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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lining up for Legos: New store opens in downtown Spokane with long lines

The new Lego store in downtown Spokane opened Friday, and shoppers were ready.

The line to get inside at 808 West Main Street wrapped around the street corner and continued to another city block. In some cases, people reported waiting for more than two hours to get inside the first Lego store in Eastern Washington.

Shyla Ward said it will be all worth it, as she and her family inched closer to the front doors.

“We waited because Legos are awesome,” the young girl said, as she gave a little jump and a smile. “I hope they have Harry Potter Legos.”

She remembered one of her first Lego sets was a Harry Potter advent calendar in which each day closer to Christmas she received a miniature character.

Her younger brother, Liam, is also a Lego enthusiast.

A week prior, he celebrated his birthday and received almost $200 from friends and family.

He hasn’t spent any of his earnings yet.

“I’m going to get the biggest set I can find for $200,” he said. “Maybe a Minecraft one.”

The two children were accompanied by their mother, Holly.

She will occasionally lend a hand if her kids need help on a build and even has a Christmas tradition in which they build a Lego gingerbread house. But she admits her interest in the hobby has grown as her children’s have.

“I did do my own set one time,” she said with a smile.

She constructed Central Perk, a fictional coffeehouse in New York City from the NBC sitcom “Friends.”

“It took about four hours,” she said.

In the case of Holly and many others, Legos are not only a child’s toy.

At $9.2 billion in annual sales, Denmark-based Lego Group is the biggest toy company in the world and caters to children and adults.

The line into the new Spokane store featured many adult fans of Legos, also known as AFOLs.

Mike McKenzie, 58, became interested in Legos about six years ago. Since then, he has amassed an impressive collection. One of his most notable builds is a replica of the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars films.

“That took me years,” he said.

He purchased the 7,541-piece project at the Lego location in Seattle.

Though excited about having a local store, McKenzie was unsure whether he would buy a new set at the new location.

“I’m running out of room at my place,” he said. “I have boxes and boxes of builds I’ve done.”

TJ Harper, 21, anticipates purchasing a mini-figure.

At the store, customers can choose from a wide selection of legs, heads, hair pieces and accessories to design their own personalized mini-figures.

Harper remembers his first build was a large SpongeBob SquarePants set his parents got him when he was 5.

“I’ve been fascinated with Legos ever since,” he said.

Some of his favorite builds he has completed are a yellow Hummer and an orange Corvette.

When he first heard that a Lego store was coming to Spokane, Harper was “ecstatic.”

“I bet they’re going to have the Eiffel Tower,” he said. “Or the biggest one ever – the world map.”

Measuring 58.5 inches, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest Lego set. And the Lego Art World Map is the largest Lego set, with over 11,000 pieces.

On top of sales, the 3,003-square-foot space will host monthly building competitions and other events.