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Making minifig display cases - would love some advice

FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
Hi everyone, I'm new on the forum and wanted to get some thoughts on a project from some fellow collectors. My name is Mat and I recently made a case for my childhood minifigs. I posted it to the Lego subreddit and got a nice response and wanted to do a small run of cases, but really wanted some community feedback before I go any further. I feel like my design has a lot of room for improvement.

Here are a couple images:





The case is made from laser cut 1/8" plexi and currently the holds 36 figures. I have been thinking of reducing the number to 16 instead. It would make the case more affordable and would hold a full series of minifigs for collectors.

The front and back are both covered although the photo doesn's show it well. The front cover slides off.

Also each cell is currently 2.5" wide, 2.25" tall, and 1.125" deep.This holds these guys well, but could be too tight for larger minifigs. Thoughts?

Last thing I'm wondering about are the baseplates. I designed this so the case holds baseplates tightly, but most people don't have baseplates for every minifig. I like how it holds them in, but I dont want to limit people.

I would love some feedback from some fellow collectors. This is just a little side project that I'm playing with and I have had a great time meeting some fellow Lego fansin the process!
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Comments

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,014
    It looks absolutely fantastic!

    The size of some of the CMFs is a problem, though. a bit more headroom would be required to house the tallest. I'm no expert but I suspect someone here will know the height needed.
  • FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
    Thanks! Yeah the size issue is a concern.. it may be impossible to make one that looks good and accommodates everybody.
  • suprajamessuprajames UK SussexMember Posts: 366
    Wow they look great, very clean looking and can be lit from any angle, top work. Only tall minifig I can think of off the top if my head is Marge Simpson, so that would give you a rough idea on cell height. I personally love the idea of using the base plates, makes them easier to arrange and remove, and keeps them all uniform. Keep us up to date on your progress.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,477
    I was going to suggest using Marge simpson as a tallest one, or any of the ones with a fishing rod as they tend to be an issue too.

    You might want to consider Big Figs too, superhero mini figure collectors will like to include their Hulk figures, but I suggest this as a separate layout to the standard mini figure ones.

    Your case looks good, but be warned it is quite a crowded market, there are a lot of people producing various styles of display cases now and it's the sort of thing a lot of people enjoy making their own too, so it can be a hard market to crack.
    One very small nitpick with yours, invest in some screw covers, you can get some nice chrome finish ones fairly cheap that will just make the finish look that little bit more pro.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,294
    Don't forget depth. If it doesn't fit the Medusa tail, then it will be useless for the CMF series.
    SumoLego
  • FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
    I like the idea of using Marge Simpson and Medusa to set a size for the cells. Good advice as well on the Big Figs.. I agree that they should have their own space and not try to fit in with standard figs.

    Covering the screws is also a good idea.. I'll have to think about different ways to achieve that so they aren't so apparent.

    And thanks, Shib, for the thoughts on the display case market. I'm not too worried about breaking into it.. it seems pretty well-established out there. This was just a personal project that got a little traction, so I figured I'd aim for a small run of them. Not looking to replace my day job just yet! :)
  • leego76leego76 Chandlers FordMember Posts: 360
    Hiding the screws at leg level on the upper row would probably be the easiest fixing solution?
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 936
    It looks clean and smooth. But I rather like not seeing the wall through the back. Is there a way to incorporate a fixed color on the back? or some DIY paper that one could cut and fit to customize it further themselves?
  • FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
    Hiding the screws behind the top-row legs is a great idea. I can give that a shot on the next version. I doubt bringing them further in and down a bit would affect its stability.

    I never thought about the see-through back being an issue, but it totally makes sense. Especially if you have a colored wall or wallpaper. I could get some opaque plexi and use that for the backing. I'd probably go with white so it stayed bright... but black is also an option. Thoughts?
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 936
    White would give some good reflectance.

    I know some people like to color code things, which is why I suggested a DIY paper of different colors that might work. I completely understand wanting to streamline things. I didn't know if it was possible to even fix paper on the back or how it was cut.
  • FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
    It's going to be laser cut and the backing will have precise holes in it which would make the DIY paper tricky, but it's a fun idea. I'm going to order some opaque plexi for my next tests.. if it works out I could maybe look into color options. Thanks!
  • The_Sly_FoxThe_Sly_Fox Member Posts: 42
    edited July 2015
    Looks absolutely fantastic.
    I agree that the compartments need more height though. The official Lego minifigure display cases have a decent height as a guideline. They fit a taller minifigure, such as Marge Simpson or Pong Krell, quite nicely. Even Jedi armed with a lightsaber fit. I would also prefer it a little deeper, say four studs instead of three.
    I actually like the clear back as it allows for customisation. Someone could easily make their own background, be it a map, picture, various colours or lighting. 
    Nice work !! 
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 589
    Looks great! You mention thinking about reducing the size to 16 figures to reduce the cost. Any ideas about what you'd ask for these, in either size?
  • FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
    Really not sure yet on cost. I think once I get the dimensions for each cell figured out I can start looking at how much material I'll be using which will give me an idea about cost.

    I think the next test version I make will be 4 x 4 so I can see how it all works out and maximize my materials..  not sure how many versions I'll go through and I figure I'll learn the same things with a smaller one while in beta. Based on this I can put numbers together for the 6 x 6 if people seem to like the larger size.

    Btw, thanks everyone for all the feedback. I'm really glad I got the nerve to post and ask!
  • wayneggwaynegg Texas,USAMember Posts: 394
    Wow! Fantastic job! The only thing I could possibly see adding which hasn't been mentioned is a cover to help with the dust. Perhaps the bottom and sides could protrude a touch and be groived to allow a sheet of lexan with an upper lip to slide into place?
  • FauxTalbotFauxTalbot Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 10
    It actually has a cover, so they are all sealed in. It's just really hard to see on the photos..  it turned invisible in the images, which I guess is a good thing :)

    The cover slides on and off using a set of tabs. The current tabs are a little too fragile for my taste so I'm working on making them more robust for v2.0.
    wayneggkhmellymel
  • RockWarriorRockWarrior Grove City, OHMember Posts: 1
    I like the idea of going with the smaller size, I could imaging having 4 boxes with set apart a couple of inches each mount to my office wall to give some depth.  That would also provide the ability to potentially separate characters from different genres apart from each other.  I would love to know how version 2.0 has turned out.
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