A busy weekend for LEGO-related opening events

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LEGO 'Monobrand' store, BudapestThe Hungarian 'Monobrand' store opened today in Budapest. Brickset user maques arrived 1/2 hour after opening to find it packed out, with hundreds queued outside.

It appears that this is a franchise operation and not run directly by LEGO Brand Retail. However as you can see, it looks just like any other brand store with the PaB wall at the back.

Were you there too? Tell us in the comments what you think of this new store.

 

Then tomorrow, the 6th, LEGOLAND park opens in Malaysia (I think I've got that right... Billund, Windsor, Gunzberg, California, Florida, Malaysia in that order, right?)

It's located in Nusajaya, Iskandar, Malaysia and is 20 minutes' drive from the Senai International Airport in Johor. It features 40 rides and attractions, so says Shuen, who's been to a preview event and will be there again tomorrow.

I remember going to the LEGO Club preview weekend at LEGOLAND Windsor in March 1996. The first year of opening is always the best time to visit a LEGOLAND park, before the models have had a chance to fade and weather, so if you get the opportunity to visit, do so!

It saddens me that much of the miniland models at Windsor are the original 1996 ones and they are in a right state. It's a shame that Merlin doesn't invest in their upkeep rather than opening attractions here, there and everywhere. I guess doing so is hard to justify in terms of return on investment. It's not likely to attract more visitors, is it?

12 comments on this article

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By in United States,

California came before Gunzberg, but otherwise correct.

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By in Hungary,

I was there and it was crazy. There were hundreds of people at least 4-5 hundred, a lot of them with small kids. People waited in line for hours (I was there an hour an a half before the opening and I got out of the store an hour and a half after the opening (which was at 3PM) and I went in only for one set. There's a 10% discount on everything and a store gift for every purchase (both of them only today), I got an 8028 mini TIE fighter and a Darth Vader key chain as gift for purchase. There was a chance to win for the first 100 customers who bought something above a certain limit (5000 huf, which is roughly 23 dollars, or 17 euros atm). The price was for the winner is that he/she can take home 1 set that he/she chose without a price limit (a lot of people wanted the USC Death Star :D ). Unfortunately I didn't win, but it was quite the good event, they got quite a good selection, a pick a brick wall and build your own minifig stand.

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By in Spain,

Just found in the Internet that there is also supposed to be a Lego Monobrand Store in the Domina Shopping Centre in Riga, Latvia (http://www.domina-shopping.lv/en/shop/view/237). I don't know if that is true but for me it seems so. Maybe someone who lives in Riga can confirm this. On the map of the shopping centre the store seems rather small.

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By in United States,

I'm not sure the first year being the best time to visit before the models fade & weather is going to apply to Malaysia. We did an event at Legoland California recently and they had some of the designers who worked for that park there. The indication was that Malaysia's weather was so hot that some of the models were melting and needed replacing even before the park opened. Hopefully they will figure out the best way to protect the models quickly. Otherwise, people will want to go before next summer starts.

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By in United Kingdom,

I happened to drive by Legoland Malaysia on the 5th August 2012. We stopped on the expressway hard shoulder to take these photographs,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilmartin64/sets/72157631536682799/

The developers weren't quite finished but I am sure that they will be before the opening date of 15th September 2012.

I am back in the UK now so will miss the opening :-(

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow six Legoland parks for so long it was only two! I must admit windor's mini land is looking rather worn sixteen years on faded models, broken animations etc/: I do hope they freshen this up for 2013 like they have done with some areas of the park. I hear Duplo land is getting a revamp though.

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By in Denmark,

How are the parks compared? Similar content, attractions, size?Anyone? I've only been to the Billund one.

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By in Australia,

We went to Billund for a holiday a few years ago. Surely they would have had some long standing faded miniland models older than Windsor, but we loved it just the same. It added character to the bricks...

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By in United States,

The order of Legoland openings is actually Billund first, then Windsor in 1996, San Diego in 1999, then Gunzberg in 2002 (?), Florida, and now Malaysia. Only three inhabited continents now lack Legolands...get on it, Merlin Entertainment!

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By in United Kingdom,

Even though the new Legoland is in Malaysia, the location in Johor state is next to Singapore. So if you find yourself in Singapore for a few days, go visit. I can verify after a recent visit, Singapore has no shortage of Lego fans.

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By in Hungary,

I was also there at the Hungarian Monobrand store yesterday afternoon. Actually I arrived 40 minutes late, so I could not see the grand opening event (if there was any), but I was shocked to see hundreds of people queueing in front of the store. Luckily there was a small company of MALUG members somewhere around in the middle of the line, so I joined them, but it took at least an hour to get into the shop.
Basically they had everything of the current LEGO product line, generally sold for RRP. However some small sets were sold for 25% less than RRP, but I have seen magnet sets sold for around 70% more than RRP, either.
The only advantage of this store that they sell exclusive sets, promotional polybags and gears, too.
The Pick-A-Brick wall was not a good deal, they sell quite general parts, and veeeery expensive. 6000 HUF for approximately a liter - that's not for me.
The build-a-mini wall is interesting, you can build a custom minifig with accessory for 600 HUF, or 3 for 1600 HUF. There were some rare torso and leg assemblies, too, but the selection was not too rich.
I bought 9 minifigs and some small seasonal sets, like 850487 Halloween Accessory set and 853340 Wedding Favor Set, both for 1990 HUF, 40048 Birthday Cake and 40029 Valentine's Day Box, both for 499 HUF and 40010 Santa with Sleigh Building set for 999 HUF. I got also a free Harry Potter keychain. In addition on the first day everything was 10% off, but in my opinion no more sets were wort it, even with this 10% discount.
Another shocking experience: There was another hour of queueing to get to the checkout desk, there are only two cash registers. For a normal day they are ok, but on a day like this it was too few.
After all it was a unique experience, however this store is not for me, because of its prices.

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By in Malaysia,

Me being the biggest LEGO freak in the family , its ironic my whole family EXCEPT me went to LEGOland Malaysia there during its prelaunch last month. Jus sayin' :P

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