Following two days of invite-only, VIP previews, the doors of the yellow-based wonderland were opened to the public at 9am, with brick fans continuing to stream through in a constant flow for the remainder of the day.
Social distancing protocols meant in-store numbers were restricted, leaving a dedicated concierge at the store’s entrance to take temperatures, offer hand-sanitiser and face masks, and even arrange a virtual queuing system to avoid the notoriously large crowds that usually accompany such events.
Once inside the multi-coloured brick hub, aside from retail sets for sale, the store boasts a set of iconic Newcastle exclusives, including a fisherman reeling in a large brown boot and a large mosaic wall scene of Nobbys Beach.
“Each model is unique to each store,” AG LEGO Marketing Manager Rebecca Ward said.
“This fisherman is made of 34,000 bricks and is true LEGO-signature style in its quirkiness.”
The floor-to-ceiling mosaic wall, consisting of 18,000 bricks, took 178 hours to build and features a coastal view from Nobbys headland.
“There’s also a life-sized ‘Yoda’ (character from Star Wars) on the lower level of the shopping complex,” Ms Ward said.
“All of the in-house constructions are the work of Brickman and his team.”
Brickman, or Ryan McNaught, is a Lego designer that became a household name after featuring in Channel Nine’s TV show Lego Masters Australia as the main competition judge alongside host Hamish Blake.
“Newcastle is renowned for its loyal and engaged adult brick fans,” Ms Ward said. “We’re hoping they continue to support the store.”
Charlestown LEGO store Manager Brad Dyllon and his team of 10 were kept busy for hours on Wednesday, selling out of some of the brand’s most popular sets by lunchtime.
“There’s been lots of smiles and lots of sales,” Mr Dyllon said.
“We’ve already sold out of the Tree Houses, Grand Piano and Nintendo system.”