This past week, I had the good fortune of being able to travel to Atlanta, Georgia for a work-related workshop. As timing would have it, I ended up being able to spend some extra time in the Peach State, and was able to look around the city a little. What kind of LEGO® blogger would I be if I didn’t scope out some of the city’s LEGO® scene? The first stop I made was The Legoland Discovery Center.
Sadly, I have to say that my trip to the Discovery Center was a bit of a flop. I was not able to actually enter the Discovery Center itself, because you can only enter if you are escorting a child, and I did not have one of those. That was not, however, the reason that I am calling the trip a flop. I knew that rule before I went, and only mention it just to make clear that I am not commenting about the attraction itself. I didn’t see the attraction, and cannot make statements about its quality. I can only talk about the LEGO® Store at the Discovery Center, which anyone can visit. The store is not a LEGO® Brand Store, it is actually run by Merlin Entertainment, the company the operates all Legoland attractions. I am sorry to say that store left much to be desired. There were no exclusives, and no new releases. In addition, the Pick-and-Build wall was virtually empty, as was the Build-a-Mini station. I was also a little upset to find a number of non-LEGO® products for sale. No one from the staff even acknowledged that I was there. It was not the LEGO® experience I was expecting. Oddly enough, I was actually thankful that there was a Target across the street.
My next stop was Target. We don’t have Target in Canada. Despite their popularity in the United States, Target tried and failed to break into the Canadian market. They didn’t even last a full year. It was really a shame, I had wanted them to succeed so that Canadians could start to get all of the little LEGO® exclusives and deals that have popped up in Target over the years. A recent example was Bean there Donut That (set 40358). While I am sure many Americans have this exclusive already, many of us Canadians have not had the chance to see one in-the-brick. I finally got one. I am really excited. To make my trip to Target even better, I got to see ALL of the new City Mars Exploration set boxes. Those sets are not due to be released in Canada until June 23. I was very tempted to pick up a couple, but the exchange rate is pretty bad right now, so they would have ended up costing me more in Atlanta than they would buying them at home in a couple of weeks. I settled for just my little exclusive, not-available-in-Canada set.
After the disappointment that was the Legoland Discovery Center, I decided to take a trek out to another shopping center. I drove my little rental car out to North Point Mall, where one of Atlanta’s actual LEGO® Brand Stores can be found (there are two such stores). There, I got the LEGO® experience I am accustomed to. The staff was courteous and knowledgeable, and the selection was great. I had hoped for something on the Pick-and-Build wall that would shock and amaze me as being wildly different from home, but I guess you can’t have it all. With the exchange rate, that wouldn’t have been great for my wallet anyway. I found the new space Minifigure pack (40345), which was actually about the same price as it would be in Canada. But, I was able to use my saved up VIP points to get it cheaper… and in this case, the exchange rate actually worked to my advantage. VIP points know no borders, and $5 in points remains $5 no matter which side of the border you are on… getting $5 USD actually amounted to over $6 CAD, so my points went a little farther here.
So, ends my foray into the Peach State LEGO® scene, as well as my trip to Atlanta. As I am publishing this, I am actually about to leave for the airport to start my trek back home. I would like to make a shout out to @emilyloveslego on Instagram (click here to visit her profile) for being my virtual guide to the LEGO® Stores of Atlanta, it was fun chatting with you while I made my way around town!
Until next time,
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4 thoughts on “The Peach State LEGO® Scene”
I live really close to one of the Discovery Centers (the one in the Dallas/Fort Worth area), and yeah, it’s fairly disappointing most of the time. The Pick-a-Brick wall was reasonable last time I went, because they have to compete with 4 Bricks and Minifigs stores in the metroplex area as well as 3 LEGO brand stores. But even at best it’s really erratic in quality. Their build-a-‘fig station is pretty terrible, and their prices seem slightly higher than a brand store as well. Thankfully I have other options in the area I live, but most of them are further away.
There is only one Discovery Center is Canada, and it is pretty far away from me. I went there once, and it was, as you said, reasonable. Though their Build-a-Mini was pretty bad too. After my experience there, then Atlanta, and now your comment, I may think twice before stopping again if there are other options.
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