Built for Fun
Local family opens Bricks & Minifigs, a store for all things LEGO
By Sondra Barr
Photos by Mark Susan
LEGO is a family affair for the Blaz family. Fans of the construction toys, Allen and Kat Blaz decided to turn their family’s LEGO hobby into a business, Bricks & Minifigs.
They were introduced to the franchise while visiting Kat’s brother in Albuquerque. “He took us to a Bricks & Minifigs for the first time and we thought it was a really cool concept,” she says. “At the time, we never thought we’d own one.”
Founded in 2009, Bricks & Minifigs is a buy, sell, trade model exclusively devoted to all things LEGO, including bulk bricks and other accessories. The minifigs in the name refers to the collectible, poseable mini-figure characters that come in sets or as individual pieces.
When they returned to Arizona, Allen found out there was a Bricks & Minifigs in Avondale. He’d regularly make the long drive out to the store with their kids, Alec and Evie, to scope out the offerings.
“Out of the blue, Allen came to me last February and broached the idea of opening up a North Phoenix Bricks & Minifigs.” says Kat. “I’ve always liked the idea of owning a business. As a horse trainer previously, being my own boss and working for everything I make appeals to me. So I said, ‘Let’s do it.”
Another thing she liked about the idea: the LEGO industry is thriving, despite the pandemic. “LEGO became something more important for families to do together and to get kids off their iPads. I also like that it’s been a toy that’s been around for decades and has really stood the test of time.”
“The biggest thing with Bricks & Minifigs is that it’s your one-stop shop for everything LEGO. There are no other stores around where you can find LEGO new in a box, you can find used sets, you can find minifigs by themselves, or you can buy pieces from our bulk area if you have a set and you’re missing a few pieces to complete it. Plus, we have an area where you can build your own minifigs, which is really popular,” she says.
“We also buy and trade your old LEGO. If you have an old set that you want to get rid of, bring in the set, and we’ll give you cash in hand or trade-in value so that you can walk out with a new-to-you set.”
What’s truly unique about each Bricks & Minifigs store is the variety between locations. “All the used sets are what we’ve gotten from our community, so each store has different cool show pieces. We call them relics,” says Kat. The North Phoenix store’s relic is a custom Iron Man Hall of Armor, which has every single Iron Man marked minifig. Its value is close to $3,000.
The family also plans on working with schools to support S. T. E. A. M. initiatives and LEGO clubs where children can use LEGO to continue learning and bolstering creativity. They’re also looking forward to working with nonprofits that have the same community values the couple holds dear.
North Phoenix Bricks & Minifigs
1730 W. Happy Valley Road, Ste. 106, Phoenix
The Blaz family has two rescue dogs. One is named LEGO and the other is Mayhem (as in General Mayhem from LEGO Movie 2).