How to Save Money on LEGO Sets

An element from a LEGO Castle set purchased at the LEGO Store.
An element from a LEGO Castle set purchased at the LEGO Store.

Brief History of the LEGO company

The word "LEGO" is a combination of two Danish words, and means "play well"; and that's precisely what LEGO toys have been allowing children to do since 1932. In fact, LEGO has been named "Toy of the Century" more than once!

Although Ole Kirk Kristiansen originally created the simple LEGO brick, LEGO offers much more than that now. According to the LEGO co., the original "bricks" as we now know them had eight studs. LEGO vehicles (and their accompanying parts) didn't come into existence until the 1960s. The iconic mini figures didn't hit the market until 1978.

Since then, LEGO has garnered partnerships with companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon and many more, LEGO offers both boys and girls the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild with thousands upon thousands of playful creations.

Like other rewards cards, the VIP card has a UPC on the back to individualize it for each member.
Like other rewards cards, the VIP card has a UPC on the back to individualize it for each member.

This receipt shows a $5 redemption using the VIP rewards.

VIP Membership Info

Although I live near a LEGO store, you don't have to be local in order to reap the benefits of a LEGO VIP membership. You can accrue and redeem rewards for online orders as well!

Every dollar you spend on LEGO products earns you 1 point. Once you accrue 100 points you receive a $5 credit towards another purchase at a LEGO Store, or at shop.LEGO.com.

Obtaining a VIP Membership

Signing up for the membership is simple. When I was checking out at the LEGO store, the associate asked me for my VIP card. When I told him I wasn't a member, he explained that the program was free and that I would receive a $5 credit for every $100 spent. Since it was Christmas time, and I was spending well over $100 on my three children's LEGO toys I enthusiastically agreed to become a member. The associate immediately gave me a card, placed it in my bag and I was well on my way to winning points.


Registering the card was simple too. I logged onto the LEGO website and created a "LEGO ID" which allows me to link online and in store purchases. I answered a few statistical questions (how many children I had in the home, their sex and ages, etc.) and I was done in less than 5 minutes. I even received bonus VIP points for registering the card and answering additional questions.

This photo shows how you can keep track of your VIP rewards points.

How to VIP Redeem Rewards

Making purchases with your LEGO VIP points is simple.

Present your VIP membership number at checkout (or if you forgot the card, the LEGO Store associate can look it up with your email address). If you already have a rewards balance the associate will tell you upon the start of your transaction. If you accrue a rewards balance after the total purchase the associate will normally tell you that you have a balance towards your next purchase.

For online purchases, sign in with your LEGO ID. Check your VIP point balance by clicking the "My Account" link. The website will tell you how many points you have (so you can gauge how many points you'll need to reach the next level of rewards), and will tell you the amount of rewards you currently have.

You can also check your account history to see all purchases, and redemption of points with your VIP membership.

Extra VIP Benefits

Periodically, VIPs will get bonus points (normally 50 points) for purchases on special products. Visit http://shop.lego.com/VIP/vipPromotions.jsp for a list of which specific qualify for bonus points at any given time. For example in February 2014, VIP members would receive bonus rewards for purchases of the CHIMA Gorzan's Gorilla Striker, CHIMA Worriz' Combat Lair, or the CHIMA The Lion CHI Temple.

VIP members can also receive double points for certain purchases as well.

Additionally, VIP Members also receive periodic emails highlighting new products, and are given exclusive access to new products. For example, VIP Members were given access to view the new Simpson's LEGO sets before they hit the market, and were allowed to pre-order the set as well.

Clearance/ Dent and Scratch

Just like the furniture store might have a "dent and scratch" section, your LEGO store also likely as a section with it's at reduced prices. Sometimes the area includes last season models, but often the area is filled with boxes that are in less than perfect condition. These dented boxes are often reduced by 25%mor more off original prices, and in my experience, have never been opened. That means your child will get all the unopened packages with a dinged up box (that they'll likely immediately throw away) at a substantial savings to you.

In-Store Activities

LEGO store often offer activities for LEGO club members and non-members alike. Past activities have included things such as a mini-figure swap (where kids can bring an old or unloover mini-figure and swap it with other kids or the LEGO store staff. Shockingly my kids have offered up figures from old Pirates sets and Star Wars sets that they no longer wanted, and they found as equally cool items up for grabs from other kids.

Other activities have included watching a Master Builder created a giant sized LEGO We personally helped make a humongous SpongeBob Square Pants!

Contact your local LEGO store or visit the website for a calendar of upcoming events.

Summary

Although you can purchase LEGO products online from retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, and even online at Amazon.com, the LEGO store and shop.LEGO.com offer the widest variety of LEGO products available on the market.

Surprisingly, the LEGO store often offers special discounts on imperfect boxes or on products that are older. Additionally, the stores often run special promotions such as a free gift with purchase (we recently received a free LEGO Movie mini figure with purchase of two products).

For more information on the benefits of LEGO VIP Membership, visit http://www.classic-castle.com/bene/VIP%20AFOL%20Release%20US.pdf

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