Can an unplanned trip to the LEGO store ever be a bad thing?
It was t-shirt weather at the start of November in Buffalo, NY. I had an expiring coupon for a free burrito from Moe’s. There’s a Moe’s location next to the LEGO store.
Some might say that this trip was destiny. 😇😂
Shopping Trip Aim
My main desire from this trip was to hit the pick-a-brick (PAB) wall and hopefully get some pieces to start constructing a MILS plate. I have sets sitting in boxes, pining at me to be built that I can’t begin until my online PAB order arrives. I am trying to be patient, but it’s proving difficult. Yes, I may be able to build these sets and MILS them later, but for the sake of a few weeks, I’d rather wait.
Back to shopping, I wasn’t against getting some sets if they were on sale and checking out the newly released holiday minifigures. If I hit the $65 threshold for some free coasters, that would be okay with me too.
At first glance, the PAB wall had some terrific pieces, even if they weren’t what I was looking for. Then I saw the holy grail of 4×4 light grey tile and 2×2 pink bricks in the mixed buckets. I would have to dig, but this was prime MILS plate material, so I got to work.
First, I put the tile together to make an internal tower and then stacked the pink bricks to get as much into the cup as possible. I filled the gaps with clear 1×2 studs, 1×2 light blue bricks, and some green stud flowers. I created a block of 4×8 black tile for the second cup and other small parts I found. I topped it off with some gold chains and stars.
I wish there was more grey tile, but that was all there was. It took me a while to make those cups, and I only secured enough grey tile to cover one baseplate. I thought I had enough for at least two!
Side note: I know creating MILS will be expensive, but my city will move a lot. I rent my apartment, so there’s one big move right there. I am also indecisive and will likely change my city significantly while it’s constructed and new sets are released. So, while part-intensive and time-consuming, I think MILS is the right way to go.
Alas, there weren’t any white components on the PAB wall that I could get to add to my winter village. However, I think I got a lot for two cups’ worth.
As I walked into the store, there was a stand with some sets marked as 10-30% off. What caught my eye were the retiring soon Lunar New Year sets from 2021, especially the Lunar New Year Ice Festival. I had looked at this set previously as one to add to my winter village. I determined the $120 price point was a little steep as there were quite a few elements that wouldn’t work with the aesthetic I was going for. Then I saw it for under $84 and grabbed it immediately. There is enough value in the minfigures alone to pay this price for this set.
The box was damaged, which might be the reason for such a deep discount. However, the 2022 sets are about to launch on December 25th, so the store needs to make some space too.
I considered the other Lunar set – Lunar New Year Traditions – and while I like the look of it and the minifigures, it didn’t fit in with my winter village or future city. I do have to limit myself to these two areas when purchasing LEGO for the time being, as space, time, and money doesn’t allow me to buy everything I’d like!
I will always check out the minifigures when I go to the LEGO store because I need a collection to populate my city. Having bought a few a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting to see anything new other than the three released for the holiday season: Mrs. Claus, Gingerbread Lady, and Guitar Boy.
Seeing Mrs. Claus in person, I had to take a hard pass. I didn’t like her skirt, and she looked awkward. It’s a shame because she would have been an excellent addition to my winter village – especially when I build a Santa lair.
The Guitar Boy has a lovely holiday sweater, so I welcomed him to my family. The Gingerbread Lady has a gorgeous skirt element and the way the head is constructed made this minifig a must-buy.
I spotted the pink bear, and while it doesn’t work with the festive vibe, this minifigure is too cute to not bring home.
I got a couple of GWPs today after getting that discounted set. The first was a set of 4 coasters, which are double-sided and made of rubber. These are pretty neat, though I’m not sure I’ll use them! Need to spend $65 to get this one.
The second was a surprise Fun and Funky VIP add-on pack. It’s 148 pieces with lavish items, including pigs, guitars, fish, purple top hats, and a skateboard. It’s a well-named poly as the colors are vibrant, and the parts get the creativity following. Great promo, and it’s worth heading online or to the store to grab one. Free with a $50 purchase through 11/1-11/18 and 11/29-12/31.
I’m chuffed with my trip to the store today! A great PAB wall that has added to my inventory was a highlight, though my best purchase was picking up the Lunar New Year Ice Festival at a deep discount. It will elevate my winter village, and I’m looking forward to the build.
A trip to the LEGO store is always a great time. Can’t wait to go again.