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Trials in Collecting

prof1515prof1515 Member Posts: 1,550
edited April 2011 in Collecting
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?


  • creaturecreature Member Posts: 16
    In Belgium, where i live atleast there are no big toy shops in walking distance:(
    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.
  • Coder_XCoder_X Member Posts: 29
    In the 'Fun' in Brugge( Bruges ) they have a large collection of lego sets. I was there for the first time 2days ago and I was kind of overwhelmed by the offer they had. Haven't been to Dreamland yet but both stores are kind of alike I assume.
    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?
  • creaturecreature Member Posts: 16
    edited May 2011
    In the 'Fun' in Brugge( Bruges ) they have a large collection of lego sets. I was there for the first time 2days ago and I was kind of overwhelmed by the offer they had. Haven't been to Dreamland yet but both stores are kind of alike I assume.
    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?
    There is a Fun next to dreamland went there a couple of weeks ago, they still had series 1, 2 and 3 minifigs got the rest of series 1 that i needed exept for the cheerleader.

    PS: Just got back from oma, they had a section with old sets (mars mission, Bionicle and a couple of racers) :)
  • jeremiasobomjeremiasobom Member Posts: 8
    First of all, I must say that my comment will refer mainly to Lego Star Wars sets, cause I search for and buy only those.
    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.
  • VithVith Member Posts: 31
    Being in Belgium, I have got pretty easy access to Lego since most toy stores carry atleast _some_. The strange thing is that sometimes store A has set A for a very high price but then it has set B for a good price and set C for a mediocre price. Store B, C and D are the same. So I have to check with 4 stores in Belgium + to find the best price. But mostly I buy from Amazon since they almost always have the best price and selection.
  • mirandirmirandir Member Posts: 31
    In Sweden it's pretty easy to come by sets. You can often find Lego sets even in grocery stores and there are quite a few webshops, even those that normally don't sell toys, that sell Lego.

    However the prices are a bit steep. Not rarely it can actually be cheaper to order bigger sets from a different country...
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 1,145
    I love collecting sets.....however, it's not always on the same playing field. The availability of mainstream Lego sets are plentiful...but those that are in limited release demand the most action.

    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.

  • StuBoyStuBoy Member Posts: 623
    Here in New Zealand we have a reasonable range of Lego in our stores, but quite high prices when compared to the US! I guess its because we're only a small market and at the bottom of the world. I never buy sets unless they're on sale. I'm finding its cheaper to buy sets from Bricklink from a US seller, even with shipping costs included. We don't have dedicated Lego stores here either, I'd love to go to one or a pick-a-brick store if I go to the US or UK!
  • tomcatttomcatt Member Posts: 24
    edited April 2011
    We in Canada just got our first Lego Store last summer - luckily it is in the city I live by (Calgary)! I now buy the majority of my sets there for 2 reasons - VIP points, and I love the Pick-A-Brick wall! Before that (and when there are sales now) I bought at any of the 4 Toys R Us stores in the city. I actually had a 'TRU Tour' all planned out - the best route to take around the city so I could hit them all in about 2 hours. Now if the Lego Store doesn't have it, I just hit the biggest TRU. I also used to buy a lot online from [email protected] since TRU doesn't usually carry the UCS and exclusive sets. There's also the other big chains (WalMart, Zellers, London Drugs), who tend to have slightly lower prices, but the selection is hit and miss. Then there's various independents (non-chain stores), who generally have very limited stock at MSRP or higher. I've also been getting all my CMF from Chapters - mostly because my sister works there so I can use her staff discount.
  • MaxxMaxx Member Posts: 4
    In the Netherlands we have toy stores, so you can buy there, but prices for Lego are high.
    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:
  • elazgarelazgar Member Posts: 31
    In my city (southern Spain) there are not many shops to choose. There is a TRU 15 minutes far by car (I have not car). There is also a big mall which usually have around 25 different sets but at a high price (8200 Lighting McQueen is 9,50 €) and finally there is a toy shop where you can find some sets although they recive new sets just twice a year, in fact, right now they do not have any set, they sell special LEGO boxes (Lunch Box 8 for example).
    I buy my sets on Ebay and during the summer when I travel around Europe.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    Although I live within easy walk of a shop that sells Lego, I've only ever bought a baseplate there - they sell everything at RRP, and without the points, so they can't compete with [email protected] The internet rules.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    edited June 2011
    Im lucky, in Chicagoland, so I have access to all three Lego Stores (I go to the One in Schaumburg mostly) and I also have a few TRUs around me, one of which usually has a nice selection all of the time. I stopped killing myself to get sets for 'Lent'... The last time I went to the Woodfield Mall (where the lego store is) during peak shopping hours was the weekend after Thanksgiving a few years ago to pick up 2 Jabba Sail Barges after I saw them sold out online... but that was the last time I have gone to the mall after about 11am on a Saturday..
    Now I usually just hit 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 sometime if they have agood deal on sets...

