Visiting Billund for LEGO Fans

[From the questions: What else is there to see and do for the LEGO Fan in Billund other than LEGOLAND? Why should I visit Billund?]

Background

Billund is a small town in the Jutland region of Denmark. It’s where LEGO was first developed and created and is some what of a Mecca for hard-core LEGO Fans. Many LEGO fans are drawn to the town because of the LEGOLAND theme park but there are many more LEGO themed things to see and do around the town.

 

LEGOLAND

LLBillundlogo

One of the primary reasons for visiting Billund is to go to the LEGOLAND theme park. The park is primarily aimed at children but there’s still lots of fun things to see and do for adults in the park.

The Rides

Apart from the fun of being on a ride, the main reason to go on the rides is see the LEGO sculptures that may not otherwise be visible. This is particularly true of the Polar X-plorer, the Vikings River Splash, the Pirate Boats, the LEGO Canoe rides. The Mini Boats and LEGO Safari also provide close ups of the LEGO models though these are mostly visible from outside the rides.  There is quite a variety of rides from the sedate monorail or LEGOTOP to the high speed Polar X-plorer and X-treme Racers. 

Shopping

LEGO is not cheap in Denmark. For the most part it’s not good value for money to purchase large sets at LEGOLAND but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things you could purchase. Apart from the two shops near the entrance, there are smaller, thematic shops spread around the park and these are often worth looking at as they sometimes have unique souvenirs that cannot be purchased elsewhere in LEGOLAND. It might be an engraved lunch box, a mug with your name on it or a piece of themed LEGO wear – every small store has something special. There is also a discount store located between the Big Shop and the LEGOLAND hotel entrance. Don’t expect too much of a bargain, however, as it’s mostly clothing and novelty items.

Miniland

Every LEGOLAND has its own Miniland and they are all quite different. Sure, there will be some buildings that you will see in more than one park but every Miniland is a reflection of its location has something unique that can only be seen at that park. Highlights of LEGOLAND Billund includes the working lock in the Switzerland section, the Nyhavn section of Copenhagen and the buildings styled on the original Miniland buildings. A fantastic overview of Miniland can be seen from the LEGOTOP ride.

Additional information

Miniland has thousands of tiny lights inside the buildings, the trains and streetlights. They are lit up at night and it adds a whole new dimension to the display. Worth seeing it you are there on a late opening night or staying at the LEGOLAND hotel.

Entry to the park is free from around thirty minutes before closing. The rides will probably be closed by then but you’ll be able to visit the stores and look around Miniland.

There is a lovely sculpture dedicated to LEGO and play located on the left hand side of the park entrance.

legosculpture2

 

LEGOLAND Hotel

The ultimate place to stay in Billund is the LEGOLAND Hotel. The hotel is decorated throughout with LEGO theming and features a number of themed hotel rooms and play areas. Some of the rooms over look the LEGOLAND park and you can have the fun of watching it come to life (or close down at night).  There is also a small LEGO store located just inside the hotel foyer.

 

LEGOLAND Holiday Village

Part of the Billund Holiday Resort, the LEGOLAND Holiday Village provides options for families on a budget. LEGO themed rooms are available in the motel section or there is the option to stay in cabins or in your own tent or caravan. Scattered throughout the park are LEGO sculptures and it is a delight to walk through the grounds to find them all. The small store at the front of the Holiday Village sells LEGO along with other goods you might need for your holiday.

wolf at LLvillage

 

Town Centre

The Ideas House/Ole Kirk Christiansen House

Ole kirk House2

The Ideas House features a small museum of the history of LEGO products from their wooden toy beginning through to the modern era.  The display starts in the house that once belonged to Ole Kirk Christiansen, the original founder of the LEGO company and continues into a concrete building that appears to feature LEGO studs on its outside walls. Though the display is primarily for employees and not generally open to the public, you can view some of the historical pieces through the windows of the house and in the window displays in the concrete section. Viewing of these display alone often prompts exclamations of “I think I had that set!” and “I always wanted that set!”.

