back to article What a bunch of bricks: Crooks knock hole in toyshop wall, flee with €35k Lego haul

Christmas was (probably not) ruined for several German children yesterday after thieves bust through a toyshop wall in Lippstadt and escaped with dozens of Lego sets said to be worth a total of €35,000. Despite the "picture of devastation" and metre-wide opening left in the wall, investigators are struggling to piece …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Ah, Lego

    I still have two crates full of those little barefoot menaces.

    These days I let the nephews and nieces have their fun. I'm guessing in a decade, it'll be the grandchildren.

    Personally ? I spent years playing with my Legos. Fond memories.

    Now I have a computer. And for my computer, I have Minecraft.

    Infinite bricks for the win.

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: Ah, Lego

      Same here (both with the Lego and Minecraft)

      I still feel that I can build more with Lego. Old favourites include a working grandfather clock and a fully-motorised construction crane that was three foot long when packed and mobile, and would fill a room when the outriggers and boom were extended.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Ah, Lego

      There are still multiple crates here too...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah, Lego

      >>>Now I have a computer. And for my computer, I have Minecraft.

      Do you have a computer running inside Minecraft on your computer, hmmm ... ?

      https://youtu.be/SbO0tqH8f5I

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Ah, Lego

        But can you run Minecraft on that computer inside Minecraft on your computer?

        Recurring minds want to know

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Yes

          But very slowly

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Ah, Lego

        I did try the RaspberryPi version of minecraft which you can run from a programming language. I've never tried buying the thing so this may be true of other versions. I got it to play a game of life then found I could make huge blocks of dynamite.

    4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: I still have two crates full of those little barefoot menaces.

      You realise Pascal, you are now a prime burglary target.

    5. Dr Scrum Master
      Headmaster

      Re: Ah, Lego

      Downvoted for "Legos"

      1. Intractable Potsherd

        Re: Ah, Lego

        I didn't downvote, but yes - it's either "Lego" (singular and plural) or "Lego bricks or (at a push) pieces". "Legos" means nothing in an offensive way.

        1. Mr Humbug

          Re: Ah, Lego

          'Legos' is where the USA put the s it took off 'maths'

    6. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Ah, Lego

      I very stupidly rejected claiming our childhood collection of lego when the folks had a clear-out after we all left home. We could make almost anything with it. Now a lego kit makes one thing and one thing only.

      Sod that.

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: Ah, Lego

        "Now a lego kit makes one thing and one thing only."

        Not true. Apparently they were moving in that direction around twenty or so years back, but stopped doing that, and none of the sets I bought my niece or nephew in the past few years have been like that.

        Yes, some of them to have some fancy, semi-custom parts, but this was the case even when I was a kid in the early 80s.

        Or did you mean that they only come with instructions for one thing to build? I'm not sure whether that's correct or not (though they do sell some explicitly '3 in 1' sets), but you can build countless things with Lego regardless of whether or not it's in the official instructions.

        1. EnviableOne Silver badge

          Re: Ah, Lego

          in the old kits I remember were instructions for the thing on the outside of the box,

          then on the remaining panels, of the instructions were the "here's other things you can make, but you can work out how..."

  2. WonkoTheSane
    Headmaster

    Probably stolen to order

    There are a number of unofficial Lego brick stores online, mostly used by people making "MOCs" (My Own Creation).

    Keep an eye on stores like Bricklinkcom & Brickshop.eu for a sudden influx of stock.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Probably stolen to order

      If they're half-way intelligent they won't sell it on BrickLink, that's owned by Lego now.

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Probably stolen to order

        No reason not to. The Lego brick patient expired a few years ago so people can now make bricks pretty much exactly the same. The good Lego stores are the ones that sell various bricks from various sellers that altogether make up old models that can no longer be purchased. Cheaper than buying the old kits from ebay sellers.

        1. Scott Pedigo
          Coat

          Re: The Lego brick patient expired a few years ago

          Was the Lego doctor sued by a Lego lawyer?

          1. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: The Lego brick patient expired a few years ago

            I keep doing that. Bloody English language!

            Despite being an adult fan of lego appears I'm out of touch. Buying a house means can't buy the kits anymore and didn't realise bricklink had been sold to Lego. Still got lots of kits that I'd purchased before I threw my money at a house, so still got lots of sets to build.

  3. chivo243 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    piecing together!

    Nice one! Love Bootnotes!

    1. EarthDog

      Re: piecing together!

