By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Owners of the new Bricks and Minifigs store in Tucson, JL and Becky Burnett quickly learned the power of Lego.
A line of brick lovers slithered around the building before the store even opened on its first day.
“We had the biggest grand opening the franchise has seen,” Becky says about the resale Lego chain.
“We had a few fans who wanted to be first in line, and they were here at 4 a.m. lining up for a 10 a.m. opening. We had people drive up from Sierra Vista and people visiting from Yuma and Phoenix. For some, it was the first time they brought their kids out of quarantine. It was a really big deal.”
Bricks and Minifigs offers a wide selection of minifigures for sale from all themes, including the collectible series. Recently, they sold a German soccer team minifigure set that was difficult to find in the United States.
The store offers a wide selection of certified used sets in boxes as well as used sets with instructions, which decorate the backdrop of the main counter. New sets and accessories like stuffed animal versions of the “Star Wars” minifigures, keychains, pens and minifigure flashlights line the walls. Guests can help themselves to a free Bricks and Minifigs bracelet.
Suspended from the ceiling is a train that will eventually circle the whole of the store. In the middle of the store are bulk Lego tables, where guests can fill different-sized containers that range in price from $8 to $70. At the Build-a-Minifigure station, shoppers can choose a head, torso, legs, hairpiece or hat/helmet and one accessory for $4, or three for $10.
The stock is always changing because Bricks and Minifigs buys and trades parts and bricks.
“Because it’s a buy-and-sell-and-trade situation, what you see up there might not even last a day or two,” she says. “It’s going to constantly be revolving.”
At the back of the store is a touching display called Julian’s case that will house My Own Creations (MOC) competition winners. The case is named after a local boy who passed away.
The five-member staff is taking precautions to avoid exposure to or the spread of COVID-19. They’re wiping down surfaces; cleaning parts; and offering masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.
“We extended our grand opening to be two days instead of one to allow for maximum possible social distancing,” she says.
“JL was at the door reminding people to social distance. Everyone worked with us. They just flooded in and they wanted to grab what they wanted and jump in line ASAP.”
The couple decided to open a Bricks and Minifigs after being reintroduced to Lego at a party. The experience snowballed into memberships to mail-order Lego clubs and then an encounter with the Bricks and Minifigs chain, which also has a store in Avondale. The ultimate draw to the store was the availability of a party room.
“We needed something more of a creative outlet or that parents could enjoy, too,” says JL, who considered a video game truck. “In Tucson there’s a fair amount of birthday party locations. If you really look, a majority of them are pizza and arcade places or bounce houses, where you’re risking your neck. People are looking for something more.”
The party room won’t just be for kids. The couple plans to have bagels and bricks events, or date nights. Sensory hours for autistic children are also in the works.
“I’m just really about working with the community,” Becky says. “We had a Cub Scout leader ask if we could work out something with them. The ability in this sort of industry to reach out to the community is astronomical.
“We’d love to sponsor Little League teams or have school parties with mascots. We’ve had people flooding in, trying to give us applications because it’s everyone’s teenage dream job.”
Bricks and Minifigs
6145 E. Broadway Boulevard,
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily