LEGO at Barnes and Noble

I’m always interested in how LEGO is portrayed and sold in other stores outside of the official LEGO retail stores. I’m lucky enough to have had a LEGO retail store open up in my area in the past year, which means no more sporadic trips to the LEGO stores in Houston or Dallas when I’m visiting family and friends there.

Now of course, I’ve got plenty of Targets, Wal-Marts, even Sears, in my area, with plenty of LEGO sets to choose from. I can’t forget Toys R Us as well – have a couple of those.

There is one place that has quite a few LEGO sets available, as well as some nice displays, that often gets overlooked, and they happen to carry LEGO-related items that the other non-LEGO retail stores don’t necessarily carry.

I’m of course referring to Barnes and Noble. I visit the one in south Austin occasionally, and this time around I decided to take some photos of their LEGO sets and displays, because I don’t think most people realize what all they have – they aren’t just selling books, magazines, food and movies/music. They’ve been adding a toy and hobby section, and the one I visit has quite a bit of LEGO-related items. The store I’m referring to, they obviously have put some effort into the LEGO displays – I’m not familiar with other stores, but I am impressed with this one.

Some notes/observations:
* The main LEGO display was fairly prominent – it had it’s own little dedicated section in the middle of the toys and hobby section.
* The LEGO alarm clock/flashlights were in another part of the toys & hobby section.
* The LEGO games and the LEGO Architecture displays were next to one another, however they were off in the game section of Barnes & Noble and weren’t near the main LEGO display. They were still easy to find.
* I did a really poor job of taking photos of the LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Star Wars stuff!

LEGO items and lines I saw:
* LEGO Architecture – Empire State Building, Sears Tower, John Hancock Center, Fallingwater, Guggenheim Museum, White House
* LEGO Games – Pirate Code, Robo Champ, Magikus, Minotaurs, Ramses Pyramid, Creationary, Race 300, Dragon, Harry Potter/Hogwarts
* LEGO Accessories – flashlights, nightlights, alarm clocks, pens, keychains
* LEGO Books – Minifig stickers, Star Wars Visual Dictionary
* LEGO Atlantis (a nice mix!)
* LEGO City
* LEGO Creator
* LEGO Kingdoms
* LEGO Star Wars (both original and Clone Wars)
* LEGO Technic
* LEGO Toy Story
* The beginner LEGO tubs
* Duplo

Anyways, here are some photos of the various LEGO displays in our favorite B&N. I apologize for the poor picture quality – I’m not using a flash in a store, and I’m not the steadiest of hands when it comes to photo taking. You can click on any of them to take you to a larger version at flickr.

LEGO Displays at Barnes & Noble (South Austin)

LEGO Displays at Barnes & Noble (South Austin)

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LEGO Toy Story 7591 Construct-a-Zurg Special Edition Review

It’s ‘Black Friday’ here in the US, and while it’s late in the day, you may still be able to find the set below for under $20.

This is one of the greatest sets ever. This is not a joke. This is not just so I can get you folks to run out there, and give LEGO money for a set that cannot be used with any other ones they put out just because I said it was a good set. About the only thing this set can do for kids is to satisfy their need to beat up the Construct-a-Buzz companion set, or use it as a giant Zurg running amok in the Woody’s Roundup set (actually, that sounds pretty cool). Using this Zurg to hang out and drink tea with Bionicle, Ben 10, and Hero factory characters is another use for him. For me, this set just looks very, very cool sitting next to Shockwave (from Transformers) on the shelf above my desk. I’m sure that they have a lot to talk about being that they’re both evil, purple robots.

LEGO-7591-Zurg-Complete

Zurg’s articulation is limited just like in the Toy Story movies. LEGO Zurg spins at the waist, and his head does the same movement. The cape is standard LEGO stiff cloth, but the thing is huge. Zurg stands roughly 9 inches tall, and is 118 pieces strong. A claw machine alien minifig is also included, and accounts for three of the total pieces.

By the Numbers:
Set: LEGOToy Story 7591 Construct-a-Zurg
Year of Release: January 2010
Type: Character in the Toy Story series
# of Pieces: 118
# of Extra pieces: 6
# of Minifigs and what kind: 1 Alien
Stickers? None
Price: $24.99 / £19.99
Where to Buy? Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Ages: 7-14
Time to Complete:

Box Art:

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LEGO at the London Toy Fair

Update: February 14, 2010: Photos of the 2010 LEGO Harry Potter sets are available. Huw over at Brickset attended the London Toy Fair today to look at LEGO’s upcoming offerings. No photography was allowed unfortunately. Huw made plenty of observations on the displayed sets. A few notes on Huw’s observations: … Read more