Update: The opening date of the LEGO Store at Dreamworld will be on the 28th of January 2017! Check out my latest post for more details!
Now this news came out of absolutely nowhere! LEGO Australia, in partnership with Dreamworld’s parent company, Ardent Leisure will be opening Australia’s very first LEGO Certified Store (LCS) on the Gold Coast, Queensland in November 2016.
Australia’s first LEGO Certified Store will occupy an area of 350 square meters and be located at a stand-alone precinct located at the front of Dreamworld. Visitors will be able to access the LCS from both within and external to the park, which is good news as you don’t need to buy a ticket to Dreamworld to get in.
Construction is due to begin in July with the LCS due to open in November 2016, just in time for the Christmas shopping rush.
Firstly, what is a LEGO Certified Store?
A LEGO Certified Store or more commonly known as an LCS is almost identical to an official LEGO store, except that they are not owned by The LEGO Group. LEGO Certified Stores are often run by external third parties, kind of like a franchised store.
They’re fairly common throughout Asia in countries like Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia so if you’ve travelled to those parts and visited a LEGO store, you should know what to expect in an LCS.
Physically, LEGO Certified Stores are almost indistinguishable from official LEGO stores. The store fittings, designs and overall retail experience are conceptualised by The LEGO Group so you’re guaranteed the ultimate LEGO brand experience while in an LCS. To the average person (and about 99% of people), LEGO Certified Stores will just seem like official LEGO stores.
LEGO fans of all ages will be able to expect:
- Pick A Brick Wall – a custom-built fixture with round canisters, each filled with an assortment of LEGO bricks and elements that fans can purchase in set priced “cups” or by weight
- Build a Minifigure Station – customise up to 3 minifigures from a large variety of minifig parts and accessories.
- The Living Room – an interactive play area for kids to play and creatively express themselves with LEGO bricks
- Exclusive sets (Modulars, Creator Expert, Direct to Consumer sets etc) on sale all year round
- The entire catalogue of current LEGO sets, including retailer exclusives
- Regular Activities such as Monthly Mini Builds and Special Events
The only component that I think will be missing from the Australian LEGO Certified Store is that we won’t be able to collect VIP points on purchases. This isn’t confirmed at this time, but that’s my hunch as VIP points are generally only available at official LEGO stores.
Are there any drawbacks with LEGO Certified Stores?
Depends who you ask. There are a bunch of LEGO fans who predict that with the advent of LEGO Certified Stores in Australia, major retailers such as Myer, David Jones and Target will eventually lose their retailer exclusives such as Modulars, or Star Wars UCS Sets, as these get funneled to LEGO Certified Stores in a bid to drive customers there.
These people have also theorised that this will mark the end of Australians being able to get discounts on exclusive sets, if these sets do eventually migrate to LEGO Certified Stores.
I do see their rationale fueling their fears but I don’t believe that this will happen. I don’t think LEGO Australia will be foolish enough to yank away exclusive support from Australian retailers as they still represent the primary distribution channel for LEGO throughout the country.
If you understand how The LEGO Group operates as a business, you’d know that their retail partners are one of their top stakeholders which makes pulling exclusives from them (and pissing them off) quite inconceivable. I predict that we’ll get a hybrid system where Australian retailers will still carry exclusives for the foreseeable future, but also co-exist with the LCS.
At least that’s what I’d like to believe… as I’m not prepared to let go of 20% off sales on Modulars.
So yeah, massive, massive news and way overdue in my opinion. It’s about time that Australians deserve some love from LEGO and the Gold Coast LEGO Certified Store is a huge step towards bringing that complete LEGO experience Down Under.
I think this also bodes well that LEGO Australia is finally willing to bring the LCS model into the country. Gold Coast is a… curious location for the inaugural store, but hey, it’s great news for Queensland LEGO fans who often by sidelined in favour of Melbourne & Sydney.
Depending on the success and reception of the Gold Coast LCS, I expect more LCSes to pop up in other states in 2017 and beyond. Don’t forget, Melbourne is getting a Legoland Discovery Centre in 2017 which will also have a special retail experience.
