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Living in the U.S., it's relatively easy to buy Lego. They're available in numerous stores from Toys R Us to WalMart (though curiously when I was in college the WalMart did not stock any Lego) to the Lego Store in many malls as well as online from numerous sites including Lego's own Shop-At-Home. Such is not the case everywhere in the world and I thought it'd be interesting to hear some of the trials faced by Lego collectors to secure the object of their obsession.
How available is Lego where you live? How is the variety and how much is dependent upon Lego's own decision to make it available and the range of stock sold by outlets carrying Lego? What, if any, extraordinary measures have you gone through, regularly or not, to secure sets?
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Recent discussions •
there was only a carrefour where they had a little LEGO section but the store closed a while ago. In Kruidvat There are some small sets usually (i bought the 7285: Police Dog Unit there yesterdayfor 6.99 Euro ) but lately they were always the same sets that i already have.
The closest toy shop is OMA in Oudenaarde or Dreamland, but i only go there if my mom is willing to drive (no drivers license yet) They have a decent LEGO section there.
So if I want some large sets i need to order online or drive 20 minutes to get something.
It looked like they had a couple of 100's different sets mostly star wars and city but they also had atlantis, HP, Toy story, … I even saw an Exo-force and Pirates box winking at me ;-)
I didn't see any CM's or Pharaoh's Quest though… Maybe I overlooked them?
@Creature I saw on the site that there's a Fun store in Oudenaarde as well perhaps public transport is an option?
PS: Just got back from oma, they had a section with old sets (mars mission, Bionicle and a couple of racers) :)
I live in Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. In here there are plenty of good toy stores, and all of them have a nice variety of sets. Unfortunately, you will never find an UCS set in a store.
For my lucky, there is the Mercado Livre website, which is similar to e-bay in Brazil and Latin America. In there, there is a huge variety of Lego, including discontinued and sold out sets, UCS and rare sets also. My sets were mostly bought there. The prices are high for the largests UCS like 10179 and 10030, very high, but for normal sets and even smaller UCS you can find excellent prices.
There are some trials in here, but that depends on which set you want. I have waited one month to receive my UCS Millennium Falcon, and paid a high price, due to the high taxes from buying outside the country.
Well, it was worth every penny.
However the prices are a bit steep. Not rarely it can actually be cheaper to order bigger sets from a different country...
The trials in collecting can be hard to do when certain items are not released to the general public. You see it all the time. I call it, "targeted Lego sets." This are those released within a certain geographic location, events, and/or promotions.
Sometimes it's easier to buy from S&H than in a store...
Also BrickLink is easy.
Nothing beats finding Lego sets on sale locally(c:
I buy my sets on Ebay and during the summer when I travel around Europe.
Now I usually just hit TRU.com during BOGO's (unless there are cheaper sets I want where I cannot get free shipping then I hit the brick and mortar store.. I may do that for the BOGO on the lighthouses) or Amazon.com... sometime Walmart.com if they have agood deal on sets...
Online, I buy older sets through Ebay. I buy a lot of current Lego through Amazon (no tax, free shipping).