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Collecting Boxes

collect_thatcollect_that Member Posts: 1,327
edited February 2012 in Collecting
What to do with boxes? Every set I own, I always carefully open with a craft knife so it looks like the box has not been opened when the flap is closed. But I'm rapidly running out of space to store my boxes! I can't decide to recycle some or not as I feel it would leave the set incomplete somehow?

I store boxes within boxes according to theme but its getting stupid now as I store the sets in plastic containers so I can get at them easier.

What do other collectors do??


  • pantenkindpantenkind Member Posts: 258
    I keep some of the bigger sets boxes, but honestly hardly at all as I will never sell my collection. I know some people want the boxes and thats fine, but honestly if you look at older sets you dont seem to lose much in the value if the box is not included. I am sure there are exceptions as with anything. I kind of like people who dont keep them then I can get a bit of a discount on the sets when I buy them.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    edited April 2011
    I keep my boxes.. mostly because I have not removed anything out of them yet ;-)
    I have a few empties.. I find that eventually the value increases of time.. So I guess if you plan to sell stuff in 20 years, then you may want to keep them... If you have a place to store them so they will not rot out in 20 years.. (Which is why items with Boxes usually do go for money, but only if everyone else decides to trash their box)
    The only boxes I think I have keep really have been my Townplan box, and mostly 1980's- 90's boxes with their sets.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Some collectors keep the boxes and some throw them away. I keep the boxes, I think for the same reasons you do. However, if you're realistic about it, it probably isn't very rational to keep packaging after it has served it's useful purpose. If you want to resell, there is merit to having the boxes to increase the resale value somewhat. If you need to reduce the space used by boxes, perhaps you might want to flatten them. Ultimately, if you don't have space, you don't have space. It's really up to you how you want to use a limited resource.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    ^^ Flattening is exactly what I do. I slit the seals on both ends and then flatten it out. You can fit several dozen in a 13 gallon storage container. The box art is something I used to love as a kid. I still remember the alternate models from the 375 Yellow Castle box. Oh, how I wish I'd have saved that one! Todays boxes show more of the functionality of the sets, but are no less beautiful. If you decided you didn't have room for the, I'd try to auction them before you recycled them!
  • mrfootballmrfootball Member Posts: 84
    The boxes are an added value because over time, they become a novelty and recreate the whimsy of the entire Lego experience when you buy a set and bring it home. They're fun to look at and compare throughout the years. I always keep my boxes and try to only buy sets complete with boxes. I don't plan on selling these, and I doubt my son will either...he enjoys them as much or more than I do...however if he has to someday, they'll be worth more with the boxes.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    I keep them now (I didn't when I was a kid) because I like having them. I'll never sell, so I just flatten them out and store them inside other boxes or under my bed.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Member Posts: 10,761
    edited April 2011
    I miss the alt designs too, I wish Lego would bring that back onto the boxes of the new sets.
  • veedubguy83veedubguy83 Member Posts: 29
    I also flatten the smaller boxes and then place them in the larger boxes... The boxes that annoy me are the ones with the thumb punch out hole to open them, I wish they would just seal them all the same...
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    ^^ I use a xacto knife and slit the ends out and leave the thumbhole intact. Its kind of a pain, but keeps the box in nice shape.
  • NellisNellis Member Posts: 3
    When i'm buying i don't really want the boxes, but they are a nice bonus. The thing i do want in my sets are the orginal build instructions, these are way more inportanted to me, as ofcourse you can find them on the internet and print them, but there is just a nice feel to having the orginal instructions when your building your sets.
  • otterotter Member Posts: 12
    For me, I like to keep boxes - How to keep them, though, used to be one of my biggest concerns as I was running out of space like many LEGO collectors.

    Nowadays I take off the 2 stickers on each side of a box carefully and flatten the box (depending on the box status-how old it is, what kind of paper it is made of, the stickers come off easier than others).
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    edited June 2011
    I was just having a clearout of boxes and I wondered what other people keep v throw.