      I hear they are constructing a case

      1. Ken Shabby
        Holmes

        Re: piecing together!

        The hole in the wall, Police are looking into it.

  4. Plest Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

    " One career criminal from Florida was said to have made $1m by "selling Legos and other stolen goods online." "

    Will our US cousins stop calling it "Legos"! The brand name is LEGO, it is a "LEGO set" or "I have made something with LEGO.".

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

      I call it Lego, but I draw the line at writing it completely in capitals.

    2. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

      Yes, but I refuse to write it in caps too. If Lego had its way, it'd be LEGO® the whole way through.

      1. Steve Button Silver badge

        Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

        I bet you'd be fine with Yahoo! though!

        Or should I say...

        I! bet! you'd! be! fine! with! Yahoo! though!

        1. Bill Gray

          Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

          No! I! would! not!. The! exclamation! marks! should! be! italicized!.

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

        We're all techy types here.

        #define Lego LEGO®

        Sorted...

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

      Absolutely!!! Lego is like sheep. Both singular and plural. End of!

      1. ridley

        Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

        The plural of Fish is Fish, but if you have different types of fish in a tanks you have different fishes.

        Does that mean you can haves Legos?

        1. NightFox

          Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

          No. Even Lego on their own website say that it's incorrect to refer to Lego bricks as Legos.

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Not again!!! The name is LEGO!!

      Personally though, I won't go quite as far as pronouncing it "Lee-go" as the Danish do.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    The subtitle

    "The police are still trying to piece it together"

    That made my day, as it puts the picture into your mind where at the local Cop Shop a bunch of officers with a large box of Lego have an attempt at reconstructing the crime scene....

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: The subtitle

      When the police finally have enough evidence, everything will click into place!

      1. Wally Dug

        Re: The subtitle

        Agreed - the criminals must surely be bricking it.

      2. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: The subtitle

        @Chris G "When the police finally have enough evidence, everything will click into place!"

        When the police finally have enough evidence too build a case.

        1. Montreal Sean

          Re: The subtitle

          The police are scouring Bricklink for the missing pieces.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: The police are scouring Bricklink for the missing pieces.

            Oh no! They should only use hot soapy water.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: The subtitle

      "an attempt at reconstructing the crime scene...."

      Using Playmobil, no doubt.

    3. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: The subtitle

      I only read the tag line, and came straight here to the comments. Did I miss anything? I doubt it.

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: The subtitle

        I don’t know. “Points will be deducted for lack of difficulty.”

  6. Totally not a Cylon Silver badge
    Flame

    About the shed

    Does it keep flames out or in?

    Enquiring minds need to know...

  7. BenDwire Silver badge
    Pint

    Playmobil reconstruction

    There was a time on El Reg when a Playmobil reconstruction would have been provided for certain stories, and this seems a rather obvious candidate!

    Lester is still sadly missed - Cheers, mate.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Playmobil reconstruction

      Yep, there needs to be a Playmobil reconstruction or it didn't happen!

    2. ridley
      Pint

      Re: Playmobil reconstruction

      He surely is

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Happy

    I was never into Lego

    As a kid, Meccano was 'the' thing. I never bothered with the directions for building specific items. As soon I understood how it all went together I was awy doing my own stuff - mostly variations on bridges and towers.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: I was never into Lego

      My dad (who was a builder) bought me a kit one Christmas that had real bricks and a starch type glue, window and door frames and roof tiles. The starch glue meant that you could take the building apart to use everything for a new project, for the life of me I can't remember the name of the kit but it was in the late fifties UK. I never liked Lego but I don't think I saw it before I was about ten years old.

      I preferred the real brick kit.

      1. fidget

        Re: I was never into Lego

        I remember seeing something like this at school. I've done a search and think it's Brickplayer (which is a nice word-play). Here's some links:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brickplayer

        https://web.archive.org/web/20150411143536/http://www.brickplayer.co.uk/history

        https://www.meccanoindex.co.uk/Other/Brickplayer/index.php

        https://www.google.com/search?q=Brickplayer&tbm=isch

        In my own family we didn't have such toys. I think there were a bit special for most children.

      2. fidget

        Re: I was never into Lego

        I remember seeing something like this at school. I've done a search and think it's Brickplayer (which is a nice word-play). Here's some links:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brickplayer

        https://web.archive.org/web/20150411143536/http://www.brickplayer.co.uk/history

        https://www.meccanoindex.co.uk/Other/Brickplayer/index.php

        https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/how-many-old-toys-display-1154397

        https://www.google.com/search?q=Brickplayer&tbm=isch

        In my own family we didn't have such toys. I think there were a bit special for most children.

