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I have some LEGO bricks which are probably about 10 years old. They've neither changed color in any way nor dried out or anything, so it seems to be as stable as ever.

How should I store them so that my own children (and maybe their children) can play with them?

  • 11
    You are at a site where we do NOT store the LEGO but still play with it :) – mplungjan Oct 26 '11 at 12:50
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    Indeed, keep playing, and don't make children. Keep your bricks for yourself. – Joubarc Oct 26 '11 at 14:51
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    Have you tried carbonite? It does wonder at protecting space smugglers from harm. – jfyelle Dec 13 '11 at 22:23
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Plastic Bricks

  • Fading — Keep bricks away from natural light to avoid colour fading. (Models in Legoland Miniland are subjected to year-round weather. The chemicals in the plastic bricks are broken down by UV light.)
  • Heat — Keep bricks at room temperature in a dry place (like a cupboard). The melting point of a brick at 105 °C (221 °F) shouldn't be a concern.
  • Dust — Store bricks in air-tight containers. Dust is notoriously difficult to clean, especially around the studs of a brick. Whilst dust has no serious long-term effects on Lego, it saves a lot of time cleaning the bricks in the future.

Special Parts

  • Electronics — Always remove batteries from electronics when put into long-term storage. Over time the batteries may corrode, leaving a sticky mess that can be difficult to clean.
  • Rubber — Technic rubber bands and other pieces made of rubber will degrade over time when exposed to light and oxygen. Keep rubber bands in an airtight bag.
  • StickersHow should I store unused stickers?

I'd save these last two points for LEGO merchants or casual online shoppers:

  • Smoke — Keep bricks away from cigarette smoke. It can be very hard to remove damage from bricks, and may discolour them as well as leaving a faint odour.
  • Pet Hair — If you plan on selling your LEGO bricks in the future, you may find some buyers have allergies to certain pets.
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    Yep, I can safely state that my LEGO bricks had been stored in a collection of cardboard boxes in both my parent's and then my own loft and are now enjoying a new life with my kids :) The only things that have not survived are the rubber bands and some of the older pneumatic tubes. – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Jan 24 '12 at 21:57
  • Seconded. I stored mine in a metal can for 8 years in a metal can, and then for another 7 or so years in a paper ream box and it stored pretty well. I would also point out that smoke wasn't issue for me (my parents smoke), but then again, it had a LONG time to clear out. I'm pretty sure I kept the bricks relatively cool, they were never in an attic or garage. – cgp Mar 24 '12 at 11:02
  • Mine survived 30 years in a cardboard box in a hot (occasionally more than 100F) garage. Even the strings, manuals, pneumatic tubes & springs are still intact & functional. – VolleyJosh Oct 20 '14 at 22:06
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Store them in a place with no direct sunlight shining on the block to avoid bleaching. Also, make sure it isn't getting too warm (>50°C) - that's about all, the standard LEGO bricks consist of ABS, which is very robust.

In conclusion, the ideal place is dark and has as least fluctuation in temperature as possible: put your LEGO in a box/chest and store it in your basement/cupboard.

  • Will humidity affect the blocks? – fredley Oct 26 '11 at 10:42
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    since ABS isn't soluble in water this shouldn't have any effect. the only way i can think of is very humid air in combination with freezing temeratures wich could cause damage, but i'm nut sure about that. as long as you don't reach extreme conditions (wich shouldn't occur in a cubby anyway) theres no problem. – oezi Oct 26 '11 at 10:53
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    LEGO vampire minifigs in particular must NOT be exposed to direct sunlight. – Joubarc Oct 26 '11 at 14:50
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    Humidity may be an issue for LEGO bricks with electronic functions, pneumatic cylinders and the older wheel bricks with metal axels. – Danny Staple Oct 29 '11 at 7:06
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My first LEGO set was a police station I think from 1976 where I was 2½ years old. This and many other bricks (have around 50-60kg) have been stored in cardboard boxes, in the attic for years and now my son and I are playing with them to great fun for the both of us.

Some of the bricks have some wear and tear, but overall the majority is looking just as fine as new ;o)

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Avoid storing Lego bricks in your attic. The daily temperature range and extreme heat of summer can potentially damage the bricks.

Remove all batteries from Lego electronics before medium or long term storage.

Place all metal containing pieces and electronics in an airtight container (older metal axle wheels, etc) with a bag of desiccant. Desiccant is inexpensive and can be found at hardware or hobby shops, or online.

Sticker sheets should be stored individually, in long term storage the adhesives could migrate or ooze.

Store paper instructions and stickers in polyethylene, polypropylene, or polyester bags or notebook sheet protectors. The box of bags or protectors should be clearly labeled "archival safe". Other types of plastic bags contain softeners that can damage paper in long term storage. Archival notebook sheet protectors can be found at any major office supply. Archival bags can be found at art supply stores and online. Do not store these in attics, basements, or garages! Paper is highly sensitive to humidity and temperate fluctuations.

Store Lego rubber bands in a small polypropylene bag with each set, or separately. In long term storage they will probably deteriorate. (The rubber bands are easy to replace, but the rubber softeners they contain could damage bricks if they melt). Store older tires similarly.

If you have the original boxes the Lego sets came in, keep them dry and dust-free. The original boxes in good condition can enhance the value of the sets among collectors.

For more information on long term storage, a great conservation information site is the American Library of Congress at https://www.loc.gov/preservation/

A directly related question I have is if it is OK to store bricks attached together to save space, or if this will tend to cause the bricks to lose their grip and become loose after long term storage? I suspect it is better to store them loose, unattached, in case the ABS material has a 'material memory' property.

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