Thursday, 23 September 2010

Sweet Deals are made of this

OK, so there we all were wondering how we could afford to buy all the new LEGO sets we want, and along come 2 UK retailers with great deals to help us out...

First Boots do a 3 for the price of 2 deal which saved me the princely sum of £44.99, and not to be outdone along come Argos a few days later with the same deal but a wider selection, saving me a further £151.97. And before anyone justifiably accuses me of an understandable UK bias, I should mention that Toys R Us in the U.S. are also currently offering a 3 for the price of 2 deal, although while LEGO Star Wars sets seem to be excluded, the brand new LEGO Harry Potter sets and also LEGO Architecture sets are included, which is not the case on any of the current UK deals.

       A new addition to my collection, thanks to Argos....

Those savings look pretty good, but are they really ? Firstly, the sets in the deal are generally priced at the RRP or above to start with; if I was to buy these sets from, say, Amazon, I'd be getting a discount of between 5 and 10% on the RRP, so I'm actually not saving as much as it appears. Secondly, would I really be buying all these sets ? Really ? In this case I can truthfully answer "probably yes" BUT I might only actually have taken the plunge on a couple of them if I could get a decent discount on the RRP. So again, not necessarily quite as good as it first appears, but if you were going to buy the sets anyway then I still think that these are good deals.

You need to be quick, though. On this occasion I got advance notice of the Argos deal via various online forums. I therefore reserved the sets I wanted the day before the promotion started on Wednesday 22nd September, so that when I went in to pick them up in-store the following day the savings were applied to my order. What was interesting however was that within just a few hours of the promotion being up on the Argos website in the early hours of Wednesday many of the sets were already sold out online. Clearly. many of the LEGO-loving fraternity had also picked up on the impending offer and had gone through the Argos online stock like a horde of locusts and cleared out many of the most desirable sets within a few hours. Many people seem to have bought multiples of the same set, as evidenced by a large number of current MISB sets on Ebay later in the day, although I know of other people who have stockpiled some sets with the intention of selling a few years down the line when LEGO retire those sets and prices skyrocket.

Anyway, the Argos deal runs until 28th September. I'm not sure when the Boots offer finishes, but it's still ongoing as I type this. While lots of stuff is now showing as out of stock online at Argos in particular, there are many sets still available and well worth getting, especially at Boots who still have cool sets like Airport and others in stock right now. It's also worth checking your local bricks and mortar Boots and Argos stores as items showing as out of stock online may still be available in-store. Meanwhile, I understand that in the U.S. the Toys R Us deal runs out on the 25th September

So what are you waiting for ? Go stock up for Christmas, or better still just treat yourself....!


  1. I'm here in the US, and experienced exactly as you say. 5 hours after the Toys R Us sale went live, I went online, and all of the exclusive or rare sets were sold out. Online forums said that they sets were swiped up in about 15 minutes, just after midnight. Clearly, people buying multiples of the same set, and resellers as you mention.

    I tried to justify buying the Harry Potter stuff, but they marked up the castle by $20, and other sets by $10. In the end, it seemed as though I would be saving less on sets that I may not have bought otherwise.

    I stopped by Toys R Us in Times Square, NY, and they had tons of rare sets. BUT - with very high prices. Photos on my Flickr:


  2. Cheers, Dan. I wish we'd had the Harry Potter sets in our 3 for 2's over here, but it's clear that unless there are other sets you want the 3 for 2 wouldn't have worked out particularly well as the sets are all at different price points.

    For those in the UK, my local Argos still has lots of stock, and another store I popped into earlier today had 4 Slave 1's in stock, so it appears that there are loads of cool sets left if folks want them.

    Also, I was told today by a member of staff that the Boots 3 for 2 will continue until Christmas.....

  3. Nice! In my area, it seems that taking advantage of Borders, Kmart, and other coupons and special promotions is the best way to get Star Wars at a discount. Also - Amazon prices are really good, especially considering there is no sales tax.