DELTA TWP. — Before Evan Borin and his wife Salima Matariyeh went "all in" with their Lego business, Evan spent years buying the colorful plastic construction toys in bulk, sorting them, and then selling them online with his two kids.
"Let's do something fun together," he told them. "We'll start our own business."
Borin bought hundreds of pounds of Lego pieces — from thrift stores, retail spots and from area collectors. For the next five years, his family's online business was an excuse to spend time together, and a growing side hustle. Their Lego collection filled the basement and several rooms of their house. When Borin and Matariyeh met, they bonded while sorting piles of Lego pieces, too.
This month, the Okemos couple, who married in February, took their passion for Legos a step further, opening a Bricks & Minifigs franchise store in a Delta Township shopping plaza.
The national retail chain has franchises throughout the U.S. and is "the largest toy store of our kind," according to its website, where Lego users can buy, sell and trade both new and used individual pieces or sets.
Borin and Matariyeh's store, in a 3,200-square-foot storefront at 731 Brookside Drive, just off Saginaw Highway, is Michigan's fourth Bricks & Minifigs location.
A one-stop shop for Lego fans
At Bricks & Minifigs, there are hundreds of thousands of individual Lego bricks and "minifigs," or miniature figurines, for sale, along with more than 2,000 Lego sets on the shelves.
The store caters to fans of the toys and their collectors, Borin said.
"We have a buy, sell, trade model with Lego, so you can bring in sets that you don't use anymore or that aren't on display anymore or that are, maybe, not a theme that you like … you can bring them into us," he said. "We offer cash or trade."
The store sells pre-owned Lego sets that have been built, along with individual miniature figurines, many from Lego sets that are discontinued, Borin said.
"Right now we probably have 2,000 minifigs or more in our display case. A lot of them are rare," he said.
The store's staff inspects every used item before it's placed on the shelves, Borin said.
"We clean them up. We check to make sure that they have all their parts and their pieces," he said, and, thanks to an agreement with the Lego company, the store sells new sets as well. "We have a large majority of the sets you'll see in a larger store."
Store offers something for families and collectors alike
Lego collectors in search of hard-to-find sets or pieces may find just what they've been looking for at the new store.
That's because Bricks & Minifigs locations have "the unique ability to be able to sell sets that are no longer available from lego.com" or at any major retailer, Borin said, including sets that have been "retired" or were sold for a limited time.
"You'll have the new inbox, you'll have the pre-owned sets in the back, you'll have the minifigs in the case and then we also have tables set up with just loose parts," Borin said.
The new store also offers a 400-square-foot space people can reserve for birthday parties and other events.
"We have a racetrack where kids will be able to build cars to race down the racetrack made out of Lego with special wheels that we let them use and then kids will have the ability to make their own minifigures," Borin said.
The store, which opened Nov. 11, has been well received, he said. On opening day "we had a line out the door for I would say three or four hours of people waiting to come in," he said.
Contact Rachel Greco at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, @GrecoatLSJ .
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Okemos couple opens Bricks & Minifigs Lego store in Delta Township