At KC Brick Store, we are committed to providing the highest quality LEGO for a safe playing and building experience. That is why we have a multi-stage cleaning and sorting process! Our process ensures that you are purchasing authentic LEGO in great condition and that it has been cleaned and disinfected. Our cleaning and sorting processes will continue even post COVID-19, so you can always count on bricks purchased from us to be safe and authentic!
The cleaning flow for incoming product depends on whether it is a pre-built set or bulk.
Bulk and Minifigs
When bulk LEGO and minifigs arrive, the first thing we do is pre-sort the LEGO before it is washed. We remove any non-LEGO knock-off brands, as well as other random items that make their way into LEGO lots, such as other toys, loose change, batteries, etc. We also set aside any LEGO elements which would be damaged by being immersed in water, such as the light bricks, NXT bricks, and motorized bricks.
After the LEGO has been sorted initially, we place the bricks in mesh bags and wash them with both detergent and a sanitizing solution. The sanitizing solution we use is confirmed to kill 99.9% of germs, including COVID-19!
Once the LEGO has been cleaned and disinfected, the bricks are dumped onto our drying racks, where a fan expedites the drying process.
After the LEGO pieces have been dried, they move on to the final stage: Sorting! During the final sorting, we separate the elements into groupings such as standard bulk, wheels, minifigs, and other categories. We also check again for knock-off brands and parts that don’t meet our quality standards.
By the end of the process, we have cleaned/sanitized bricks that meet our high quality standards for selling!
When we receive a pre-built set, the first thing we do is to verify that the set is complete. We visually inspect and compare it to the the available images on sites such as Bricklink, as well as check for uniformity and broken pieces.
Once the set has been verified, we clean up any visual dirt, dust, and grime. After the set is cleaned, it’s time for disinfecting! We use CleanSmart Toy Disinfectant, which is confirmed by the EPA to kill COVID. We also know that LEGO often ends up in children’s mouths during play, so we were sure to choose a disinfectant that is safe to use around children. The CleanSmart disinfectant does not contain any harsh chemicals and is approved in all 50 states for use in day cares, so it checks all of our boxes!
There are two main reasons to remove fake LEGO elements from the lots we sell. First, LEGO clones are not held to the same quality standards as authentic LEGO. The clone brands may claim compatibility with LEGO, but they are often too tight, too loose, or don’t line up quite right. LEGO has strict quality standards on their parts, ensuring everything is correct to within hundredths of millimeters! (For a cool view of the quality control process at LEGO, check out this video)
The second reason we remove fake-LEGO bricks is that they do not have a strong secondary market, so their resell value is low compared to authentic LEGO. We ensure you are getting an honest deal by removing the fake LEGO which is not worth as much.
Broken or Discolored Pieces
It is very common to find pieces which have been damaged or discolored when working with bulk LEGO lots. Pieces are chewed and stepped on throughout their life, which can bend and break them. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can also fade or yellow lighter-colored bricks, such as white, light grays, and blue. Pieces that have been discolored or damaged are also removed during our sorting process.
At KC Brick Store, we sell 99.9% authentic LEGO free from broken or discolored pieces. Why not 100%? Well, we are only human, and we do make mistakes. But our multi-stage sorting and cleaning process means that our bulk LEGO is among the highest quality, ensuring that you are getting the best bang for your buck!
So what happens to all of the fake LEGO or yellowed bricks that we can’t sell? We are dedicated to being as environmentally friendly as possible, so the fake LEGO and yellowed LEGO bricks don’t go to waste! All fake LEGO and authentic LEGO which is still play-worthy but doesn’t meet our high quality standards for the store are donated to charity. This ensures that the toys get a chance to live on and make children happy, while also helping to raise funds for local charities.
Want to learn how to clean your bricks more efficiently? We’ll be doing a future post on more detailed cleaning tips, but for now, check out LEGO’s official cleaning guide. After you’re done cleaning, check out some of our tips on sorting to organize your shiny new bricks!
We strongly believe in giving credit where it’s due, so we’d like to shout out TD Bricks for providing inspiration for the LEGO shower vignette we created for this post!