The LEGO House

Located across the road from The Ideas House is the construction site for The LEGO House. This building is expected to open in 2017 and will feature interactive zones, a museum and eating establishments.  Although you cannot enter the site whilst construction is in progress, there is a viewing platform from where you can see all of the activity. A model of the finished building is currently located in the departures area of the Billund Airport.

legohouse2

Shopping in Billund

Apart from the LEGO store in the departures area of Billund Airport and the stores at LEGOLAND and the LEGOLAND Hotel, there is no easily accessible dedicated LEGO store in Billund. There are, however, a number of places from where you can purchase LEGO if you haven’t quite had your buying fix.

Monky Tonky Factory at Lalandia

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Lalandia is an experience in itself with its water park, restaurants, bowling alley, ice skating rink, stores and other assorted activities. Within the retail area can be found the Monky Tonky Factory which sells a wide range of LEGO and sometimes features discounts on discontinued sets. There is also a LEGO sculpture of the store mascot. There is no fee to enter Lalandia and access the store.

LEGO House model

legohousemodel3

This is a limited edition LEGO model only available during the construction of the LEGO House. It is currently only available from most stores in Billund but is not available at LEGOLAND.

Supermarkets

On occasion, LEGO sets and LEGO branded/licensed items have been found in the supermarkets in Billund. Probably only worth checking if you have some spare time.

Billund Airport

Green LEGO sculpture

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Installed in 2003, the green LEGO sculpture hanging from the ceiling at the Billund Airport goes by the name of “I was the one who gave permission to a slight degree of planting but after the holidays everything seems to have turned green” and was donated to the airport by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. It took just over a year to build and contains over 780 kilograms of LEGO.

LEGO Store

Billund airport model

Within the departures area of the Billund Airport can be found a LEGO store and this is your final opportunity to purchase LEGO products before leaving the home of LEGO. A limited edition LEGO set of the Billund Airport is currently available from this store an, apart from on the secondary market, this is the only location from where this set can be purchased.

 

Visiting Brisbane for LEGO Fans

[From the questions: Where can I buy LEGO in Brisbane? What is there is see and do LEGO-wise in Brisbane? Are there any LEGO specialty stores in Brisbane? Are there any LEGO themed play centres in Brisbane? Where is the LEGO Certified Store?]

Stores and centres

Bricks 4 Kids

B4Klogo2

Bricks 4 kids is a LEGO themed franchise that operates across Australia. They run birthday parties, workshops and after school and holiday programs for children using LEGO bricks. Their location varies according to the activity. Details of their current workshops and activities can be found at their website or on their Facebook page.

 

Bricks n Fun

Bricks_n_Fun_logo_2

Bricks n Fun considers itself to be Brisbane’s number 1 LEGO specialty store. It’s a big claim but they do have an impressive set up. Not only do they have a great range of current LEGO sets but they also have a large selection of loose parts available to purchase. They also operate a Bricklink store. At the back of the store they have a large LEGO display featuring a city with trains, display of the history of LEGO and working Technic models. The Build Room features a variety of new and old sets that can be built for a small fee and is available for bookings for children’s parties. Bricks n Fun can be found on Facebook. The team behind Bricks n Fun also coordinate the popular Brick Events LEGO Fan displays in Brisbane and regional areas.

Location: Shop D, 1 Finucane Road, Capalaba, 4157

Opening Hours: Mon-Tues: 1300 – 1700, Wed-Sat: 0900 – 1700, Sun: 1000 – 1600

 

Building Block Studio

BBS logo2

Building Block Studio is a family run modern learning activity centre that specialises in LEGO but also caters for interests in 3D printing, coding and electronics. The centre runs school holiday programs and workshops but is also available for drop in LEGO play and birthday parties. Drop in play may not be available during school holiday time. Further details can be found at either their website or their Facebook page.

