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

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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)

 

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.

Spotting LEGO selling scams

[From the question: How do I know if this great offer is legit?]

It’s an unfortunate reality of our modern era that there are people out to scam others in order to make money.

It is very easy to get caught up in believing you have found a brilliant bargain when you see a LEGO set listed for a great price. Scammers seem to target those who are new to the hobby and are not sure about pricing or how to recognize a dodgy listing. It can happen in Facebook trading groups, on eBay, online classifieds and/or Bricklink. Even experienced purchasers of LEGO sets can be caught up if it involves something they have been after for quite a long time.

Here are some telltale signs:

  • It’s a set that normally sells for a high price. It can be a currently available set or something that has been retired. The listed price will be considerably cheaper than retail and sometimes cheaper than the wholesale cost
  • The person has multiple copies of the same high price set at a cheap price
  • Or they have a range of hard to find sets at good prices
  • (On Bricklink) a store that has low feedback but appears to have lots of high price sets
  • A seller that only accepts Western Union for payment
  • The products are copies or fake LEGO sets but they have listed them as being genuine LEGO products
  • (Possible stolen goods) A seller with a large range of LEGO product for cheap prices (below wholesale) where the seller does not seem to know very much about the product. They may use incorrect terms or claim to be able to get hold of an item in bulk when they are not normally available in such a way.

Note: someone selling products with inflated prices is not a scammer. They are just someone who wants a high return on their investment.

How to avoid buying from scammers:

  • purchase from well-known sellers or from the LEGO store online
  • only buy high price items from people with more than 100 feedback on Bricklink or eBay
  • Ask friends if they think it’s a legitimate listing. There are often discussions about this on the Bricklink forum
  • Assume anything that seems like a real bargain is likely to be a scam
  • Ask for photos of the set (not the standard set photos)
  • Make your payment via Paypal or offer to pick up in person