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I want to buy a few cool sets for investing purposes or to give to my kids later on if they prove to be poor investments. I'm not going to open the boxes they'll just be stored but it might be nice to display them on a shelf or something to remind me of why I like them.

So how can I keep the boxes looking their best for the next five or ten years? I assume that fading from sunlight damage is the biggest problem so what needs to be done to prevent that?

Note that I'm asking about the boxes here and not the bricks which is covered in this question: How can I store LEGO bricks as long as possible?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

While the LEGO plastic elements are very durable and should be considered as safe as long as they remain in their box, the boxes themselves are much more vulnerable.

As you mention, direct sunlight may be damaging to the printing, but you'll also need to be wary of humidity and possible shocks.

As a minimum, I'd recommend storing them in another cardboard box, if possible an original one from LEGO as dimensions will match better. If not, you'll need to make sure there is sufficient padding so that your LEGO box doesn't move freely in the cardboard box. Padding might be a good idea anyway if you aren't too sure of how careful you'll be with the outer box, a dented corner happens very fast.

Of course, you'll want to store the boxes in a dry area, and out of reach of other hazardous elements (cats come to mind - shredding boxes is the raison d'être of some, the rest prefer peeing on everything which you'll want to avoid too).

All this isn't exactly specific to LEGO, but my last bit of advice would be to turn the boxes from time to time so that the weight of the elements settling inside don't always affect the same side. Or at the very least, store your boxes flat. If you were to store a big box on the same side, the bricks inside will put enough pressure on the side that they'll eventually deform them.

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Fortunately there are no cats in the house. What about displaying them? –  Clara Onager Aug 28 '12 at 14:19
    
Well I wouldn't go as far as to say "display" and "preserve" are incompatible, but it's certain if you want to display them you'll have to sacrifice some protective measures. Light, obviously, but you can at least make sure it's not sunlight. Also, you're likely to display them in a standing upright position, which as I said can cause a settling problem. Your best bet is probably to build cases (glass, plexiglass?) which encase the boxes tightly, but how to do that is a question probably better suited for Home Improvement. Or transparent wrapping foil, maybe? –  Joubarc Aug 29 '12 at 6:13
    
Yeah I was wondering if something along the lines of a deep picture frame would be doable –  Clara Onager Aug 29 '12 at 8:03
    
Well shoot, if you want to display it, send it off to the Action Figure Authority and have them grade it and seal it in carbonite: ebay.com/itm/… –  gev Aug 31 '13 at 22:43

Just keep them away from children, and store them on the shelf. the boxes are very easy to dust off, and they will not be harmed form the dust.

Also, do not put anything heavy on top of the LEGO boxes! I have had experience with this, and it leaves a crease in the box. Actually, you should not out ANYTHING on top of the box, unless it is another empty LEGO box. Or a full LEGO box. I would say that the maximum weight would be the heaviest LEGO box, because the weight is spread out. Only put other LEGO boxes on top of the box. They were meant to be stacked.

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Not putting anything heavy on the boxes seems a very valid point. I'm a bit curious about your statement that LEGO boxes are meant to be stacked. As far as I know, LEGO boxes are actually seldom stacked; rather, they are bundled together in bigger boxes which are themselves stacked, so the boxes themselves don't have to support a lot of weight. Is this something you read somewhere? If so, a reference would be neat. –  Joubarc Aug 30 '12 at 9:55
    
I meant that they were meant to be stacked on each other. LEGO box on another LEGO box will not cause damage. –  LegoBoy Aug 30 '12 at 18:45
    
What great storage ideas! There are a lot of lego loving kids in our family, so I'm going to have to share these ideas. –  user2402 Feb 28 '13 at 11:21

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