5 things worth knocking over a 7-year-old for at Mayfair Mall’s new LEGO Store
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One of the few treasures from childhood as yet unsullied by jive-talking CGI aliens (The Phantom Menace) or appliances being used as bomb shelters (that Indiana Jones movie with the aliens) is the LEGO brand of building toys. LEGO seems to be getting better as time wears on by sticking to what it does best, while adding popular branded lines like Star Wars and Harry Potter. It’s also hugely popular with adults, who can ostensibly buy LEGO sets for their kids, but hijack them when the tykes eventually wander back to their Nintendo 3DS games. This Friday, a new LEGO boutique store at Mayfair Mall will celebrate its grand opening, which promises nothing short of all things LEGO, all the time. The A.V. Club paid an early visit and took some time to appreciate the fine art of pretending not to be more excited than the kids in the store.
The pick-a-brick wall
A major section of one of the store’s walls is made up of LEGO bins that can be used to fill up different sized containers of whatever pieces the customer wants. Once the container is purchased, it can be brought back for a discount on additional wall purchases as well. While not as extensive as the online site that lets you order bricks via part number, it’s still a godsend to anyone who wants to build their own models. Plenty of LEGO builders couldn’t care less about the instructions, such as fans of giant stompy robots who also like wargaming.
All the sets in one place
The continued popularity of LEGO toys can mean trying to find all of the sets in a particular line. Unfortunately, this usually involves camping out at big-box stores or getting involved in the cutthroat capitalism of eBay. All of the currently in-production sets are available at the store, including the higher difficulty Technic sets and the dubiously gender-specific LEGO Friends sets for girls. The DC and Marvel sets are featured in a prime spot to allow for epic crossover battles between the comics giants to commence on dining room tables all over the world.
Make your own minifigs
The building sets are the bread and butter of the LEGO empire, but the minifigs that come with each set (you know, the miniature figures) are the grilled cheese. Even grown-ups without the space on their desk for a LEGO set can still appreciate a tiny, adorable Darth Vader battling with the tape dispenser. The Mayfair store offers a bar where customers can build three figures of their own design for $10. Assemble a head, hat/hair, torso, hands, legs, and accessory for a figure nobody else has. The possibilities are endless: Cool-kid LEGO minifigs as seen in Bay View and/or Riverwest? Gov. Walker, Mayor Barrett, and Kathleen Falk? The Three Amigos?
LEGO store exclusives
Milwaukee is familiar with fans of a brand willing to go from store to store to pick up exclusive items. LEGO is no different, offering exclusive sets and figures that change from month to month. Most of these exclusives require laying out a certain dollar amount at the store for an exclusive figure. But there are also figures featuring a stamp from the LEGO store itself, as well as the ultimate meta set for fans of Xzibit memes: The LEGO store LEGO set.
The grand opening
The LEGO store’s soft opening already occurred in order to let the curious check out the location and get the employees up to speed dealing with fans ranging in age from 6 to 60. Friday, May 11 is the official grand opening which features a Master Builder coming into town to build an 8-foot tall model of SpongeBob SquarePants with the help of anyone who shows up. This process will take over the center of the mall, so even people unmoved by a passion for plugging plastic bricks into other plastic bricks can see what all the commotion is about.