Can someone also comment on the Lego Stores? I have no idea what they’re like. Have I missed any stores?
- Argos – They stock a very good range – especially in Argos Extra stores. They have fairly regular offers. A couple of times a year they have 25% off the entire Lego range. But in between they then may also have Star Wars offers that include the Lego sets, or Lego theme offers with money off one or two themes. While these offers can last up to a month, they are mostly week-long lasting over a weekend Thurs-Tues. Sets are priced at or slightly below Lego S@H. Their clearance offers are a great chance to pick up bargains but you have limited choice. Online delivery starts at £5.80. 1.5% back through quidco.com when ordering online. I’ve also noticed that some of the clearance sets go back up to their original price after a while and become internet only.
Toysrus – They also stock nearly the full range but I’ve never bought anything from TRU due to the Toysrus Premium. They always seem to add a couple of pounds to sets. They seldom have sales and when they do, it seems to be about 5 sets.
Shop@Home - Obviously they have all of the exclusive sets unavailable elsewhere. But don’t forget the delivery charge! The Sales and Deals section only appears to change fundamentally twice a year – Xmas and July – but there are bargains to be had. It’s a pity most of them are on Bonicle or accessories. As far as I know, unlike the US, there are no S@H phone deals.
Tesco – The instore range is variable and is hard to predict, but outside of the Christmas period the sets tend to be under £30 in value. Prices are hard to predict as well. Some sets just under RRP, while most are RRP. They have a price check promotion ongoing to beat Argos prices but this amounts to pennies, and is negated by the lack of choice. They have 3 for 2 now and again. Online at Tesco Direct they have a much greater range. But you have to figure in for delivery which starts at £5, though you can get it sent to a store for free. 3% back with quidco.com
Play.com – They tend to have SW and Indiana Jones sets. Free delivery and prices are normally slightly under RRP. Play.com also has 2% rebate if you go through quidco.com.
Amazon.co.uk – Free delivery if it’s direct from Amazon, prices just under RRP. Prices can subtly vary from week to week, day to day, so you may want to ‘follow’ the price of the set you want for a few days. This is seemingly dependent on stock levels or supply. Search results include sets from Amazon Marketplace operators that overwhelmingly charge for delivery, so be warned. Many of the newer sets don’t show up straight away if you are only browsing and need to be searched for. Amazon has a good sale just after Xmas where some sets can be picked up for half price. You can also pick up Nectar points by going through Nectar eStores.
Blahdvd.com or Dvd.co.uk – these sites appear to be from the same operator. Some cracking deals can be found here if getting the newest sets is important to you as they sell for less than RRP straight away and the range is quite wide, but delivery is not included. Though it is cheaper than other delivery charges - normally £2ish. They also appear to have very limited stock levels. When it’s gone, it’s gone! You can pick up iPoints. I don’t use this points system so I have no idea what it’s like.
The Entertainer/thetoyshop.com – like TRU they add a premium and rarely have sales. The only time I tried to buy something from here was on a set with a broken box and even after haggling a discount for that, it was still going to cost more than elsewhere.
Hamleys – You don’t pay the London premium online! Not a great range anymore but you do get free delivery over £50. 5% back with quidco.com
Wilkinsons – A few stores have had a couple of sets recently. No savings though. I don’t whether they will expand their range. One to keep an eye on.
ASDA – like Tesco the sets tend to be under £30 and until recently I’ve never seen any offers, but a selection of sets suddenly went to half price without advertisement. A very limited range and this can vary between stores. Online is a shambles and delivery is a fiver.
Boots - they tend to have a fairly good range on their website and in larger stores in the run up to Xmas. This is often in conjunction with a 3 for 2 offer. But they don't appear to get more stock in throughout the year. And their stock levels seem to be quite low so be quick! Online delivery is £2.95 or free when you spend £45 or more. You can get it sent for in-store pick-up for free. Online you can get 3.5% cashback if you go through giveortake.com. You will also pick up Advantage Card points (including bonus points during promotions) which can quickly add up to a bonus set!
TK Maxx – now, I keep hearing about great deals people have had here. But I’ve been in every store I come across and never seen any Lego.
Vouchers/Codes – I’ve never seen any in the UK.
Overall, Argos has the best and most consistent offers, especially if you are prepared to wait. If you want new sets straight away then Play, Blahdvd or Amazon are your best bets. You can get lucky at Tesco but I wouldn’t rely on it. Boots is really good during the Xmas period but you have to fast. Toysrus, The Entertainer, and Hamleys are rip offs. TK Maxx is a mystery, to me at least. And S@H? It’s a necessity for exclusives but I’d avoid it for the common sets.
EDIT: Massive thanks to Dr Dave and Bigospedros for their information about Tesco, Boots, and further down this thread about John Lewis and Lego Stores.
Hope this helps. Good Lego Hunting!