Location: 75 Rainbow Street, Sandgate, Queensland, 4017

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 1000 – 1700, Sat: 0930 – 1400. Drop  in play may not be available during school holidays

 

LEGO Certified Store (opening November 2016)

LEGO_logo

Australia’s first LEGO Certified Store will be located at the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast about an hours drive south of Brisbane. It is likely to feature a Pick a Brick wall along with store exclusives and hard to find items. As a Certified Store, it does not support the VIP program.

Location: Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera, Queensland 4209

Opening Hours: (not yet open)

 

The LEGO Education Learning Centre

Moore_Educational

Moore Educational is a long established centre for LEGO education in Brisbane. They provide workshops for both teachers and students as well as birthday parties and school holiday activities. . LEGO Education sets, LEGO merchandise and regular LEGO sets are available from their website and their store in South Brisbane. Details of their activities can be found on the website or on their Facebook page.

Location: 2/78 Merivale Street, South Brisbane, 4101

Opening hours: Tues-Fri: from 1000, Sat: 1000 – 1500, closed Sunday and public holidays, open Mondays during the school holidays. Opening hours may vary depending on the days activities.

 

Switch Bricks

switchbrickslogo

Switch Bricks is a pop-up play centre and LEGO display based in Ipswich. It operates during the school holidays and provides two daily sessions of LEGO-based play.  The sessions are aimed at children and adults may only attend if accompanied by children. Details of their sessions and other up-to-date news can be found on their Facebook page and website.

Location: The Amare Centre, Sacred Heart Primary School, 25 Cothill Road, Booval, Ipswich

Opening hours: Two daily sessions during the QLD school holidays, 0900 – 1200 and 1300 – 1600.

 

Other things to see and do

Ryan McNaught (The Brickman) Models

hospitalmodel

Brisbane has its own Ryan McNaught models which can be found at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. The LEGO models were originally on display at the old Royal Children’s Hospital and the Mater Children’s Hospital whilst the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital was under construction. They were moved to their current location once construction was completed and the two hospitals were merged.

Location: 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, 4101

 

BrisBricks

Brisbrickslogo2

BrisBricks is one of  two LEGO fan groups based in Brisbane. The group holds regular meetings on the second Saturday of most months except January, June and October.  They also hold popular LEGO Fan displays in June and October. Details can be found on their website, Facebook group or Facebook page.

 

QLUG

QLUG logo

The other LEGO fan group, the Queensland LEGO User Group (QLUG) has the primary purpose of connecting people in more remote areas of Queensland through social media. Their initiative has lead to the creation of a number of regional LUGs that now have their own meetings and events. They have irregular social gatherings but are likely to organise one if a visiting AFOL is in town. QLUG members participate in Brisbane-based and regional displays coordinated by Brick Events. Details of upcoming events can be found on either the QLUG Facebook group or on their webpage.

 

Visiting Melbourne for LEGO Fans

[From the questions: Are there any independent LEGO stores in Melbourne? What is there LEGO related to do in Melbourne? Where can I see some of Ryan McNaught’s work in Melbourne?]

updated 28th June 2016

Melbourne is a cosmopolitan, multi-cultural city in the South Eastern Australian state of Victoria. There is an active AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO) community and it is home to Australia’s only LEGO Certified Professional (LCP), Ryan McNaught. Here are just some of the things that might be of interest to a visiting AFOL.

Stores and Centres

Bricktastic Parties

Bricktastic logo

Bricktastic LEGO themed parties are now available from Pop Toys in Brighton. Although aimed at children aged 4-9, you might be able to persuade them to allow you to have your own party at their venue. Information regarding their party offerings can be found at the Pop Toys webpage.

Location: 399 Bay Street, North Brighton,

Opening hours: Tues – Fri: 1100 – 1700, Sat: 1000 – 1500

Build and Play

build and play

Build and Play (formerly Agent Bricks) has widened their stock and no longer deals in just recent and retired LEGO sets. Their stock now covers Mega Bloks, Meccano, board games and Pop Vinyl figures. A popular feature of the store is their “Pick a Brick” and “Build a minifig” selection. The associated Bricklink store is now called The Walking Brick and is operated at a separate location to the main store. Build and Play can also be found on  Facebook where they list regular specials.

