WAMALUG: Event: November 19, 1999: Opening of the LEGO® Outlet Store at the Potomac Mills Mall!

LEGO® Outlet Store
2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Suite 861
Woodbridge, Virginia

Stephen laid out the last minute planning for the opening of the LEGO® Outlet Store in Potomac Mills Mall in a post to rec.toys.lego, and Chris followed up with a post to LUGNET repeating Stephen’s message.

Jeff gave a report on the event in a post to lugnet.loc.us.md:

Friday was the opening of the Lego Outlet Store in Potomac Mills Shopping Center, and many members of the Washington Metro Area Lego User Group were there, eagerly anticipating it. When the clock chimed 10 o'clock, we were ready to rush in, only to be told it would be a few more minutes. When they were finally ready, we rushed in. Some of us spotted the Technic sets sitting on the shelves near the door, while others immediately noticed a rack of 2126s sitting against the back wall. We all made bee-lines to our favorite sets and made exclamations of joy at the various finds, including 8480s for $90, 2126s for $40, and hard to find Belville and Paradisa sets. After picking up more than we should really have purchased, we wandered around with big grins and conversed with the employees, including Buffie, the Manager. She was happy to see us, and amazed that there was a Local Lego club. She even gave us a large piece of left-over carpet! After walking out with our huge bags of purchases, we headed down to the food court for some lunch. While there, we discovered a McDonalds with Set #5 for $1.03! Needless to say, I bought a lot.

The description from the previous edition of the web site, only slightly edited:

Chris, Buffie, Jenn, and Denise among others wait for the store to open.
Eager hordes wait to get in!

Promptly at ten o’clock on the morning of November the 19th, a large number of WAMALUG members stood poised outside the store waiting for the green light to go in. In attendance were Stephen, Denise, Chris, Jeff, Jenn, Dan, Tom, Ken & Ken’s wife (Suzanne) and Kevin. We all scored lots of cool date bricks to commemorate the grand opening, and then they threw back the gates and let us raid.

Store filled with all things LEGO®.
So much stuff!

How to describe the store… Well, in a word WOW!. I think all of us collectively uttered wow and cool and generally giggled like little children let loose in a candy factory. Before us was spread out thousands of sets of every possible, dreamt about, currently available set. Keyrings, mugs, backpacks (free with $25 purchase), European sets, retired sets, colouring books, playing cards, Scala, Bellville, Divers, Technic… everything!

Buffie Shervington and other LEGO® reps smile.
Buffie (in blue) and some Official LEGO® People™!

Within minutes, most of the members of the club had loaded their arms up with boxes and boxes of sets. Occasionally, a employee would try to help us by taking the boxes to the register, but it seemed more important to just hold the treasures for awhile.

They also had fabulous, large scale models of local landmarks like a model of the U.S. Capitol building and a model of the White House. Studying these amazing models will provide lots of great resources for builders.

Buffie presents Stephen with a piece of the store’s carpet as Denise looks on
Presentation of the carpet!

Keeping a watchful eye over the whole ensemble was the store’s manager, Buffie Shervington. Buffie was great, and was happy to see such a dedicated club in the area. We left her with fliers and told her we would love a chance to display near/in the store or to help with children’s playing days or building in-store models. Buffie was so happy to have such an enthusiastic first day that she even gave us a scrap of the muchly coveted LEGO® carpet from the store !!!

Jenn, Ken, and Rice with big bags with the red LEGO® logo.

After we finished pillaging the store and emptying our bank accounts, we all trudged down to the food court to examine our haul. We were quite the walking advertisement for the store. We all had huge LEGO® bags, except Ken, who only got a pack of cards!!! (In Ken’s defense, he has just about every other LEGO® set already :-) ).

The group takes lunch in the mall’s food court.

In the food court, we attracted much attention playing with our toys and raiding McDonald’s for happy meals (set number 5!!!!). Buffie later said she had at least four groups say they saw us playing and came to the store to check it out. :-)

Chris, Ken, Denise, Stephen, Jeff and others show off their set purchases.
The club shows off the first day prizes and set purchases!

We handed out lots of fliers and cards with the WAMALUG web address on it, so hopefully we will bring in lots of new members!

Total casualties so far with Stephen, Denise, Ken, Chris, Jeff, and Jenn and Dan reporting: $945.02.

Jeff’s report on the event to lugnet.loc.us.md described the rest of the day:

After that, we adjourned to our usual meeting place for many hours of building fun. We set up a huge track and ran an extremely long train, had a couple of spectacular crashes, including one off of an elevated oval of track. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and we had to eventually leave.

Follow link on Metroliner heading forward, to meeting description. on to the meeting description…

Metroliner toy in profile. …back to the top of the page


Local copy of Stephen’s original Usenet post.

Links to photographs