What LEGO® city would be complete without a LEGO® Brand Store? Luckily, there have been a few of them released over the years. A little one came as part of the Train Station (60050) a couple of years ago. Then we got another one along with City Square (60097 – click here to read my review). Finally, there was the Iconic VIP Set (40178 – click here to read about it) in 2017. Towards the end of 2018, the actual LEGO® Store began to sell an exclusive, new variant which is what we will look at today.
NAME: The LEGO® Brand Store
SET #: 40305
THEME: LEGO® Store exclusive
COST: $29.99 CAD
BRICK COUNT: 362
RELEASE DATE: November 23, 2018
SUMMARY REVIEW: 91%
VALUE: 100% (It is hard to beat $0.08 per brick.)
BUILD: 85% (Nice design, except for the pop-out wall segments.)
MINIFIGURES: 87% (Generic figs, but fun accessories, and good brick:fig.)
ENTERTAINMENT: 90% (Great build time value, and a fun set.)
With 362 pieces and a price tag of $29.99 in Canada, you are looking at a cost of $0.08 per brick. My average (based on all the sets that I have reviewed over the last few years) is about $0.14 per brick. So, The LEGO® Brand Store is actually an excellent value. I give it a full 5/5 (100%) in terms of value.
The build for this set is very reminiscent of the Modular Modern Home (click here to read more about it), which is not necessarily a good thing. I was not a fan of the “modular” design of that building. It consisted of modular, main structures that had pop-in details (like doors and windows). The end product was not too structurally sound. This LEGO® Brand Store set suffers from the same issue, though perhaps to a lesser degree than the Modular Modern Home. In this set, the door, side windows, and pick-a-brick wall are interchangeable. Otherwise, the modular design of the floors and roof are quite nice.
I do love the details included in The LEGO® Brand Store. You get two floors of store (though no stairs to reach the second floor). There are plenty of LEGO® set boxes to stock the shelves (created by placing stickers on regular bricks). Like previous incarnations of the LEGO® Store, you also get a pick-and-build wall behind the cash register (though this one does not have a sign like the Iconic VIP Set did). There is also an ATM on the side of building, but sadly neither it nor the cash register have keyboards. My favorite detail is the Build-A-Mini tower, which looks more like the real thing than the one that came in City Square.
The outside of the building is also nicely designed for a lower price point set. I like the white and yellow color scheme, and the awnings over the windows. You get a LEGO® sticker for the sign above the door as well. There is some good use of textured bricks to avoid monotony in the exterior design, and the fringe of the roof has some fun detailing. One of the more interesting bits of the exterior design is the LEGO® brick pattern build onto the roof itself.
In the end, the only thing that I really don’t like about this set is the pop-out wall segments, and it loses a full mark there. A few minor details could have been improved as well, like stairs and a keyboard for both the cash register and ATM. Those are more nit-picky than anything else, so I will only take half a mark off for all of them collectively. This set has a lot to offer, and I am quite pleased with the overall design. It earns 8.5/10 (85%) for its build score.
There are two Minifigures included with The LEGO® Brand Store. Sadly, neither one of them is a LEGO® Store employee, and one of them is a stumpy child figurine. The characters that you do get are also pretty generic with no new printing. The kid comes with hat, the adult with light brown “Superman” hair. Neither one has a double sided face, or any leg printing. But, both have front and back printed torsos. Based on their designs alone, I would give them a low 18/30 (60%). However, you do get some accessories. You get two printed screen tiles, two mini-Minifigures, a shield, and you also get 10 Minifig sized “boxes” of LEGO® (even though they are just stickers on bricks). I don’t normally count stickers on bricks as accessories… but I like these ones. I’ll give each of them half a point for that reason. The accessories bring the Minifigure design score up to 28/30 (93%).
Two Minifigures in a kit containing 362 pieces translates into a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 181-to-1. That is good as far as I am concerned, and I would rate it at 4/5 (80%). Averaging the ratio score and the design score leads to an overall Minifigure grade of 87%.
The LEGO® Brand Store took me 55 minutes to build. At $29.99, that means that each minute cost me $0.55. My average cost per minute at the time of this writing is $0.85. So, I am quite happy with the time I got out of this set, and think it is a pretty good value in terms of build time. It gets a full 5/5 for that (100%).
Now, for the million dollar question. Do I like this set enough to keep it built in my city? Yes, I do. But, I will still modify it. While building The LEGO® Brand Store, I began to envision an amalgamation of all of the various LEGO® Stores that I have, along with the Minifigure Factory freebie (click here to read about that set). So, I think I will overhaul the MOC that I already have in my city (click here to have a look at what is currently there). Even if I didn’t feel that inspiration, I would have to modify this set since it has an open back design. So, for that reason, it gets 4/5 (80%) for my enjoyment of it. Averaging that with the build-time value score earns The LEGO® Brand Store and overall entertainment grade of 90%.
In summary, The LEGO® Brand Store is a solid purchase, even at full price. As I am writing this, the set is a little hard to come by in Canada. I actually got mine from the States. But, if you can find one, I do recommend it. You get an excellent value both in terms of the cost per brick, and the amount of build time that you get out of it. There are many fun details, and overall, it looks pretty good. My complaints about it are mostly small, and mainly that I don’t like the interchangeable wall elements.
Have you managed to get your hands on this The LEGO® Brand Store set? If so, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Also, if you like the content at True North Bricks, I would love it if you followed me here on WordPress (click the “follow” option in the menu to your right), Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter for regular updates.
Until next time,