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Best Way to Open Lego Boxes

atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
edited March 2011 in Collecting
For those collectors amongst us that like to keep the boxes in as mint condition as possible after opening. What's the best technique you've found for getting those ridiculously designed (IMO) boxes open?

Comments

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,805
    Assuming you're talking about the glued ended ones, I slit then carefully with a long bladed knife. 9 times out of 10 you can get them open without a mark but occasionally, if there's loads of glue I end up cutting off the tab instead :(
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,603
    Carefully. With a very sharp knife. And always on the left side of the box !
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,590
    I use my teeth
  • starfire2starfire2 Phoenix AZMember Posts: 1,329
    I don't usually care about the smaller boxes. I like to keep the larger ones in as mint condition as I can. Not always easy. I use a box cutter to slit the tape.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    And always on the left side of the box !
    OCD?

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    And always on the left side of the box !
    OCD?

    Not uncommon among LEGO enthusiasts :D
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,815
    A term I'm happy to admit to on here but strongly deny to my wife. Long sharp knife... but from the right! :o)
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179
    I use a letter-opener on the large taped boxes. The impulse boxes I usually end up either recycling or flattening out completely, depending on how mangled they become in the opening process.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited April 2011
    And always on the left side of the box !
    OCD?
    Not uncommon among LEGO enthusiasts :D
    Actually, I always try to open them on that side as well.

  • OrthobotrexOrthobotrex Member Posts: 165
    edited April 2011
    And always on the left side of the box !
    OCD?
    Not uncommon among LEGO enthusiasts :D
    Agreed! I don't even want to mix up my bricks with other sets.

    I open mine on the side that has the cut-out marks using mainly a box cutter or my knife. But I haven't had a clean cut, even if I do it gingerly!
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    I use a hobby knive pretty similar to a box cutter. Not always, but mostly on the right side, but I'm having the box's back facing up then. I do it like Huw, DrDave and Starfire describe and leave the boxes as intact as possible (so I open only one side, if possible).
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,001
    ....Chainsaw....
    Actually I have not had the honor of opening a new Lego Box at this time.. I do not want to open at the moment due to space issues.
  • JohnnyfinlandiaJohnnyfinlandia Member Posts: 358
    edited June 2012
    I just wondered how everyone opens their Lego boxes if they are going to keep or resell. I have been using a knife and try and cut the same side which has the perforated u shapes for ease of opening, but tend to find I still rip, or inadvertently cut, some of the box area.

    Is there a better way as it would be nice to keep the box in good condition.
  • ChompersChompers Member Posts: 658
    I do the same as you, starting with the 'thumb' section first then the flaps. As for the larger sets, if I plan to open a box at some stage in the future I pull of the seal tabs as soon as pthe set is purchased. The glue is still quite fresh so it doesn't pull/mark the outer skin of the box.

    Will be interested to hear from others as to how they open boxes.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    I use a craft knife with the blade fully extended to slide under an end tab to cut any glue.
  • JohnnyfinlandiaJohnnyfinlandia Member Posts: 358
    Thanks .. I normally use a sharp kitchen knife but yes a craft knife is much sharper and more likely to cleanly cut. Will try that when (or if) I get the Jabba delivered. You are right. The bigger sets are easier as they sometimes are horizontal rather than end opening so seem to be much cleaner to open.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited June 2012
    Same as you Johnny, but I only start it off with the knife, I finish it off with my finger. That way I find I can 'feel' if it's going to rip.

    I do enjoy popping the thumb tab though :)
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291


    I do enjoy popping the thumb tab though :)
    +1!

    Thumb tabs are incredibly satisfying to "pop".

  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,913
    I just rip the thing open......I tend to turn four when I get lego
  • LegofanscottLegofanscott Member Posts: 622
    I just use a sharp knife to cut the seal, hasn't done any boxes any harm yet, I have ocd when it comes to condition of LOL

    I was planning on sending my 10188 back as it has a tiny little ding on it , I should get out more xD
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,431
    edited June 2012
    I never 'pop' the thumb tabs.
    I always get a big kitchen (chef's) knife, and (try to) slice through the glue itself of all the flaps (the big ones as well as the two adjoining small ones on the sides of the box), on both sides of the box. Ones I have got the knife inserted, I rotate the handle a little back and forth, pushing with the blade up against the carton, separating the flaps. It usually works out pretty good without damaging the box (too much). In the end I can flatten the box and it looks as it (probably did) before they glued the flaps together in the packaging department at the Lego factory.

    The big boxes are always a piece of cake. You only need to cut through four plastic seals.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Well it depends in my case. If I want to resell the set in Used, then I go for the knife, otherwise you cannot say no to using your thumbs :P

    Speaking of boxes, will we ever be able to see LEGO sets coming in smaller boxes? Since half the space goes to waste. Never understood the science behind this strategy of LEGO.

    Something funny on this. Our first Queen Anne Revenge was opened by my son, and poor boy was thinking we will be getting 2 ships in one box due to box size :P
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291

    Speaking of boxes, will we ever be able to see LEGO sets coming in smaller boxes? Since half the space goes to waste. Never understood the science behind this strategy of LEGO.
    You can't deny the fact that the large box lends itself to an impressive first look. It's a key marketing tool!
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    ^ They look more attractive and better value for money if they are in a large box.

    Cereal companies do it too - you think you are getting more for your money.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432

    Speaking of boxes, will we ever be able to see LEGO sets coming in smaller boxes? Since half the space goes to waste. Never understood the science behind this strategy of LEGO.
    I think they already are reducing the size. Sopwith Camel is in a smaller sized box than I think it normally would be. The manager at the Indianapolis LEGO store told me its part of their "green initiative." Now, having a smaller box size does mean you can fit more product on the shelves. The smaller box size has a downside though - less psychological impact on the size of what you're receiving with what you're having to throw down for that plastic. This is probably less impact on the seasoned LEGOholic and AFOL, and more impact on ma and pa deciding what to buy their kid.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,557
    It's not just less packaging wasted either, it is more sets in the back of a van, so less fuel costs. Not such a big deal for the US (although getting there), but significant for Europe.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,916
    I like to "pop" the thumb tabs and use a regular kitchen knife for cutting in the flaps. I try to be consistent on which side I cut the flaps on, but I usually forget. Then I take a big whiff of the fresh smell inside, bags included too. ;)
  • seonadancingseonadancing Member Posts: 92
    I pop on the thumb tabs then pull the cover up. I've never open it any other way. I agree that the box should be smaller, Lego doesn't have to give anyone an impression of the real size of the product, I think most people are buying because of the design and not the size.
  • voidstarvoidstar Member Posts: 21
    Another way: get a large putty knife or large sharp scraping tool and use a combination of prying and cutting: prying to separate the glue close to the box and cutting to take care of any thin cardboard still connected.

    The larger the tool, the less chance of creasing the box.
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