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Brick by Brick, Breaking Down Expensive LEGO Sets: 10019 UCS Rebel Blockade Runner

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Remember the first time that you saw Star Wars? Remember the feeling as the small rebel ship blazed overhead pursued by the massive Star Destroyer? It was so unlike anything we had seen before. When people talk about iconic Star Wars vehicles, they talk about the ones that appeared in all of the original trilogy; the Millennium Falcon, the X-Wing, Star Destroyer and TIE FIghter. The very first image though was of a ship that only had minutes of screen time. Despite that, the Rebel Blockade Runner was burned indelibly into the consciousness of fans.

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You may not know, the Blockade Runner was modified from the original design of the Millennium Falcon. Just a little trivial trivia for you there.

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Though never specifically stated on film, it was called the Tantive IV and belonged to the royal family of Alderaan. In 2005's Revenge of the Sith, a second Blockade Runner was shown, and since then several more have appeared in Star Wars Rebels.

Released in 2001, with a retail price of $199.99, this was an expensive early addition to the LEGO Star Wars theme. It was more expensive than any other Star Wars set to that date. It cost twice as much as the UCS TIE Interceptor or the first Millennium Falcon and 1/3 more than the UCS X-Wing and Darth Maul. According to the Brickpicker Price Guide the current market supports sales of this set for around $1300 new in box or more than $750 used. This set is almost 4x the original cost in used condition.

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When I looked at the parts from this set, I realized that it contained a large number of old grey pieces. Because of the switchover to newer bluish greys, you should be aware that someone might try to pass off the more prevalent "bley" pieces as opposed to the correct and rarer old grey. A lot of pieces in this set are unique to this set or rare (appearing in 10 or fewer sets) mostly because of the grey switchover. When I do a summary of parts, getting them at average market value, you'd spend close to $1000 for all the parts that you need before factoring in the shipping of multiple orders.

I'd like to first discuss the pieces in this set where you need a larger quantity of each one. We're going to look at all the pieces that you need 20 or more of. I would like to stress at this point that this article is in no way a complete inventory. This article is a survey of the notable parts, whether they are expensive, rare or you need an unusually large number of. For a complete inventory, please consult the bricklink set inventory.

The most prevalent piece in the set is 59 black 2x2 round plate with Axle hole, Element 4032. This is a part that appears in 464 sets. The number needed for this set is almost 2.5x the amount required for the set with the next highest count. You can get these for $.01 each but most of the volume is in the $.02 range.

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Next, you need 52 light gray round 4x4 corner plates. Element 30565 is only found in that color in 5 sets. It averages $.30 on bricklink. Most people on Bricklink don't have the quantity you need though.

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We've also got 52 element 30562 white cylinder quarter 4x4x6 for all of the engines on the back of this thing. They'll run an average of $1 each. This part appears in 12 sets.

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Element 4286 White Slope 3x1 is next. You need 41 of them. You can get all that you need for $.02 and it appears in 219 sets.

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Appearing in 33 sets, and easily obtainable in the quantity you need for $.05 or less, you will need 34 element 2412b dark grey tile modified 1x2 w/ grille

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The 1x2 plate modified with jumper stud element 3794 appears in 177 sets in light grey. You can easily get the 32 that you need for $.03 each.

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I would classify this next piece as rare. Appearing in only 4 sets, element 2476b red Plate Special 2 x 2 with Pin on Bottom, Small Holes in Plate and Locking Fingers on Underside appears in this set 31 times. Thankfully, despite its rarity, they only average about $.09 each. Only 3 bricklink sellers have them in the quantity that you need as of this writing, so you will likely need to include them in a lot of orders.

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30 light gray 1x4 bricks with 4 studs on 1 side, element 30414, are next. It appears in 21 sets and averages $.40. There are no sellers on bricklink currently who have the quantity that you need for less than $.80 though.

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White inverted slope 2x2 is a super common piece, appearing in 346 sets. You need 28 of element 3660 that you can probably get for $.02 each.

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28 light grey 1x2 plate element 3023 are pretty common. They appear in 501 sets and even though they average $.05, you can easily find all that you need for $.02-$.03.

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You also need 28 light grey 1x1 tile modified with clip. Element 2555 appears in 91 sets. You can get all that you need for $.03

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I really thought that element 3001 was more common than it is. Don't get me wrong, it's still common, appearing in 669 sets, but I expected it to be over 1000. Anyway, you need 24 red 2x4 bricks. You're doing something wrong if these cost you more than $.04 each.

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22 round 2x2 light gray bricks are next. Element 3941 appears in 99 sets. You should be able to get all that you need for $.08 or less.

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Element 3666 in light gray appears in 218 sets. You need 22 of these 1x6 plates. I see a lot of them on Bricklink for $.05-$.06

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I assume that people call the 2x2 round corner brick a macaroni piece because of its shape and not because they like to eat it with cheese. You need 22 white ones and Bricklink says that element 3063 appears in 68 sets and averages $.12 each.

