Saturday, August 29, 2009

Brick by brick: The quest for Lego Vulcan

This was the scene this morning as the girls and I lined up at the Galleria for the grand opening of Alabama's first Lego store. The store has actually been open for a couple weeks already, but today they were giving out exclusive Birmingham-themed Lego sets to the first 300 customers spending $35 or more. Thus, the line you see here.

We arrived early by accident. I thought the store would open at 9 a.m., so we got there around 8:30. A few minutes later, we realized that they weren't supposed to open until 10:00. If I'd realized that, I'd have either come a little later or at least not brought Kendall along. At least we got a good place in line, though (you can see Emily in the picture above just where the ropes start).

Despite being anxious and bored, the girls were both real troopers. The Lego employees brought out catalogs for us to browse through, but most of the time we just waited, peering through the window at all the nifty Lego creations inside.

When the doors finally opened, the flood of customers inside was almost instantaneous. We walked immediately to pick up the set we'd selected, picked up a green base plate to go along with it, and turned to look at the key chains for a moment (I currently have a Lego Spider-Man key chain, but all his paint has rubbed off and he's missing an arm). By the time we looked up though, there were already 30 people in line in front of us -- way more than were in front of us for the line into the store. These folks were fast.

As we joined the line, Emily decided all of a sudden that she needed to go to the bathroom. By this time though, the line outside the store waiting to get in had trippled in size -- I knew if we left now, we were likely to miss being one of the first 300. Praying that she didn't wet her pants, I asked Emily to hold it. She danced around for a while, making the most of the drama, until I finally told her to just wander around the store on her own. "You can go anywhere in the store you want," I told her, "and you can look at anything you want. Just don't leave the store, and don't take anything off the shelves." It worked. Her self-guided adventure distracted her enough to forget about her need for the potty, and the store was small enough that I could always see her.

Lego Vulcan!
Originally uploaded by MCuthbert
Finally we made it to the counter, paid for our Lego set, and got our free bag of parts to build a Lego Vulcan. Our trip was officially a success.

As we were leaving, we ran into several people we knew. It seems that my friends love Legos too (though some tried to pin their reason for being their on their kids, I knew the truth). Kendall also insisted that we stop by the Disney Store. Emily agreed, even though she hadn't made it to the bathroom yet, because, after all, it's the Disney Store. We managed to make it through there without buying anything, though.

When we got home, I put together our little Lego Vulcan. He's multi-colored instead of all grey like the real statue, but the colors help distinguish different features that would otherwise not show up. Some have asked me, too, if Lego Vulcan's bare butt is showing, like the real Vulcan statue atop Red Mountain. Alas, the answer is "no." But maybe I can do something about that with a few different Lego bricks.

1 comment:

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