Review: LEGO stores

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Early December is an odd time of year here at Brickset Towers. The busy Black Friday period is behind us and we're patiently waiting to lay our hands on next year's sets to review. That means I've had time to build a few MISB sets that have been gathering dust in the corner of my LEGO room this week.

I started with 75230 Porg (I loved the way the organic shape and feathery texture have been captured) and 40306 LEGOLAND Castle (a great little microscale set that's packed with details) before finding 40145 LEGO Brand Retail Store from 2015 lurking near the bottom of the pile.

So, I thought I'd crack open the seals and get it built at last. Having done so I thought I might as well build this year's 40305 LEGO Brand Store as well, then see if there's any merit in writing an article about LEGO sets depicting LEGO stores.

So, here goes...


3300003 LEGO Brand Retail Store (2012)

This one was given away at brand store grand opening events. It's a very modern looking glass-fronted building modelled in microscale.

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The roof comes off to reveal the interior and the ceiling lighting made to look like the underside of a brick, as seen in most real brand stores.

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Everything you'd expect to see in a brand store is present: pick-a-brick wall, boxes on shelves, till, and window displays.

View image at flickr


5001622 LEGO Store Employee (2013)

This polybag containing a store worker minifig was a gift with purchase towards the end of 2013. I do have one I haven't opened it so you'll make to make do with a picture of the bag.


60050 Train Station (2014)

Sets featuring LEGO stores have been tagged for your (and my) convenience and when I first saw 60050 Train Station in the list I thought there was some mistake, given I don't own it. But having checked the additional images, sure enough, there's a small kiosk in the station.


40145 LEGO Brand Retail Store (2015)

This more substantial stand-alone model was also given away at brand store grand opening events, and I obtained mine when the Leicester Square shop opened in 2016. It's been languishing in my 'to be built' pile ever since, which is a shame because it's a really nice, and substantial, model.

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Like 3300003, it's also a very modern-looking building, with a cool Ollie the dragon busting out of the top. I reckon it's probably more likely to be a unit in an indoor shopping centre than a building on the street.

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The side wall is hinged which provides access to the interior. Once again everything you'd expect to find inside a brand store is present and correct.

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It comes with a single minifig, a female shopper, carrying what its clearly a LEGO carrier bag. It's a shame a sticker hasn't been used for the logo rather than a tile.

View image at flickr


60097 City Square (2015)

Among the myriad buildings and vehicles in 2015's mega-City set was a LEGO brand store. It looks a bit plain from the front but the interior is full of the details we've come to expect.


40178 Exclusive VIP Set (2017)

This set was also gift-with purchase, for LEGO VIPs at shop.LEGO.com. We reviewed it last year. Despite its diminutive size, the designer has still managed to pack in the PaB wall, shelves laden with boxes and many of LEGO stores other features.

View image at flickr


40305 LEGO Brand Store (2018)

This set is new this year and is available for sale, rather than being a gift with purchase, in brand stores, shop.LEGO.com, and LEGOLAND parks. CapnRex101 reviewed it back in June but I thought I'd take a few pictures of it anyway for good measure.

Like many recent Creator buildings it's a 'mini modular' that can be aligned with others in the series and reconfigured easily.

View image at flickr

Perhaps the most surprising detail is the ATM on the side. Why would anyone need an ATM right next to a LEGO store, I wonder?

View image at flickr

The two storeys of the building provides plenty of space for internal details, including a build-a-minifig station on the first floor.

Interestingly, the sticker sheet containing box front images and the LEGO logo for the shop sign is the same as that in 2015's 40145 LEGO Brand Retail Store.

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The door and some windows are designed to be removed which allows them to be rearranged.

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Here's a version with the door on the end.

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The set comes with two minifigures: an AFOL and his son. The son is dragged into the store just so the staff think dad's buying stuff for him and not for himself :-)

View image at flickr


40145 LEGO Brand Retail Store is easily my favourite of the bunch: it's neat, compact, and contains everything you'd expect to see in store. If it came with a store employee as well as a shopper it would have been even better.

Now all we need is a full-sized modular building version. I'm sure we'll see one eventually...

How many do you own? Which is your favourite?

37 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

I had 40305 in my hand the other day, then ended up buying he Parisian Restaurant instead...

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By in Netherlands,

For 2019 I wish you and the Brickset team much more (free) time to do little reviews like the above! Really enjoyed it!

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By in United States,

That is awesome! I didn't realize there were so many different stores!

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By in United States,

Lego stores selling lego sets of lego stores selling lego sets. How ironic!

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By in United States,

I have the train station that includes the minature store, that's about it!

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By in United States,

Great review! A couple weeks ago I found the last store at my...well...local Lego store...

I thought it was great. I thought it was interesting how the walls on the side were simply slid in instead of being attached with studs, which was like the door which was only connected by two studs, which caused it to be somewhat unstable. Wished it would have came with a Lego store employee, though. Now kids have the run of the shop with no one to pay for their Lego sets! And also I would have preferred printed bricks for the miniature sets instead of stickers, but such is life.

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By in United States,

I totally agree with a modular Lego store. Perhaps modeled after one of the ones at Downtown Disney. Maybe someone should try it on ideas? Or maybe they already have. I don't always pay attention to those things...

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By in Denmark,

A great Survey Huw. I have precisely NONE of these, and feel a little poorer for it, but I feel no real need to chase them down. If we get a LEGO Brand Retail Store in Melbourne though, you can be sure I'll do my best to get in the queue for it!

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By in Germany,

And there's the LEGO store picture frame 40359 next year. With employee.

