LEGO comes to Israel's Dizengoff Center in Tel Aviv

The 3rd floor of Dizengoff Center is home to the first official LEGO store in the country.

 A LEGO mural on the Dizengoff Center store's wall (photo credit: AVISHAI FINKELSTEIN)
A LEGO mural on the Dizengoff Center store's wall
(photo credit: AVISHAI FINKELSTEIN)

Smirks, wide eyes and the occasional unbridled grin were in supply as shoppers bounced between the shelves of the new LEGO store in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center, mere hours before it opened to the public. A crowd of adults never had as much difficulty hiding their excitement.

Bursting with bricks and the spirit of childhood, the new store on the third floor of Dizengoff Center is the first official LEGO store in the country, and its appearance in Israel was no feat of mere happenstance. Serial entrepreneur Eran Tor and his team have been working with LEGO to get the world’s favorite building blocks into the hands of Israelis for more than seven years.

“Israeli consumers have been waiting for the LEGO experience seen elsewhere in the world, and now for the first time they will be able to experience it here in Israel,” said Tor.

"Israeli consumers have been waiting for the LEGO experience seen elsewhere in the world, and now for the first time they will be able to experience it here in Israel."

Entrepreneur Eran Tor

“LEGO is interested in inspiring children, developing their imaginations with creativity and making them into ‘builders of tomorrow.’ I have no doubt that Israeli children who visit the store will feel that everything that can be built here can be built and produced anywhere and for them - the sky is the limit,” he added.

 Eran Tor, the man who brought LEGO to Israel. (credit: AVISHAI FINKELSTEIN) Eran Tor, the man who brought LEGO to Israel. (credit: AVISHAI FINKELSTEIN)

How expensive will LEGO sets be?

Another point that Tor mentioned was the “competitive pricing” of the products on display, and in the context of buying in Israel, he’s right. No matter where you buy them, LEGO sets are going to fetch a fair amount, but in Israel, they’ll set you back even more. However, some of the sets available at the Dizengoff store are even hundreds of shekels cheaper than what you’d pay on Amazon.

For example, the LEGO Seinfeld apartment set will set you back NIS 349; a Back to the Future DeLorean model costs NIS 699 (though the wheels do pivot into hover mode, so there’s that); and the Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon is a whopping NIS 2,999.

The new store’s stock is nothing short of what you’d expect from a premium brand experience. From DC to Marvel, Minecraft to Mario and Stranger Things to Seinfeld, there seems to be a set available for fans of any popular franchise.

In the presence of these exciting offerings, frantic six-year-olds engaged in panicked budget negotiations with their parents, asking, “If instead of the one 200-shekel Batman set we get these two Harry Potter sets for 300, that’s more for not a lot more, right?”

One frequently heard muttering went along the lines of, “Yeah, I got this for my kid,” though they weren’t fooling anyone. The NIS 69 Spider-Man minikit at the top of their shopping bag might be for their daughter or son, but we all know who’s going to be spending late nights clicking together all 9,036 pieces of that NIS 1,999 Roman Colosseum model.

So what's in the store?

The store, designed by the architects of LEGO Europe, is built in line with modern LEGO stores around the world. Like its global kin, it will play host to special brand events open to the public. However, exclusive to Israel, shoppers will soon be able to construct personalized mini-figures that resemble their own likeness.

Alongside the store launch, a new LEGO Israel website will offer a wide range of products with home delivery and options for pre-ordering models and special editions of products that can only be obtained in the official store.

At the store-opening event, Ambassador of Denmark to Israel Anne Dorte Riggelsen expressed the value that the Danish people put behind their flagship toy line.

“Lego is, in a way, the consumer goods of the Danish DNA. What we have always had in Denmark is a concept of childhood, which must last as long as possible,” she said. “In playing, you learn who you are vis a vis the world, but you can perhaps also find your inner creator [and] build a better world.”