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Keep the boxes or not?

xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
edited August 2015 in Collecting
I have all my old LEGO from when I was a kid in the loft waiting for my son to be old enough to play with it. It's mainly 80s Classic Space (maybe 20 or 30 sets including #6930), a few City sets from the late 70s and a couple of 80s Technic sets (including #8660). I have all the boxes and instructions, although the parts are currently all mixed up in a big box. When I sorted through the parts I found a couple were broken (so they got binned), but in general the sets are complete. The boxes are quite tatty, so I'm considering binning them (to save space) and just keeping the parts and instructions. Would I be making a mistake? I keep all my LEGO Star Wars and my daughter's LEGO Friends boxes in mint condition, but they're sets we bought new recently...

Comments

  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,578
    Post a picture so we can see how bad they are.
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    I should also say that I have no attachment to these sets in terms of collecting. But equally I don't want to bin the boxes if there is a market for old opened sets with tatty boxes and instructions.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    I'd say older sets like that there would probably be more people interested in the box, even if damaged.

    As for newer sets, I have kept every box for every set I've purchased for the last 5 years...I have a huge stack of boxes that I've never looked at. I have recently recycled them since I had no use for them. I think there was a minor market for them, but not worth me listing and trying to ship them to people.
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    I wouldn't throw away those boxes if I were you. From experience, I generally buy vintage sets with the box, in whatever condition is available. You should post photos, I'm sure a lot of people here would love to see your collection!
    madforLEGO
  • sstoroesstoroe Member Posts: 156
    I would post the whole set of boxes and sell them as a lump sum on ebay.

  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    It really depends on the type of collector/buyer/hobbyist/whatever you are. I never plan on selling my LEGO (I say that now. Who knows what the future will bring.) and I throw all boxes out immediately. I have only kept 4--the ones from the 4 Ideas sets I own. And to be honest the only reason I kept them is to store instruction booklets. 
    Drmnez
  • TheUltimateTFOLTheUltimateTFOL Texas, USAMember Posts: 155
    I'd keep the box, a lot of times little kids like to play out whatever scene is on the box before using their imaginations.
    Pitfall69madforLEGOSumoLego
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    If the set is incomplete, I throw out the boxes, especially if all the minifigures are not present. If there are just a few pieces missing, I will hold onto the box in hopes of sourcing the missing pieces. I think the instructions are more important than the box. I will also keep the boxes for large expensive Lego sets; some of the boxes for the earlier Star Wars UCS sets go for a pretty penny.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,105
    If you are missing any parts (due to being broken), then you will likely find them on bricklink.com or brickowl.com.
    But these days it is really hard to have an incomplete set, especially vintage sets, as there are many folks on bricklink that will have the needed parts/stickers (stickered parts) for you to complete the sets.

    Pitfall69 said:
    If the set is incomplete, I throw out the boxes, especially if all the minifigures are not present. If there are just a few pieces missing, I will hold onto the box in hopes of sourcing the missing pieces. I think the instructions are more important than the box. I will also keep the boxes for large expensive Lego sets; some of the boxes for the earlier Star Wars UCS sets go for a pretty penny.
    I presume you mean any newer set  I would be hard pressed to throw out any vintage set box these days (complete set or box or not). Heck, if they are still in any kind of decent shape I would say put them up on eBay or another site to sell them as Im sure there are completion-ists that would like them.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,270
    edited August 2015
    Once sets are over 20-30 years old I would save the boxes.... not sure how bad your "tatty" comment means... which is why folks want images.

    I've posted this before, but it bears repeating.... one man's trash is another man's treasure.

    This obscure 1965-66 set... the 321 Clown Set.... only sold in Denmark and Japan.... the parts... even in mint are worth $10.... the instructions if in excellent shape are worth about $100.  The box... well that's another story.... in good condition $1000 easy.



    I recently saw a pair of 310 Esso Service Station sets from the 1956-58 era... the parts were in crappy condition... but the boxes were in decent shap.... $3000 and $3600 for the pair....   :o

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^^Yes, I mean newer sets.
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    Here's a photo of the old boxes I still have:



    Is there anything of value there or should I recycle?
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,144
    ^i would keep or sell all of these.  I wouldn't recycle them.  Those are older boxes from vintage sets and there is a market for those.

    There may and may not be a market for sets that come out today in 20 or 30 years.  More people collect and resell today than they did 20 or 30 years ago.  So do I really need to hold onto my Benny's Spaceship box?  Probably not, but I will for the time being.
    madforLEGOMordoorkiki180703
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    I just noticed that I don't actually have the box for #6930 (it's not in the photo).
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 259
    Of all my pre-dark age sets, I only have 2 boxes left. I would very much like to have all the original boxes again, but atm I don't have the money to spare. I am sure there are plenty more people like me who can take some of those boxes off your hands.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    Save the boxes
    madforLEGOkiki180703
  • OrmskirkBricksOrmskirkBricks England, UKMember Posts: 265
    I am sad. I keep the boxes, and keep the instructions and all spares parts in a small grip seal bag in the original box. I guess, once I pass the collection on to my kids, they can re-box and sell if they want at the maximum value. 

