Modular LEGO Store Finished!
Last week I highlighted the construction site for Little Brick Township’s new LEGO Store and my plans to chop up a few gift-with-purchase sets and add my own bricks to build in a 16 x 32 stud space at the end of my main street. Sometimes my plans for original builds stall, and half-finished constructions sit for a year or more atop my living room furniture. But sometimes I actually finish what I start in a timely manner.
That’s the case with with my new MOC Modular LEGO Store, sure to be every Brickster’s favorite place. I ended up carving up an 8 x 16 stud two-story vignette, two VIP display sets, a Minifigure Factory, and a LEGO Picture Frame for the facade decoration and much of the interior for my three-story build. I’m impressed with the detail of the stickers made to look like LEGO sets in the Junior, City, Ninjago, Creator, and Friends themes, and I added to them some black tiles for the new 18+ sets that The LEGO Group has released to appeal to grown-up builders.
I’ve been an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) since 2007 when I bought my first Modular sets, but stay-at-home orders during the covid-19 pandemic have increased the number of people like me who have taken up the hobby. Apparently, middle-aged women are LEGO’s fastest growing group of customers, people who may have completed jigsaw puzzles years ago but appreciate the three-dimensional builds that LEGO offers. Most of the new sets for this demographic are meant for display rather than play. They include flowers and bonsai trees, mosaics of pop-culture icons, and models of musical instruments and classic video game players.
So let’s take a tour of the new Lego LEGO Store. Because it sits at the end of a street, I’ve gone ahead and attached the ATM that’s in the “official” vignette. After all, these products don’t come cheap, as one may note from the $100 bill that Dad has given the store clerk after his daughter has wheedled a sizable purchase. I also have windows on that side on the second and third floor. These are the windows from the vignette, but I’ve copied the design for the window in back.
Rather than a staircase, the store has an elevator, which takes up less room and makes the upper floors more accessible to the mobility-impaired. The ground floor features an expanded pick-a-brick wall, large sets on shelves, polybags in bins, and a life-sized (for Bricksters) minifigure by the rear exit. Rumor has it they’ve installed a hidden camera to catch shoplifters.
The next floor is devoted to the minifigure. Along with some sets (including those for the 18+ builders), the floor features a create-your-own-minifigure kiosk. Shoppers can also watch our town’s puppeteer and minifigure engineer, Jan (which he pronounces “Yon”) produce and paint specialty figures that shoppers can take home. Jan is a talented craftsperson who learned his trade from the finest puppetmakers in his native Slovakia, and he regularly gives demonstrations to school and summer-camp groups in Little Brick Township.
The top floor sells additional building kits and features a mega-city display on a large table to inspire builders young and old. The microscale buildings on the table are meant to look a bit like the ones in Little Brick Township, but since the township is always changing, I took liberties with the display as well. The top floor also contains an outdoor patio and cafe where tired shoppers can rest. Along the wall above the counter is room to display artwork, or maybe tiles from the new Vidiyo theme if they make the cut.
In all, the Modular LEGO Store took me about three full days to build. A lot of people ask me if I’ve ever considered auditioning for the LEGO Masters series. The answer is no. As a builder, I’m simply too slow. The producers of the show don’t give contestants weeks or years to search for the right parts and dismantle and modify the construction if it doesn’t look just right. They don’t care about interior detailing, only how a large construction looks on TV and how spectacular its destruction is at the end. And I don’t intend to destroy my constructions. I’m keeping them here, dusting them from time to time, creating stories and rearranging the minifigures (and sometimes the buildings), and sending my photos to Maddy’s classroom or any other that wants them.