If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram, you’d probably have seen a bit about my trip to the Gold Coast to attend a special preview of the Dreamworld LEGO Store yesterday. I won’t lie, it was a pretty hectic day trip and when I got home at 1am last night, I pretty much just collapsed into bed.
What do I think of the Dreamworld LEGO Certified Store? Simply put, it’s everything you could ever want from a LEGO Store and more.
It was such a delightful, almost magical experience to be there and I am so thankful that Australia is finally able to get the quintessential LEGO Store experience.
It blew me away and I am really glad that I made the decision to go. It’s the real deal and I’m really envious that Queenslanders have access to such an amazing LEGO store.
I’m going to split this write-up into 3 parts – you can click each link below to jump to the corresponding sections, to make it easier for you to find the information that you need:
- The Dreamworld LEGO Store Experience
- Opening Day Details and Promotions
- Pick a Brick, Build a Minifigure & General Store Retail Information
The LEGO Store will open at Dreamworld this Saturday, 28 January 2017 at 9am. The flagship LEGO store is part of a standalone precinct at Dreamworld’s front entry, and visitors will be able to enter the store without a Dreamworld ticket.
The LEGO Store’s opening hours are 9am – 6pm.
The Dreamworld LEGO Store Experience
Yesterday, I attended a special event for LEGO bloggers and it was great to meet Jeremy from Rebelscum Michael from Bricking Around. We were given a really great personal tour of the store and got to chat with Hannah, the amazing store manager, the LEGO store staff and also Queensland’s LEGO rep Nick, who was a really cool bloke.
The LEGO Store occupies a very prominent spot at Dreamworld, and is located very closely to the main Dreamworld entrance.
When you walk in through the main entrance, you’re greeted by a pair of brick-built Clone Troopers who strike an imposing presence. Your eyes will then inevitably wander to the massive Pick a Brick Wall that serves as the LEGO Store’s centerpiece. It’s really a sight to behold.
In addition to the Clone Troopers, there will also be several other life-sized LEGO models which will be revealed at the opening. They were kept secret from us and hidden under black sheets, so it was quite a shame that we didn’t get to see them!
There were some cute brick-built Friends animals on display and a massive Didgeridoo.
I really liked the Didgeridoo as it gave the store some much-needed Aussie flavour.
If you enter via the Dreamworld park, you’ll be greeted by this lovely mosaic of Shark Suit Guy chasing down a Surfer. Very Aussie.
The Dreamworld LEGO Store was a lot larger than I had expected, and there was plenty of space to move around. Circling the store are shelves upon shelves or LEGO sets.
The range of LEGO sets was absolutely massive, and I cannot tell you how happy I was to see nearly all currently available LEGO sets on sale.
The Store has (nearly) literally everything, from Creator Expert sets, Modular Buildings, UCS Star Wars sets and even a few retailer exclusive sets, which loosely translates to the ultimate LEGO shopping experience.
There were some missing sets such as the new 2017 retailer exclusive sets, seasonal sets and the new Adventure Time Ideas set but once the store gets up and running, the plan is to get as close to parity with online releases.
I was pretty overwhelmed by all the LEGO sets available. I felt truly immersed and had that “kid in a toy store” feeling that you simply can’t get from walking through toy sections in other retailers. Another way to describe the feeling is “Pure LEGO exhilaration”.
It was also great to see some “recently retired” sets such as the Sydney Opera House and Star Wars UCS Sandcrawler on sale.
One of the highlights of the store is the “brand ribbon” which runs along the circumference of the store and is embedded into the shelving. The brand ribbon contains built displays, and sceneries of LEGO models which are brilliant at showcasing the size and intricate details of sets.
All the sets in the acrylic displays and brand ribbon were assembled by the 20 “brick specialists” aka LEGO Store Employees. It was great to hear from the employees about their experiences building the sets, which they got to do as “homework”.
Allowing the Brick Specialists to build the sets was a really clever move, as it gave them the opportunity to personally relate to the sets, and articulate what was unique, or enjoyable about those sets.
The Dreamworld LEGO Store also marks the first appearance of The LEGO Disney Castle in Australia and it was displayed proudly for all to see. It’s so tall that they had to remove the acrylic lid to fit the spire in!
In terms of exclusive sets, the biggest surprise (and delight) for me was the London Bus set, which was previously only available as a Gift with Purchase from LEGO.com last year. They were being sold for a very affordable $19.99 and I can see these selling out really quickly given their rarity.
Naturally, I expect scalpers and resellers to load up on these, so we’ll see them very soon on eBay at inflated prices. It’s not cool, but it’s bound to happen.
The Pick a Brick Wall (there’s a whole section on the PAB you can get to if you click the link) was definitely the highlight of the store and is the LEGO Store’s strongest draw by far.
The sheer size and scale of the PAB wall and options available almost warrants a trip for any LEGO fan to the Gold Coast, just to experience it. LEGO fans on holiday in Queensland or the Gold Coast should definitely add the LEGO Store to their itineraries.
The LEGO Store also gives other LEGO fans across the country yet another reason to visit the Gold Coast, in addition to the weather, beaches and theme parks.
Another thing that really set the Dreamworld LEGO Store apart from any other LEGO shopping experience were the staff, or Brick Specialists as they’re called.
The store manager Amelia was such a delight to talk to and I could see why they picked her for the job. She’s bright, cheerful and most of all, super enthusiastic about LEGO. It was such a pleasure to talk to her and she was incredibly helpful and patient with all the questions I had about the store.
The warmth and energy that she exudes also rubs off on her staff. They were exceptionally friendly and helpful and they really make for great brand ambassadors for the LEGO brand.
