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    Protecting LEGO Boxes: Storage Bags


    Hi. I’m a new investor/collector/AFOL. One issue I have encountered with my new hobby was how to protect the fragile LEGO set boxes from shelf wear and the interior home elements, such as moisture from possible water leaks, dampness from high humidity areas like basements, dust and smoke. Several years ago, I discovered various brands of storage bags and thought these would be an excellent answer to these issues. These bags are large, very durable, and reusable. They would wear out with constant use, but for items that will sit awhile, like LEGO sets, they are worth looking into. They are also transparent, which would enable the LEGO collector and investor to view what is in the bag while the sets are stacked on shelves or similar storage areas.

    I’ll first describe the features and advantages of using them to store your LEGO investment. Then I’ll list brands, sizes, prices, and sources.

    • Provides protection
    • Accurately described as “with their pleated bottom and secure zip seal, they are perfect for storing even your bulkiest items while helping to protect them from moisture, dust and pests.” They also help prevent cigarette smoke from damaging boxes.
    • Makes it easy to move or transport your boxes Most brands have a handle
    • Reusable After selling the LEGO set that was stored in the bag, the reusable bag can be unzipped and used on the next LEGO investment.
    • Transparent Enables the LEGO collector and investor to view what is in the bag, without actually opening the bag up.
    • Inexpensive In the worst case, you’re looking at $1.50 per LARGE Lego box, a small price to pay for extra protection. And remember, they’re reusable.
    • Group similar sets together Put similar or same sets in the same bag.
    • Takes up no extra space in your storage. Unlike some paper products(cardboard), these bags take up little space.

    There are 3 brands that I have come across. In each case, consider only the XL and XXL sizes.

    1. StorIt

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    These are the cheapest and can be found at dollar stores. However, their largest bag will not fit the large Lego sets like the Haunted House.

    For $1, you can get one XXL size 24” x 20” (60.9 cm x 50.8 cm) or two XL bags size 20.5” x 17” (52.1 cm x 43.2 cm)

    They are priced much higher online ($4 at Amazon). Look for them in dollar stores. If you can’t find them, you can order then from Dollar Tree but the minimum purchase is 36 at $36.

    Dollar Tree: http://www.dollartree.com/cleaning-storage-hardware/storage/EZ-Stor-Plastic-Storage-Bags-with-Handles-XX-Large/212c261c261p299576/index.pro

    2. Zip N’ Go

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    These are part of the Space Bag series, those bags that let you suck the air out of them with a vacuum to save space. However, no worries. These bags are normal and don’t suck. I have seen them at Linens N Things but cannot find them anywhere online.

    For around $13, you can get two XL size 22” x 22” (55 cm x 55 cm) AND two XXL size 28” x 28” (71 cm x 71 cm). The XXL bag will hold the large Lego sets like the Haunted House. In fact, you can store two large sets comfortably in one bag, making the extra cost just over $1.50 per set.

    3. Ziploc Big Bags

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    For $12, you get three XXL size 24” x 32” (60 cm x 82 cm). These would be the most expensive at $4/bag but are the strongest with a double zipper.

    Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Ziploc3pk-Bigbag-Closet-Storage/dp/B000V9N1WO (Note: At the time of this writing, I saw them on Diapers.com for $7 with free shipping for orders over $49)

    Here are some actual photos of the storage bags being utilized with LEGO sets:

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    All in all, these large transparent storage bags are a LEGO investor and collector's best friend. The storage bags help protect from the dust and moisture that can be found in every house, yet will also protect from major water damage from possible pipe leaks and smoke damage from fires or cigarettes. Also, the prevention of shelf wear, which can reduce the value of any Mint In Sealed Box LEGO set, is another big positive. While not structural in any way like cardboard boxes are, these bags don't take up any valuable space like paper products do. So do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of boxes and start protecting your LEGO sets. In the long run, you won't be disappointed.

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    Great job Rick! It was definitely not something I previously thought about at all before, thanks for educating me in what can be done.

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    Hi. great article. One question. Any concern about storing boxes in air tight bags? I know with comics, baseball cars, and vintage action figs, they recommend some airflow.

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    I can see the samples of the different bags but the pics of the bags with the Lego boxes in them are not showing? I'm using my iPad.... it just me that can't see them?

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    It would probably be a good idea to place a few packets of silica gel in any air-tight storage bag. This is particularly true if the Lego set box is currently in a location with normal to high humidity (over about 50%). In fact, I'd put some silica gel in regardless, as any box can already contain some moisture, some of which may already be inside the box. Another option to guard against accidental damage (water leak) and dust is to use a garbage bag when the open end just folded under - loosely sealed, in other word. This would allow some air exchange.

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    P.S. Silica gel is sold in lots of places; for a large bag, I'd use at least 10g of silica per bag. http://www.amazon.com/Dry-Packs-Cotton-Silica-Packet-Pack/dp/B0038N30OY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358653564&sr=8-2&keywords=Silica

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    Thanks for all the comments. I just checked the Amazon link (http://www.amazon.com/Johnson-Ziploc3pk-Bigbag-Closet-Storage/dp/B000V9N1WO) and instead of $12 when I wrote this, it's now $8.29! Thanks for the additional idea and source for the Silica Gel Packets. I'm getting some. (not sure why the photos are sideways and upside down. Maybe Ed can flip them.)

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    10gm per bag was mentioned. Here's an Amazon link for 10g packets if you don't want to deal with math and fractions required by the previous link for 3g packets :)

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    oops. Here's the link http://www.amazon.com/Dry-Packs-Cotton-50-Pack-Dehumidifier-Silica/dp/B003TD24PY/ref=pd_luc_bxgy_01_04_t_lh?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    Guys, the zip bags are great idea but slow down to the silica bags I used to work in the printing industry, the best environment to keep the quality of and the color of the box is to first of all stay away form UV light and maintain ideal humidity around 60%, is not as low as possible depends on which states you live in, i think having a zip bag in a cupboard is good enough

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    I definitely prefer this to any kind of boxes, specially if space is an issue. Unless you are using a really well constructed encasing, this things are perfect to keep moisture out. Important for those of us living in Florida!

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    I just realized that something that I wrote in the article got left out. While being reusable, you may consider using them when you sell and ship as extra protection during its travels.

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    Legopocalypse, I'm using my iPad and I can see the pictures just fine. :-). As for the bags, seems a good idea, nice and inexpensive. I was reading a forum post earlier from someone who encases his boxes in acrylic, if you have the cash, this is a much better way of protecting them, plus it looks cool

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    thanks Furbs, at the time i posted it there was a problem witht he pics and they were not showing up at all but since then the moderator fixed it and the pics are showing up for everyone. =)

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    Rick, thanks so much for the tip. I went and bought a bunch of these from Diapers.com (to get free shipping and $7-ish for a 3-pack) Weird thing was that I couldn't click the "Place Order" button on the final checkout screen in the newest version of Firefox, so I used Opera instead and then the button worked. Only question that I haven't seen asked yet on this post is... what about huge sets like the Death Star or the Super Star Destroyer? I am assuming these bags won't hold sets that big... I will take a look when I get them though! Regardless, thanks so much for the great article, links and tips.

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    I normally tape my sets into the lego bags they came in, this sounds like a much better idea. Thanks for sharing this idea. They do large polythene sheets that could be used to wrap the items. Maybe lego should start looking into shrink wrapping all sets, just like the lego games (Battle of hoth style)

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    What kind of damage can Florida humidity cause to an unprotected LEGO box that's sitting on a shelf indoors? I'm about to move to Florida.

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