    I'm just throwing out
    - all my collectible minifig packets and polybags
    - boxes for any sets which are low value (under £10ish) since I dont think the box will add to the value or add much in the way of build inspiration
    - boxes for any sets which I bought for the pieces in the first place, and have just disappeared into my loose lego (eg brickmasters, toystory and atlantis in-sale items etc).

    I was wondering what other people keep vs throw out?
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,258
    Throw out=nothing

    Unfortunately this applies to more than just LEGO.

    I don't think i've thought this strategy through long term though, although an imminent house move has delayed the invetible for a few more years i suspect.
  • llanowarsoldierllanowarsoldier Member Posts: 357
    edited June 2011
    I only keep boxes to sets that cost $100 USD or more. Everything else gets pitched as I have limited space.
  • EnbricEnbric Member Posts: 64
    I keep all the boxes and polybags, regardless of the price/size. On the occasion that the set was bought as a parts pack, then I wouldn't keep it but that would be the only occasion.

    I find myself only buying used sets with boxes, even the impulse buys and small sets. I'm fortunate enough to have space to keep them all, so I guess I don't have to consider that.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    edited June 2011
    By the way, handy hint; leave them out in the rain and they take up hardly any space in the recycling bin - found this out by accident but it worked a treat!

    Just threw a box for emerald night and found it very theraputic. The lego itself causes enough clutter, without the boxes as well, am wondering if I might follow @llanowarsoldier's example. No way Im throwing out pre-1990 boxes though.

    I'm loving how every lego box is a slightly different size, so they fit inside each other.
  • paul88paul88 Member Posts: 169
    I keep boxes that I find to look particularly nice. These are usually the $40-$50 and up sets. I just cut the tape on the ends, then fold them down flat. They take up hardly any room that way.
  • NeilJamNeilJam Member Posts: 272
    edited June 2011
    I had been keeping boxes from all my Star Wars and Harry Potter sets, but I'm starting to get rid of them to make room in the attic.

    I may still keep the boxes for the Mill Village Raid and Prison Tower Rescue since they have tabs to close them again.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    Slit the seals on either side and then break it down flat. You can fit dozens in a 17 gallon tote.
  • burakki62burakki62 Member Posts: 46
    I keep everything, all boxes (which I flatten), polybags and minifig packets (tho, not all of them just maybe 2 sets worth). Oddly I have taken to keeping the little plastic bags the bricks come in too... I think I may have a problem (o:
  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,076
    It is hard throwing anything LEGO related away, I agree, but needs must and unless you have acres of spare room, something has to give. I used to keep all my boxes in the attic and must have had 1000 or so of them. But when I moved house in 2006 it just wouldn't have been practical to move them -- they'd have needed a pantecnicon of their own to shift and and I didn't have the same attic space in the new house -- so reluctantly I disposed of them. Thankfully I found a good home for them, they weren't binned.

    Nowadays I just keep the boxes for licenced theme sets, and I'm rapidly running out of room for them...
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    I'm with @atkinsar - keep everything (including poly bags, the inner bags that hold the LEGO inside the boxes, and leaflets) and throw away nothing.

    Sooner rather than later I may be forced to rent some local storage space.....
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    I'm at the other end of the spectrum - all bags go for recycling; most boxes also go for recycling (I've kept a few 'classic' boxes, which I use to store instructions in). To me the box is purely a thing to keep all the parts of a set together until I get it home ... at that point its job is done & it's off to the great recycling plant in the sky :-)
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Member Posts: 993
    I keep all my boxes - but in the near future it's going to become a bit of an issue I think. I think I'll follow the advice of @wagnerml2 and slit the other sides to flatten them. I just love the box art on pretty much all sets, I'm scarcely disappointed in them - and I love revisiting boxes years later.

