How do you store your LEGO for long storage? Im reading zip lock bags are a bad idea?

DuxaDuxa USMember Posts: 1
Hi all, long time lurker, first time poster.

I have been storing my broken down sets in original boxes inside of Zip Lock bags (1 Gallon and Sandwich ones, obviously brand new clean bags). I recently acquired 9446 set and was sorting the pieces, the brown plates are insanely brittle, have no flex at all and even a tiny bit of pressure from the disassembly tool is enough to snap off pieces of plastic and snap plates in half. To make it more clear, they are so brittle that if I laid a plate on the floor and dropped another one on top of it from a few feet up they would both shatter into a thousand pieces.

I dont know the history of the set, so I assumed sun exposure. However none of the pieces are sun bleached and only the brown pates are affected, all other pieces are fine. 

Anyhow, this got me googling about proper LEGO storage (long term). And I was surprised to find a thread saying that Zip Locks and other food grade bags are a bad idea due to LEGO reacting with the plastic those bags are made of. This was the discussion --> https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/142101-safety-of-long-term-minifigpart-storage-in-plastic-bags/

So I just placed an order for a bunch of 100% Polypropylene (LDPE) bags that are meant for comic books. It seems like they should be a good way to store LEGO. Right?

What do you guys use and has anyone used Zip Lock 1 Gallon and Sandwitch bags for 10+ years without issues?

Thanks!

Comments

  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 552
    I've always just stored them in Ziploc freezer bags. I wrap windscreens and chromed parts inside individual poly bags (left over from opened sets) to prevent scratching, but that's the only extra precaution I take. Most of my sets are acquired inside the past six or seven years, so I can't speak to longterm 'health', but each one I take out has always been as sturdy as the day I bought it. /shrug
    gmonkey76Fizyx
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,348
    edited January 3
    I store all old sets in Ziploc bags. The biggest issue I think would be tire degradation, or 'melting, into the plastic. However, I also think that if they are in a somewhat temperature controlled environment in darkness, then it should be OK.
    I think if you are seriously worried about gallon storage bags affecting LEGO then you may be disappointed in that you will never find an 'acceptable' way of storing such products.

    As for brittleness, I do not buy an argument that skin oil would cause brittleness. If so, then LEGO really needs to fix their chemistry for parts considering that LEGO is meant to be played with.
    I think LEGO looks for any excuse other than the obvious (you know the one that would cost them the most), an issue with their design changes over the past 15-20 years that has changed how they have made the brick, but that is just my opinion and I can be wrong. I believe there are those a bit more knowledgeable in chemistry in the forum that can debunk or attest to the claims.

    I will add that age of the LEGO matters. I have sets from the 80s in ziploc bags and they appear to be fine. Torso's have cracked on old figures, but that is more likely due to stresses over the years of plugging the figures apart moving the arms, etc, and temperature swings when not in a somewhat temp controlled environment.
    gmonkey76MegtheCat
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 621

    If the brown pieces are the current reddish brown, there are many documented instances of brittle and cracked pieces in this color (from these very forums and elsewhere).  The issues are known from brand-new parts right out of the box.  Even LEGO knows about this (and they always seem to be the last to know...).  The formulation for the reddish-brown pieces, and possibly the manufacturing process and industrial storage at the molding facility, is the likely culprit for your issue.

    That said, any type of storage material meant for archival storage can't be bad for LEGO storage either, I would imagine.

    gmonkey76Fizyxoldtodd33mak0137
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,194
    There was a well-known brittleness problem with reddish brown pieces, so as others have pointed out, I would blame that instead of the ziplock bags.

    As of 2018 this issue with New Dark Red/Reddish Brown/Dark Brown should be resolved. With just 2-3 exceptions, all dark/reddish brown pieces in your 2014 #9446 Destiny's Bounty have been in sets in recent years, so if you reach out to Lego CS they will probably send you replacements.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    I wouldn't blame Zip-Loc bags for the degradation of Lego bricks. I would think that climate would play a bigger role. Other than what has been mentioned  it has also been documented that Lego bricks have "yellowed" inside sealed boxes. 

    I have not had an issue with storing my used Lego in Zip-Loc bags. I have 100's of tires in bags and they are perfectly fine.
    gmonkey76Pumpkin_3CK5
  • LegoTTLegoTT Member Posts: 479
    I pulled my childhood collection out of my parents closet last year. A closed plastic tub full of elements stored in darkness for 18-20 years (age depending on the set). Other than minor dust, the pieces were in quite adequate used condition. I was able to piece together a number of my old sets, and was surprised at the good condition. 

    Point is, unless you store them in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, I don’t think you’re going to cause much damage to the elements outside what they’re already prone to (ie the reddish brown issue already mentioned). 

    Don’t sweat it!
    Pitfall69
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,764
    In regards to the reddish brown. That is down to the parts being brittle. I bought the UCS Sandcrawler and had a number of the plates break. It seems to be an issue with the parts (https://forum.brickset.com/discussion/25530/crumbling-parts-from-the-sandcrawler/p1). It isnt anything to do with the bags as far as I am aware
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,028

    The issues with brittle brown (and some other colors) have been recently fixed. The LEGO element quality team made the following statement, shared at the LEGO Ambassador Forum:

    The LEGO Group has been working hard to address reported issues with reddish-brown bricks becoming brittle and breaking under use. The issues have been identified and we are happy to announce that they have been fixed. The fixes were put in place earlier this year for the LEGO colors #154 (new-dark-red), #192 (reddish-brown) and #308 (dark-brown). We waited until now to make the announcement, as we wanted to be 100% certain all issues had been addressed and fixed. If you, at any time, have a LEGO element which doesn’t live up to the standard you’d expect from us – then please don’t hesitate to contact LEGO Customer Service and we will send you replacement parts. We are terribly sorry for the inconveniences this has caused our loyal LEGO Fans across the World.”

