What will you get if you go to the USA?

Seems like I will be going to the USA soon for a business trip, and I was wondering what people would buy if they have the chance to go to a Lego store there (or is able to have some online shopping shipped to the hotel)? ¬†Apart from the polybags, I’m not sure if the biggish boxes are worth the trouble of lugging back if I get 20% off all year round anyway (hey, I’m predicting a heavy enough luggage from all the clothes and shoes shopping there…)?

To be honest the latest modular Cinema set was my 1st choice until I realised that it’s finally in Singapore this week. I’ve gotten all the earlier exclusives so those are out too… since I really don’t want to come back and then wanna tear my hair out from not buy set XXXXX, suggestions would be greatly appreciated! An advance thanks! ūüôā

 

Where minifigs spend their money‚Ķ

Mystery solved of¬†where rich minifigs spend their cash… they all end up here in the luxury goods shopping district created by Jared Chan.¬† Hermes, Burberry, Gucci… luckily no shop of a brand of bags I’ve been eyeing lately, else it’s really a sign that I gotta get that bag…

I especially like the Burberry carpet inside.¬† Check out Jared Chan‘s photostream for more interior & exterior shots of all his shops.¬† I really like his range of designer furniture too.

Anyway, I think what is missing is a cafe¬†for tired shoppers to re-charge and where taitais can hang out and gossip.¬† ūüėÄ

SN204070 by Jared Chan.

SN204063 by Jared Chan.

SN204053 by Jared Chan.

SN202435 by Jared Chan.

News of the day…

Apart from the flash flood in Orchard Road (which is really major news, I mean, Hermes store¬†under water? I can only imagine the number of Hermes bags and scarves that ‘died’ in the flood!)…

I finally completed my Lego Toy story collection! Got the 7598 Pizza Planet Truck Rescue from Metro at 20% off (did not see any more 7598 at Paragon when I picked up my sets). 

Think Metro still has the best offer for City and Toy Story sets for now, but Robinsons marginally edges Metro out with the $5 voucher for every $50 spent for those sets that they do have on 20% off.

Metro offer ends 27 June and Robinsons on 25 June, so hurry down and have fun shopping!

Just crossed my mind as well… I’ve noted for some time that the 7747 Wind Turbine Transport is much cheaper in Singapore than in US/UK (based on Brickset¬†prices) as it has been on offer since Dec 2009 at $69.90 in most stores (some slightly cheaper).¬† So that is perhaps one set that visiting AFOLs can consider getting if they are in Singapore.

Lego sale in Takashimaya

Hey, Takashimaya¬†Singapore is now having 20% discount off all regular priced Lego, plus another 10% off with your Takashimaya member card for 5 days from 27 to 31 May (Thur to Mon).¬† That’s effectively 28% off, quite a decent offer.

They have the latest Toy Story 3 sets (excluding the TRU exclusive Garbage Truck & the Pizza Truck).  Plus I also saw SW, Troll Castle, the 2010 City & Power Miners, and Creator Apple Tree House. 

Happy shopping! ūüôā

Help! Where can I get a nice sleeve for new HP netbook?

I was at Funan¬†(Case Logic, Challenger and Targus) today looking for nice sleeve for my new netbook and came back empty handed.¬† Couldn’t help but wonder if I would have found something in Yodobashi or Bic’s Camera in Japan. ūüė¶

The problem with the ones I saw was that their width are too big, and I think more suitable for a 6 cell battery netbook.¬† I’m looking for something simple and snug fitting that can be easily slipped into my handbag when I go out.¬†

Second thing I was looking out for was a nice and compact (just for my netbook)¬†cooling pad/lap table/lap desk that includes a pull-out mouse pad.¬† I don’t really need any cooling fan, light, USB hub etc actually. More that I would like to use my new mouse too (vain! I know!).¬†

So help anyone? If anyone has any ideas, please leave a comment k?

Lego Shopping in Japan Part II

In my recent trip to Japan, I had the opportunity to experience shopping for Lego in these stores: 

  1. Amazon Japan
  2. Click Brick (Rinku Premium Outlet)
  3. Bic’s Camera (Kyoto Station and Osaka Shinsaibashi stores) and Yodobashi (Osaka Umeda)
  4. Muji
  5. Various department stores (Kyoto Isetan, Kyoto Takashimaya)

So here goes my experiences and some tips to share in case¬†you are interested¬†to shop for Legos in Japan…¬†

By the way, the non-Lego related tips/experiences are applicable to Nanoblock¬†shopping in Japan as well (except for Muji).¬† You didn‚Äôt think I only bought Legos¬†did you? Haha, yes I did buy¬†loads of Nanoblock¬†sets in Japan, including the Himeji Castle set I so admired in my earlier post… I got the set at JPY5,800 (vs retail price of JPY8,400) from Bic‚Äôs Kyoto.

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1. Amazon Japan 

I made the order online just before I flew to Japan, and received the parcels 2 days later.  Without doubt, this is the easiest and most hassle-free of the lot.  So the pros and cons are: 

Pros 

  • Able to purchase Japanese Lego books, which are great by the way, even if you do not understand Japanese like me. I bought 2 this time and will do a simple book review when I‚Äôve some time.
  • Able to purchase English Lego books, that may not be¬†available in your home country.¬† This is more for Asian AFOLs I guess, since Amazon is widely available elsewhere.
  • Not having to carry heavy and bulky parcels back to the hotel/the rest of the day.
  • Free cardboard box to check-in new toys back home (just have to buy some scotch tape to tape up the boxes).
  • Cheaper prices (for offer/discounted items) than most retail stores.
  • Some selection of discontinued items from Amazon‚Äôs 3rd party retailers.
  • As a first-time buyer from Amazon Japan, you probably qualify for the trial to have express delivery.

Cons 

  • Hardly any Lego lifestyle items offered.
  • Mostly Japanese descriptions and instructions, but English instructions are available when setting up new account. ¬†
  • Need to have some sort of semi-permanent abode for at least a couple of days.
  • Not sure what is the implication if there is no receptionist/concierge to accept delivery for you ‚Äď perhaps can choose pick-up at a nearby Lawsons instead?

Link to Amazon Japan  

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2. Click Brick (Rinku Premium Outlet) 

This is the 2nd time I‚Äôve visited a Click Brick store (1st¬†time was the store at Venus Fort, Odaiba, Tokyo) and overall…¬†¬†

Pros 

  • Loads of Lego lifestyle products, some seems to be only available in Japan.
  • Able to view the display models¬†(lots in the Rinku outlet, not so much in the Venus Fort one).
  • Some older discontinued items in-store.
  • Prices are discounted from Japanese retail price. ¬†
  • The atmosphere is great! Loads of people in the store (though this may be due to Golden Week).¬†
  • Play area for kids.

 Cons 

  • Having to carry heavy and bulky parcels back to the hotel/the rest of the day (though day lockers are available for rent at the Premium outlet and most train stations).
  • May not be the cheapest place to buy sets from (vs Amazon).
  • Not easy to travel to… unless you go direct from the Kansai¬†airport (which I did), it‚Äôs a long ride out from Osaka city centre or wherever you are based in.

 Link to Click Brick website 

 

  

  

 

  

 

 

 

  

  

 

 

 

 

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3. Bic’s Camera (Kyoto Station and Osaka Shinsaibashi stores) and Yodobashi (Osaka Umeda) 

Apart from electronics, these stores also have a toys section, usually on the upper floors of the store. 

Pros 

  • Prices generally seem to be¬†discounted from Japanese retail price. Can get additional¬†5% discount if you exceed JPY10,000 and qualify for duty-free shopping. ¬†¬†
  • Convenient to get to… all the stores are located near transport or shopping hubs.

