After spending two wonderful weeks in Costa Rica, sadly the time came to head home. My wife and I spent our holiday in Puetro Veijo, next to a black sand beach on the southern Caribbean Sea. Puerto Veijo was a small town, with no major retailers (other than one chain grocery store). There was no LEGO® to be had, other than what I brought with me to review. Costa Rica actually has three LEGO® Stores, but they are all in the capital city of San Jose. While my flight landed in San Jose, I spent zero time there. Most tourist sites said it is a stop best avoided. So, I did not have much opportunity to look at LEGO® on this trip.
However, at the end of our holiday, we did arrive back at the airport with a few hours to spare before our flight. Imagine my joy when I saw an electronic billboard advertising that there was LEGO® being sold at one of the retailers inside of the duty-free region of the airport. It was an actual toy store called “Whoops!”. Eagerly, I entered the store thinking I might get myself a LEGO® souvenir. Sadly, a quick look at the price tags had me quickly turning around and heading right back out. One set that I considered was the Forest Tractor (60181). I like this set because it brings back memories from when I used to go to work with my dad as a kid (he works in the forestry industry, so I spent a lot of time around these sorts of machines when I was little). In Canada, that set costs $24.99. At the airport in Costa Rica, it cost ¢40490. At today’s conversion rate, that is about $94. I was absolutely floored. Airport shopping tends to be a rip off, but almost four times more expensive? No, thank you. And, the Forest Tractor was not the only set with a crazy mark-up either.
LEGO® shop-at-home does not have a Costa Rican site, so I don’t have any means of really comparing the regular store prices with Canadian prices. But, it is pretty clear that you should not be buying sets at the airport if you visit. If there are any Costa Ricans reading this, I would be curious to know what prices are like outside of the airport. If you are not Costa Rican, and have similar experiences to share, I’d love to hear them in the comments below! Until next time,