    What a morbid post!
    oldtodd33
  • jesirosejesirose McKinney, TXMember Posts: 52
    I'm currently trying to piece together my husband's old set of classic space stuff, and I would love to have a box to display once I get some built. I'm going to build a few of the small vehicles and put them on a shelf for me to enjoy, and a box behind them would look cool. 

    That said, I throw out our new boxes. There's a difference between the classic space sets from when the company was brand new, and the $5-10 sets my kid gets today. 

    I do keep the instructions in his sets, even though you can download them online, because I think those will be useful in the future. 
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 672
    If you don't want those boxes, there is certainly someone out there who does.  Put them in your Bricklink, Brickowl, or ebay store (or in the Buying/Selling forum here) and they will sell (eventually).  You won't get hundreds of $$$, but you'll get more than you would by recycling them.

    Personally, I own nearly all those sets without their boxes, and it'd be neat to suddenly have the boxes!  Before you throw them out, PM me...
    madforLEGO
  • sir_Bricksalotsir_Bricksalot UKMember Posts: 110
    I'd second the opinion that its worth keeping the boxes (but I am one of those really OCD types of people about those kind of things :smile: 
    xwingpilot
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    edited August 2015
    Thanks for all the opinions.

    @sir_Bricksalot I'm also OCD about keeping boxes for new sets (now), but for these old sets the condition of the boxes isn't perfect, and a few of the parts are missing, so it rankles a bit.

    I'll probably cut off the torn-open ends and continue to store the boxes so if these sets do ever get sold they will appeal to the AFOL market. Of course, after another childhood of being played with I wonder if any more of the parts will get lost or broken :#


  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,673
    I throw out/recycle boxes to all my sets with a few exceptions. I keep any box to a comic con/exclusive set, ideas sets, or sets like the Star Wars Droid developer set that had trays/sections. I don't worry about resale value of a set without a box because I'd have to be dead before I'd sell any LEGO.
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,921
    I used to cut out and keep many of the pictures from the older boxes. This is because back before there were so many LEGO resources on the Internet, pics like these were hard to come by, yet they made for good inspiration material. Even today, finding high-quality box pics of certain older sets online can be quite the challenge!

    Today, I keep my boxes, mostly out of habit. But I flatten them out unless I'm still using them to store things (I rarely cut them apart anymore, though, because they're actually a lot easier to keep organized when they're one flat piece than several irregularly-shaped flat pieces). Flattened boxes take up so little space that I see little point in throwing them out, and if I ever decide I need to throw them out later, well, that option isn't going to disappear just because I've chosen to keep them for the time being.

    My motivations for keeping the boxes have never had anything to do with the resale value.
    kiki180703
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 890
    I have kept the boxes from the flagship sets - Death Star, Modulars, 90s pirate stuff and the Monorail - but otherwise they go straight into recycling, if I kept them all I'd be buried under cardboard by now!
    kiki180703gmonkey76
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    Interesting comment in yesterday's telegraph article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/11817380/Lego-a-better-investment-than-shares-and-gold.html):
    Invest in Lego sets that were released after 1999. Pre-2000 sets were not really great investments. Many sets were basic and uninspiring. There are a handful of vintage sets that are viable collectables, but most have plateaued in value and many are in poor condition.
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    I say save them but if room is an issue, sell if you can.

    Luckily, the newer boxes can be flattened. The older ones needs more care and space.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,105
    Oldfan said:
    If you don't want those boxes, there is certainly someone out there who does.  Put them in your Bricklink, Brickowl, or ebay store (or in the Buying/Selling forum here) and they will sell (eventually).  You won't get hundreds of $$$, but you'll get more than you would by recycling them.

    Personally, I own nearly all those sets without their boxes, and it'd be neat to suddenly have the boxes!  Before you throw them out, PM me...
    Well there are many reasons to not keep the boxes:
    -Cardboard degrades over time if not kept in a good environment.
    -Boxes are large, even if 'flattened'
    -With old Boxes of the earlier than 2000 they are built in such a way that flattening them would destroy the value, so you have to keep them stacked somewhere.
    All of these factors is why they are not kept, which is also why they go up in value over time (and should be kept if possible).

    I have a lot of classic 80's/90's LEGO and I value having the boxes if I can happen to find them as it does increase the value of the set overall if you have the box (even if the box is a bit beat up). Pretty much like every other old toy out there.
    Will newer boxes be worth as much as older? Well we will not know that for another 10-15 years :smile: 

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