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[US] Grand Opening Celebrations This Weekend, Question

Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
edited June 2013 in Shopping USA/Canada
I'm visiting my hometown of St. Louis Friday for the first time since I moved outside DC in September. I was planning a week long trip back, but was waiting for the Lego store out there to announce when they were doing their Grand Opening stuff so I could plan my trip around that. They're doing it this weekend. My question to everyone here, I've never been to a Grand Opening Lego event. My wife and I are going Saturday and Sunday since those are the days they're giving out the Lego store set and exclusive minifigure set, respectfully. How early should we plan on lining up. I wouldn't expect people to camp but you never know, I figure a couple hours before they open should be good. I just want to make sure we are in the first 300 people Does anyone who's gone to one have any experiences to share? Thanks everyone!


  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224
    edited May 2013
    I have been to 1 myself. I got there about 40minutes before the actual opening time and there was queue of about 20 people already.

    So I guess an hour before the actual opening time will be ideal?

    Also, be there before hand, so you will know where the sets are.

    On the opening day, go there, grab the set you want to buy and pay and go before the store gets filled.
  • Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
    If I can ask, which one were you at? That's not too bad, I'm trying to figure out what sets I want to get right now. My brother has been to the store already so I may ask him.
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,626
    I went to one without even knowing it (was a grand re-opening, store moved across the hall...). Store was busy, but I arrived way after the opening. They were giving an exclusive minifig pack for every purchase of $49+
  • ChanMcLChanMcL Member Posts: 1,224
    ^^It was Manchester store.
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,273
    At the Nashville opening there were lots of people lined up before opening, I don't know a count but a lot more than 20 when I arrived half an hour early, but there were still LEGO stores and minifigs later in the day, around 11 or 12. The store is only allowed to have so many people in it so there was a line of some sort for most of the day and the Nashville store is really big, I would assume that it would be a bigger problem at other stores.

    We worked all day helping with the build so we weren't in the store much but as we weren't offered the sets at the time we went each day and bought a set to qualify when taking a break. I don't remember times but it was after the initial rush each day.

    I wouldn't stress about it too much, but being there early enough to be in the first group is probably a good idea the checkout lines were out the door later in the day.
  • Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
    Thanks everyone! I figure we'll show up an hour early and we should be fine.
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    Expect to wait in line about 2 hours. My wife and I went to the Milwaukee store last year. We got there a little more than 2 hours before it opened. By getting there that early we were in the first group allowed into the store. We were in and out within minutes and had the rest of the day to ourselves. We know a woman who showed up as the doors were opening. She spent over two hours in line, but still got one of the LEGO Store sets.

    So you can arrive later, probably even show up just after the store opens... but the difference is you'll spend a good chunk of your day in line - first to get in the store, and then to check-out. I'd recommend going a couple of hours early. You'll meet some cool LEGO fans and can get out of the store and enjoy your day.

    If you want to do pick-a-brick or something like that, stop back in the evening. The lines should be gone by then. Don't think of doing that during the day, just know what you want, walk in, grab it, pay, and get out. Have alternates in mind, they will run out of some sets over the course of the weekend.

    Oh, and the promos are limited one to a family, of course they can't tell who is in a family if you use cash and don't try to use the same VIP card more than once. If you try to put two transactions on a VIP card, you have a good chance of getting denied if they catch you (the manager warned us about this before the store opened in Milwaukee).
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,899
    GO EARLY. You will be in line for at least 2-3 hours. The Vancouver store was set to open at 10am and when I got there at 8, there was already a 100 person line. Took me another 1.5-2 hours until I got into the store and made my purchase. So plan ahead and go early to avoid waiting in a line.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,343
    I didn't wait in line at Milwaukee, but I worked the event for the Spongebob build. Like @meyerc13 said, the line was pretty long when the doors opened. I snapped a picture 15 minutes before, which is on my blog.

    Really, when you go comes down to if you want to make sure you get the special sets. If they are a big part of the reason for the trip, you're better off waiting an hour or two before the doors open than waiting after the store has started doing business for the day.
  • Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
    At the mall right now, We showed up an hour before they opened, maybe about 60 ahead of us. Took us 20 minutes to get in the store, maybe about 10 minutes to check out. By the time they opened I would say the had about 200 in line, maybe more, they had to move the line down a fire escape hallway, so I couldn't even see the line anymore. They let me and my wife use the same VIP card, I asked them before they opened if that was ok. It was a lot of fun, and we built some bricks for their Hulk model. We'll be back tomorrow for the minifigure set.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,087
    ^ That doesn't sound too bad. At least if you got there an hour early. The St. Louis store is rather small though. I doubt it could handle more than sixty people in at any given time. It was packed enough last Friday when I bought my B-Wing.
  • needmorelegoneedmorelego Member Posts: 4
    Got in line at 8. I was 48th in line. Store opened at 10, was out by 10:10. Store employees did a great job.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,369
    I got there at 945. Waited in line for 45 min and still got a promo store set. They still had a bunch in back at 10.50
  • leppgleppg Member Posts: 45
    For everyone stating go early so you don't have to wait in line, I ask what do you call the time you are there waiting in line for it to open? :P