      3. cantankerous swineherd

        Re: I was never into Lego

        this was early sixties, pretty sure the trowel is knocking about somewhere!

        https://www.flickr.com/photos/193899485@N06/albums/72157720250866900

      4. steelpillow Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: I was never into Lego

        I had Lego and Meccano. And Bayko. And Arkitex. And the first Lego ripoff, whose bricks weren't compatible. And a real-clay-brick thing where you mixed up flour paste for mortar, and once bored with it you broke it down by soaking it in the sink and started again; how Mum loved that one!

        But Playmobil was after my time.

        1. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: I was never into Lego

          And Swoppets! Nearly forgot those characters. Anybody else remember Swoppets? I had knights in armour, big bro had cowboys.

          Star Wars Swoppets, now that could and should be a thing! Darth Skywalker, may I introduce you to Luke Leia and Princess Yoda!

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: I was never into Lego

            I had cowboy and indian swoppets, then an aunt gave me a packet of roman swoppetts, had huge fun mixing roman bits with cowboys.

      5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: I was never into Lego

        I remember those too - my cousin had them.

    2. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: I was never into Lego

      The building kit I got as a kid was philips philiform.

    3. Michael Hoffmann

      Re: I was never into Lego

      As a kid still living in Germany at that time it was Fischer Technik. Was that ever a thing outside Germany?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: I was never into Lego

        Yes. Was definitely a thing here in the UK. IIRC it was even more expensive than Lego though, and rather less versatile unless you could afford a large set or multiple smaller sets. It was more advanced than Lego though pre-dating Lego Technik by some time.

        1. Phones Sheridan Bronze badge

          Re: I was never into Lego

          I had a hundred or so Tente sets, and also the full Linkets range for good measure during the 80s, including the Tente sets you got from collecting the tokens off Weetabix packages :p

          I also remember in the 90s seeing them in the 50p shop, and Home and Bargains as their popularity faded :( Sad because Tente were the first construction toys that had kits to make Transformers*

          *Ok not actual branded transformers, but certainly robots in disguise!

      2. AdamT

        Re: I was never into Lego

        Yes it was a thing but I don't think it was that popular. Me, my brother and cousins ended up with a fairly substantial collection because my mother and aunt were passing a toy shop when they were selling off their entire window display FT model because it wasn't selling. Absolute bargain apparently.

        I preferred it to Meccano ever since I got a small kit of that and the instructions included _bending_ one of the pieces. Permanently! The horror...

    4. Nifty Silver badge

      Re: I was never into Lego

      As kids we invented 2 Lego games - Lego Mazes (with marbles) where you sandwich a maze between 2 floor pieces, and Lego Rollerball, that was a bit more destructive :-)

    5. grumpyoldeyore

      Re: I was never into Lego

      I had Airfix's Betta Builder https://www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk/index/Category:Betta_Bilda

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I had Airfix's Betta Builder

        Same here.

        The proportions of brick size seemed much more appropriate for constructing buildings. Shame it didn't flourish.

  9. mikecoppicegreen

    Bricks to get rid of?

    There's an organisation in Bradford that helps autistic people that is always grateful for Lego. https://autismbricksuk.org/donate-your-lego/

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the best things I did for my kids was to buy about 20kg of random secondhand Lego bits on ebay. They play with that more than any of the complete sets that people have given them over the years.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Hands up anyone who managed to keep a 'complete set' beyond the first build!

  11. juice

    Lego is surprisingly valuable

    I had a friend who made a comfortable living from buying lego "model" sets and breaking them up to sell as individual parts. I've never dug into it to find out quite how this worked - presumably a small percentage of the parts were valuable as individual items, and everything else got bagged up and sold in bundles.

    As to who's buying them? I'd guess it's mainly people building custom kits. Case in point; someone I know has just finally finished an ED-209 model after 8 years; it's ten inches tall, he used 2,400 lego pieces to build it, and apparently, some of the pieces needed were only released in the last two years!

    To be fair, it does look pretty impressive, too :)

    1. Chris Gray 1

      Re: Lego is surprisingly valuable

      Yep, take a look at bricklink.com

      Now owned by Lego, but still quite independent. Hundreds of Lego repackers all over the world. Some specialize, others have huge stocks, etc.

