Classic-Castle.com


The source for all your LEGO Castle needs!

Heading to LEGO store for first time

Discussion of general LEGO topics

Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby SSchmidt » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:22 pm

So, I have never been to any LEGO store in my entire life. Living where I am at, the closest one is 3 1/2 hours away in Cincinnati, OH. It just so happens I will be there Friday night for a Reds game :wink: and am going to be able to go by the store.

I have no idea what to expect. :?

So here are my questions...

1.) What sets can you expect to find in these stores? I know you can find the current sets, but are there older ones as well? (Alien Conquest, Prince of Persia, Pirates of the Carribean, Harry Potter, etc.) Is there any chance that I will find retired LEGO?
2.) How about older series minifigs?
3.) Do these stores carry LEGO exclusives, or are those only found online?
4.) I plan to take my time in this store, but how much time should I allot to going here? How much time is needed to go through these stores?


I plan on getting multiple PAB cups (if they have good bricks), and I would love to get a set or two if I am able.
Money is not a concern, although I probably shouldn't spend over $400-500.

Also, please give me ANY pointers related to these stores!!!! Beyond Walmart, KMART, and the occasional TRU or Target, I am not able to get LEGO outside of the internet. Needless to say I am DYING to check this LEGO store out. The anticipation is killing me! :roflol:

I appreciate classic-castle so much, and love the spirit and camaraderie found on this community. Thank you for your help :)
PSN: SSchmidt-
Image
Image
User avatar
SSchmidt
Councilor
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:53 am
Location: A pilgrim passing through Roawia

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:53 pm

0.) OMG! OMG! OMG!!! LEGO STORE!!!! :spin:
Temper your expectations!! - The Lego store is probably not as fantastic as you've imagined during countless sleepless nights of dreaming about it ;)

1.) What sets can you expect to find in these stores? I know you can find the current sets, but are there older ones as well? (Alien Conquest, Prince of Persia, Pirates of the Carribean, Harry Potter, etc.) Is there any chance that I will find retired LEGO?

The store will almost certainly only have current sets along with a smattering of leftover discontinued inventory (for example, Kingdoms joust and chess
set are still available at my store. They even had MMV as recently as a year ago, but I consider that to be a fluke.)

2.) How about older series minifigs?

I give you a 0-5% chance of finding anything but the current line of minifigs. They sell out fast and obviously don't restock discontinued stuff.

3.) Do these stores carry LEGO exclusives, or are those only found online?

Yes, they will have exclusives
4.) I plan to take my time in this store, but how much time should I allot to going here? How much time is needed to go through these stores?

Plan for an hour or two if you're really planning on dropping some coin in there. Deciding which set to buy (and which NOT to buy) is like trying to decide
who your favorite child is. If you plan on meticulously packing your PaB cups, you could be there for hours. You've got to decide what your time is
worth.

Also, you're going to be paying full price for everything. Conversely as an example, keep in mind that Amazon is having sales on Hobbit stuff, with free super-saver shipping, so you might want to keep mind before buying at a Lego store that you can often get better deals on sets elsewhere. Honestly, I only buy stuff I can't find in any other store / site from my Lego store (ie, exclusives and PaB stuff).

Lastly, if there is something on the PaB wall that you think you need a few hundred (or thousand of), don't forget that you can ask an employee if you can buy a sealed case of it from the stockroom. This is usually $70 and can save you a lot of time and money vs. cups (I have purchased 2x4 green bricks and two cases of 1x4 light gray bricks this way).

