New answers tagged minifigures
Your friend can get Queen Amidala at several shops based in Europe. Here are all the listings with the country of the shop: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogPG.asp?M=sw387. It might be also worth checking the eBay listings specific for their country. As far as Mario, LEGO never made an official one, however this UK based store does carry some: ...
If you are close to an official LEGO store they have stations to make your own minifigures. LEGO also has an online Pick-A-Brick store where you can buy parts individually. They have a decent selection of legs, heads and headgear, but the toros selection is quite limited. You can check it out here: http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Pick-A-Brick-11998. Other that ...
Minifig Generator might work for you. Or maybe the SigFig Creator. Flash based, but also fun: Mini-Mizer. I'm sure there are more... 6 hours later... OH! you mean like an actual bit of molded plastic. For that, probably your best bet is using one of the above to find some approximation and then hit up something like Bricklink to buy the proper parts.
Pick-a-brick is a pretty cost effective to get bricks, in my experience. Prices will vary by your locale, of course, but I have one data point. For a 17 EUR PAB cup, I got around 100 EUR worth of bricks using BrickLink's average price. Since the average price is often above the median, and the median is not shown on the page, I instead recalculated using the ...
Definitely look like knock-offs to me. The plastic just doesn't look quite right, even down to the reflections. I'd be concerned about buying knock-off LEGOs for a child - you have no way of knowing whether the materials used in the construction is safe, and also high risk of bits snapping off. (although that's probably true for LEGO in general).
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