Online LEGO distributor gets retail license for Grand Junction storefront
It took four years for the eBricksOnline Outlet Store, a global distributor of LEGO pieces, to receive a license from the LEGO corporation in Billund, Denmark, to sell kits directly from its store at 539 N. First St.
“Getting licensed from LEGO is an extremely difficult thing,” explained owner Kenneth Riskey. “So now instead of just selling individual bricks online, we can sell sets.”
The store received the license last week and celebrated by placing large versions of the iconic building bricks on the roof of the store to draw attention to what had been primarily an online business. The sign was designed and constructed by Riskey’s father, Tom, a general contractor, who assembled the more than 300-pound bricks on the roof. Riskey said more signage is yet to come.
“This is just artwork — we are not a corporate location for LEGO,” Riskey explained. But, the license does allow him to buy and sell LEGO sets to the public.
“The beauty about this is that the store can import sets from foreign countries that were never released in the U.S. and we can sell them here,” he said.
One of those sets is an extremely popular radio-controlled emergency truck that was only released in Denmark. Riskey purchased seven of these sets last week and already has sold every one at more than $150 each.
Some of the other popular sets that Riskey plans to purchase include rare Star Wars and Harry Potter LEGO sets.
Riskey’s business buys and sells individual LEGO pieces through online distributions. He sold more than 2 1/2 million pieces last year and shipped those parts to nearly every country in the world. “When people call LEGO asking for replacement pieces, they tell them to call me,” he said, while opening drawer after drawer of multicolored plastic pieces.
“People feel a deep connection to their LEGOs because they spent so much time playing with it,” Riskey said. Many of the sets have become collectors’ items and his business lets people replace missing pieces in valuable discontinued sets.
“It was named the ‘Toy of the Century’ twice — no other toy can say that,” Riskey said, in explaining his love for LEGO.
He is building a 9-foot-tall Statue of Liberty within the store. “I’ll probably never stop building,” he said.
The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 812-8516 for information.