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The dark gray bar 4L or lightsaber blade/wand appears in 25 sets. You need 22 of them and bricklink says that you can get them for about $.63 each. element 30374 is a $.04 piece.

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22 is a prevalent number for this set. You need 22 1x2 plates modified with grill in light gray. It appears in a modest 131 sets. element 2412b

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Breaking the pattern, you need 21 element 3937 light gray hinge brick 1x2 base. This is a part that appears in 135 sets and can be found for $.05 or less.

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White modified 1x2 Bricks with Grill(e) occur in this set 21 times. Averaging about $.05 element 2877 appears in 99 sets.

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The final piece to make this list, squeaking in at 20 occurrences, is Dark Gray tile 1x4. Element 2431 appears in 36 sets. (The Dark Bluish Gray alternative appears in 267, so watch out for the more common cousin.) While it can be had for less than $.10 the cheapest seller currently with the full quantity that you need is $.11 each.

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Before discussing the rare parts, I would like to take a moment to talk about the stickers. There are certain pieces that require stickers, those pieces may be had for a fraction of the cost without stickers, but most would consider a set incomplete without them. The sheet of stickers itself is rare. If you can find an unused sheet, it will probably run you $100 or more. To buy the pieces with stickers, you'll possibly spend more than that extra. I do not advocate for either tracking down an expensive sticker sheet and using it, or finding the pieces with stickers applied. That seems like a personal choice to me. I am, however, going to caution you about the reproduction stickers that are available. You must educate yourself on what to look for in regards to those fakes.

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The Bricklink inventory doesn't show all of the stickered parts as counterparts, I can only assume that it is because some of them go across multiple pieces. That makes it a lot more difficult to acquire all of the stickered pieces.

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Now, as far as rare and/or expensive pieces I was surprised at how many somewhat inexpensive rare pieces are in this set. We've already seen a few in our overview of the more numerous pieces. I'm going to skip over all of the stickered alternate pieces and just concentrate on the ones without. This list will concentrate on pieces that appear in 8 (or fewer) sets, or that cost more than $2 (or in many cases, both.) This leaves us with 23 elements. (One part got bumped because it appears in 2 brand new sets.)

The single most expensive piece in the set is element 2440 Light Grey Hinge Panel 6x3. It seems like they are so rare that people can kind of make their own price. Only 3 have been available on Bricklink in the past 6 months and one sold for more than $200. The others sold for $50-$60. The stickered version sells for about $110 but is equally as rare. Thankfully,you only need 1. There is not a light bluish gray alternative for this part, but beware of someone trying to swap the Dark Bluish Gray piece instead.

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RInging in at about $20 each, there are 2 Dark Red round 8x8 tiles element 6177, This part is also unique to this set.

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I am going to take a moment to acknowledge a cheap piece that is also fairly rare, that is 2 white round 8x8 tiles element 6177 which only appears in 3 other sets. It's entirely possible to get what you need for less than $.50 each. Sort of surprising the difference in price for basically the same piece.

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Element 2418b has a long, cumbersome name. You need 4 white Windscreen 6 x 6 Octagonal Canopy with Axle Hole. Each of these will set you back more than $20. Currently available stock on Bricklink places them in the mid $30's. This part is unique to this set and fairly rare in any color.

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Appearing in only this set, element 2903 in dark red Wheel 61.6mm D. x 13.6mm Motorcycle appears 11 times. It seems like you'd be lucky to find them for much less than $16 each.

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Also requiring 11 quantity is element 2515 Wheel Hard Plastic Large (54mm D. x 30mm) in light grey. This wheel is not exactly common in any color but it is most expensive in this color. It has dipped as low as $10 each, but averages closer to $14.

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White Slope, Inverted 45 6 x 4 Double with 4 x 4 Cutout appears 6 times in this set. Element 30283 appears in this color in this set only. It averages about $6 each.

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Slightly less rare, in that it also appears in Set 6478 Fire Fighter's HQ white Hinge Brick 1 x 2 Locking with 1 Finger Vertical End and 2 Fingers Vertical End element 30386 occurs in this set 16 times. It averages about $6 but, only one seller on Bricklink seems to have the quantity that you would require.

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It's kind of sad that a piece that only appears in 4 sets starts to seem common. Tan Hinge Tile 1 x 4 element 4625 should only cost you about $5 each, but will probably take you multiple purchases to find all that you need.

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There's an overlap with the Cafe Corner here with element 2362b. (This piece is not exactly rare appearing in 25 sets, but breaches the threshold of expensive pieces.) White Panel 1 x 2 x 3 - Hollow Studs appears 4 times. It's probably going to cost you $3-$4 each.  

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Appearing in 15 sets, element 3961 is also not exactly rare. However, averaging about $3 each, you need 11 light grey Dish 8 x 8 Inverted (Radar). So, that's not exactly cheap, especially considering that at this time, no single merchant on bricklink has all that you need.

