Fresh off the plane from BrickCon — and yes, I know I still haven’t covered it yet (I’m getting there eventually ) — I went to not one, but two LEGO Store Grand Openings. This may be one of the first times that two LEGO stores have opened so relatively close, geographically speaking, to each other.
I can hear the complaints now, and I’m sorry that California has so many LEGO stores when you might not have any. It’s not like its my idea. For me I’m very grateful that I have so much access to LEGO, it certainly helps my business.
So, back to the Grand Openings. Two weekends ago the Mission Viejo store opened. Located in Orange County California, its a bit of a drive from my house, but as its very close to several of my LUGOLA friends, I’m up there all the time anyways.
Here’s what the new Mission Viejo Store looks like
I didn’t manage to get a picture of the interior of San Diego, but here’s a shot of the outside. It looks like it might be even bigger than the Mission Viejo one, but I’m not sure.
I really like the giant minifigs on the side
The main reason I am combining the two grand openings is that they both had the same building event — Giant LEGO Spongebob.
Here’s the 2 foot version
And here’s what he looks like at 8ft with Master Model Builder Steve Gerling standing by
The builds were the same, but they were also completely different. Mission Viejo is an indoor mall, so it was nicely climate controlled and better lit at night. The San Diego Fashion Vally mall is outdoor, so even with umbrellas, and the fact that its October, the mid-day sun was not fun to work in!
The set up was slightly different too as you can see:
I am really surprised that hardly any LEGO fell in the water fountain that we were using as our backdrop.
I helped construct a good deal of the San Diego one, in fact I started the build, and was on my knees a lot that first day putting all the bricks into place. By Sunday I couldn’t really help much as even with a ladder Spongebob was a little too tall for me. Somehow with both builds I got drafted to build the feet. That may not sound like a lot, but you haven’t seen the picture yet:
That’s me holding the small feet while the big ones are on the table. Fellow SandLUG member Michael Todd, dressed as LEGO’s original mascot, jumped in the picture too.
Not only was Spongebob built, there were quite a few original creations too like this great giraffe
Some of San Diego’s finest, members of our local marines, came to help out too.
I also snapped this awesome Mario and Goomba created by Austin Scott at the San Diego LEGO Store
In addition to all the Spongebob fun, there are the Grand Opening exclusives that everyone always wants to see so here they are –
Mission Viejo Minifigs
Sadly no exclusive torsos in this one, but it does have the exclusive container and the printing on the backs
Mision Viejo Shirt
San Diego Minifigs
There is one exclusive torso — “I Love LEGOLAND” — and all have exclusive printing on back
San Diego Shirt
They were great events to help participate in and both stores have an awesome staff!!!
I look forward to finally being able to go to some of the LEGO store events now that the San Diego one is open and I know I’ll be spending a lot of time at both stores.