Location: 5 Barlyn Road, Mount Waverley, 3149

Opening hours: Wed-Sat: 10:30 – 16:30, Sun: 11:00 – 15:00

I’m Rick James Bricks

imrickjamesbricks

Originally located in Traralgon, I’m Rick James Bricks is now located in Pakenham and is in its 5th year of operation. Rick mostly stocks new LEGO sets along with Brick Arms. There is also a popular Pick a Brick section where you can buy new bulk LEGO bricks. The store can also be found on  Facebook.

Location: 85 Treloar Lane, Pakenham, Victoria 3810

Opening hours: Tues–Fri: 10:00 – 17:00, Sat: 10:00 – 16:00, Sun: 11:00 – 16:00

Inside the Brick

ITBlogo2

Inside the Brick is described as a Social Enterprise and specialises in providing activities for children impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders. Their studio is open for casual play sessions, Brick Club activities and birthday parties. They also run sessions for those who wish to improve their LEGO building techniques. Check out their Facebook page for details of their upcoming exhibitions and special events.

Location: 70 Station Street, Fairfield, 3078

Opening hours: Tues-Fri: 10:00 – 17:00, Sat: 9:00 – 17:00, Sun: 10:00 – 17:00

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre (Opening late 2016)

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Slated to open in late 2016, the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre will be located at Chadstone Shopping Centre. It is expected to be set up similar to other Discovery Centres and may have a shop selling LEGO products.

Location: Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone, 3148

Opening hours: Not yet open

The LEGO Education Learning Centre (Moore Educational)

Moore_Educational

Moore Educational is a long established centre for LEGO education in Melbourne. They provide workshops for both teachers and students as well as birthday parties and “Sunday Fun Days”. LEGO Education sets, LEGO merchandise and regular LEGO sets are available from their website and their store in Docklands.

Location: 5/439 Docklands Drive, Waterfront City, Docklands, 3008

Opening hours: Tues-Sat: 10:00 – 15:00, Sun: 10:00 – 14:00
(hours may change due to school workshop schedules)

Myer Melbourne

myerlogo

Myer is a well-known department store in Australia. Many of their stores in the capital cities, like Melbourne, feature special LEGO displays and are worth visiting just to see the unique models. The Melbourne City store features local icons rendered in LEGO bricks by Ryan McNaught and his team. There is also a good range of LEGO sets available to purchase.

Location: Melbourne City, 314-336 Bourke St, Melbourne, 3000

Opening hours: Mon-Wed: 9:00 – 19:00, Thurs-Fri: 9:00 – 21:00, Sat: 9:00 – 19:00, Sun: 10:00 – 19:00

Shop for Me

Shopforme

Shopforme is an independent LEGO store that specialises in providing a “Daily Blitz” special offer at 11am. They have three store locations as well as a popular website. Stock varies between stories so worth contacting the stores ahead of time to check availability. Their Coburg venue also offers birthday parties on weekends. Shopforme can also be found on Facebook.

Brunswick Store

Location: 506 Lygon Street,  Brunswick East, 3057

Opening hours: Mon-Wed: Closed, Thurs-Fri: 11:00 – 17:00, Sat-Sun: 11:00 – 16:00

Coburg Store

Location: 23 Dawson Street, Coburg, 3058

Opening hours: Sat-Sun: 11:00 – 16:00

South Melbourne Market Store

Location: South Melbourne Market, Aisle B, Shop 61, 322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne, 3205

Opening hours: Wed: 8:00 – 16:00, Fri: 8:00 – 17:00, Sat-Sun: 8:00 – 16:00

ToyBricks.com.au

toybricks

Toy Bricks.com.au operates within Inside the Brick (see above) and has a comprehensive range of new stock along with some retired/collectable item. They also sell the Life Lites brick lighting system, train track, clothing and books. Individual minifigs can be purchased along with items from a “Pick a Brick” style wall. Toy Bricks is also associated with the OzBricks Bricklink store and any online orders placed there are be collected from the Fairfield location. Toybricks.com.au can also  be found on Facebook.

