A hard-to-find set given away only when an official LEGO Store opens commands high prices on the secondary market, but is it a must-have addition to the collection?
Price: Free with purchase Pieces: 413 Available: LEGO Store openings
The LEGO Brand Store exclusive set is available as a gift with purchase when a new LEGO Store opens, making it a tricky set to track down. Typically just a few hundred are available when a new location opens, meaning an early start for those who want to get hold of one.
The LEGO Store is built on a 16×16 stud footprint, which allows for the 400-odd pieces to build something that feels worthwhile when complete rather than spreading the pieces too far. The storefront offers two large glass windows with the door in the middle, which is consistent to the vast majority of LEGO Stores around the world. Brickley is built into the front of the store, a nice nod to the occasionally used LEGO mascot.
The right hand window features a standing 2×4 brick, with the real brick a good scale to represent the upscaled one that sits there in real-world LEGO Stores. The left hand window includes two mini – but of course, to minifigure visitors, large – LEGO sets and coloured display cases. This is all suitably reminiscent of the displays as they appear In LEGO Store windows.
The back wall features an assortment of circular stud tiles to represent the Pick a Brick wall, a very simple technique that does the job perfectly. The counter is simple enough, with a brick and a few tiles on there to represent the impulse purchase opportunities found in the stores. For aesthetic reasons the entire floor is tiled, but two studs are exposed behind the counter for a minifigure employee.
The left and right walls at the back of the LEGO Store feature coloured bricks, representing sets sitting on shelves – some are stickered with simple renderings of CITY, Friends, NINJAGO and Juniors sets, a neat touch. White bricks with holes run along one shelf to represent the display spaces included in all new LEGO Stores.
A brick built penguin shows that the employees are keen to display the power of the brick. It’s a neat little build. A generic female minifigure is included to visit the store, and a simple brick built shopping bag uses a red square tile to represent the LEGO logo.
There are no ground breaking build techniques or anything that will pack a big surprise in this set. But when complete it is a clean, neat build that fits nicely with the aesthetic of AFOL targeted sets such as the modular building range. More than that, the use of colours and keeping things simple mean that the builder can instantly identify what each part of the build is representing.
This is a great souvenir of attending a LEGO Store opening, after all, what better memento could there be from such an event? But with the limited number made it takes some effort to acquire, or inflated aftermarket prices must be paid, so it will appeal most to those who have a taste for postmodern toys representing their hobby or enjoy adding unusual items to their collection. For those with little interest in how they purchase their LEGO bricks, it’s an easy one to skip.
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Graham was the BrickFanatics.com Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education.
Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.