  • EricEric Member Posts: 376
    I'm in Australia, the variety isn't bad, I have 4 stores that sell Lego locally, but only one, Myer, actually sell the exclusive/rare sets. But in the same breath, they only ever get a handful of sets in. But along with StuBoy, I only ever buy Lego on sale, (20% off is the best I can find, no such mythical Buy On, Get On... :( ), because the prices are just so exorbitant. $70 for the Creator Lighthouse... Probably just over half of my Lego purchases in the past 5 years, has been purchased from the internet. Would love to do some travelling, to the US, just to see a humble PAB wall. *Drool*. :)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    ^-- Pick a brick is fun, but when you realize the cost of a cup with the small selection of parts... you are probably better off buying from PAB online at times because of the price per part... Now, being in AUS maybe not, but I have found while the wall is neat, rarely do they have anything that you cannot get online for a better price per part from Online PAB. The last 'good' item I got from a PAB wall was a massive load of old Brown dog/wolves
  • mrfootballmrfootball Member Posts: 84
    edited June 2011
    Here in Houston, Texas we have 2 Lego Stores and a hundred plus Targets, Wal-Marts and Toys R Us stores. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get anywhere in this huge sprawling metro with around 6.1 million people. Anywhere you go, you will pay 8.5% Sales Tax. My favorite places to buy locally are usually the Lego store (always ask for Grab Bags btw), Target and TRU in that order. Lego and TRU seem to have the most extensive selection. We also have Lego at my Grocery store (HEB) though the selection is more limited with about 20 current sets. There's another store that usually has older sets that are recently out of production, US Toy...prices are slightly inflated, but not bad (and they usually have 20% coupons). I used to buy a ton of Lego from Borders, but they changed their coupon policy (Several Borders locations remain open in Houston), I've been buying a lot more Lego through Barnes & Noble, which has numerous locations, but the selection is limited.

    Online, I buy older sets through Ebay. I buy a lot of current Lego through Amazon (no tax, free shipping).
  • LambringoLambringo Member Posts: 104
    Im in Perth, Australia. There are plenty of shops that carry most of the LEGO ranges (only a few larger stores carry exclusives) but the problem is the price. Like most AUS collectors, I only buy from Aus stores when something is on sale. Normally at 25% in the stores with a good range. I also keep wathcing as they can have anywhere from 0-50% off on stock and prices are always changing. Whenever I go crazy and feel the need for a lot of purchases, I use the US B&N site, eventhough its full retail price, it is still 50% off the Aus price with the exchange rates and the only site I know of that will actually sell to Aus. I don't mind the searching, ad there is a lot of excitement in the hunt for bargain.
  • EricEric Member Posts: 376
    ^ Very true. But the shipping can really kill the deal. Most European sellers want ~$30 to ship just about any medium size set (for example, Lighthouse and Hillside House) to us down here. It still works out cheaper, ($10 saving for the Hillside House, pah) but for $10, I'd just go down to the shop and buy it there. :/
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