LEGO Store Notes

I had a chance to visit a LEGO store north of Dallas (the The Stonebriar Centre/Frisco LEGO Store) and in addition to the calendar I picked up yesterday that mentioned LEGO Atlantis: The Movie coming out in a few weeks, I took a look around at the sets available as well as spoke with a few people, and made a few notes:

1) The only Indiana Jones sets and Spongebob Squarepants sets I saw were returns and went fast.
2) Quite a few King’s Battle Chariot’s (7078) were available, along with some Troll Battle Packs, but very little else (if anything) from the Castle series. Guess they are making way for LEGO Kingdoms later this year when it replaces Castle.
3) Some good deals to be had on a few Pirate sets – I think I got the last Pirates Battle Pack (for $10.98) and there were quite a few 8396 Soldier’s Arsneal for $2.48 which is a really good deal. Like Castle, it’s pretty clear they are going away for a while. What’s unclear is what’s going to replace them – Pirates of the Caribbean?
4) No matter how hard I try to pack a Pick-A-Brick cup (large), I always leave a few gaps that are glaringly obvious afterward.
5) LEGO Store employees have a thankless task – I saw two kids that were filling their free box, the one you get if you buy $75 or more before Christmas, and they were overfilling them and just having a blast, happily spilling LEGO pieces everywhere from PAB. Just grabbing handfuls of pieces and adding them to the box that was already spilling pieces. A LEGO Store employee had to literally sweep up several dozen pieces just from one girl. No parent in sight of course. I imagine that happens quite a bit.
6) As for the 10199 Winter Toy Shop, none available, which makes three stores I know of that are out.
7) Saw very few older sets – saw plenty of the new sets we and others have already covered. I’m wondering what will be available this Friday in addition to the Imperial Flagship. I’m also seeing this at non-LEGO retail stores such as Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Target, etc. I’ve seen a lot of steeply discounted sets from Castle, Pirates, Spongebob, and Indiana Jones.

The most important news I think, besides the confirmation of the LEGO Atlantis: The Movie bit, was that the 10210 Imperial Flagship will be in stores and available on January 1st (Friday). Employees were very confident about this.

Update: Now available – 10210 Imperial Flagship at