Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LEGO Black Friday roundup

The phenomenon known as "Black Friday" in the US has always been a favorite time of year for me. It typically marks some of the deepest discounts on items I love to pick up, such as movies and video games. This is my first BF out of my dark ages and I'm hopeful for some of the deals that will be available.

I hate crowds and do most of my shopping online. I've been scouring the internet for the last few days and here are some of the deals that have caught my eye. Most of them are in stores, but I have a feeling at least a few retailers will replicate them online as well. This overview is not all inclusive as I'm mainly only interested in stores that have physical locations near me.

Let's start with the flagship, LEGO Shop at Home. While our "Brick Friday" deals have not been revealed at this point, we can most likely assume the main items are going to be the sets that are on their way to retirement. Past years have seen LEGO offer a flat 10% discount on all purchases, plus there's currently free shipping on order over $99 and there will be a free holiday set. Physical LEGO Stores will also have scratch cards that will be good for discounts, with one "golden ticket" of 50% off.

As for sets, a handful have shown up on the S@H site recently with "retiring soon" labels. The most notable sets are the Medieval Market Village and Red Cargo Train. If LEGO is trying to clear these out, I would expect some sort discount if they are still in stock by next Friday. While not marked, the Maersk Train is also among a handful of sets already listed at 10% off.

Target will have the Black Pearl and a DUPLO train for $74.99. I'm not overly impressed with either deal, but the Pearl is pretty much already out of stores and has already climbed above retail price. If you don't have one yet, it's probably worth the trip to pick one up. I'd be more interested if they make this deal available online.

All Wally world has advertised are some Creator and DUPLO brick boxes for $15. Not that impressive, but great if you just want some basic parts for the kids to build with. I'm seriously considering hitting the store anyway for some deals on games/movies and would probably pick up a brick box if they still have them. Also worth noting is that several LEGO video games will be on sale, including the latest Batman game for $15.

Toys R Us
I'm not a big fan of the chain already, and their deals kind of back up those feelings. The BF ad essentially has a Cars set, the Ninjago Skull Truck and the Fire Temple. A few Heroica games are in the ad for $9.99-12.99 ad and there's also a handful of sets shown at "40% off" that include Dino, Harry Potter, and Alien Conquest sets. The discount is a joke though, as it still leaves most of those above retail price.

Of what's being advertised, the Fire Temple is the only one I would like to have. It's listed at $90.99, which is actually just under 25% off. There's no way I'm diving into the madness that is TRU though. My wife went a few years ago and described it as one of the worst shopping experiences of her life. My sister usually goes. Maybe I'll get lucky and she can pick one up.

As of yet, what they will have on sale remains unclear. I'll be watching closely next week and I expect any of their bargains to be done as lightning deals. You can typically check the schedule for those each day and they will give you a countdown to when the sale begins. For non-LEGO items, I have often seen Amazon match deals from other retailers. I'm hoping they do at least the same for LEGO.

There are tons of retailers out there that are region specific. If you are not familiar with, you should check it out. They have flyers from most major retailers posted at this point and it can help you plan out your day. As of right now, I don't see any LEGO deals that will motivate me to get out there. There are a few other items on my list that might get me to do that, but I have a feeling LEGO is going to be a low priority. If I buy anything this year, it will probably come from Amazon or Having stuff delivered to my door seems much more relaxing than diving into the hordes of bargain shoppers.

If I had to pick a list of sets I would really like to score on a discount this season, it would look like this:
-10212 Imperial Shuttle
-10228 Haunted House
-10230 Mini Modulars

There are tons of little things I could be convinced to pick up at the right price, but those would be the big three I'll be watching out for. Of course, the IS is the only one I can find at RRP on a site other than I'm not holding my breath.

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