If you’re starting out in stop motion, and you think Brickfilms are the thing for you rather than Claymation or whatever else, you’re going to need some Lego or other brand bricks. I recommend Lego rather than other brands, because the quality of the bricks and minifigures is better, and the sets that they bring out are fantastic.
If you’re working on a small budget, I recommend buying Lego second hand through eBay or Facebook marketplace. In the UK, you can buy good quality mixed Lego for less than £10 per kilogram. In other countries, the price may be a bit higher but it’s still probably the best way to go if you want to get a lot of Lego at a low price. Make sure to look carefully at what you’re getting, to see whether complete sets are mixed in, whether there are any instructions, and to make sure that it’s 100% genuine Lego rather than mixed with Duplo, other brand blocks, or a jumble of broken toys.
Even if you don’t have much money, it’s still worth choosing one or two cheap sets to use in your animations – if they have vehicles, minifigures, animals or buildings that you especially want. This 4x4 response unit is a best seller for a reason. A 4x4 vehicle with a trailer, a lifeboat, a dinghy, three minifigures and an octopus – it’s such good value that it’s almost impossible to say no!
Something like the Lego City Police Chase (60138) also gives you great possibilities for animation at a low price. Police Tow Truck Trouble (60137) is even cheaper. The pizza van (60150) is another great set, and one that I’ve used myself in my “Hey That’s My Sandwich” and “10 More Things Stop Motion Noobs Do” videos.
Another fantastic set is the Mountain Arrest (60173), since it comes with 4 minifigures, a crooks hideout, an escape buggy and a police helicopter with a net shooter. And best of all, it has a bear! Other sets that I would recommend are the Mountain Dirt Road Pursuit (60172) and the Jungle Exploration Site (60161).
Generally I would recommend buying genuine Lego, because the quality is superior to other brands and it's worth the extra cost. But when it comes to baseplates, I've found another brand that is a lot cheaper and supplies a great product - and that's Strictly Briks.
Great things about these baseplates are:
They're not actually baseplates - you can stack them, or attach them together from underneath
They're thicker than a Lego baseplate - they're as thick as a normal flat Lego piece
They're really strong, and less likely to crack than a Lego baseplate
They come in a wide range of colours