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  • Hilary Berg

Brick by Brick


A macro photo of a lego diorama. A lego Mailman steps out of his lego Mail truck. Therre is grass in fron of the truck and a friendly brown dog. There are two yellow lego houses with blue roofs accross the street.

When David Thornton was young, he remembers wanting to be a fireman, that is until he played with his first LEGOTM set. Suddenly, his dreams shifted to designing for the Danish company founded in 1932. After years of working retail, and pursuing an education and family, he came full circle as the owner and operator of Bricks & Minifigs in Canby, where he and his crew buy, sell and trade new and used LEGO sets, minifigures and bulk pieces.

Thornton's first LEGO sets included a police car, a space robot and a “really cool” castle. But as he matured, Thornton’s interest in LEGO toys waned. Upon graduating high school, he discovered the new and exciting release of the first Star Wars sets in 1999. Boom, he was hooked again. Fast-forward 23 years later, and his passion for LEGO continues.

A view of the brick and minifigs store floor. There are bins with thousands and thousands of legos of every color. Toys line the walls on shelves far inot the distant back of the room.

Derived from the Danish words leg godt, meaning “play well,” LEGO remains one of the most popular toys in the world. With the debut of LEGO Masters on FOX network, the toy shows no limits on what can be built and by whom: moms, grandparents, siblings, firefighters, scientists.

For those creating their own masterpieces, Canby’s Bricks & Minifigs most likely has the goods. As the flagship location of an ever-expanding chain of Specialty LEGO Retailers, the Canby store boasts 12 large bulk tables overflowing with loose LEGO pieces for eager builders.

When kids have budgets to follow, Thornton says he encourages the little ones to add up the totals — age depending — and even hand the cashier the money and receive change. “Our staff gets down on the kids’ level. We treat them as adults and as individuals.”

Bricks and Minifigs owner David Thornton stands in fron of a wall display of lego sets.

Creativity abounds inside the store with displays such as an employee-built Minecraft world, complete with motorized parts. History abounds, too, with sets from as far back as the ’70s and ’80s often on display or available for purchase.

Don’t forget the minifigures, the LEGO characters bursting with personality despite their tiny stature. Canby Bricks and Minifigs offers thousands of collectible figures. Customers can even build their own from hundreds of parts.

Just as the builder’s age does not matter, the same goes for size of the builds. One of Thornton’s proudest projects: a USPS truck he made for the store’s retiring postal worker, built scaled to fit LEGO minifures. He says, “I’m super proud of the replica. It was going to be simple, but I just kind of got carried away.”

Getting carried away is easy to do at Canby Bricks & Minifigs.



250 S.W. First Avenue

Canby, OR 97013


Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;

Sun., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone: 503-263-3337


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