Location: 70 Station St, Fairfield, Australia 3078

Opening hours: Tues-Fri: 10:00 – 17:00, Sat: 9:00 – 17:00, Sun: 10:00 – 17:0

Other items of interest

Brickvention

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Brickvention is Australia’s premier LEGO fan event and it is held every January at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton. Public Expo tickets are usually available from the start of October. Such is the popularity of Brickvention that it attracts AFOLs from all over Australia and overseas to attend the event. Further information is available from the website.

Melbourne LEGO User Group (MUGs)

MUGs LOGO 1

The Melbourne LEGO User Group (MUGs) was first established in 2000 and has been meeting regularly ever since. It is an active community with many members both within Melbourne and the wider Victorian community. Meetings are free to attend and are held on the second Sunday of the month in two alternate locations. In addition to monthly meetings, there are also special events held throughout the year. Check the Facebook group for more information.

The Melbourne Class W2 Tram Model

melbourne tram

The Melbourne Tram model was constructed many years ago and has travelled to a number of locations across Victoria. The model consists of over 7500 bricks and took nearly 180 hours to build. Although the model needs a little bit of TLC, it is quite unique and worth visiting if you are in the area.

Location: Myer Northland, 2-50 Murray Road East, Preston, 3072

Opening hours: Mon-Wed: 9:00 – 17:30, Thurs -Fri: 9:00 – 21:00, Sat: 9:00 – 17:30: Sun: 10:00 – 17:00

Ryan McNaught (The Brickman) Models

Ryan McNaught is Australia’s only LEGO Certified Professional and is responsible for many of the LEGO sculptures seen around Australia. If you are interested in seeing some of his work whilst visiting Melbourne, these are some of the more accessible locations.

Melbourne Star Model

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Based on the design of the actual observation wheel, this model can be found in the gift shop at the base of the Melbourne Star in Docklands.

Location: 101 Waterfront Way, Docklands, 3008 (near Costco)

Opening hours: Daily from: 10:00 – 22:00 (subject to weather conditions)

Toyworld Southland

TobyToyworld hotdogguy giraffes3

Toby the Toyworld mascot features in this display at Toyworld in the Southland Shopping Centre. He is currently located in the front window of the store. There is also a side window display which features a large minifigure with a hotdog and a large yellow LEGO brick that were also constructed by Ryan and his team. The two Duplo-style giraffes in the same display were constructed overseas.

Location: Toyworld, Level 2, Shop 2060, Southland Shopping Centre, Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham, 3192

Opening hours: Mon-Wed: 9:00 – 17:30, Thurs – Fri: 9:00 – 21:00, Sat: 9:00 – 17:00, Sun: 10:00 – 17:00

Myer Melbourne

(see listing above)

 

LEGO instructions

[From the questions: Where can I get hold of replacement instructions? Where can I get ideas to build other stuff? Where can I get copies of the instructions I had as a child?]

There may be times when you need to locate a copy of a set of LEGO instructions. Reasons vary – your existing ones may be damaged or lost; you want to recreate a set from your childhood; or you wish to build a set from parts.

Finding Original LEGO Instructions

From where you source these instructions is dependent on whether you are happy to read a PDF or prefer to read the instructions in the original paper format.

If you prefer to use the original paper instructions, your best bet is to purchase a copy via an online marketplace like Bricklink or Brick Owl. You can find both recent and vintage instructions for most themes. There is also a chance someone in your local LUG or Buy/Sell/Swap/Trade group on Facebook may have a copy they can sell or give to you. Not everyone keeps the instructions and many people are happy to see them go to a good home rather than the recycling bin.

PDF copies of instructions may be acquired from a number of different sites. It’s worthwhile bookmarking a couple of the different sites because they don’t always have everything and, sometimes, the files may not work on one page but do on another.

