• thebrickguy

A REVIEW OF LEGO SHOPS IN SINGAPORE



Disclaimer:

- I have no shares or vested interest in these stores nor do I know any of the owners/operators to my knowledge. My interaction has been with the staff during my visit.

- I have a Bricksworld membership, and my friend has a ToysHunt membership. I’ll buy Bricksworld stuff, and he buys from ToysHunt and we meet up to exchange our loot.

- I have visited these stores at least once with the exception of The Brick Shop which I’ve included as they were announced to be an LCS store recently.

Why these particular outlets?

The shops I visit are very much due to location. I will NOT purposefully head to a store with Lego unless there is something I really really want to get from the store - which is quite rare. The reason I pop by these locations are for two reasons, I work around the vicinity and I happen to be in the area walking by. I’ve visited all these stores (with the exception of The Brick Shop) at some point in time and interacted with the staff. I wanted to include a section to describe staff friendliness, but it’s very subjective, so I’ll just make my commentary within the reviews.

Bricksworld

I signed up for a membership because it was at a convenient location in Suntec. I used to visit this place a lot, but now less because I’ve moved offices and this is no longer a convenient place for me. But I do like it because I do know I have membership access if I happen to be at other locations. But in reality, this is not really a benefit - even though I stepped into other branches Takashimaya, but visiting a LCS store is like visiting an Apple Retail store. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I go there to browse what’s new on the shelves, but nothing is really worth buying at retail prices. Suntec branch has a small collection of loose minifigs and I browse through once in a while. Once I learnt how overpriced these loose minifigs are at brick-and-mortar stores, I’ve stopped purchasing them. I like the Suntec branch because its spacious and you can walk around without someone in your way and it has some of the sets on display to browse and look at.

PAB is nice but not interesting because there’s seldom any unique elements, but always the regular bricks in various colors. I was surprised to see how small the Ngee Ann City (NAC) branch was. You know there are some shops where you don’t mind lingering around and see if anything catches your eye? The NAC branch just made me feel like I just wanted to leave the area due to the narrowness of the aisles. This goes the same for the store in Plaza Singapura, small space, where you go in, get what you need, and make your way out.

I used to know a staff in Suntec due to my frequent visit, Alex, but he’s moved on to RWS, it’s a shame, because he was a nice guy and I enjoyed talking to him. Alex, if you’re reading this, “Hello there!!!”

Facebook interaction is great as I get an answer almost instantaneously within the same day. I don’t have much questions, but for that one or two times in a year, I think its great to know that I can get an answer when I want to. Having a www site is useful, but for Bricksworld - it’s almost meaningless, the items that I REALLY want to reserve and buy are infinitely out of stock - regardless the number of times I visit, it’s 100% out of stock. I hope someone from Bricksworld reads this.

Secret Chamber

I frequent the Holland Village (HV) outlet - I somehow find Secret Chambers extremely overly priced. You can find stuff here that you can’t find in regular LCS (i.e Brickforge items, etc). It’s a tiny shop but I enjoy looking at their shelves of parts - I guess you can call them "custom PAB". These are certainly good for that MOC you’re trying to complete but just missing those few elements. They don’t come that cheap, bricklinking these items are going to be way more cost effective, but then again, these are valuable resources to find that unique piece you’re looking out for. The Tiong Bahru store (now closed for renovation) but when I was there, was probably only slightly larger, but you almost get that same feeling of the HV store. Secret Chamber really gives you the feeling like you’re stepping into secret place literally, and just make you want to browse around.

They have a larger collection of loose minifigs on display at HV, but overly priced for me. They do have some display units of sets to attract the crowd, but it’s not an attraction to me.

I’ve met some nice staff in at their branch, one staff actually even helped me ‘press-press’ my Simpsons S1 to complete it! Thank you! Another staff was extremely happy about sorting custom PABs and could find me almost any part that I want. Sadly, the staff at Secret Chambers move around or resign pretty quickly and the next time you visit, it’s just in and out if nothing interesting.

Toys Hunt

I’ve visited the Great World and Novena Square outlets a few times. Not as frequent as Bricksworld and Secret Chambers. I like their HUGE collection of loose minifigs. I find that Toys hunt speciality is their huge collection of loose minifigs and interesting display. I sometimes stare at the glass display and wonder/hoping that something catches my eye and wallet. I usually end up not spending anything. Again, loose minifigs are usually overpriced in my opinion, but nice to look at and long for.

Staff at the Great World branch is friendly - makes conversation and shares info on what’s on discount and good deals you can consider. Shop is smaller than Bricksworld NAC / PS, but because of their variety and conversation, you tend to hang around a while longer to look at things.

My Little Brick Shop

I’ve only been to this place once (or twice) because I happened to be in the area and also because I’ve seen them active in Facebook. The store at Bugis is large and gives me the feeling of a sparse layout. What’s unique about this place is at the one or two times I visited it - it has a nice large display at the front with MOCs from the community. This is where your phone camera comes out and take photos of. I’m unable to comment on staff as I have no impression because I think I visited during off-peak hours - not much foot traffic (weekdays) and because I don’t visit this place frequent enough.

I recently purchased some custom Minifigs and Facebook interaction is good and polite. Looks like I’m up for a visit again when I pick my custom figs up next year!

House of Bricks

Some of you may ask, why is House of Bricks up here? Well, it’s because its the nearest and convenient store that has Lego for me. I visit it a lot but this is a store that has everything from stationery and such, but has an ‘okay’ Lego collection with EOL stuff here and there. Again, anything EOL has a nice sticker that make you think twice before you open your wallet. I don’t really interact with the staff as they’re always usually behind the cashier, so I take my time to look at the stocks they have and browse. Technically you can’t buy your standard $4.90 random pack to depress here. The CMF collection is always ‘opened’ and priced higher. The good part is that they do have some older CMF series that is reasonably priced if you missed something and some polybags that are also reasonably priced.

Summary

The reason I started this post was to compare the various memberships and discounts they have for our beloved ABS bricks, but what I’ve come to conclusion to is the memberships all negate themselves out from one another in the market - 10% to be general. With online competition of where the more informed AFOL is able to source for Lego at a much more attractive price is the norm nowadays. While without a doubt that a huge portion of their business would be from foot traffic and the casual shopper, I think what really makes the difference is really about the service industry and staffing. Deciding which store I get my membership from is really about convenience rather than value. For me, I enjoyed the interaction at Bricksworld and Secret Chambers where it made me stay a little longer and potentially spend a little more there than I should. 😃

Final Note

Feel free to correct or add-on to my information on the Stores out there. I’ve just my knowledge and pinged a few AFOL out there (Thanks Reece and Desmond) with some googling.

[UPDATE]

Thank you all for your contributions, I just wanted to close this research of mine properly with the COMPLETED information. Here’s the update from all your comments and I actually wrote in to the shops which has missing information as well.

I also want to point out to you a good resource you want to look at with more detailed information by Randy Seah.

http://brickrek.blogspot.sg/…/list-of-shops-to-buy-lego-in-…

https://docs.google.com/…/1RA9C-EZLzeJc_ivFFfVGcE3VAge…/edit