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Buying LEGO in Ireland
Where to buy LEGO in Ireland is a recurring thought on the mind of pretty much all Irish AFOLs. We’ve compiled this shortlist of some of the better sources to consider when hunting for bricks, sets and minifigures and give our opinion as to their pros and cons. You’ll find more suggestions, sales announcements and discussion on the online community forum but this should be a good start for those less familiar with the buying scene. To streamline things we’ve split the list into Bricks and Mortar stores and Online only marketplaces. As you’re online right now we’ll start off with those.
LEGO’s official online store has a large selection of products from current themes and some exclusive sets or hard to find items that will not be easily found in any local Bricks and Mortar shops in Ireland. The LEGO Shop typically offers free delivery over a certain spend amount (at time of writing it was EUR 55/GBP 50) and regularly includes a freebie (polybag or small exclusive box set) with larger orders when such an offer is active. A limited selection of individual parts can be purchased from the ‘Pick A Brick‘ and ‘Customer Service‘ sections of the website.
Bricklink is a marketplace with over 10,000 worldwide based stores where you can buy either new or used sets, minifigures and parts individually. The marketplace enables buyers to select more or less any part ever created by LEGO whether they have long since retired. Bricklink stores are usually the cheapest method of buying large quantities of items. When putting together this list there were over 10 Northern Ireland based stores and 50 stores in the Republic so in short plenty of local choice. The downside to Bricklink is that many stores are private sellers and so quality and product quantity varies considerably. The payment process can also be a little tedious for new users with buyers having to wait for invoices to be sent from sellers before completing their orders. That said there are plenty of top stores to choose from and pretty much every LEGO part that ever existed.
BrickOwl is an alternative marketplace to Bricklink. There’s generally less stores and therefore selection but it has a clearly more straightforward checkout process with invoicing and therefore no chance of any additional fees which can be the case when ordering from some Bricklink sellers.
A general online marketplace for the ROI . Relatively small selection of new LEGO sets, minifigures and parts however it is a good source for buying unsorted and bulk lots of used LEGO items.
Bricks and Mortar stores
Smyths has the largest selection of current LEGO sets in Ireland and has periodic sales and offers, certainly worth keeping an eye on. Prices generally are close to RRP and often lower when sales are on.
Argos tend to have periodic toy sales combined with 3 for 2 or ‘buy 3, get cheapest one free’ deals which can work out as a decent saving as long as you buy 3 sets that are the same price. There are a number of downsides however with Argos and their LEGO offers. Argos typically have low stock of each set (3 or less of sets over EUR 35) and before sales are announced prices often mysteriously increase or are already well above the normal RRP. Reservations (NI/ROI) can however be made online which at least alleviates the risk of turning up at a store to find that they do not have what you were looking for.
Art N’ Hobby
Art N’ Hobby have a smaller selection of LEGO and are usually more expensive than other stores for box sets. The store is certainly worth checking if you are looking for an older retired set and has the added benefit of having a loyalty card which (when last I saw) added about 5% of your price paid to the card.
Toymaster stores are run independently and stock varies from store to store however as with Art N’ Hobby they can be a good place to find that long thought sold out or retired set.
Price Comparison Tools
BrickCat.com is an online website to keep an eye on price changes on LEGO products from a host of Irish retailers including Smyths, Argos, Art N’ Hobby and Easons among others. Plans to cover UK retailers are in the works so watch this space if you are based in Northern Ireland.
BrickCat is a great way to look out for those price reductions from the comfort of your home without having to drop by the shops or tediously check out individual websites so all-in-all its a very useful resource.