    Sounds to me like the wait time would be about the same but going early would guarantee you a set and the wait would be spent nervously wondering if they were going to run out before you get in.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,343
    @leppg - It's more about making sure you get the limited grand opening promo. There are only so many available. Showing up an hour after the store opens and then waiting for 1-2 hours behind a few hundred people could mean they run out before you get inside the store.

    @Zeldafanatic15 - Any chance you can snap a photo of the Hulk build?
  • dneuldneul Member Posts: 369
    I volunteered at the hulk build today and it was crazy busy for most of the day. The line today was queued up until around 4pm. They still had 3 of the grand opening sets when I checked out tonight at 8:45. If you are going to the build tomorrow, find me and say hello. I would love to meet fellow brick setters. My name is Donna and I have super short hair and a brick build name badge. :-)
  • Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
    Here's the pics I took today. Sorry, I couldn't flip the pictures, I'm using Linux and still getting used to it. @dneul, we will be there tomorrow, if we see you we'll say hi. :) I'll snap more pictures tomorrow. The store isn't as deep as most of the Lego stores I'm used to, but it's wide, which I really like. FYI they were all sold out of Stagecoaches, which my wife and I really wanted, but there were still enough sets we don't have.

    I'm surprised there were any Grand Opening sets left. It seems like they had a lot more than 300 sets.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,087
    Dan looks tuckered out. Just curious if the B-Wing was still on display and if they had any more in stock? I would of gone had I known that they had the Grand Opening sets left that late. When I went to the KC store opening they had ran out shortly after opening.
  • GrogallGrogall Munich, GermanyMember Posts: 159
    It very's from country to country, when they opened the second Munich store it was hell on day 1 when they where giving out the T-shirts, about 200 people in line! on the second day when the store was available there was only about 50 people, and I was still able to get my third at 5 p.m, on the third day for the Minifigure pack only about 10 people arrived.
  • dneuldneul Member Posts: 369
    Here is where Dan finished for the night. He is working hard. He took a lunch break and people were disappointed that he wasn't there for 45 minutes.

  • dneuldneul Member Posts: 369
    I can't get picture I load...
  • dneuldneul Member Posts: 369
    Plans today are to finish the top of the head. And make the wall.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,732
    I may make a visit to this store (St. Louis) in a couple weeks. How is the PAB selection?
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,369
    PAB was pretty weak. Not sure if it will improve.
  • JenniJenni USAMember Posts: 1,273
    It's pretty common for it to start bad and get better. How long it takes to get better is variable. Talk to your store about it so they know they have to pay a lot of attention to the order form.
  • krklintkrklint Member Posts: 480
    I've been to two grand openings. One at Mall of America (MOA) in Minnesota, the other in Miami. The one at MOA, I was three hours early and I was number 200 out of 300, and they gave us wrist bands to make sure we received the free release-party build. In Miami, they gave away 500 minifigure sets, I was one hour early, but only 25 people were in line when the store opened. I was able to get free minifigs on day two of the grand opening.

    To ensure you get one, though, don't hesitate. Plan as if the whole world is going.
  • Zeldafanatic15Zeldafanatic15 Member Posts: 106
    @dnuel I looked for you on Sunday, but didn't see you. Then again, I'm bad at picking people out.

    We got there about 9:30am on Sunday, opened at 11, we were about 15 or so in line. The line was significantly shorter than Saturday. We were part of the first group in. Didn't realize how big of sticklers they are for the $50 purchase. I was 2 cents off, the guy went back to grab a minifigure set, looked at the screen real hard and put it back then continued to finish my transaction. I asked if I get the set, he said "No, you're two cents off." I told him to hold on and let me buy something, so I picked up a clearance keychain to push me over the edge. Obviously he knew we had waited in line, he could have said something but instead he was going to let the whole purchase through. Kind of a jerk about it too. My wife checked out the day before a couple cents short of the limit for the store, and they gave it to her. I guess it depends on who you get. Plus the day before they gave me the Hulk Duplo brick without having a postcard for redemption. I don't have any pictures of the completed Hulk, but I'll post what I got later.
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