Cons 

  • Having to carry heavy and bulky parcels back to the hotel/the rest of the day (though day lockers are available for rent at the Premium outlet and most train stations).
  • May not be the cheapest place to buy sets from (vs Amazon), but still cheaper than department stores.
  • No lifestyle products.

Link to Bic’s Camera¬†¬†

Link to Yodobashi 

 

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

  

  

 

  

4. Muji 

The only reason for an AFOL to shop in Muji is to get the exclusive Muji-Lego sets that were released end-2009.  I went to nearly all the Muji outlets I could find (Himeji, Nara, Osaka, Kyoto) and strangely the Lego sets were only available in the Muji-to-go outlet in Kansai (KIX) airport.  The shop is located in public Level 3 shopping area, so if you want to get your Muji Lego sets, remember to pop by after you exit from customs upon arrival, or get the sets before you enter immigration for departure. 

Pros 

  • Hey, it‚Äôs really the only place you can get those Muji¬†Legos, apart from the online Muji store which is all in Japanese anyways so no idea how to order the sets online.

Cons 

  • Those sets are not cheap.
  • Muji sets may not appeal to all Lego fans…

  

5. Various department stores (Kyoto Isetan, Takashimaya) 

Pros 

  • Convenient to get to… all the stores are located near transport or shopping hubs.

Cons 

  • Those sets are not cheap, most expensive of all the other options 1 to 3 since the sets are only sold at full retail price.

  

It’s taking a while to process photos and add links, so plain text for now, and I’ll tweak the post until I’m happy. ūüôā¬†

Questions, comments or updates? Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

USA Discounts on SW and Toy Story 3 Sets

Sigh, I wished I started collecting Lego when I was in the USA… apart from not having one or two advent calendars, I think the USA is the best place to be¬†for an AFOL.¬†Prices are cheap, they have Legoshop.com, prices are cheap, they have Lego stores that have pick-a-brick, prices are cheap, they get sets ahead of other countries, prices are cheap… you get the idea…

Case in point: Toysrus US is now¬†having 25% off new Toy Story 3 and all Prince of Persia sets and free shipping on purchases over US$100… there is more… shop.lego.com is having discount on several Star Wars sets too…

Unfortunately, still not worth the effort to buy in US and then ship over to SG… so…

Anyways, prices below for easy reference, and pics are links to the sites.  Grab them before they are all gone!

From Toysrus:

  • Toy Story 3 Garbage Truck (7599) – now $33.74 (List Price: $44.99)
  • Toy Story 3 Trash Compactor Escape (7596) – now $37.49
    (List Price: $49.99)
  • Toy Story 3 Western Train (7597) – now $59.99 (List Price: $79.99)

  • Prince of Persia Desert Attack(7569) – now $8.24 (List Price: $10.99)
  • Prince of Persia Quest Against Time (7572) – now $37.49¬†(List Price: $49.99)
  • Prince of Persia Fight for the Dagger (7571) – now 22.49 (List Price: $29.99)
  • Prince of Persia The Ostrich Race (7570) – now $14.99 (List Price: $19.99)
  • Prince of Persia Battle of Alamut (7573) – now $59.99 (List Price: $79.99)¬†

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From shop.lego.com:

  • Home One Mon Calamari Star Cruiser (7754) – now $76.98 (List Price: $109.99)
  • Republic Dropship with AT-OT Walker (10195) – now $187.48 (List Price: $249.99)
  • Ultimate Collector’s Millenium Falcon (10179) – now $374.98 (List Price: $499.99)

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Update:¬† Missed this earlier. There¬†is a¬†shop.lego.com offer only for 3 & 4 May –

– FREE Shipping on all orders over $75*
– Receive an exclusive LEGO¬ģ Star WarsTM sticker sheet with any LEGO Star Wars¬†purchase on May 3rd and May 4th!

– Every purchase enters you for a chance to win a solid bronze Boba FettTM minifigure!

Buy ’em all!

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