Popular sites include:

  • LEGO Website – perfect for any set produced after 2002. Search for the set number on their Customer Service page. PDF downloads are available
  • Brickinstructions.com – has a reasonable selection of sets going back to the mid-1960s but is not comprehensive. More recent sets have a downloadable PDF available but older sets are represented by scans of the instructions.
  • letsbuilditagain.com – mostly concentrates on instructions from popular themes of the last 20 years but does have some older instructions. Well presented and includes a gallery to original creations made by kids.
  • The Brickfactory – an older site that also includes catalogs, posters and stickers amongst their scans. It has a more comprehensive range of older sets but the site can be a little slow to load.
  • swooshable.com – still in its BETA stage but it will search all of the popular sites for the availability of instructions. Will save you the effort of visiting each of the above sites individually.

Original creations

It can be hard to decide what to build next when you have run out of ideas. Many years ago, LEGO used to provide alternative builds on the back of the instructions or the LEGO set box. Themes like the Creator series can provide alternate builds but, for the most part, you need to rely on your own imagination.

Websites

Luckily, there is a fantastic site called Rebrickable where you can enter the details of the sets you already have and it will provide you with instructions for other sets and original creations you can build with the same LEGO bricks. It will also give you a compatibility measure so you know how many extra bricks you need to obtain before you can build the item.

If you are looking for a different source of inspiration, you might like to consider purchasing original instructions from a number of different sites. Some recommended sites include:

Books

In the past, LEGO produced a series of “Ideas” books. These are long out of print but may be purchased via reseller sites like Bricklink or BrickOwl. There are also a large number of books that provide instructions and ideas for building. Some of the title available include:

  • The LEGO Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz
  • The LEGO Neighborhood Book by Brian and Jason Lyles – fantastic for Modular building ideas and techniques
  • Totally Cool Creations by Sean Kenney
  • The LEGO Adventure Books by Megan H. Rothrock


  • The Brick series by Warren Elsmore



LEGO themed magazines

[From the question: Are there any LEGO Magazines available?]

Here are the details of the LEGO themed magazines that are currently available.

Lego-Logo-Club

The LEGO Club magazine is an official publication produced by the LEGO Group. There are multiple variants of this magazine available around the world. There are regional versions as well as versions for girls and younger children. In most countries, it can be ordered via the website at no cost. For those in the Australia and New Zealand there is an initial cost of $19.95 AUD, which covers you for all future issues – so long as you remember to renew it when required. Subscription forms can often be found in toy departments of major retailers, in toy stores or from the special LEGO Club Australia website. You can also subscribe via the isubscribe magazine subscription service. LEGO Australia regularly provides free subscriptions at special promotional events or as competition prizes. The main magazine is published quarterly.

There is also a range of magazines available in digital format via the LEGO website.

BJ banner.logo

Brick Journal was the first major independent LEGO fan magazine. It started as a digital only publication in 2005 and became available in both print and digital formats in 2007. Editor, Joe Meno, describes it as “ ultimate resource for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages. It spotlights all aspects of the LEGO Community, showcasing events, people, and models in every issue, with contributions and how-to articles by top builders worldwide, new product intros, and more”. The magazine now has an Italian version and there are plans for expansion into other markets in the near future.  Brick Journal is available bi-monthly.

blockslogo2

Blocks magazine first appeared in late 2014 and quickly gained a popular following amongst LEGO fans and the wider community. This is in part due to its availability in local newsagents as well as via a subscription. It can be purchased either as a print or digital subscription. It describes itself as “as celebration of everything LEGO. Aimed at enthusiasts young and old it is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the world of plastic bricks”. Blocks magazine is published monthly.

brickslogo      bricksculturelogo

Bricks and it’s sister publication, Bricks Culture, are the newest of the LEGO themed publications. Bricks enables one to “Immerse yourself in the world of LEGO fandom” and Bricks Culture focuses on “Recognising and celebrating the culture of LEGO and its place in the world”. Both magazines cover sets, themes, building, events and people. Bricks concentrates more on LEGO news with a strong focus on collecting and building whereas Bricks Culture is “artier” with a stronger focus on people and their stories. Bricks will be published monthly from August 2015 and Bricks Culture will be available quarterly. Print and digital subscriptions are available from their website.