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For about $2 each, you could get 2 white Plate 6 x 16 aren't terribly hard to get. Element 3027 appears in 10 sets. It doesn't seem like you'd have a hard time finding a seller with the required number.

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Back to rare pieces, element 2356 appears in 4 sets. White Brick 4 x 6 is only about $1.50 and you only need 1.

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I am sure that the only reason element 4150px18 is easily found for $1 or less is because it is found in the fairly inexpensive Imperial AT-ST set 7127. You only need 2 light grey Tile, Round 2 x 2 with Hatch Round Pattern.

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You need 6 dark grey Dish 4 x 4 Inverted (Radar) with Star Wars TIE Hatch Pattern that is only available in 3 sets including the UCS TIE Interceptor. Be very careful not to purchase the dark bluish grey element 3960px4 which is much more common. You'll probably spend about $1 each on these.

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Who likes a telephone? I know I like a dark grey Bar 1 x 3 (Radio Handle, Phone Handset) as much as the next guy. element 6190 appears in 4 sets in dark grey. Be sure not to get the much more common dark bluish grey. The 2 that you need can be found for less than $1 each. (It's also used in the UCS Snowspeeder and TIE Interceptor.)

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The Rock Raiders HQ sometimes has 8 black Support 4 x 4 x 5 Stanchion, Plain Studs element 2680b. For this set, you need 2 and they show up for about $.50 each. I think what keeps the price down is that most people probably think that it's the same as the more common element 2680.

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Blue Brick, Modified 2 x 4 x 2 with Studs on Sides appears in 3 sets and averages less than $.50 each. Element 2434 appears 4 times.

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This set and the 4709 Hogwarts castle both require 2 element 2577. The dark grey Brick, Round Corner 4 x 4 Full Brick appears in 3 sets and is easily found for less than $.20.

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You need 11 dark grey Wheel Wagon Huge (43mm D.) (It's yuuuuge.) element 33211 appears in 3 sets and is also under $.20 each.

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You need 8 white Brick, Round 2 x 2 Dome Top - Blocked Open Stud without Bottom Axle Holder (boy that's a mouthful.) Element 553a appears in 6 sets and might easily be confused for 3 other versions of the 2x2 dome. It's less than $.10 each.

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4 sets contain white Slope, Inverted 45 6 x 4 Double with Recessed Center. You need 1 element 30183 and it will only cost you about $.09.

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The last item in my list is a fairly inexpensive piece at $.04 each. element 30526 appears in 7 sets and you need 5 dark grey Brick, Modified 1 x 2 with 2 Pins.

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As one might expect, most of the hard to find pieces are the old grays. Newer pieces in the new grays are usually available, and someone might substitute them in to your set if you buy one from a shady seller. Also, a lot of the white pieces (and grays) may yellow with exposure to light. There are methods to try to remove that yellowing, and if you are concerned about those methods, you might have difficulty securing a truly white/gray version of this ship. You may wind up paying a premium for that.

If you're a stickler for instructions and boxes, they're going to cost you. Instructions are availableon Bricklink. They start at $75.

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The box is even harder to find. It also has a variant. If you want a box you may have to decide between a full color box or a black and white one. If you see a black and white box, it is not necessarily a fake. Some of the boxes were released that way.

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Look, Darth Vader just got one for himself.

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If someone is offering you a deal that may be too good to be true, talk about it here. 

If you want to talk about this great set join the discussion here. 

If you want to discuss the differences between the UCS set and the later System version, do it in this thread.

 

All images are the property of Rebrickable.com, Bricklink.com, and the LEGO Group.

If you liked this article, please check out the others in the series:

10123 Cloud City

7181 UCS TIE Interceptor

10212 UCS Imperial Shuttle

10182 Cafe Corner


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Love these articles mate, glad to see a new one out. 

I suppose you weren't really checking, but out of curiosity, do you have any rough idea how much one could save if they converted it to modern greys and went bley and dark bley? It would lose potential resale value of course, but for a personal display, based on observations and note taking during this endeavour, could it be done for less than the Used Complete rate? 

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2 hours ago, Zelgazra said:

Love these articles mate, glad to see a new one out. 

I suppose you weren't really checking, but out of curiosity, do you have any rough idea how much one could save if they converted it to modern greys and went bley and dark bley? It would lose potential resale value of course, but for a personal display, based on observations and note taking during this endeavour, could it be done for less than the Used Complete rate? 

I started to look into it, but there's not really a direct 1:1 correlation on all of the grey pieces. so,then you have to start making other substitutions and then it really starts to get messy. I backtracked to the core of what these articles are about which is analyzing the parts in the set. I think in the 10185 article that I just finished I talk a little about how some people buy alternative pieces but that I'm not going to go into what they substitute.

It turns out that those Modular sets are a lot less time consuming than these older UCS sets. 10185 is done waiting on review and 10190 is 25% done.

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