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Frequently Asked Questions

LEGO® Questions

What is LEGO®?

LEGO® is a building toy system based on interlocking plastic bricks patented by the LEGO Company in 1958 in Billund, Denmark.

Who plays with LEGO®?

Traditionally, LEGO® has been a children’s toy, focused on ages 5-14. However, there are many adult users as well around the world.

Plural of LEGO®

LEGO® is a contraction of “leg godt” which means “play well” in Danish. It is also the name of the LEGO Group of Companies, and their brand. Please always refer to LEGO® as: LEGO® Bricks, LEGO® Toys, or LEGO® elements, etc. and not as “LEGOS”. This is to help preserve the legal protections of the trademark.

Where can I buy new LEGO® sets?

Almost any toy store, online at LEGO.com, or from LEGO® Shop at Home at 1-800-835-4386.

Where can I buy Used/previously played with LEGO® sets and/or parts?

At most BayLUG meetings, local yard sales, on bricklink.com, ebay and many other Web sites.

How can I clean LEGO®?

LEGO® can be washed by hand, using warm and mild soap. Sometimes a gentle toothbrushing can help. But do not get electric parts wet! You can also put LEGO® in a mesh lingerie-type bag and wash it in the dishwasher or clothes washer, if:

  1. The parts won’t fall out through the holes in the mesh bag
  2. You have low/cold temperature water
  3. You dry them with no heat

It is best to wash clear pieces or minifigs by hand to avoid scratches and worn faces.

See also the Washing LEGO post on Bill Ward’s (past BayLUG President) blog.

BayLUG-Related Questions

What is BayLUG / BayLTC?

Founded in 1998, the Bay Area LEGO® Users Group (BayLUG) is a registered non-profit California Unincorporated Association. BayLUG is a self-organized club of LEGO enthusiasts that holds public meetings, and exhibits at local events. BayLTC, the Bay Area LEGO® Train Club is a special interest group within BayLUG that focuses on enjoying LEGO® Trains, and related creations. All BayLTC participants are BayLUG members.

Who can join?

BayLUG membership is open to anyone. Only imagination is required. The club has ~200 members, ages 4 years old and up. Families as well as individual adults and children can join. There are three types of members: single adults, single minors (with parental permission), and families.

How do I join?

Apply online at BayLUG.org, or obtain an application at a BayLUG meeting (or download it in PDF form from our site) fill it in and return it along with your initial dues. See our Join page for details.

How much does it cost to join/continue as a BayLUG member?

Annual dues are:

  • Individual Adult or Youth: initial year $10; annual dues $5.
  • Family: Up to 6 people, initial year $20; annual dues $10.

Initial year fees are pro-rated (See the Join page for the prices for each quarter) according to when in the year you join. Dues are due each January, and are not prorated.

What happens at a BayLUG meeting?

Typical regular meetings are on a Saturday or Sunday, 10 or 11am to 3-4pm. Meetings can have 2 parts, a members’ only part and a public part. The members’ only part (e.g., business meeting) is usually short, and held first, if held at all. At a typical meeting you will see:

  • Members talking about, and displaying their (newest) LEGO creations.
  • Members selling and/or trading sets, minifigs and parts, to other members or the public. These are typically available either in bulk by the pound, self-service from a heap on the floor that you pick thru, or in ziplock bags that are typically $1-2 each.
  • Themed building contest held usually at 1pm. Members typically build models according to a theme that is announced in advance of the meeting, and bring them to the meeting for the contest. Prizes are given for the best entry in each age category, based on votes of the members present. The contest particulars vary, and are on the applicable meeting’s Events page.
  • In addition there may also be a Kids Activity, like building and racing a LEGO car down a ramp. If there is a Kids Activity it will be announced in advance and coordinated via the Parents mailing list.
  • Other occasional events may include a presentation or other special programming.

Members can reserve a spot to show creations and/or sell/trade stuff by signing up on the meeting’s wiki page, and claim a table location. Note that for some spots you may need to bring your own table.

Unlike our regular meetings, the annual meeting in January is hosted at the private home of Dave Porter in Woodside, and is open only to club members, who are encouraged to RSVP with the host for directions.

LEGO® building assistance, parts purchases, tutorials, etc.

Can BayLUG/LTC provide LEGO® building tutors/training/advice?

Generally no. The club is not organized as a professional service or training business, and does not offer LEGO® building tutorials, etc. to the public. Sometimes though they will be on the agenda for regular club meetings. However, individual club members may, at their discretion, offer training or assistance to groups. Come to a meeting to meet them and assess their skills, suitability and availability for your particular purpose.

Can BayLUG/LTC help me/my school/group/company etc. do (some LEGO®-related activity/project)?

Generally no. Again, the club is not a service or training business. Again, however, individual members may, at their discretion, offer training or assistance to groups at their discretion.

I really need a particular part for a project I’m working on. How can BayLUG help?

If there’s a meeting or show coming up, post a “Parts Begging” note (clearly describing the part, color, and quantity) to the Chat mailing list so members can see if they have what you want, and bring it to the meeting. It’s a good idea to link to a site like peeron.com or other online inventory of LEGO parts to help be more clear which part you are talking about. Also indicate if there are any parts you offer to trade, or if you are willing to offer a certain amount of cash, include that in the note.

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site.
Copyright © 1999-2014, David K. Z. Harris, N6UOW, Russell Clark, and Bill Ward.
BayLUG graphic by Fred Yokel. BayLTC graphic by Fred Yokel, Mark Benz, John Neal, and Russell Clark.