I have been touring the LEGOLAND Billund theme park, its Miniland and even the discount Outlet store here on the blog. I have a couple of more stories left on this topic, first of which is the actual LEGO Shop at the Billund, Denmark park. Billed the largest LEGO Shop in the world, this was the most impressive LEGO store I have visited since the offbeat Japanese Click Brick store. In fact, way more impressive.
The LEGO Shop is located next to the main entrance at LEGOLAND Billund and can only be accessed from the park, so you need a ticket (there is a much, much, much smaller store in the lobby of the nearby Hotel LEGOLAND, that doesn’t require a ticket). When you enter the shop, it is divided into two equally sized portions: to the left and to the right. Both have their own cashiers, but their content is not identical, so be sure to check both ends out. Roughly speaking, the left section is more mainstream, for younger audience and the right is more exclusives and pick a bricks. (The Outlet store is separate and located elsewhere.)
Now, LEGO Shop Billund is not impressive in the way an Apple Store or some high-end department store looks impressive. Like the whole park, it is actually fairly low-key and almost quaint in its trappings. There are no glass staircases, high ceilings or designer displays. (Nor are there any MOC displays like at the Click Brick.) There is just, to put it simply, a crapload of LEGO (and accessories) on sale. Expect to find almost any current (and some past) LEGO set, exclusive or lifestyle product under this one roof, plus plenty of pick a bricks and pick a figs to boot. Bring loads of money. Loads.
There is over 1000 square meters (10 000+ square feet) of tightly packed LEGO there. Going through the entire store would be going through the entire world of LEGO products, so let’s do some highlights instead. First, if you are into store exclusives, the knight’s swords and princess outfits are apparently Legoland specials. Indeed, there was a lot LEGO apparel from regular LEGO themed clothing to all sorts of children’s fantasy outfits, from Castle knights to City police. There were also plenty of different LEGO mugs, storage containers, keyrings, magnets, sunglasses, you name it. Obviously much of this stuff can be found in other stores selling LEGO lifestyle products, but the breadth of the selection here is staggering.
Moving on to the stuff that really matters: the bricks. Sure, you can knock yourself out with all the apparel and accessories (some of it nice, some of it throwaway tourist crap), but let’s face it – if you are reading this blog, you would be going to the shop for the bricks. And you will not be disappointed, well at least I wasn’t. I think the most impressive part of the whole store were the walls and walls of LEGO Exclusive and hard to find sets. Some of these sets are really imposing by themselves (like the Death Star and Super Star Destroyer), with their 10+ cm (4+ inch) thick, huge packages… but to see an entire wall or two filled with these sets! Just wow. I resisted temptation with great difficulty.
One of the positive surprises was the range of hard to find sets that was available. It wasn’t just the latest releases, but there were several older sets there too, like the Medieval Market Village from the discontinued LEGO Castle theme. The theme was discontinued back in 2009. There was also LEGO Kingdoms sets there, which is now mostly discontinued too. It was also interesting to see packaging variations in some of the sets. Clearly Legoland is being quite liberal in what they keep available at the shop. As long as there is stock left, there is a good chance of grabbing a little older title as well.
Finally, this story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the two Pick a Brick walls at the store. At the end of the right section of the store there is the main Pick a Brick wall, with all sorts regular and special bricks in a rainbow of color. The brick wall takes the whole width of the store, so there was plenty to choose from. You pick as you please and then pay by weight. On the left side of the store you can find a little smaller Pick a Brick for minifigures. They also had all sorts of minifigure containers and even do-it-yourself LEGO minifigure magnet sets available. We didn’t build custom minifigures this time, but as you may recall from my Click Brick store report, it is good fun.
Note: You can click the images for larger versions.
Speaking of the Pick a Brick wall, my pre-schooler got a little crazy there when I gave him free rein. It was interesting to later try and build something from a bag full of antennas, some forty construction worker hats as well as various coverless mailboxes and hinges without the opposing piece (he didn’t pick the other side for any of them). Creativity gives you wings and we managed to make a house or two with them back at the hotel. Not your average houses, though.
In addition to the LEGO Shop and the LEGOLAND Outlet, there is also a Kids Wear shop opposite the LEGO Shop, which is said to stock Northern Europe’s biggest selection of LEGO WEAR, and a store with a selection of adult clothing. There are also smaller shops in the various themed areas around the park, such as the Polar Shop in the new-for-2012 Polar Land area and the Castle Shop in Knight’s Kingdom.