.
Slice of Kid Heaven: Pick-a-Brick at a LEGO Store
In LEGO Heaven at a LEGO Store near Cleveland, Ohio  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/40 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
In LEGO Heaven
at a LEGO Store near Cleveland, Ohio

During our recent trip to The States to visit my folks, 10-year-old Anthony and I stopped by a LEGO store that had a “Pick-a-Brick” wall.

Hand Full of Grass ( which is hard to see in these crappy phone pictures )  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 80 — map & image datanearby photos
Hand Full of Grass
( which is hard to see in these crappy phone pictures )
So Many Choices  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
So Many Choices

With “Pick a Brick”, you pay by the bucket, so the goal is to engineer as much stuff to fit as possible...

Engineering Maximum Fit  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Engineering Maximum Fit

For example, some large white wall pieces had hollow space when stacked, so we worked on filling that space as much as possible...

Assembly Line  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Assembly Line
Tight Fit awaiting matching “cover” wall piece  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Tight Fit
awaiting matching “cover” wall piece
Topped Off in Red  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 80 — map & image datanearby photos
Topped Off in Red

It was a fun challenge, perhaps more fun for me than for Anthony.

LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.4, ISO 64 — map & image datanearby photos
Creating His Own Minifigs  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/25 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Creating His Own Minifigs
Purchases Complete!  --  LEGO Store  --  Beachwood, Ohio, United States  --  Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
iPhone 4S at an effective 35mm — 1/25 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50 — map & image datanearby photos
Purchases Complete!

When we got home to Japan, he opened up his two buckets and we counted how much of each piece he ended up with, and then tallied what it would have cost at the LEGO online store, where he's placed orders before.

Just the aforementioned handful of grass (he ended up with 207 pieces) would have cost $31, which is about what the two buckets cost, so everything else was gravy. In the end, all the stuff in his $30+tax pair of buckets would have cost $201, plus tax plus shipping plus handling. (This says more about how ridiculously expensive LEGO is than how good a deal the Pick-a-Brick is, but what can you do....)

As big a haul as it was, it didn't do much to dampen his hunger for everything LEGO. He's already placed (and received) an order from the Swedish Warehouse19 on a bunch of special parts, along the lines of what he did last year (as chronicled in “Anthony’s LEGO Battle at an Abandoned Castle”).

I recently got a bunch of Plexiglas and foam-core sheets to help with photo lighting (so that I don't have to use a kitchen cutting board as a reflector as I did here), and am planning on using the detailed LEGO pieces from Anthony's Warehouse19 order as practice, if I could only find the time....


Comments so far....

As you mentioned, other than the price, me and my son love Legos. Have you introduced Anthony to the digital designer? I’m trying to teach my son that computers are not just for this low-fi, hipster video game Minecraft but other cool things as well. I’ll find cool images for him using Google Image search and then have him build the item in the Lego Digital Designer.

Thank you for including that Warehouse 19 link, that site has this really cool lego-black market vibe. I’ll enjoy perusing that!

Have you introduced Anthony to Lego hacks (I think they call it SNOT – for Studs Not On Top: http://swooshable.com/snot/) -my son loves these ‘forbidden techniques’.

Yes, he’s done quite a bit in Digital Designer. It’s a well-done app. Had not seen SNOT… will check it out, thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ron Evans on February 13th, 2013 at 11:24am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Great post – brings back memories for me. My family lived in Chagrin Falls from 2008 to 2010. We were at the Beachwood Mall several times, but I do not believe the Lego store was there at that time. Too bad since my son Zach who is now 8 spent a lot of time with Lego’s during those years. Like Ron’s son, Zach now spends time (too much) playing Minecraft and not as much with Lego’s.

We will surely visit the Lego store the next time we go back to visit family in the Cleveland area.

I sure hope you had a chance to get a nice hot plate of Skyline Chili during your trip back home!

Greg

— comment by Greg on February 14th, 2013 at 7:19am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

That is pretty cool :)

I wrote a website where users can update the contents of the Pick A Brick wall for various lego stores. The site is http://www.thelegowall.com/

I used my iphone to inventory the wall at the lego store in Orlando, FL. If you inventory your local store please send me some feedback on how the process works. I tried to make the GUI easy to use from a cell phone so that you can inventory a wall quickly.

— comment by Daniel on June 28th, 2013 at 12:33pm JST (9 months, 23 days ago) comment permalink
Leave a comment...


All comments are invisible to others until Jeffrey approves them.

Please mention what part of the world you're writing from, if you don't mind. It's always interesting to see where people are visiting from.

More or less plain text — see below for allowed markup

You can use the following tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe without commenting