So yeah, massive news! Let me know what you think about Australia’s first ever LEGO Certified Store in the comments section!
Yup, agreed that it won’t affect a majority of LEGO fans, but having the choice to buy modulars or exclusive sets all year round would be nice, instead of having to wait till Christmas or the Mid-Year Toy Sale.
I am happy that we have a Lego certified store, but to be honest it won’t affect me. I am happy to continue to shop retail (or online Australia) and especially that 20% off, that I have come to rely so heavily upon. For Lego store exclusives, I tend to wait to double VIP and hit the magic $200 mark. So while this is great news, it will have absolutely no impact upon me 🙂
Wow, good for you Australian LEGO fans.
All US LEGO stores are really far away from me, so I don’t get the excitement.
Duncan, the population of the Gold Coast is approx. 500,00. The total Australian population is over 24 million spread over a vast area. So for almost 98% of the population here its not close either! It seems like an odd location choice but Dreamworld is a popular tourist destination so they will capture the tourist trade.
What Mark said! It’s about a 2 hour flight or a 17 hour drive for me to get there!
Cool. Now all we need is Lego retail store in Melb ?
We’re getting a Legoland Discovery Centre, which has a store, so I guess that will be our LCS.
w00t! Around an hours drive. Looking forward to pick a brick wall the most I think.
It should be a good selection. Better hope that they will sell by cups, instead of by weight. LEGO Australia wouldn’t confirm the Pick a Brick system that they’re using as they haven’t finalised it yet.
Will the Lego store have polybags? Like promotions similar to the spend $75 or more promotion and y get a free minifigure/build? Would,be such a good way for me to get something like the superhero exclusive figs instead of spending $200 to get free shipping
I’m not sure. I’d like to say I think so, but from what I hear from other Certified Stores in Asia, the promotional polybag promotions are pretty erratic. For example, they didn’t get the recent Classic TV Series Mr Freeze, but they did get the Easter Chicken Suit Guy promo.
I guess we’ll learn more closer to the date and when the store is actually running. I’ve reached out to LEGO for comment, but they haven’t been able to say anything substantial.
Congrats!! Australia certainly deserves a LCS store. Hopefully an official store(s) will follow!
Yay! It’s been a long time coming! I doubt we’ll ever get an official store here… just because those are run by LEGO themselves and I don’t think they see Australia as a priority market 🙁
Woohoo this just made my day! I live is Brissie but often drive past Dreamworld to see relatives, I can see a few pit stops in my future…
Awesome! I really hope they don’t mess this up and do silly things like jack up the price or have a limited Pick a Brick selection.
Yet still nothing in Sydney.
I can’t see them taking the exclusives until there is at least one stiore in NSW.
With NSW and VIC being such huge population centres, I think it’s only a matter of time.
“Everything is awesome” (When you live close to the GC)
Nice! Won’t pretend that I’m not just a little bit jealous 🙂
Stephen Kendall says
There is no way they will limit the sets to their existing partners.
WA will never get a store, and I am not flying to the east coast to buy a set.
I don’t believe they will allow VIP points in the store ether.
Its great news that we are getting a store, but the only advantage is the PAB wall, for people living in the local area.
Our only hope is that it leads to more stores in more locations.
Yup, I agree, which is why I think the rumours that it’ll be the end of exclusive sets are a bit too far-fetched. I will be very surprised if VIP points make it.
Hey, never say never for WA. Depending on how this store goes, it’s definitely a promising sign that LEGO Australia is open to the Certified Store Program. It’s all about third parties ponying up the licensing costs for a store. If there are companies that are willing to pay the required fees, nothing’s stopping them from bringing them across the country.
It’s definitely a positive, especially since Australia has been lacking a proper retail LEGO experience for so long.
holy sh*t!!!! SO EXCITED!! In my state so that’s even better!
Lucky you! The Gold Coast is a tad far from Melbourne, but we’re getting a Legoland Discovery Centre next year, so it’s not all too bad. Might have to plan a trip to the GC soon 🙂