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By in France,

I really wish one day I will have so many sets at home that I won't even have time enough to build them all, and even loose the count of them! Joke apart, nice sets, love all the details and colors, and good review again thank you. The cash machine can be ironically interpreted.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Right you are, I hadn't noticed that one. I see it uses the same sticker sheet as the last two!

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By in United States,

An AFOL’s worst nightmare....an ATM right outside a LEGO store.

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By in Canada,

A survey? Guess my computer isn't showing me all the details. Bummer

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By in United Kingdom,

I can think of some honourable mentions to add: 5005358 Minifigure Factory contains a LEGO employee and 10255 Assembly Square, 71021 Classic Police Officer and 71021 Birthday Party Boy all contain printed tiles representing lego sets

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By in United States,

I didn't realize 40178 came out last year. I got one at my nearest store free with a $40 purchase about a month ago. I'm surprised they still had some. And I know they didn't have them my visit there a few months before that.

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By in United States,

ALSO: AFOLs (I figured out what that stands for on my own just now :) ) don't need ATMs connected to LEGO stores to get in trouble these days....especially since they take Apple Pay. Just a couple of magical clicks to the Apple watch and bye bye money!!

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By in United States,

I own all of them, and I really like the VIP card one.

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By in United Kingdom,

If the train station counts then so should 60132 City Service Station from 2016 which has a few sets for sale and a poster board outside.

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By in Germany,

That poor little ATM is going to get drained at least twice a day.

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By in Norway,

I have all, most of them in multiple copies, except for the first one. *Knuug*

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By in Canada,

That was a great little overview; thanks for doing it. [email protected] in Canada does not have 40305. Actually there are several sets you can get in the UK S2H that we can't get here in Canada using [email protected] It,s a shame as Canada is huge and a lot of us live far away from Lego stores (over 1000 km in my case). It would be interesting to learn more about why certain sets are available in some places and not other places. There has gotta be a good reason because we all know they wanna sell sets...and the AFOL community wants to buy them! Thanks again!

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By in United States,

Thanks for the interesting read! It's fun to see the history of Lego brand store sets, and would love to see more arcticles like this!

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By in Australia,

I picked up 40305 this year, and I really like it, I think it's cute and well-designed, and fits the line of town buildings (like the cafe and bike shop, corner deli, or Park Street townhouse).

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By in United States,

Great article! Nice to see these all together for quick comparison.

I have 3 copies of 40305 to build into a standard modular sized version. I imagine 3 will give me a decent start, along with other loose bricks. I have 40178 Exclusive VIP Set which is pretty cool, and will come in handy incorporating that into a larger modular version. But 40145 is one of my favorite little sets. There’s a review here on the site I did on it a couple years ago when I got one after a new store opened locally. It felt very cool opening and building a set that was pretty rare and expensive on the aftermarket.

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By in United States,

^ I'm planning on doing the same. So far, I've bought one of 3-4 sets I want to use. I wish they came with a Lego store employee, but I'll at least have one from the VIP to run the place for me...maybe more by the time I get around to doing this.

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By in Sweden,

Further sets containing printed tiles with Lego sets include 60197, 60169 and 60204. Then there is of course the Lego trucks, with 3221 unfortunately using stickers for the cargo.

As for that ATM, surely they accept card payments too?

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By in United States,

I believe that's Brickley in 40145, not Ollie.

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By in Turkey,

If you are featuring the LEGO Store in the Train Station, don't forget the mini store in 60132 Service Station:
https://brickset.com/sets/60132

Also, I believe that the LEGO Trucks (the one in the City Square and the one in the LEGO Truck set) are also worth mentioning. They are great display pieces along with the LEGO Stores - e.g. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bl3aDdDgz6n

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By in United Kingdom,

"Interestingly, the sticker sheet containing box front images and the LEGO logo for the shop sign is the same as that in 2015's 40145 LEGO Brand Retail Store."
Now that's good to know! I wanted 40145 and now I can build my own :)

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By in United States,

Classic AFOL stunt at the end.

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By in United States,

I've only got two of the ones on the list (the latest one and the VIP one). I haven't managed to build either of them so I have to defer to folks with hands-on experience. Lol.

I'm glad that you included some of the sets that have stores within larger contexts. It is great to have a broader perspective than the 2-3 stand-alone sets. Maybe someone will take your idea and submit a modular LEGO megastore to LEGO Ideas!

It would also be cool to see a similar article about the factory sets like https://brickset.com/sets/5005358-1/Minifigure-Factory and https://brickset.com/sets/4000001-1/Moulding-Machines for the inside views or https://brickset.com/sets/4000023-1/Jiaxing-Factory-2016 for the outside view.

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By in United States,

I absolutely love these themed retrospective articles. Always an interesting read.

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By in United Kingdom,

Maybe the ATM exists to help teach children the value of money. They get given their spend for the day so they need to figure out which sets they want the most within their budget.

At first I thought that doesn't really help the store's profits, but if some children are too greedy and demanding for their parents to tolerate they might just leave the store without buying anything.

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By in Australia,

One thin i found interesting is that the 2018 set can fit with the creator 3 in 1 modular building ( 2017-2018)

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By in United States,

Love this article!

@huw I think that's actually a new sticker sheet in the picture frame.

@tallblocktoo Not that kind of survey.

@CountessBrickula 40178 has been available several times over the past year or two (at least here in the US) as part of several different promotional timeframes. I've seen it free with a purchase on at least three different occasions.

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By in Canada,

What about the store included in 7848 Toys R Us City Truck?? Technically it's a TRU store yes, but it sells Lego product!

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