Melbourne’s First LEGO Certified Store Is Now Open

In which I attend a preview event at Melbourne’s new LEGO Certified Store in Doncaster and have a talk with the Alceon Excutive Director about plans for rolling out future stores, in Victoria and interstate.

On Thursday, October 3rd, we saw the opening of Melbourne’s FIRST LEGO Certified store at Westfield Doncaster. I was fortunate to attend a preview event the night before, attended by media, AFOLs and many more. But Wait! Did I say first? More on that later.

As I approached the new store, located on the upper level, opposite the Nespresso Boutique, and in close proximity to the Apple Store, I came across a brick built fireman…promising something special coming Very Soon. Hoarding was still up, outside the shop, and on arriving inside we were greeted by the features that would be familiar to anyone who has visited a LEGO Brand Retail store anywhere in the world: Bright yellow livery, pictures of giant minifigures around the walls, shelves stacked with practially every set that is available, a giant mural and some strategically placed interactive experiences.

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Rollout of Further Australian LEGO Certified Stores Confirmed

Alceon, owner of the Flagship certified store at Bondi Junction has today announced the opening of a second Sydney store, as well as New Zealand’s first LEGO Certified Store in Auckland, in the next few months. The new Sydney store will be in the Broadway Shopping Centre, Glebe. Continue reading

The Road to Sydney Brick Show [Disney minifigures preview and tease]

My life has been a little preoccupied with preparing to exhibit at the Sydney Brick Show this weekend. I have been getting ready to post my review of Series 2 of the Disney Minifigures. But here is a sneak peek…

I thought, like other series that it would be a quick snapshot and go. Then I noticed something really interesting, that I had never seen with Collectable Minifigures in the past (Please note: “really interesting to me” may have limited widespread appeal. But it has significant implications going forward). This means I need to have a second look before I publish my findings.

Anyway… Sydney.

After arriving at Sydney Airport, I caught the train to central, and changed for the eastern suburbs line. Bondi Junction was the last stop. It took about 40 minutes from landing at Sydney airport, to get to this stop. After finding the Oxford St exit, it was a short walk (10 minutes) to the Westfield shopping centre, and the Certified LEGO Shop within.

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Flagship Certified Store to open in Sydney in late March

Yesterday, pictures started to surface of a vinyl wrapped store featuring lots of LEGO livery, at the Westfield Centre in Bondi Junction.

Today, we can confirm that we will see a LEGO® Certified Store open on that site in late March – probably in time to coincide with the (delayed, compared to the rest of the world) Australian opening of The LEGO Movie 2.

Image courtesy of David Scalone, used with permission.

While the Sydney’s first LEGO Centre at Birkenhead Point has long closed, the new shop – a Certified Store rather than LEGO Brand Retail – will operate over two floors, with a total floor space of 302sqm.

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Lego Certified Store to Open at DreamWorld on the Gold Coast

Australia’s first ‘Lego Certified Store’, is set to open in November 2016. It will be located at Dreamwlogo_dworld, on Queensland’s Gold Coast.  The shop will cover an area of 350 square meters, and as a Certified Store, is designed in partnership with the LEGO group. Construction is due to begin in July.

Owned, and operated by Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company, the new store will feature exclusive products releases and events. Being located at Dream World, the LEGO Certified Store is looking to add to the attraction of the precinct, which is one of Australia’s top tourist destinations.  There will be access to the store from outside and within the park: so you shouldn’t need to pay to get in.  How much you pay before you leave is, of course, up to you!

LEGO Certified Stores are owned and operated by third parties, as opposed to LEGO brand stores seen throughout Europe and USA (which are owned and operated by LEGO).  The store layout is  fairly consistent around the world, and includes a ‘real’ Pick-a-Brick wall, a ‘Brand Ribbon’ display of assembled models, and the ‘Living Room’ – an interactive play area.

With tourist numbers in South East Queensland continuing to increase, the LEGO Certified Store will become a destination in itself for many LEGO fans, young and old, into the future.

This news follows on from the announcement of a LEGOland Discovery Centre opening  in Melbourne in mid 2017, at Chadstone shopping Centre.  It will be interesting to see how the retail experience to be offered there will differ to the one on the Gold Coast.  The shops operating in LEGOland parks around the world are NOT operated as LEGO Brand Stores, and exclusive sets are not generally available to be purchased there.  LEGOland Parks and Discovery Centres have been operated by Merlin since 2005, not the LEGO group.

Discussion on various forums regarding other LEGO Certified Stores around the world suggest that Pick-a-Brick walls, where you can fill a cup with a selection of pieces from wall mounted containers, are not a guaranteed feature.  PaB purchases are also more likely to be charged by weight rather than volume. The other significant difference with LEGO Brand Stores is the applicability of LEGO VIP points.  Apparently LEGO VIP points are not awarded at LEGO Certified Stores as they are in LEGO Brand Stores, nor can they be used to supplement your purchase.  Exclusive sets are sold in the LEGO Certified Stores, so this will be a great opportunity for travellers to pick these set up BUT fitting them into your luggage may not be the thing if you are looking to maintain that ‘Mint In Sealed Box’ experience. The Lego Certified Store is likely to offer polybags and monthly builds. It is unclear as to whether these will be the same offers seen at LEGO brand stores.

The rambling brick is excited by this  development, but is still going to visit Billund and other stores in Europe this year! Gold Coast will have to wait…

The full press release for today’s Announcement can be read here: Continue reading