This article is also available in french.
As expected, the first french LEGO Store opened on october the 18th in the city of Levallois-Perret, north west of Paris. The mall So Ouest in which the store is located is not close to the touristic locations. If you are not used to the public transportation in Paris, you should double check the web site of the mall before trying to get there, especially to get the best directions.
So, what can we found in this store once we got there ?
This is a map locating the SO Ouest mall.
Once you got there, its time for some shopping.
The LEGO Store is very similar to any other shop you can find around the world. At last, french people can access to the entire content of the online Lego Shop catalogue, and especially some hard to find products (in France) like the Spongebob collection or the SpiderMan set (6873 at the time of writing).
We can also find some exclusive products to LEGO Shop like the polybags or some VIP products. It is also the best occasion to see some sets you’ll never get, like R2-D2™, the B-Wing Starfighter™ or the Haunted House.
And of course, passionate fellow, behind the cash desks, you’ll find a Pick-a-Brick wall. For those who does not know what it is, you pick a cup among the two size available (the smaller is worth 8,99€, the larger 15,99€), and you fill it freely with any brick (or plate, accessory, whatever part…) available on that wall. Don’t look for something logical in the selection available. once a display is depleted, it is refilled with another reference. This is a nice trick from Lego for having an always changing wall and making you come back to check the new selections.
Another display allows you to build the minifigures you want. Choose legs, torso, head, hat or hair and an accessory to build the minifigure. The box of three customized minifigures is worth 5,49€.
Of course, there are bricks available on a couple of tables (one classic bricks, the other Duplo bricks) for kids to play with in the store. The best place to get kids not that focused on the most expensive box…
For the opening, the most passionate Lego fans have been a little disappointed. There was no exclusive set neither for the opening nor for the Paris Shop. Other AFOLs must have been asking earlier as the employee told me that she was asked about an Eiffel Tower polybag. Some have expected such an exclusive set when they received the mail about the opening of the Store with blue, white, red Eiffel Tower in bricks on the background. Now we just have to wait for the idea to get to the executives.
So about the place by itself, the shop does have a wild area (300m2) and the Staff is very kind and welcoming. The only black point for being there on the first day of, not only the Lego Store but the Mall, would have been a big heat as the air conditioning didn’t worked yet. Before 5pm, there was not much people in the store. But when people got out of work or school, the place got filled of people curious about the shop. Actually, there was a large ratio of grown up, and only grown ups where filling cups at the Pick-a-Brick wall. This place was really awaited from old fans.
I got confirmation from the staff that the next french store will open in Lille and there will not be another store on the Paris area. Lego shops are not meant to be competitors to other toy stores, which are the true actors of Lego’s success. But if you come in Paris as a tourist and expect to visit the local Lego Shop, you will really have to dedicate a few hours to it. The store is far away from the monuments and the touristic areas. Actually, it is located in the suburbs, in a residential area. If you have a Lego Store near your place, you really don’t have to start the adventure to go there as there are no exclusive bag, neither any specific build worth being seen (or maybe not yet). If Paris is your best place to get to a Lego Shop, then check carefully where the place is, how to go there, and don’t hesitate to ask for your direction once in Levallois-Perret (ask for the centre commercial So Ouest which means the mall So Ouest).
This is a nice start for the implantation of Lego in France and a great news for the french AFOLs. We can only wish them a great success.
Do you plan to go there on your trip to Paris ?