    I wish I kept more boxes in my pre-dark ages era. Though I'm so glad I did keep one - my Royal Knights Castle, which is just a thing of beauty. I think in 10+ years I'll feel the same about the likes of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley.
  • LukeSkywalkerLukeSkywalker Member Posts: 231
    edited June 2011
    Is there any online resource that shows the box art at the back of the boxes? I'd love it if all the scenes and play features that are depicted on the back were also included in the instruction booklet, then I'd have no problem disposing of the boxes. I love looking at them and sometimes I'd recreate the printed scenes for the fun of it, but I hate having to keep the boxes just for this, in my opinion they're too cumbersome to store (even folded up) and it's the actual Lego that I want after all. Some booklets have all the box pictures, some don't, just seems very random. I think they used to print all the box art in the booklets years ago, at least for a while, but now they just contain advertising for video games and other themes, at the end of the instructions. I just wish Lego would consistently include the box pictures in the back pages...
  • doriansdaddoriansdad Member Posts: 1,337
    I keep everything but I also have plenty of storage. Some day it may add some value, especially if Lego does not renew a popular license. I can easily see for instance the price of anything Lego Star Wars going through the roof when the day arrives that Lego does not renew or Lucas does not sell the license.
  • thesinisterpenguinthesinisterpenguin Member Posts: 96
    I throw all internal bags away, save all polybags, flat pack small boxes, and recycle any damaged boxes. I keep bigger/more sturdy boxes to store flatpacked boxes in!
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    I can't bring myself to throw anything other than the original internal bags away. Nor could I bear to flatten them.

    We are looking to move home right now, house is nearly on the market. I say nearly. What's preventing us from doing so, is I haven't gotten round to hiding all of my Lego. Each of the original boxes is now bubble wrapped and placed into double-walled shipping boxes (modified to provide partitions between the LEGO boxes to avoid crushing). These shipping boxes are currently stored in my bedroom, the dining room and spare room. Not surprisingly, my wife is doing her nut. I was hoping to get them into family's lofts until we'd moved into our new place (6 months or so) but that is proving difficult. And at £40 per week self-storage, that too is proving difficult to swallow.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Member Posts: 1,376
    @flump6523 - Holy Moley! 40 pounds per week????? How big is the space? I know that we have alot of space here in the US, but my 15'-15' storage space is $90 per month and I thought that was a bit high. I could save $10/month if I wanted to store everything a little farther from home (my current space is just outside my neighborhood).
  • tomcatttomcatt Member Posts: 24
    I'm with bluemoose - box is there to contain the parts, and gets recycled when I get home (along with all the plastic). I don't resell anything, and have no real desire to - my sets are for my display/enjoyment, or for parts. Although recently a friend started collecting/reselling, so I have started giving him my boxes.
  • zaxter2001zaxter2001 Member Posts: 35
    I do the same as flump, keep the boxes unflatened, throw away the internal bags (of which i only did last week as i moved into a new apartment and had to save space) keep the CMF bags, and the couple other polybags i have.
  • yys4uyys4u Member Posts: 1,093
    edited June 2011
    At first I keep everything, even plastic bags for parts, but within a week (usually when I clean) I start to throw stuff away. First thing to go it plastic bags. Usually keep poly bags, except minifigs (I keep a few tho) poly bags are just easy to store, I'll probably trash them later.

    Boxes? Usually trash. Vintage Boxes of course I keep, but I feel like the appeal of the boxes began with the alternate buildings depicted on the back. New boxes just have fancy art, which isn't really appealing to me. I do keep some (Modular Houses, Imperial flagship, maybe boxes from $150+ sets), but usually I trash them unless I REALLY like the art or they have a really cool scene. The only one that falls in that category though as of late is the Lego Viking set 7020

    *EDIT* I mean the art on the back of set 7020 because they show many vikings together and many sets together
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    edited June 2011

    A mere 10' x 5' - less than quarter of the area you've secured! I only researched it yesterday as it was becoming desperate and we didn't have the first clue as to how much to expect to pay. I am expecting to be able to negotiate the terms down somewhat but not anywhere close to the rate you're getting. :o( In comparison, it's like 6x the price!

