The Online LEGO Shop has an interesting new section that you may or may not have noticed, titled Discover. When the updated website was launched last year, there was nothing here, so I have been curiously waiting to see what was going to be added. And indeed, LEGO has been quietly filling up this space with some unusual resources. So let’s take a look. 🙂
You can reach the Discover section by simply going to the Online LEGO Shop, and clicking on the Discover header in the yellow banner at the top of the page. A dropdown menu will open up with four sub-categories; LEGOLAND, Retired Products, Minibuilds, and Education. I’m not exactly sure why some of these are under the Online LEGO Shop, as other sections of LEGO’s vast website would likely be more appropriate, but the logic of how LEGO’s website is organized often escapes me. 🙄
The LEGOLAND header will take you to the main LEGOLAND page with more information about each park: LEGOLAND California Resort, LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, LEGOLAND Billund, LEGOLAND Denmark, LEGOLAND Malaysia, and LEGOLAND Windsor. If you are interested to visit any of the parks, this is the best place to get the information you need.
The Retired Products section is where LEGO sets go when they are no longer sold at the Online LEGO Shop. This is actually a really interesting development, as previously LEGO simply removed retired sets from their website after a period of time. Right now there are around 1,300 items in this section. Is LEGO trying to create a database? It’s anyone’s guess. But when it comes to accurate and regularly updated databases of LEGO sets, parts, minifigures, instructions, and more, nothing beats the BrickLink.com database, carefully and lovingly maintained by the LEGO fan community. And, if you want to track your personal collection, Brickset.com is the best place to go. I’m curious to see what is LEGO’s long-term plan with this section, if any. Sometimes they launch new projects and new webpages they later abandon, so we shall see. Currently, all you can do is filter retired products by categories like theme, interest, piece-count, rating, etc.
The next section, called Minibuilds, is my favorite. It contains downloadable PDF instructions for all the mini models available during the LEGO Monthly Minibuild event that’s held at official LEGO stores. Parents need to register their children prior to this event, and available spaces quickly fill up. Plus, not everyone lives near a LEGO store. So, making the instructions available online is really helpful. The models are small and cute, usually depicting animals or vehicles that kids can easily build. If you ever have a few minutes where you want to doodle with some small builds and learn some interesting building techniques, check out this section. Instructions for a new model are added every month.
The last section under the Discover tab is titled Education. Here you can get quick access to the various LEGO Education products available for preschool, elementary and middle school programs, and of course, you can also buy them for yourself. This includes the LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Set, with the LEGO EV3 Intelligent Brick, and a full curriculum-pack to help educators start teaching STEM and computer science. For younger kids, there is the LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Core Set, which also teaches science skills, but with a simpler system based on various motors, sensors, standard LEGO bricks, and a full curriculum-pack.
The preschool selection includes some particularly interesting sets that you normally wouldn’t find via regular LEGO retailers; standard LEGO and LEGO DUPLO brick packs, minifigure and DUPLO figure packs, DUPLO animal packs, vehicle packs, packs with windows, doors, roof pieces and wheels, baseplates and regular building plates in various colors and sizes, and some really useful stackable extra-large storage bins. Keep in mind that shopping at the LEGO Education website is separate from the main Online LEGO Shop site, so you won’t get LEGO VIP point or the regular free shipping terms.
As you can see, there are some hidden gems to discover under the Discover tab of the Online LEGO Shop, so you might want to take a look here once in a while. What do you think? Do you find any of these categories and services useful? Feel free to share in the comment section below! 😉
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