As you may already know, I went to New York City for the grand opening of Toys R Us at Macy’s Herald Square. I decided to add an extra day onto my trip so that I could visit the major LEGO® Stores in the city. We already looked at the Flatiron District Store. While certainly a pleasant visit, it was exactly as I remembered it from years before. Conversely, my visit to the 5th Avenue Store was an entirely new experience. In fact, it was an entirely new store. Since my last visit, the store received a major upgrade. It now has flagship store status and spreads out over two floors. While still in the Rockefeller Center, the new store is much larger. Check out my video tour below.
Let me just say, WOW. The 5th Avenue Store has so much going on. I really liked the older store, but this one has so many more brick murals and sculptures. Some of the sculptures even feature animated faces. Additionally, you can sit inside a life sized yellow taxi, or next to a giant Hulk on a bench. I was pleased to see DC and Marvel characters represented in the displays, though they did not appear in the same set-ups. Most of this is on the first floor, which is the main retail space.
Sit in a life sized taxi made from LEGO® bricks!
Moving upstairs, you find more of creative area. The Pick-and-Build (PAB) wall, as well as multiple Build-a-Mini (BAM) stations fill a chunk of the space. The BAM stations were much larger than your standard LEGO® Store tower set-up. Instead, they were round counters with inlaid parts bins. Much easier to find items in than the towers… if you could get through the swarms of people. Sadly, PAB was a let down. I actually found the old 5th Avenue PAB wall much more impressive. Similar to the Flatiron Store, I was also not impressed with the brick selection. I can find all those parts at the stores near home. On my previous visit, I was amazed with parts I’d never seen on PAB before, as well as unique builds.
That was my only gripe with my visit to the 5th Avenue Store though. The top floor also housed a Mosaic Maker, similar to the Flatiron Store. However, the 5th Avenue store also had a minifigure printer. With the exchange rate being so bad, I decided before going in that I would only buy unique items. Designing my own minifig qualified. I already had one from Disney Springs, but I did not make it myself. My sister made it for me. I had to cancel my own Disney trip due to the pandemic. While not the most intuitive programming, I was able to fuddle my way through the design process and create my own character. “T” for “Tom” on the front, and a 5th Avenue design on back. It’s expensive though. With the current exchange, one custom minifigure sets you back almost $18.
Make your own custom minifigure… for a hefty price.
You have to buy your customizable, blank torso and 1×3 brick before you can make your minifig. They come in the nice box shown above. Otherwise, the head, hair, legs, and accessory all come from the regular BAM stations. If I was not such a LEGO® fan, I might be inclined to call the experience a bit of a ripoff… But, who am I kidding. I am such a LEGO® fan, and I probably would have done it even if it costed a little more… but not too much more… Incidentally, while waiting in line to pay for my black torso-in-a-box, I also found a unique Minifigure magnet that I decided to pick up as well. The store also had the Statue of Liberty minifig magnet, but I already have that one. I wish all LEGO® Stores had regional, printed minifigures like this.
If you have never had the opportunity to go, the 5th Avenue store is a real LEGO® experience. While the Flatiron store is nice (and less crowded), you really get a lot more at Rockefeller Center. Just be careful looking it up on Google Maps… both of the stores are technically on 5th Avenue, despite only one having the moniker. I loved the 5th Avenue experience, and got my LEGO® passport stickered (interestingly, they do not offer location stamps). Have you been? Let me know your stories in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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