      A friend of mine is one such seller. There was a recent Walmart sale of "sets" which are just lots of bricks of various sizes, shapes and colour. He got 50, and they are now here for me to sort the 75,000 parts, for his Bricklink store. It's going to take a fair while - my guess is one of the 11 different bags of pieces per week, roughly. He would do it *much* faster, but I've got computer work to do, and he's got lots of regular sets to sort.

      1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

        Re: Lego is surprisingly valuable

        Totally didn't know bricklink was Lego now. I guess Lego just wasn't making enough and needed to get their cut.

        C'mon guys, we gotta pitch in and buy more Lego. If we don't support them, they might not pull through.

  12. Wellyboot Silver badge

    Crooks follow the money.

    Light weight, easily transported, untraceable, potentially last for centuries and have a near global second hand market.

    Smash & grab robberies just prove that the purchase cost per brick is now so high it's worth risking jail time for a sackful.

    1. SudMonkey
      Childcatcher

      Re: Crooks follow the money.

      From the linked article (and translated into English by Google):

      "Thieves stole around a hundred Lego sets from a store"

      "...estimates the value of the goods at around 35,000 euros."

      An average of €350 per Lego set??

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Crooks follow the money.

        "An average of €350 per Lego set??"

        Yeah, I was wondering about that too.

        On the other hand, Police do like to "big up" a crime so they can go for bigger charges and a bigger sentence if/when the perps are caught. I wonder if they inflated the value by including the damage to the wall as part of the swag? Did the perps steal those bricks too?

        1. Giles C Silver badge

          Re: Crooks follow the money.

          The latest Lego AT-AT kit comes in at £699, it is very impressive but I can’t justify that money on a Lego kit myself.

          Kit number 75313 if you want one

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Crooks follow the money.

            Oh wow! I had no idea they sold kits at the price of a cheap second hand car! Lego has always been a bit pricey to my mind, but that's...gob smacking!

          2. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

            Re: Crooks follow the money.

            I'm trying to scratch my Lego itch with a big, light-up MOC diorama in a cupboard.

            Just sticking to used kits and space-coloured knock-off pieces set me back maybe $3000 in Canadaland play money.

            No judgements, but no regrets (well, 3 grand's a lot for any toy... so maybe a little judgement is in order).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet with the gendarmerie on the case they are bricking it.

    I'll show myself out...

    1. gadsgadsgads

      You beat me to it...

      That downvote should be mine!

  14. imanidiot Silver badge

    With the bigger, aimed at adults Lego sets costing north of 200 euros, it's not hard to rack up a good score. And with certain highly useful but rare bricks, the individual brick on trading sites can be quite valuable. I've never understood why Lego doesn't just sell individual bricks as a service. There's still relatively high demand for tiny little bricks (that are easily lost) that Lego no longer sell in any of their official sets. If the tooling is still there, doing an official run of 10k bricks will likely satiate the demand at a few dollars/euros per brick while diminishing the scalper market.

    1. Chris Gray 1

      They sort-of do

      Go to the Lego website and click on "Pick a Brick".

      Prices there are high, it doesn't include all in-stock parts, and it doesn't include out-of-stock parts, but it satisifies many needs if you don't want to use Bricklink or BrickOwl.

      And of course, if you are missing a part or two from a recent set, just ask nicely and they will send you replacements.

      1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

        Prices there are high

        Boy howdy, you ain't kiddin'.

        The one store-bought part of the thing I'm building (yellow safety barriers. Gotta have yellow safety barriers on your space station) came in at a cool $500 brightly coloured Canabucks.

        Can't help but think years ago when I was buying dime bags from a guy, every so often even he would spot you or maybe throw in a little extra shake on a good day... but Lego?

        They are stone cold, bless their bricks.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "If the tooling is still there, doing an official run of 10k bricks will likely satiate the demand at a few dollars/euros per brick while diminishing the scalper market."

      Warehouse space and time to sell. No one, these days, wants to carry stock for longer than the minimum necessary to ship it out and put the next batch in it's place.

    3. Ace2 Silver badge

      More valuable by weight than gold?

      https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=4502a&idColor=11#T=S&C=69&O={%22color%22:%2269%22,%22iconly%22:0}

      (4502a in Dark Tan if the URL doesn’t survive)

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      "If the tooling is still there"

      Lego are very precise about their manufacturing tolerances, so as soon as the templates (no sure if that's the correct term?) for the injection-molding are slightly worn, they're destroyed and replaced.

      Or rather, not replaced, for bricks they don't expect to need more of.

      1. Stork Silver badge

        Mould I think. After all, it’s called injection moulding.

