Note: This article was originally written in 2013. The Northeast Minneapolis Brickmania Toyworks Open House is no longer offered. We continue to hope they will bring them back, but in the meantime, this is a store for specialty bricks that work with your LEGO bricks. You can visit their store to learn more about hobby building and find more information in our directory.
I thought it would be the perfect thing for the men in my life to do.
So on a Saturday in 2013, they tootled down Central Ave to Northeast Minneapolis to Brickmania Toyworks’ Open House.
Now please keep in mind that I did not go. I sent the boys. The boys don’t use many descriptive words…their descriptive vocabulary is limited to one word that may or may not be an adjective. Chris, on the other hand, speaks in complete phrases if not in complete sentences. He just doesn’t use very many. So while I am excited to tell you about Brickmania Toyworks’ Open House, I am telling you now. You will need to go for yourself.
The StoreBrickmania Toyworks is located in a older warehouse district of Northeast Minneapolis. It is just off of Central Avenue–literally. When they walked into the building, Chris said that it felt just like a big trade show. It was a vast unfurnished room save the display tables. Around the perimeter of the room, they had displays of the World War Brick Sets and Brickarm Sets,In the middle of the room were large, intricate LEGO train model layouts. Brickmania is the permanent display host of the Twin Cities LEGO Train Club and the Greater Midwest LEGO Train Club. These displays, according to my stoic husband, were amazing. If for no other reason to go, you must see these layouts.
Don’t worry about the kids being bored. They won’t be. Even if they didn’t want to look at the models (which they will), Brickmania offers a huge bucket of LEGOs for the sole purpose of creating something on your own. The bucket is located next to a very big ramp so that if you built something with wheels, you can race it down the ramp. However, it may be good to prepare your child to try to build something without wheels since this is a well-attended event, and the number of wheels per capita of visitors is fairly limited. You may have some sad little ones who just wanted to have some wheels.
The boys arrived at 10:15 am and already by that time, the LEGO-lovers were packing the building. Chris said that it continued to fill up fast and was a little too crowded to be comfortable. His word of advice is to arrive early. My word of advice is to try to leave unnecessary items in the car.
I know one thing for sure. This is a well-loved event. Chris ran into some friends who love trains and LEGOs. They have only been in the Twin Cities for 6 months and already they were going back to see it again. And they didn’t come alone this time. They wanted to introduce it to another family.
Brickmania Toyworks Open House Highlights
- The train layouts were incredible. There were so many details, Chris couldn’t explain them all to me. Trains went everywhere. They had built a subway system with a working train to be able to watch.
- It was very easy to find. If you are coming from the north, get on Central and take it south to Jackson. It’s right there.
Brickmania Toyworks Open House Disadvantages
- It’s street parking only. You can pull off Central to park, but there is no parking lot. Be prepared to walk a little bit.
- Plain and simple, they need more wheels in the LEGO bucket. If they had more wheels, maybe there would be more fighting over ramp space. Sharing will always be hard no matter what it is.
Brickmania Toyworks Open House is a unique LEGO experience that should be shared with anyone who loves trains or LEGOs or toys in general. Be prepared to stick around for a while so that you can see everything.
- 10,000 square feet of LEGO!
- Greater Midwest LEGO Train Club’s and Twin Cities LEGO Train Club’s layouts.
- Brickmania’s Kinetic K’Nex Sculpture–world’s largest rolling ball sculpture around the entire space.
- Brickmania Historic LEGO displays.
- Brickmania’s Play areas featuring LEGO and DUPLO bricks.
- Brickmania’s own “Deuce and a Half” Authentic Army Truck.–you won’t want to miss this!!!!
Brickmania is now located at 1618 Central Ave. NE, Suite 110, Minneapolis, MN 55413.