Have fun!!!
Image Image
Plastics make it possible! (BrickLink) - - - My Flickr Stream
Courage, Honor, Loyalty! For Garheim!
User avatar
AK_Brickster
Visconte des Paysans de Gong
 
Posts: 3214
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Mushing through the Great Driftplains of Garheim

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby Bruce N H » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:47 am

Hey,

Good point about everything being full price at the LEGO stores. My local WalMart, OTOH, currently has several big sets at pretty good discounts, including Weathertop, the Batcave, and the Avengers Quinjet, all at about $20 off. But what you can get at the LEGO store is pretty much everything that is currently available from LEGO, including gear like keychains etc that you won't find at Target/WalMart/TRU. On older collectibles, I'd say more like 0 to 0% chance of finding them in packs. OTOH, in addition to the PaB wall, they also have these 'assemble your own minifig' stations. You choose a set of legs, a torso, a head, a hat/hair, and one accessory from bins of random parts. I think you get three figs for $10 - not a bargain by any means, but they do often have pieces from the older collectibles. Your store might carry Brick Journal, but I've found you sometimes have to ask for it. You might find other AFOL books as well, such as Allan Bedford's Unofficial LEGO Building Guide.

BTW, where are you? If you're in eastern Ohio, you should definitely check out our site owner's brick and mortar store - Sir Troy's Toy Kingdom.

Bruce
User avatar
Bruce N H
Precentor of the Scriptorium
Precentor of the Scriptorium
 
Posts: 6538
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:11 pm
Location: Middle Zealand

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:59 am

Better to Bricklink the fig parts you way rather than waste $10 on the build-a-fig bin (extremely pricey parts could be an exception, like Forest Maiden parts or something, I suppose)
Image Image
Plastics make it possible! (BrickLink) - - - My Flickr Stream
Courage, Honor, Loyalty! For Garheim!
User avatar
AK_Brickster
Visconte des Paysans de Gong
 
Posts: 3214
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Mushing through the Great Driftplains of Garheim

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby SSchmidt » Thu Jun 13, 2013 3:07 am

Thanks for the input guys.

(AK, you are right, I've been acting like a kid waiting to go :lol: )

I figured everything would be full price, but I would be willing to pay full price on harder to get sets like Orc Forge. I wouldn't mind getting an exclusive at full price either.


I've been reading the different PAB methods, and I will just cram them in as neatly as possible. To be honest, I would just assume pay a little more and keep my time than neatly stacking them.

I'm assuming that the Lego stores have all the different polybags, right? I'd like the new Chima polybag (I know, right?).
However, I would also like an Uruk-Hai ballista or Mirkwood Elf polybag, but it looks like those are just ridiculous to find.

I know this is a broad question, but how many different polybags can you expect to find at LEGO stores?

And finally, is the PAB value better than Bricklink?

Bruce, I live in Eastern Kentucky, about 3 1/2 hours southeast of Cincinnati. We are literally mountain people. My closest Walmart and KMART are 30 minutes away, closest Target is an hour and fifteen minutes away. We have one gas station and a McDonald's in my town :tasty:

I know it sounds silly, but I think these are the reasons the actual LEGO store sounds so exciting to me, and why I am full of so many questions. I have to order everything online, so I am just a little giddy about going to the store, even if I don't get anything but nostalgia.:spin:
PSN: SSchmidt-
Image
Image
User avatar
SSchmidt
Councilor
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:53 am
Location: A pilgrim passing through Roawia

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby soccerkid6 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:31 am

LEGO stores are fun, they have cool displays throughout the store and the staff are very friendly. When I go (and I've only went twice) I only get PaB pieces, and maybe a minifig or two if I haven't been able to find them anywhere else. PaB is in my opinion the cheapest way to get LEGO, as long as the pieces aren't overly large. Keep in mind that you can use small stuff (tiles, 1x1 rounds, cheese slopes) to fill in the bottom of the cup and fill the gaps left when filling with regular bricks. It's quite easy to get over 700 pieces in a large cup which is about 2 cents per piece :)
John 14:6, Jesus answered, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
My website: http://brickbuilt.org
Image
User avatar
soccerkid6
Sheriff
 
Posts: 1478
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:41 pm
Location: NY (not NY city)

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby Bruce N H » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:05 pm

Oh, forgot about the displays. Bring a camera, as you may want to take picture of the various models on display throughout the store - for instance, here are some of the official models reproduced in lots of LEGO stores. Of course they will also have many official sets assembled and on display - expect there to be some sort of group display of sets from whatever theme they are currently promoting (I'm betting they're pushing the new Superman sets right now). Many (most?) stores also have a window where they display MOCs from a local LUG, as you can see in this Flickr group.
User avatar
Bruce N H
Precentor of the Scriptorium
Precentor of the Scriptorium
 
Posts: 6538
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:11 pm
Location: Middle Zealand

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:22 pm

You might find some polybags there, but they will definitely not have all of them available. In fact, the selection can be pretty limited. There are just too many sets for a store to be able to carry everything, so I think a lot of the polybags don't make the cut.

As far as PaB being a better value than Bricklink, it completely depends on the piece. Once time they had pearl gold goblets on the wall at my store. Those things were going for .20 each at the time, so grabbing a handful was a great value (now the price has come down a LOT since people are likely selling their PaB acquisitions). You sorta need to have an idea of what stuff is worth or look it up on your phone when you get there. Small parts typically represent better values, although if there are large plates that are worth $1-2 each, stacking those together and putting 20 in a cup while filling in the voids can be a good deal also.
Image Image
Plastics make it possible! (BrickLink) - - - My Flickr Stream
Courage, Honor, Loyalty! For Garheim!
User avatar
AK_Brickster
Visconte des Paysans de Gong
 
Posts: 3214
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Mushing through the Great Driftplains of Garheim

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby Athos » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:13 am

Stick to the exclusives and PaB. As everyone has pointed out, you can get non-exclusives for a lot less if you watch amazon and other sales. Even the exclusives might be better to wait on, until Lego has a double VIP point promotion. And if there isn't a Lego store in KY, you can save on sales tax. Or, if they don't have an item in stock, they'll ship it to you for free shipping and not charge you tax if there isn't a store in your home state.

If you are into Lego gear, they usually have some interesting stuff you don't usually see elsewhere, even online. Also, be sure to dig through the build a minifig bins. I've found some unusual parts in there, like an old Everest Kilroy torso. I always spend several minutes sifting through heads, hair and torsos. And you don't have to build minifigs: you can pick 15 hair pieces if you want; or 15 heads; or whatever combination you want.

SSchmidt wrote:We are literally mountain people. My closest Walmart and KMART are 30 minutes away, closest Target is an hour and fifteen minutes away. We have one gas station and a McDonald's in my town :tasty:


Sounds like where I live. Except the nearest Walmart and Kmart are three hours away...

Steve
User avatar
Athos
Councilor of the Realm
 
Posts: 4104
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:33 am
Location: Nevada

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby Kosh » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:51 am

If you just passing thru while catching a game you'll probably not have time to do much stacking on a PaB cup, just remember you are paying for the space within the cup, filled with ABS or air. I prefer to get as much ABS as I can and pack and even stack it as tightly as possible. You'll most likely want to look at Exclusive Hard to Find, Gear and PaB over current common sets. Personally I go what what I need from the PaB over worrying about what's a penny less than (or more) than bricklink. If nothing else use cheese slopes and 1x1 plates as filler for the voids,, compared to leaving the space empty, they're 'Effectively' free. I I also shake and settle the contents of the cup a few times while loading a cup. One suggestions is tiles, they tend to be a pain to get in quantity so if the store you visit has some consider grabbing them.

Finding clearance at the other stores mentioned is real hit or miss, None of the Walmarts are real convenient, the few remaining K-Marts around here are also not very handy to visit. I do live in what I call the Land of Target's tho, there's 40+ in the metro area compared to 8 or 9 Walmart's.
Sometimes that means you can find deals, other times it means a LOT of folks are out hunting the same deals you are trying to grab, so YMMV.

I know some folks have pictures on Flickr tagged LEGO Imagination Center or LEGO store you can get an idea of what some of them look like.