Logo Hispabrick Magazine logo

Starting in 2008, HispaBrick magazine was originally established as a means of sharing and retaining the works of Spanish AFOLs. The publication was originally available only in Spanish but, due to interest from other countries, the magazine became available in both English and Spanish from issue 3. It covers all aspects of the LEGO hobby including reviews, AFOLs, clubs, LEGO employees, events, and special uses of LEGO Bricks. There is a special emphasis on Mindstorms and Technic. HispaBrick magazine is published every four months and is available as a free digital download from their website.

railbrickslogo

RailBricks is a specialist magazine that caters for the LEGO Train enthusiast. The magazine commenced in 2007 and is published irregularly.  Although there hasn’t been an issue since mid-2014, there are plans to revitalise the magazine in the near future. Past issues are available as a free digital download or as a print edition from their website.

Other magazines

Also available to a limited market of the UK and Ireland are magazines for kids on the themes of Ninjago, Chima and Friends. These began publication in 2014 and may feature a “free gift” with each issue. Recently, a Star Wars themed magazine with a “free gift” has become available in Europe.

Insuring your LEGO collection

[From the questions: Do you insure your LEGO? Should I insure my collection?]

Declaration: this post only contains general information and does not include any specific information for any particular insurance companies. Experiences with insurance companies may vary from those listed below.

lego money2

At some point in time, you may wish to consider insuring your LEGO collection. Not everyone insures their collection and not everyone sees it as being necessary. If your LEGO collection is predominately used by children and only occupies a couple of large tubs, then it probably isn’t worth your time to have a separate insurance policy or a special provision within your regular policy. However, if you collection is predominately used by adults (AFOLs) or occupies a separate room, then it is probably worth considering insurance.

Your choice of insurer and policy will be somewhat dependent on your financial situation and where you are located (country, region etc). Insurers that cater for specialist collections are more likely to have the appropriate structures in place to adequately value and insure your collection.

Documenting and valuing your collection is one of the key features of ensuring adequate coverage in your policy. With something like LEGO bricks and sets, it is important to consider the replacement cost of your collection rather than the actual cost you paid. For example, if your collection contains  something like a Café Corner or Market Street modular building, you would want to be able to replace them if they are damaged or stolen. Documentation requirements may vary from one company to another. Some may require photos and listings of your collections. Others may require receipts as proof of purchase. Likewise, valuation requirements may vary between companies. Some may be happy with your valuation (perhaps using a specialist site like Bricklink) or others may require an independent valuation.

Finally, check the limitations of the proposed policy. Some have an upper claim limit on items and you may be required to have multiple listings in order to cover all of your collection. This is less likely to be the case if you have it listed as a special collection.

This post was prepared with the assistance of members of the Queensland LEGO User Group (QLUG).

Replacement parts

[From the questions: What do I do if my set is missing parts? Where can I get replacement parts? One of my pieces is damaged, what do I do?]

Despite the best efforts of those who are responsible for the manufacture of LEGO sets, there is sometimes an item missing or damaged in your set. It could be an individual LEGO piece; it could be the instructions or the sticker sheet. LEGO are aware this happens. That’s one of the reasons they include extras for the little pieces – they know the parts are easy to lose. They also have changed their packaging so the stickers and instructions are better protected whilst in the box.

Things can still be damaged or missing, though, so LEGO has a service via their website from where you can order replacement parts. The pieces will be replaced free of charge but we recommend that you only use the service if you have a genuine missing or damaged part. Do not abuse the service.

Some parts will not be available via the LEGO replacement parts service, even though they may be from a new set. If that is the case, you may have some luck purchasing what you need from either Bricklink or Brick Owl. It would also be worth trying members of your local LUG or a local LEGO buy/sell/swap/trade group on Facebook. You can also purchase individual or bulk parts directly from the LEGO online store – either from their Bricks and Pieces selection or via their online Pick a Brick site.