I was wondering if anyone has opened a sealed set like Taj Mahal or Star Wars UCS Imperial Shuttle after it had been sealed for years, and if so, were the white LEGO elements still perfectly white, or did they fade or yellow even while sealed? I'm debating about buying an expensive UCS Imperial Shuttle that's still sealed, instead of Bricklinking, just so I can have one looking brand new, but wanted to know if it might already have faded or yellowed even while sealed.

2 Answers 2


Lego bricks typically turn yellow due to a chemical change that occurs when UV light interacts with flame-retardants in the plastic. So bricks stored in darkness shouldn't turn yellow at all.

  • Like my answer says, if you keep 'em in the box, you'll be good! Or indoors, even.
    – user6907
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 15:25
  • Yes, like your answer says, 45 minutes after I posted it. Commented May 20, 2016 at 15:43
  • Ok, ok, let's keep the peace here! Caleb answered it hours earlier, but I appreciate details in both of your answers. I agree with Mr. Shiny that they're not even a little bit yellow-proof. If they're better than a decade ago, great, but it's still a major problem, especially with the color white. Commented May 20, 2016 at 20:05
  • @CalebWoodman, "indoors" isn't enough. "Indoors, away from direct sunlight and south-facing rooms" is more like it.
    – Mark
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 9:06

Should be Fine

The sealing process, at least in the new bags without perforation, keeps the bricks safe from aging. The Taj Mahal should be just fine, and even opened, my Imperial Shuttle bricks are great!

In fact, all the newer bricks, 2003-2007, seem to be pretty yellow-proof. You'll typically only find those in much older sets.

Yellowing occurs because of UV interaction with the bricks. Box, indoors, away from windows, any of the above should keep them plenty safe.

  • I beg to differ about newer bricks being yellow-proof. I have lots of examples I could show you. Commented May 20, 2016 at 14:03
  • Thus my statement, "pretty yellow-proof." Not entirely, but statistically, the odds that you open a mint set and find yellow bricks are zilch, and a re-boxed pre-owned model will still likely be just fine.
    – user6907
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 15:24
  • Thank you both! I didn't realize that about UV light, and how keeping them away from that is the key. Very helpful information!!! @Caleb: I do have to disagree that they're even "pretty" yellow-proof, I've had way too many, even newer, whites get yellow, but at least you've explained why so i can prevent it! Thanks again Commented May 20, 2016 at 20:02

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