Melbourne’s Lego community turned out in force for the opening of the first certified Lego store in Victoria, forming a five-hour-long queue outside the new store in Westfield Doncaster shopping centre, which opened to the public at 10am on Thursday.
Like other Lego stores around the world, the location in Melbourne was designed to be an interactive retail space, with several low play tables and loose bricks for kids to play with and a hand scanner that “identifies” which mini-figure the customer is.
The store also features a “pick-a-brick” wall that is changed on a regular basis, where customers can fill containers with bricks of their choosing, and a “build your own mini-figure” station, where customers can customise their own mini-figure.
The store also features an AFL figure made of 27,662 individual bricks and a mural of a Melbourne tram made of 88,470 individual bricks. The figure and the mural took 143 hours and 430 hours, respectively, to build.
“We’ve worked closely with the LEGO Group to create a retail experience that showcases the creativity, innovation and potential of the brand,” said Richard Facioni, executive director of Alceon Group, which holds the rights to Lego certified stores in Australia and New Zealand.
The Melbourne store marks Alceon Group’s third certified Lego store in Australia, following the opening of stores in Westfield Bondi Junction in Sydney in March and Robina Town Centre on the Gold Coast in September.
The stores have benefited from the recent surge of interest in Lego, driven by Channel 9’s popular Lego Masters reality TV show, and several contestants were on hand for the opening of the Melbourne store.
Alceon Group plans to capitalise on this interest by opening many more stores across the country over the coming months.
The Westfield Doncaster store is just the “first of a number of LEGO Certified Stores planned for Melbourne”, according to Facioni.
Alceon Group is an investment firm that is one of the biggest retail companies in Australia, following its acquisition of Specialty Fashion Group’s Katies, Millers, Autograph, Crossroads and Millers brands, James Packer’s Pretty Girl Fashion group and Pumpkin Patch.
The company also has a controlling stake in Noni B and recently acquired a stake in ethical fashion brand Ginger & Smart.