        I remember seeing a documentary where old moulds were put on the ground and covered in concrete for the floor of a new building. Lego’s building.

  15. Skiron
    Headmaster

    Quiz question!

    If you are involved in pub quizzes and what not, here is a great question:

    What Company makes the most car tyres in the world?

    Answer:

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    LEGO

    1. Martin
      FAIL

      Re: Quiz question!

      If I took quizzes seriously, and that answer came up in my pub quiz, I'd put in a complaint. It says "car tyres" not "model car tyres".

      That's like saying "Which company made the most house bricks last year?" Would you really accept "Lego" as the answer?

      1. Skiron
        Alert

        Re: Quiz question!

        A car tyre is a car tyre. You never seen the film Flight of the Pheonix?

        1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge
          Pint

          Re: Quiz question!

          Dude! I keep forgetting to find and watch that.

          Tanks o' thanks, buddy!

          I'm gonna try my first icon for ya...

  16. Brian 3

    35000E in sets, that's 350 x 100E sets, just how big is the store to have that many sets in stock?? The picture suggests they weren't cleaned out by any means

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Probably they stole much more expensive sets. 100 Euros is on the lower end of the scale nowadays.

  17. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921
    Coat

    The case will fall apart at trial

    1. Sam Therapy

      It'll never stand up in court.

    2. Michael Strorm

      If it's made from proper Lego, it probably won't...

  18. Unindicted Co-conspirator

    Following Google's Lead?

    Maybe they're planning on building servers like Google did when they started. Although these servers would be for crypto mining, not doing evil.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mean

    I hope the build a Lego jail, crawl inside, and get stuck.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lego is valuable

    Coming soon “Crypto Lego”

    $$$$$$$$$

    1. Big O

      Re: Lego is valuable

      On the blockchain presumably?

  21. Sam Therapy
    Unhappy

    Anyone who thinks standing on Lego bricks is bad

    has never stood on an upturned UK mains plug.

    Now, that's really not fun.

    1. Our Lord and Savior Rahl

      Re: Anyone who thinks standing on Lego bricks is bad

      Or a d4 :(

    2. OssianScotland
      Facepalm

      Re: Anyone who thinks standing on Lego bricks is bad

      It's not when you stand on them, its when you kneel and get a lego block just under the kneecap!

      (Icon - closest I can get to eyes watering at the mere thought...)

  22. We're all in it together

    I wonder

    Only half the sets were hauled away. The other half they used to brick up the hole. They're lucky they weren't caught. Must've taken ages to fill it in.

  23. Matthew Taylor

    Lego pirates.

    35,000 euros? So... one high end Lego Technik set?

  24. Noel Morgan

    1 each of the top 12 sets would set you back £5720 thats ~ 6700 euro,

    5 of each (60 sets) not an unusual stock level would get to that amount fairly easily.

    Star Wars 75313 AT-AT – £749.99

    Star Wars 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer – £649.99

    Star Wars 75192 Millennium Falcon – £649.99

    10294 Titanic – £569.99

    10276 Colosseum – £449.99

    Technic 42131 App-Controlled Cat D11 Bulldozer – £419.99

    Star Wars 75159 Death Star – £409.99

    Technic 42100 Liebherr R 9800 – £399.99

    Harry Potter 75978 Diagon Alley – £369.99

    Star Wars 10221 Super Star Destroyer – £349.99

    Technic 42115 Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 – £349.99

    Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle – £349.99

    1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware Bronze badge

      Brickthrough?

      Seeing all those prices in one place reeeaaally forces me to look at a lot of recent lifestyle decisions...

  25. batfink Silver badge
    IT Angle

    IT Angle?

    I'm struggling to find the IT Angle here. Did the villains perhaps use some kind of fancy printer to change the "$" symbol on their swag sacks to "Bricks" or something? 3D-printed masks?

  26. This post has been deleted by its author

  27. heyrick Silver badge
    Happy

    Lego?

    Amateurs.

    Real grown up boys will have aimed straight for the Playmo.

  28. Trigun Silver badge

    "For people who see Lego as little more than a bit of fun with the kids, it is striking to learn about the enthusiast scene – where full-grown adults must spend hundreds of hours designing their own custom sets to sell or share the instructions online."

    Thing is, it's quite common these days for adults to like what some might previously have referred to as toys or things for children. It's just entertainment and/or a bit of nostalgia. As for Lego: Not my bag, but I know a few work colleagues who collect it. I think they view the kits more as models than something to actually play with though.

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