    Edit:- As it happens have just had a call from one of the storage companies I sought a quote from yesterday - chasing up to make sure I received the quotes okay! The £40 was in fact £37 but doesn't include insurance. They insist on you taking out their insurance of which costs a further...........£20 per week. £57 a week (£246 per month) for renting 50 sqft. I'm in the wrong business - cheaper to rent a room in a mate's flat!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    ^ The price of storage is ridiculous in the UK - extortionate. Clearly it's a small country, and space is at a premium, but given the location of many of these facilities on undesirable 'brownfield' sites it's still a scam. Certainly a licence to print money, so if anyone fancies going into business.....
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    ^ If you hurry Doc, you've got your first tenant right here!
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    edited June 2011
    ^^ funny you should say that because I drove a different way into London the other week and noticed storage companies had popped up at relatively prime locations (eg on town centre one way systems like croydon) - now I know how they can afford the rents. Definitely seems to be a growth industry. I suggest its because people who would previously have just moved to a bigger house are now unable to find a mortgage.
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    edited June 2011
    I do the same as flump, keep the boxes unflatened, throw away the internal bags (of which i only did last week as i moved into a new apartment and had to save space) keep the CMF bags, and the couple other polybags i have.
    I'm with you also. I keep some of the older bags from the sets, that are printed with the model (4709) etc, but mainly it's the bin for them.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    @Huw is going to have to adjust the ACM so you Brits can factor in box storage fees as part of the set's purchase price! :o)
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,683
    In my opinion renting a storage space for your things is more expensive than throwing out all of the old and buying new later on. How about finding a friend and offering them half of what storage would cost? You save money and they get a little extra income.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    Or get a cheap tent from tescos and keep em in the garden!
  • MatthewMatthew Administrator Posts: 3,714
    Or get a cheap tent from tescos and keep em in the garden!
    Or how about an extra garden shed?!
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    At one point I had a couple of these loose in my garden full of Lego boxes - worked a treat even in the rain etc. Theyre -massive_ !
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam Member Posts: 573
    I keep the boxes and poly bags, but only if that's what the set was sold in. At this point it's really more force of habit. As a kid I loved that alternative models on the back of the boxes. But seeing as how Lego stopped doing that ... Anyway I mostly flatten the boxes to store them.
  • PepperPepper Member Posts: 91
    I have kept all of my boxes, polybags, and CM packages that I have gotten in the last year or so. I find it hard to throw out the boxes, but I don't really regret tossing the ones that I have so far except for my 4504 MF :(.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca Member Posts: 618
    I keep all boxes and canisters. I had to start breaking this rule in 2003 when I moved due to the high number of BIONICLE mask pack boxes that I had (and continued) to accumulate. However, I can look back now on that as a singular exception.

    Up until recently, I threw out all plastic bags as well. With the advent of numbered bags in some sets and the divisions of the parts amongst them and in the instruction manuals, I have decided to start saving the bags in all my sets. Even without numbers, they save me the expense of buying boxes of zip-loc and other storage bags. Instead, I use a few pieces of tape to seal up the bags again (with the Lego pieces inside them first, of course!).
  • JjfanJjfan Member Posts: 30
    I used to throw away all of my boxes but not anymore. I kick myself for throwing the boxes that I had, all the Batman and Spider-Man boxes especially.

    Now I keep all boxes and polybags. The only thing I throw out now is the part bags.
  • vortexdragonvortexdragon Member Posts: 24
    I keep open boxes and throw out polybags (ziplock bags are just more convenient for storage). I wish I still had some of the boxes for my old sets growing up, but I mostly just have boxes for any new sets I bought in the past year. Boxes nowadays aren't nearly as flimsy.
  • EricEric Member Posts: 376
    After reading this post, I went up to go through what I have lying up in the garage.
    (Not many compared to what you guys have). I keep everything, the boxes, polybags, and even the plastic bags the Lego is sorted in. I flatten what I can, but many of the larger boxes, from 2004-2007 (the ones with the lid that opens up and you can see more features, etc.) that can't be flattened are the storage boxes for the others.

    Anyway, back to the point, I went up there and found that the box for my 8653 Enzo Ferrari has developed a three point tear (Mercedes Benz badge :P ) where (probably another Lego box) has fallen on it. Right in the middle. And probably 15cm long... So, do I chuck it? Is chucking it, going to effect the resale price?
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Administrator Posts: 6,754
    ^ In a word, yes.


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