The world’s largest LEGO Store opened in London’s Leicester Square earlier today, and yesterday some members of the AFOL (Adult Fans of LEGO) Community, LUG’s (LEGO User Groups) and Press were given early embargoed access to the new store.

The doors opened at 2pm and after we presented our ticket, and handed in our NDA (non-disclosure agreement) we were allowed through the doors. As we entered we were welcomed by a round of applause by the staff and those that had entered minutes earlier. We were then introduced to the store by Glenn Abell (Vice President and General Manager, Direct-to-Consumer – Europe, Middle East and Asia), followed by Kim Ellekjær Thomsen (Community Manager). Kim thanked the retail team for ensuring some of LEGO’s biggest fans got to experience the store before it opened to the public.

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The store is spread over two floors and covers 914sqm. As well as stairs, there’s a LEGO themed lift with a ‘Mind the Gap’ sign. The store is themed around London with landmarks around the store including Big Ben/Elizabeth Tower, a London Transport train carriage (with Guard and William Shakespeare), London Tube Map, 3D Mosaic, Telephone Box, and the stores mascot Lester. Brickley also makes an appearance wearing the same bowler hat, and ‘carrying’ the same umbrella as Lester. Finally, the brick built remote controlled R2-D2 that debuted at Star Wars Celebration now ‘resides’ at the Leicester Square store, and will make regular appearances.

Each of us were given two scratch cards enabling us to win prizes which included one of the 275 limited edition Lester minifigures. Unfortunately, I didn’t win Lester but I did win a LEGO Parrot and last year’s Gingerbread House. On sale exclusively in this store is the new 21034 London Skyline Architecture set, priced at £44.99. The designer of the set, Skirt Zgalin Kobe, was on hand to talk to and sign the set (review coming soon). Jamie Berard who designed the popular modular sets was also on hand to talk to us, and sign sets too. We interviewed Glenn Abell for next week’s Star Wars Collectors Cast, which we’re busy editing now.

All the usual LEGO store features were present including Pick-a-Brick wall, play areas, Build-a-Minifigure station, and touch screen catalogues. New to this store is Mosaic Maker which offers the ability to create your very own unique personalised LEGO mosaic portrait. The set retails for £99.99 but does feature over 4,500 bricks – it’s an experience I’d like to go back and do at some point.

While stocks last, and when you spend over £125 you’ll get a free 40145 LEGO Brand Retail Store set. Other current LEGO store offers are also available.

It was a great experience and we very much appreciate being invited – the event finished just after 4pm. We strongly suggest you heading to Leicester Square when you’re next in London. Thanks to LEGO UK (Emma and Lucy), Brand Retail, Direct to Consumer Team, CEE (Kim) and Norton PR for organising a great event!