One of the stores that kept coming up in conversations about Taiwan LEGO is one of the oldest dedicated LEGO stores in Taipei, BidBuy4uTW.
As some of you may already know, there isn’t an ‘official‘ LEGO Certified Store in Taiwan and most of these ‘specialty’ stores were borne out of fans for their love of LEGO.
The store opened it’s doors some six years ago and has since expanded their store in Shi da Road (師大路) in the Da’an (大安區) District from one unit to the current two (they are two different units but located along the same road).
One shop is dedicated to the sale of all the sets ranging from the main line like City, Ninjago and Friends, to the collector sets like Creator Expert and the D2C ones. They also carry some hard to find stuff like the Mini-Volkswagen Beetle and the Star Wars R2-D2 polybag (which had just sold out).
Generally, the prices of regular LEGO sets at BidBuy4uTW are comparative to that in Singapore.
The LEGO Creator Expert Volkswagen Beetle (10252) is selling for NT3350 which once converted, is only SGD$159.50. The RRP (Recommended Retail Price) for the Volkswagen Beetle in Singapore is SGD$179.90 and after the regular LEGO Certified Store discount, sells for SGD$161.90 which is just a couple of dollars difference.
They also provide a membership system that you can sign up for with the store that costs NT100 for a year. It gets you a further 10% off the sets and most of the other items in the store like custom minifigures, Pick-A-Brick and other accessories.
You can find a handful of EOL (End of Line) sets at the usual prices that you would see on eBay so finding a cheap deal on stuff like the UCS Millennium Falcon would be quite tough here. Just FYI, that UCS Millennium Falcon (10179) below is listed at SGD$9000.
The other store is dedicated to the MOC community as that is where the Pick-A-Brick (PAB) and custom printed minifigures and elements are located.
Their PAB is slightly different from what we are used to with the LCS Pick-A-Brick wall system as they charge by weight instead of by PAB tubs.
Used bricks are charged at NT1 (SGD$0.04) per gram and new ones are charged at NT2 (SGD$0.08) per gram. Technic elements go for NT2.5 (SGD$0.11) per gram and there are other special elements that are listed by colour code which have their own corresponding price.
There is a central trough with all the used bricks which you have to scavenge but it does yield quite a lot of unique and useful parts.
Next to the front counter is a section for custom printed minifigures and elements. On top of the ones that they import, they actually produce their own line of custom minifigures in-house.
They have a UV-printer within the premises that is able to print pretty much anything you want on most LEGO elements.
Apart from the custom prints, there are also custom LEGO kits designed by local AFOLs (Adult Fan of LEGO) like the mini-modular series by the Taiwan Mini-Modular Lovers..
One of the unique features of this store is that they also have a studio space in which to do their photography and product videos. There is a room near the back where they have a full brick repository and photography studio.
The studio doubles up as a classroom for Mindstorms lessons which they conduct during the school holidays.
And even if you are just browsing, the stores has quite a number of awesome MOCs by the Taiwanese builders. One highlight would be Zio Creation‘s 1.3m long Avengers Helicarrier which I finally get to ogle in person.
This is definitely one stop that you would not want to miss if you are a visiting AFOL to Taiwan. There is a lot to see and buy here so bring a handy amount of cash and they also accept online transfers through PayPal.
Do check out the multitude of photos in the gallery below or you could click here to view them on Flickr.
Here are the directions and the map on how to get to the store:
Address: No. 13, Lane 93, Shida Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106 (師大路93巷13號 Taipei, Taiwan)
How to get there: Take the Metro to Taipower Building Station (台電大樓站) on the Green line. Get out at Exit 3 and turn right to walk down Shi Da Road (師大路). Turn right again once you hit Lane 93 and the first store should be a couple of units in from the main road.