I hope I didn’t forget anyone, but I have to mention Nick & Taylor, who were our initial guides into the store, Ananda, Eli, Hannah and Larissa, who were all great to chat to.
I really enjoyed hearing about their experiences with LEGO and what they thought of the sets that they built.
The welcoming atmosphere that’s generated by the people that work in the LEGO Store really underpins the entire experience of the Dreamworld LEGO Store.
Will I be back? Most definitely. This was my first time in Queensland and it was all too brief and I’d love to come back again to do the proper tourist thing.
The Dreamworld LEGO Store is a wonderful experience, especially so for families with young children who are into LEGO. I was pretty apprehensive about the store initially, but now that I’ve visited, I think it’s going to prove to be a popular destination for all kinds of LEGO fans in Queensland.
If you have any questions about the store, or my time there, please let me know in the comments! If you’re visiting the opening this weekend, I’d also love to hear about your experience and to see what you bought!
Opening Day Details and Promotions
There’s a massive billboard right outside Dreamworld advertising the opening date of the LEGO Store – 28 January 2017. The store opens at 9am and there’s going to be a whole bunch of activities and offers for lucky attendees.
The most significant opening offer, is the chance to get the 40145 LEGO Store set, which is a special exclusive that can only be obtained when a new LEGO Store opens.
As this is the first Australian LEGO Certified Store, this represents the first time this set will be officially available in the country.
To qualify for one, you’ll have to spend $199 or more in a single receipt to get the LEGO Store set. It’s limited to 1 per person, and is only valid still stocks last.
Given that this is quite a rare and desirable set, if you plan on getting it, I would recommend lining up extra early as LEGO fans and resellers are going to pounce on this like a pack of hungry hyenas.
The opening on Saturday will also have the new LEGO February releases which include The LEGO Batman Movie, Ninjago, Duplo, Creator, DC Super Hero Girls, and Classic sets. Some of the February releases were already on shelves at yesterday’s preview but they’re mostly still on the way to the store.
This makes the Dreamworld LEGO Store the very first store in the country to stock the February release sets.
The opening will also unveil the LEGO models and statues that have been specifically designed for the store. At the preview, they were covered under black sheets and we weren’t allowed to see them!
Lastly, there’s going to be plenty of activities for kids such as speed build competitions and there will also be (limited) showbags given out to visitors!
Pick a Brick & General Store Retail Information
The Pick a Brick Wall is undoubtedly the highlight of the store. The wall is absolutely massive and runs around a hexagon-shaped pillar right in the middle of the store. There are 24 slots on each side, for a whopping total of 144 slots of bricks.
For those unfamiliar with the Pick a Brick concept, you basically fill up cups with as much LEGO as you can, as long as the lid snaps securely. There are two sizes of cups, a small one which costs $14.99 and a large one that costs $29.99.
There are only a few duplicates throughout the wall, and I was quite impressed with the variety at the store. This is definitely one of the biggest PAB walls I’ve come across.
I’ve catalogued the entire wall in a Facebook album above, so if you’re planning on going for the Pick a Brick, this should help you plan ahead to see what parts you need.
I think the price is pretty good for the amount of bricks that you get, especially if you plan on snagging rarer elements like all those delicious sand green parts.
The Pick a Brick Wall elements will be updated throughout the year, but there’s no set timetable of when the part selection gets refreshed.
I really hope we get more diversity, as there were mostly basic bricks and plates at the store, and I would love to see more tiles and foliage down the track.
Here’s my Pick a Brick Haul and only set purchase.
The Build a Minifigure Station was slightly disappointing, mostly because of the price. For $19.99, you get your pick of a hat or hair, accessory, head, torso and legs in as many different configurations for 3 minifigures.
The selection at the LEGO store was not very interesting, which is why I didn’t build a minifigure. The pieces were all pretty generic and apart from the saxophone accessory, nothing really stood out to me.
That said, this is going to be really popular with kids and families. I do wish that it wasn’t so expensive, I think $20 is slightly prohibitive and $15 would be a much fairer price.
I also hope they refill and refresh the selection with more options.
The clamshell packaging that comes with each Build a Minifigure Order is quite nice, and makes for an excellent gift!
There’s also a brick engraving service, which also makes for a pretty neat souvenir. You can only engrave 2 x 4 bricks and you can choose to either engrave a keychain for ($19.99) or a regular 2×4 from the Pick a Brick wall for $9.99.
You’re limited to 10 characters, and you can either have the engraving be plain, or filed with white paint.
Check out the video below to see how it’s done.
Unfortunately, there weren’t any Australia-exclusive LEGO sets, builds, keychains or magnets. I hope we’ll eventually get an Aussie magnet like the ones you see above that I got from LEGO Certified Stores in Japan and Malaysia.
There is currently no VIP program, so you’ll be unable to collect VIP points with your purchase. That said, there are plans to eventually introduce some sort of loyalty program (that’s separate to the official LEGO VIP program) very soon, so keep an eye out for that in the coming months.
There will also be plans to introduce LEGO Monthly Mini Builds that are a staple of LEGO Stores coming in March. Basically, how it works is that there are monthly builds that kids can build in-store and take home for free. There will also be other monthly activities which are unknown at this point.
There are also plans to introduce bonus polybags or sets that were usually only available on LEGO.com as gift with purchases eventually. For example, they did try to get the Year of the Rooster set, but the timing didn’t work out.
The LEGO Certified Store will also stock all sorts of exclusive items and sets (like Home items & Accessories) that you can’t find anywhere else. They will also eventually stock seasonal sets as well, but there were none in the store yesterday.
There were of course plenty of keychains, neat little rare products like the Friends, Ninjago, Minecraft, Nexo Knights and City Minifigure Accessory sets, and Friends & Nexo Knights merchandise.