Athos wrote:Stick to the exclusives and PaB. As everyone has pointed out, you can get non-exclusives for a lot less if you watch amazon and other sales. Even the exclusives might be better to wait on, until Lego has a double VIP point promotion. And if there isn't a Lego store in KY, you can save on sales tax. Or, if they don't have an item in stock, they'll ship it to you for free shipping and not charge you tax if there isn't a store in your home state.

If you are into Lego gear, they usually have some interesting stuff you don't usually see elsewhere, even online. Also, be sure to dig through the build a minifig bins. I've found some unusual parts in there, like an old Everest Kilroy torso. I always spend several minutes sifting through heads, hair and torsos. And you don't have to build minifigs: you can pick 15 hair pieces if you want; or 15 heads; or whatever combination you want.

SSchmidt wrote:We are literally mountain people. My closest Walmart and KMART are 30 minutes away, closest Target is an hour and fifteen minutes away. We have one gas station and a McDonald's in my town :tasty:


Sounds like where I live. Except the nearest Walmart and Kmart are three hours away...

Steve
Build? I merely Acquire atm.
Kosh
Foot Soldier
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sun May 23, 2010 4:24 am
Location: Beyond the Rim

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:19 pm

Athos wrote:... the build a minifig bins ... And you don't have to build minifigs: you can pick 15 hair pieces if you want; or 15 heads; or whatever combination you want.


Is this true of all the stores, or just their policy at your local store? I'd love to skip the leg bin altogether.

Bruce
User avatar
Bruce N H
Precentor of the Scriptorium
Precentor of the Scriptorium
 
Posts: 6538
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:11 pm
Location: Middle Zealand

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby AK_Brickster » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:22 pm

Yeah, I had no idea that you could do that! Getting 15 fig parts for $10 isn't too bad if you can do it that way!
Image Image
Plastics make it possible! (BrickLink) - - - My Flickr Stream
Courage, Honor, Loyalty! For Garheim!
User avatar
AK_Brickster
Visconte des Paysans de Gong
 
Posts: 3214
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:02 pm
Location: Mushing through the Great Driftplains of Garheim

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby Tedward » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:46 pm

Bruce N H wrote:
Athos wrote:... the build a minifig bins ... And you don't have to build minifigs: you can pick 15 hair pieces if you want; or 15 heads; or whatever combination you want.

Is this true of all the stores, or just their policy at your local store? I'd love to skip the leg bin altogether.

Having discussed this on another forum <gasp> it seems this is a discretionary policy and varies from store to store and possibly even employee to employee. The two stores I have been to were OK with it at the time I was there. We were there as part of BrickCon and BrickFest so they may have been more relaxed about it at the time.
Image
User avatar
Tedward
Squire
 
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:42 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby ACPin » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:47 pm

Bruce N H wrote:
Athos wrote:... the build a minifig bins ... And you don't have to build minifigs: you can pick 15 hair pieces if you want; or 15 heads; or whatever combination you want.


Is this true of all the stores, or just their policy at your local store? I'd love to skip the leg bin altogether.

Bruce

YMMV depending on the store/staff and it never hurts to ask nicely. I'm able to do that in the stores that I'm a regular customer and on occassion I've gotten just torsos or headgear like the ones in the pic.

AC
Image
ACPin
Journeyman
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:52 pm

Re: Heading to LEGO store for first time

Postby SSchmidt » Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:52 pm

I would be very interested in doing the build a minifig if I can just do the headgears.


I thank all of you for your advice!

I plan on filling these PAB cups to the utmost, and will really be looking for tiles and larger bricks.
I'll be sure to "shake" them as I go, to maximize the LEGO amount I can get.

Edit* Its almost 11am here. Leaving at noon and won't be home til after midnight. I will plan to post some pics tomorrow.
PSN: SSchmidt-
Image
Image
User avatar
SSchmidt
Councilor
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:53 am
Location: A pilgrim passing through Roawia

Next

Return to General LEGO

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest