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Buying LEGO in New York

cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
edited August 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
I'll be heading to the big apple come Christmas.
Where are the best places to buy Lego there?
Aside from the usual TRU and Lego shop, anywhere else I should be aware about?

Comments

  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    Although I love NYC any time of year, you are coming at the very best time. There is no place like New York City at Christmas time. Besides the stores you mention, FAO Schwarz is a must see. 5th Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets. A 10 minute (oops, Christmas time- crowds galore), 15 minute walk from the Lego Store. Where do you live? Do you have kids? I would be happy to suggest some things to see and do. Feel free to PM me.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 739
    Depending on how hard core you are about LEGO I'd hit the stops @LegoMom1 suggested I'd recommend taking the subway out to Queens and stop at the Elmhurst LEGO Store in the Queens Center Mall. It is a LEGO Store but unlike the LEGO Store in Rockefeller Center the Queens Store charges the regular price. Rock Center has to mark up their prices to keep TRU Times Square happy because TRU gouges you whenever they can.

    The LEGO Store in Queens has excellent customer service, a dedicated Pick a Brick specialist and usually a great selection of whatever LEGO has. Make sure to stop at Rock Center to buy whatever NYC exclusive sets they have, hit their PaB Wall but do your other LEGO shopping at LEGO Queens as it will save you the 10% mark up that the Rock Center charges on most of their stock (PaB excluded).
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    Wow, thanks for your heads up!
    Where exactly is this lego shop at Queens?
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 739
    Sorry...the Queens Center Mall in Elmhurst, Queens.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @cloud0 there are 2 LEGO Stores in NYC, the big one in Rockefeller Center in Manhattan (which has about a 10% markup on all their items) and a smaller one by me in Elmhurst, Queens at the Queens Center Mall. There is a Target & TRU 3 blocks away in either direction from the Queens Store, so it's not a bad spot for Lego

    There's also a TJ Maxx & Marshalls in the same mall as the TRU, both clearance stores that sometimes have Lego, so the Queens store is a good area to pick up Lego (and has some of the best staff of any Lego Store anywhere!)

    FAO Schwarz is definitely a must see, lots of life-size lego statues of movie characters and a good selection of sets at TRU or worse markup, but it's where i became an AFOL for good.

    There are many branches of TRU, including their flagship store in Times Square which always has a great selection of LEGO including many exclusive sets and can sometimes be a good place for a deal. Surprisingly the Times Square store is often cheaper than the stores near me, but they all tend to be marked up.

    There are many branches of Target in NYC, they all carry Lego, but some have better selections and sales differ from store to store.

    There is a small toy store on the upper east side of manhattan on East 86th Street between Lexington & 3rd Avenues that I discovered several months ago when buying a set from craigslist from someone who lived up the block that had many older sets, though their prices were a bit high. I don't recall the name offhand.

    Neergard Pharmacy in Park Slope, Brooklyn on 5th Avenue between 9th & 10th Streets also sells Lego and usually has a few older sets and a lot of CMFs (i got all the way back to series 2 a year ago there.

    There is not a single Walmart in NYC. There are many surrounding us though on Long Island, upstate and in NJ or CT.

    There are a number of Goodwill thrift stores (and others) and they sometime have Lego. A couple are situated around 23rd street in manhattan. Not a sure thing but some great deals to be had if you're there at the right time.

    Craigslist always has a lot of Lego, caveat emptor indeed.

    Finally Nathan Sawaya's Art Of The Brick exhibit is going on until January at Discovery Times Square.
    margot77ncaachamps
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    i wrote that yesterday and never posted it. @bmwlego isn't kidding about queens
  • richlrichl Member Posts: 236
    That's a lot of great info, @murphquake! I've lived in NYC 7 years but never even gotten out to The Queens store. That's good to know!
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    nor have you gotten to an I LUG NY meeting @richl ;-) The Queens Store is really good....

    I meant to add a section about outside NYC but close by.... Just gonna add 2 things for now:

    Westchester County:

    LEGOLAND Discovery Center Yonkers, at the Ridge Hill Mall, is awesome, but you have to bring a kid aside from monthly Adult Nights (1st Thurs of the month IIRC). But they will let you shop there. A good friend of mine is working there as a model builder and texted me earlier to say they got the new Minecraft sets and they're out in the attached Lego Store. The store there has also had some stuff we haven't seen recently or at all elsewhere: i picked up a pack of UN-GLUED indiana jones magnets a few months ago =-D

    LEGO Store Westchester, White Plains, at The Westchester Mall, I volunteered for the build at the grand opening in June and this store is great. The staff were very nice and the manager is a huge AFOL. If you get up that way you'd be remiss to skip them.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    @bmwlego said- Rock Center has to mark up their prices to keep TRU Times Square happy because TRU gouges you whenever they can.

    Is that why? I always thought it was due to the exorbitant rent they paid to be in Rock Center. (Doesn't really bother me- I really never buy anything there other than their exclusive polys and such. One of my most prized Lego is the Big Apple. My son has the Lady Liberty CMF perched on top of it.)

    The LEGO Store in Queens has excellent customer service, a dedicated Pick a Brick specialist

    Good to know. Thanks!

    @murphquake said- Neergard Pharmacy in Park Slope, Brooklyn on 5th Avenue between 9th & 10th Streets also sells Lego and usually has a few older sets and a lot of CMFs (i got all the way back to series 2 a year ago there.

    Brooklyn, here I come!!!!

    Finally Nathan Sawaya's Art Of The Brick exhibit is going on until January at Discovery Times Square.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes...............Spectacular!!! You can't travel to NYC and not see this!!!!!!!!!!!!

    @cloud0- where do you live?
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    I would be staying at Jane street. Probably going to move around on the subway alot.
    The art of the brick was in Singapore this year, it was fantastic, don't miss it!
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 619
    Last time I went to both the Rockefeller Center store and the TRU Times Square, TRU had the taxi and Liberty exclusive polybags for $.50 cheaper than Rockefeller. I'd be sure to visit both though. They both cater well to tourists.

    Rockefeller's PaB wall is sort of hit or miss. They have a number of exclusives, over on the left side wall of the store's lower level, conveniently around the I LUG NY showcase window. Pretty much anything NY-themed is exclusive to that store.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 739
    edited August 2013
    @LegoMom1
    A former District Manager who oversaw the Rock Center Store told me that store charges a markup because if they charged MSRP it would upset their biggest retail partner, TRU which has a store within walking distance at Times Square. I was also under the assumption that the markup at the Rock was due to being located at Rock Center but was told otherwise.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    ^Thanks for the info. Once again, it's all about the politics! I still think high rent has something to do with it also, considering the location, location, location.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @GIR3691 that mirrors my experience at rockefeller/times sq, as well as many times finding sets and polys cheaper at times sq... if it didn't involve a train ride back and forth i'd probably start all my tru lego searches there.

    @LegoMom1 I cleaned out neergard on S2 ...they were all opened and labeled with post-its then stapled shut? and at $4! I still have 5 in the bags like that, a pair each ring leaders & lifeguards, and a weight lifter... my favorite part is they labeled the lifeguard bags "Pamela Anderson"!

    @cloud0 nice area, i went to paramedic school in the village when St. Vincent's was still open and then taught there a few times. Make sure you check out the High Line... I'd recommend Bill's Bar & Burgers on 9th avenue but there's also one in Rockefeller by the LEGO store so either one will work nicely =-)
  • cloud0cloud0 SingaporeMember Posts: 101
    @murphquake Thanks for the great advice! How much do you reckon a meal at Bill's Bar & Burger will cost? Still wrapping my head around how much this trip is going to cost.
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    @cloud0- Just as @murphquake said, the West Village is lovely. Do check out the High Line. Also another great place to eat, and 'on the cheap' is Benny's Burritos. Sometimes a line to get in, but good food, big portions and not expensive- at least by NYC standards. Don't you agree, murphquake?
  • JessyDooDahJessyDooDah UK Member Posts: 220
    I'll be in NY over comicon, and wonder if any bricksetters or members of I LUG NY would want to meet up and trade some poly's/pieces? Anyone interested can PM me. :)
  • DwarfSleepyDwarfSleepy Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2013
    When I asked why a set was more expensive there, I was actually told by staff at the Rockefeller store that it was a consession recovery fee, like car rental agencies charge for airport rentals... Now they wouldn't be lying to me, would they...
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,176
    ^ Maybe a combo of all factors considered, and TLG was all like, "aw, to hell with it, just raise the price and it'll make all of 'em happy..." except us buyers of course! ;D
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @LegoMom1 I've never been to Benny's... I'll definitely check it out. My go-to for ameri-mex is San Loco, there's 3 of them around the LES and one in Williamsburg. Depending on who's cashier they give 50% off to EMS/NYPD/FDNY in uniform, which is awesome.

    @JessyDooDah I should be at NYCC as well as a couple other LUGmates and bricksetters i'm sure.
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 739
    @JessyDooDah I'll be at NYCC as well this year. Not sure yet which day.
    Last year NYCC was represented very well by LEGO. We (ILUGNY) had an awesome layout that LEGO asked us to do. Besides there being no ILUGNY display this year we were told that LEGO would NOT be having a presence at NYCC this year. Hopefully they collaborate with DC and Marvel to give out exclusive figs.
  • JessyDooDahJessyDooDah UK Member Posts: 220
    @bmwlego & @murphquake - No Lego presence! It's one of the main reasons I'm going! :(
    Would be great to meet up with a few NY bricksetters though! Ill be at NYCC on Friday and Saturday, and ill bring a bunch of polys over too if anyone is up for a trade? Ill post my trades list next week. @StormKitty will be in town too, would be great if we can all get together! :)
  • bmwlegobmwlego Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 739
    My friend and ILUGNYmate @GIR3691 submitted an application for a LEGO talk/panel so there might be a LEGO panel at NYCC.
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 619
    We were supposed to hear back weeks ago. I woudldn't count on it.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @GIR3691 didn't we just submit it at the end of July?
  • hleonffuhleonffu USAMember Posts: 186
    @murphquake yes and now we are in early Sep with the NYCC in mid Oct. I am with @GIR3691 that I wouldn't count on it.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @hleonffu oh i'm just surprised they would say they're gonna answer all the dozens or hundreds of requests they get that fast
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    My son and I were at the Rock Center store yesterday. Since there are ILUGNY members on this thread, what I would like to know is, who is Sid, and have you posted pics of that great typewriter for the rest of the forum to admire?
  • hleonffuhleonffu USAMember Posts: 186
    @ LegoMom1 Sid is one of our members. His MOC can be seen at our website:
    http://www.ilugny.org/
    Thanks taking time to look at his MOC.
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    @LegoMom1 I think the illustrious @brickplate would be pleased to hear that, as he is, in fact, Sid! We try to keep our website http://ilugny.org/ updated with each window display we do, as well as our flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/1558529@N23/ Thanks for reminding me i need to take the subway over and see it for myself, i've been looking forward to seeing it since he had the WIP stuff up on flickr
  • LegoMom1LegoMom1 Member Posts: 652
    @murphquake- thanks for his username here.

    @brickplate- really enjoyed seeing a fellow New Yorker's work on display. Thanks. I also posted a brief anecdote about our experience while admiring it. It's in the 'status' thread. Hope you enjoy it. :)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,003
    edited September 2013
    I visited New York on business last year and took a trip to the Rockefeller LEGO store while I was there; you can find a few tidbits in the first part of the post below :

    http://gimmelego.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/new-york-new-york.html

    As others have said, watch out for mark-ups. On the upside, the store does (or at least did) sell some New York specific items there, so definitely worth picking those up if you go.
  • khmellymelkhmellymel United KingdomMember Posts: 1,176
    ^ Was there on Sunday and breezed through so I might have missed something (was running late to see a show), but there were Statute of Liberty polys by the cash registers.
  • owjowj MalaysiaMember Posts: 3
    Hi all. Want to find out whether does Lego stores markup their prices for power functions? I will be asking my friend to get for me from 5th Avenue.
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