  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,061
    I have never had any issues with storing LEGO in ziploc bags (I think that is the majority consensus).  What I do wonder though is what is better - fully disassembling the set before bagging it up or keeping it together as much as possible?  I do both for what it is worth but sometimes wonder if I should be doing one of the other (probably disassembling).
    gmonkey76
  • vwong19vwong19 San DiegoMember Posts: 1,174

    Would explain what happened to these minifigures that were opened last month from a retired set. People may want to check their minifigures for defective brownish parts before some parts become retired.
  • LegoTTLegoTT Member Posts: 479
    vwong19 said:

    Would explain what happened to these minifigures that were opened last month from a retired set. People may want to check their minifigures for defective brownish parts before some parts become retired.
    They usually turn parts over in CS after 3 or 4 years. Doubtful they’d have a replacement for this, but it’s possible. You should give them a call. 
    vwong19
  • jmeninnojmeninno The Batcave (MA)Member Posts: 708
    ^Very nice.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,907
    Where did I put that Legless LEGO Legolas meme?!?!?  I swear, it was around here somewhere...
    Muftak1BumblepantsSprinkleOtterMynatt
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    Pitfall69 said:
    ^Is that "Legolostleg" from "The Hobbled"?
    Nah, it's just Lego-less.
  • Bludchylde1Bludchylde1 Member Posts: 44
    Pitfall69 said:
    I wouldn't blame Zip-Loc bags for the degradation of Lego bricks. I would think that climate would play a bigger role. Other than what has been mentioned  it has also been documented that Lego bricks have "yellowed" inside sealed boxes. 

    I have not had an issue with storing my used Lego in Zip-Loc bags. I have 100's of tires in bags and they are perfectly fine.
    I've been using Zip-Loc bags (sandwich for small sets and freezer for large) since some point in high school. So somewhere between 92 and 96. Even as a kid, I did not like the parts from sets getting mixed up with the general building pieces I'd get from sets bought specifically for parts or garage sale bought pieces. The only downside is every couple years, I need to go through and replace any bags that have tears in them. Every now and then a piece will push through the bag.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,439
    Don't mean to thread hijack...but does anyone use silica gel packs when storing their Lego?
  • AleyditaAleydita BelgiumMember Posts: 794
    Don't mean to thread hijack...but does anyone use silica gel packs when storing their Lego?
    Yes, with electrical items - not sure it's actually necessary though.
    77ncaachamps
  • AlfredthebuttlerAlfredthebuttler Chicago Member Posts: 6
    I’m no scientist, but all my Legos from when I was a kid (80’s) were always stored in smaller moving boxes. Even as a kid they were stored in those boxes and they still live in those same boxes. To this day my space and castle sets still look brand new, although a few stickers are peeling a bit on my town sets, all that may have been as a result of play. 
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 462
    Pitfall69 said:
    I wouldn't blame Zip-Loc bags for the degradation of Lego bricks. I would think that climate would play a bigger role. Other than what has been mentioned  it has also been documented that Lego bricks have "yellowed" inside sealed boxes. 

    I have not had an issue with storing my used Lego in Zip-Loc bags. I have 100's of tires in bags and they are perfectly fine.
    I've been using Zip-Loc bags (sandwich for small sets and freezer for large) since some point in high school. So somewhere between 92 and 96. Even as a kid, I did not like the parts from sets getting mixed up with the general building pieces I'd get from sets bought specifically for parts or garage sale bought pieces. The only downside is every couple years, I need to go through and replace any bags that have tears in them. Every now and then a piece will push through the bag.
    I’m with you.  I just use the quart freezer bags for small sets (yeah they’re kind of big for small poly bags LOL but no issue, and the gallon ones for larger sets.  NO issues either, especially with using the thicker freezer bags.  
    Bludchylde1LEGOFan2
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,458
    Last April I got #6076 that had been stored in the original box sitting in an attic in NC for over 25 years. Temperatures ranged from over 100 to below zero Fahrenheit. The box was slightly wrinkled, probably from dampness over the years, but the bricks were like new. I suspect that darkness was the main reason the was so well preserved, as even the brown parts were undamaged.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,468
    Last April I got #6076 that had been stored in the original box sitting in an attic in NC for over 25 years. Temperatures ranged from over 100 to below zero Fahrenheit. The box was slightly wrinkled, probably from dampness over the years, but the bricks were like new. I suspect that darkness was the main reason the was so well preserved, as even the brown parts were undamaged.
    And the white parts were un-browned?
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,458
    Last April I got #6076 that had been stored in the original box sitting in an attic in NC for over 25 years. Temperatures ranged from over 100 to below zero Fahrenheit. The box was slightly wrinkled, probably from dampness over the years, but the bricks were like new. I suspect that darkness was the main reason the was so well preserved, as even the brown parts were undamaged.
    And the white parts were un-browned?
    Only white parts in that one are the beard and a 2x2 tile, and they were not browned. I also got #493 that  was just loose in a cardboard box in the same attic (Uncle's house). The white spacemen were still white, only damage was antennas that were obviously modified by me or my cousins back in the 80s and some bite marks. Some loose white bricks were also found, enthusiastically played with but un-browned. I kept the loose stuff separate from all my other bricks, so here's a pic of some of the old bricks (on the left) and new white bricks from an architecture Studio set.


    There's a photo over here of the sets assembled after I got them home. They are still on display in the living room, still carrying the dust from 30 years of storage.

    https://forum.brickset.com/discussion/comment/567429#Comment_567429
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