm looking for. I have about 6-7 sets left from G1 so it's rarely advantageous for me to buy lots. I also collect sets complete, so I'm looking for boxes/instructions/etc. However, for sets I just want extra of or don't care as much - lots can be good. I picked up two lots last year for around $50-60 overall and ended up with a full set of extra Toa Mata, Toa Nuva, Turaga, and almost all the Rahkshi, plus a few McToran and Collectibles too, although those get pricey. I bought a lot of 2001 Kanohi recently for a pretty penny (48 or so for roughly $300), but the 20 or so I wanted to get from it currently go for over $500. I don't particularly care about the market value of things I own, but knowing what they go for saves money in the long run.

Partial sets can save money too. This is what I did for a few rahi back in the day (before they were so expensive). If the parts remaining are common, it's a quick way to get a cheaper deal. A lot of lots I've seen have had partial/incomplete rahi, titans, etc that were difficult to purchase on their own. A few Kardas dragons recently too, if I recall. Definitely keep an eye on those!

Edited by T.B.O.C
  • Upvote 2

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 My Brickshelf, please don't copy!

... :t: :b: :m_o: :c:...

Looking for shiny Regirock, Articuno, and Virizion!

(Can trade most any legendary for them!)

My 3DS friend list is full, sorry!

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On 10/30/2022 at 9:42 PM, T.B.O.C said:

Hunting for decent prices takes time and effort. All platforms people have mentioned are good - eBay, Mercari, thrift stores. Typically, "deals" are made when someone is just trying to get rid of something and isn't extremely informed of their specific value. This is usually the advantage of a thrift store, but it depends heavily on your locality. If you live in a big city, there's typically a lot of other collectors also looking. If a deal is pretty wild, most people are gonna see it on eBay. It requires sleuthing.

Just in general, this is probably the highest prices I've seen BIONICLE prices go for in my many years of collecting. The pandemic really inflated most collecting circles, as people suddenly turned to hobbies and interests to keep themselves entertained. I used to joke about how little "value" BIONICLE stuff seemed to retain (depending on the set for sure - but still). Not sure if we can predict in any way where the chips fall on how those prices will ease. I'd say keep in mind what you're looking for, use websites like eBay for sold listings and Bricklink to ascertain value. Are you wanting complete sets in box? Are you mainly just interested in the sets?

Personally, I do eBay and thrift stores. You win some, you lose some. A local store had a bag with a mostly complete Exo-Toa for about $5. Pretty good - but keep in mind I go here weekly and keep an eye on Lego stuff that gets sold. A complete in canister Tahnok was $6 at that same store another time. But most places nowadays can search pretty easily for what a set is worth and get an approximate. Lots tend to be really good for pricing - you will almost always get things for cheaper than you would otherwise. Good for getting started too, if you are looking more broadly. There are still plenty of lots that have miscellaneous Toa, Rahkshi, Bohrok, etc... Last year I got a boxed Ultimate Dume that also had a few sealed Rahaga and Matoran inside (I had been bidding thinking they just had the boxes, due to my eternal search for impulse set boxes). Keep saved searches, check frequently, keep general prices in mind, and you'll find stuff eventually.

Bricklink is also a friend, depending on what you're looking for. Things are often expensive there, since they are known, but you can still find deals. Some sets are much cheaper for parts alone, but keep wary for sets with rarer parts. For example, did you know the Exo-Toa has approximately 25 half axle/pins in black that sell for like $3 each? MUCH easier to buy partial or complete Exo-Toa. Learned this the hard way for fixing up the many partial Exo-Toa I've run into.

As for what I buy - mostly individual sets I'm looking for. I have about 6-7 sets left from G1 so it's rarely advantageous for me to buy lots. I also collect sets complete, so I'm looking for boxes/instructions/etc. However, for sets I just want extra of or don't care as much - lots can be good. I picked up two lots last year for around $50-60 overall and ended up with a full set of extra Toa Mata, Toa Nuva, Turaga, and almost all the Rahkshi, plus a few McToran and Collectibles too, although those get pricey. I bought a lot of 2001 Kanohi recently for a pretty penny (48 or so for roughly $300), but the 20 or so I wanted to get from it currently go for over $500. I don't particularly care about the market value of things I own, but knowing what they go for saves money in the long run.

Partial sets can save money too. This is what I did for a few rahi back in the day (before they were so expensive). If the parts remaining are common, it's a quick way to get a cheaper deal. A lot of lots I've seen have had partial/incomplete rahi, titans, etc that were difficult to purchase on their own. A few Kardas dragons recently too, if I recall. Definitely keep an eye on those!

Thanks for the amazing guide, best of luck looking. I've found almost nothing good(some over priced hero factory) so maybe I'm just coming at the wrong time? What day of the week do you usually go on to get the best finds?


#make the Piraka rap canon

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I'm mostly just seconding what's already been said. Charity shops (which I believe are basically the UK-equivalent of thrift stores?) can be good sources for sure, but require being in the right place at the right time, which can be pretty arbitrary. I've made a couple of good finds from them myself though, and have seen a couple of others that I didn't buy in the end. Still, those were only rare instances across the past decade or so, spread across the various small towns in the local area that I visit from time to time; so for me it's very much a case of checking in every such shop I see and never particularly expecting to find anything but just being pleasantly surprised when I do.

Charity sales, if you know anywhere that holds them, can sometimes be good too; when I was volunteering with a local branch of the National Animal Welfare Trust a few years ago, helping them organise donated stock for their monthly fundraising barn sales, we had a big lot of Lego donated that included all six classic Toa (very dusty but complete, including their canisters). In that instance, granted, I sold the sets on eBay on their behalf because no-one else there had any clue what they were worth, so this way got them more for it; but in cases that don't have someone present who's knowledgeable on the subject, they could certainly be places to potentially find a bargain.

Ebay's not great for Bionicle bargains these days, in my experience, since a lot of sets - especially the titans - fetch 3-4 times what they cost when they were new, but occasionally a deal can be had, particularly likely on smaller sets; some months back I was able to snatch up a used Zesk for a little cheaper than original price. Definitely agree with the previous poster about partially-complete sets being a good way to get things a bit cheaper too, if you know your way around Bricklink to find the remaining parts; a non-Bionicle example, but I got a maybe two-thirds complete Technic Jango Fett off ebay last year for a very good price (the Technic Star Wars characters are usually fairly expensive, but no-one else was interested in the listing that time because of the missing parts), and was able to Bricklink his remaining pieces pretty cheaply - even despite some of them being in a rare colour.

Best thing to do, I'd say, is just keep checking regularly; and, though they don't happen often, be ready to jump on appealing bargains when they do come up ^^

Edited by That Matoran with a Vahi
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"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

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43 minutes ago, That Matoran with a Vahi said:

I'm mostly just seconding what's already been said. Charity shops (which I believe are basically the UK-equivalent of thrift stores?) can be good sources for sure, but require being in the right place at the right time, which can be pretty arbitrary. I've made a couple of good finds from them myself though, and have seen a couple of others that I didn't buy in the end. Still, those were only rare instances across the past decade or so, spread across the various small towns in the local area that I visit from time to time; so for me it's very much a case of checking in every such shop I see and never particularly expecting to find anything but just being pleasantly surprised when I do.

Charity sales, if you know anywhere that holds them, can sometimes be good too; when I was volunteering with a local branch of the National Animal Welfare Trust a few years ago, helping them organise donated stock for their monthly fundraising barn sales, we had a big lot of Lego donated that included all six classic Toa (very dusty but complete, including their canisters). In that instance, granted, I sold the sets on eBay on their behalf because no-one else there had any clue what they were worth, so this way got them more for it; but in cases that don't have someone present who's knowledgeable on the subject, they could certainly be places to potentially find a bargain.

Ebay's not great for Bionicle bargains these days, in my experience, since a lot of sets - especially the titans - fetch 3-4 times what they cost when they were new, but occasionally a deal can be had, particularly likely on smaller sets; some months back I was able to snatch up a used Zesk for a little cheaper than original price. Definitely agree with the previous poster about partially-complete sets being a good way to get things a bit cheaper too, if you know your way around Bricklink to find the remaining parts; a non-Bionicle example, but I got a maybe two-thirds complete Technic Jango Fett off ebay last year for a very good price (the Technic Star Wars characters are usually fairly expensive, but no-one else was interested in the listing that time because of the missing parts), and was able to Bricklink his remaining pieces pretty cheaply - even despite some of them being in a rare colour.

Best thing to do, I'd say, is just keep checking regularly; and, though they don't happen often, be ready to jump on appealing bargains when they do come up ^^

is the uk better for bionicle?(I'm going there soon on a trip)


#make the Piraka rap canon

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1 hour ago, confused piraka said:

is the uk better for bionicle?(I'm going there soon on a trip)

I don't really have a point of comparison, sorry; it's the only country I have experience of looking for them in, so I don't know how it compares.

In my experience, it's kinda rare to find them, but it does happen from time to time. Could be worth your while to look in any charity shops you encounter - most UK high streets have a few - and see what you find; they often have an area for toys and such near the back of the shop, which is where Bionicle stuff would show up if they did have any. No guarantees you'll find anything, but it could be worth checking just in case something turns up ^^

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"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

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I'd say same as above, in fact the foundation of my collection was a big garbage bag full of Inika era stuff, from a Hospice Shop. Also, School Fairs, if that is a thing elsewhere. Also, sometimes countries have "local" sites so-to-say, you're only competing with bidders in your country for the most part which is handy.

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1 hour ago, Axelford said:

I'd say same as above, in fact the foundation of my collection was a big garbage bag full of Inika era stuff, from a Hospice Shop. Also, School Fairs, if that is a thing elsewhere. Also, sometimes countries have "local" sites so-to-say, you're only competing with bidders in your country for the most part which is handy.

could you explain what those are?


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9 hours ago, confused piraka said:

Thanks for the amazing guide, best of luck looking. I've found almost nothing good(some over priced hero factory) so maybe I'm just coming at the wrong time? What day of the week do you usually go on to get the best finds?

It's probably more locally dependent - I haven't found consistency with BIONICLE stuff in particular, as it just depends on when people bring stuff in. I go on Fridays/Saturdays most weeks since my usual haunts are bookstores I visit with my sister (Half Price Books - which is definitely hit or miss bc they definitely look up value for things). Sometimes, especially if you have rapport with people who work there, it's worth asking if they see a lot of a particular thing coming through. I found a few used/mostly complete Metru canister sets the other week and ended up talking with the cashier about if they get BIONICLE stuff in frequently. He told me they don't too much, but it wasn't unheard of.

Local listings can sometimes be nice - Mercari can be good for that, I hear, or even Facebook marketplace (though I'll stress: keep regular safety in mind with one on one meetups for this sort of thing). Even garage sales/yard sales can be, since that tends to be people just wanting to get rid of stuff. However, yard sales (in my area at least) tend to be big targets for resellers, so again, hard to tell.

That Matoran with a Vahi is right in regards to eBay - not much of a deal place anymore. I swear they used to not correct spelling issues a number of years back, because I definitely recall searching "Bioncle" and the like to find stuff that wasn't coming up in regular searches. Somewhere like a decade ago (MAN does time fly) I got a loose Exo-Toa and Boxor for around $30 or so that way. A lot of people listing the Bahrag as "Gahook and Gaboon" due to difficulty in reading the font. 

All in all - I'd say just keep searching and you're bound to find stuff eventually. The issue just tends to be that deals happen, and you wanna be around when they do. If you're looking for just general sets, I'd still advise keeping an eye on lots. Many will go for more than they're worth, but you occasionally happen upon ones that people seem to miss. I got one earlier in the year that was a half sealed Nidhiki with an entire Pewku and some of Takua in it. Something like $30 altogether. Half the stuff I find really just comes down to saved eBay searches and staying vigilant.

dat_logo_newer.png

qs56078.jpg
 My Brickshelf, please don't copy!

... :t: :b: :m_o: :c:...

Looking for shiny Regirock, Articuno, and Virizion!

(Can trade most any legendary for them!)

My 3DS friend list is full, sorry!

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