If you haven’t set foot in a LEGO store since March, you may have missed the revamp to the LEGO Pick-a-Brick walls that rolled out on the first. Now when you visit your local store, there is a build associated with the Pick-a-Brick wall and the elements sold. May I introduce you to “Pick-a-Model”…
This month, the build at our local store is 2 giraffes: one small and one large. However, if your local store has a larger wall, you’ll also find an airplane build as well. Some of the pieces used in the build are never before seen in the colors released, or so I was told by an employee. That is a bit exciting. You can purchase the build instructions for $4.99. It comes with a clear packaging case, similar to what you get when you buy 3 minifigures. In the case is an instruction sheet for the build and images of the finished build.
While I like the idea of giving kids a tangible build from wall parts, I feel there are some issues with the whole idea. First, the sets are overpriced for what they are. I would have liked it better if it was priced like polybags…at the $3.99 price range. You get about the same number of bricks so I’m not sure why LEGO would give it a price point $1 higher than the other. Maybe it has to do with the new bricks.
Secondly, I’m also not crazy about the idea of giving so many spots on the wall to the build item. This month’s build allots 14 spots to the the model pieces (more if your store is also stocking the airplane build), leaving precious few (depending how large your local wall is of course) to other types of elements.
I admit, that may not look like much of an issue at first. However, while the bulk pieces are still available for stuffing into Pick-a-Brick cups, LEGO employees have been asked to make sure to tell customers they are not allowed to fill a cup full of elements specifically used in the build. Since it takes the LEGO stores 3 weeks to get wall parts in from the time they place the order, a store would be forced to remove all parts related to the build until they received the missing part.
Now, not all managers deliver the news the same. A quick conversation with one store manager revealed it’s all in the way you approach an issue. While one of our local managers has already taken a stern tone with AFOL builders who’ve filled cups to the brim with wall build parts, our other local store has said they’ve simply been requesting that AFOLS fill only a third of their containers with build essential parts…and the request has been well received.
Personally, I feel LEGO has put their employees in the awkward position of turning down sales to customers who may not at all understand or care to comply. If the goal is to foster a spirit of superior customer service, this puts the employees and customers at odds.
Doesn’t make much for a friendly store environment.
How have you liked the new Pick-a-Model feature so far?