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Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

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Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby Staff » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:35 am


LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 13


We first broke the news about LEGO Licensing producing a series of minifigure display cases back during our Toy Fair coverage. I never did follow up with the rep but regardless, when I ran across these at Toys'R'Us over the weekend, I immediately bought the two that I found. So here's my quick and dirty review of the Large and Small Minifigure Display Cases.

There already exists a case that LEGO sells through their Brand Retail shops and Shop@Home. I present to you in all its glory, the LEGO Minifigure Collector's Box:





Made from sturdy cardboard, this will hold 15 of your most precious minfigures in a briefcase style collector's box. Yeah, I agree, so totally lame. First of all, cardboard? Really? And who is going to want to carry their minifigs around like that? If you're a minifig collector, you'll want to display them and leave them alone, not carry them with you to lunch. Plus, it only holds 15 figures. If you're looking for a solution for the Collectible Minifigures, you'd have to either forget about displaying the 16th figure or cram two figures into one slot. Not a very good solution. The whole thing costs $15 bucks, and you're basically paying for cardboard, 15 4x6 plates, a fancy red handle, and the inconvenience of not being able to display all 16 figures properly. Don't believe the reviews on the Shop@Home page. They don't know what they're talking about except for doodlepippin.

LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 1 LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 2

This is where LEGO Licensing comes in. Right from the start, LEGO Licensing wanted to produce a case that was able to hold all the figures from any series of the Collectible Minifigures. Their Minifigure Display Cases come in two sizes, Large will hold 16 figures in two rows of 8, or Small which will hold 8 figures in 2 rows of 4. Each case also comes with a generic minifigure that is nothing to write home about. I almost wish they didn't include the minifig so the cost would be cheaper.

LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 3 LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 4 LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 5 LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 6

What I liked: They are stackable, wall mountable, and come in a variety of colors. Made from hard, sturdy, ABS plastic, they are outfitted with a clear front door panel to keep the dust out that you release by depressing a button at the top to release the lock. The Large sized case also come with a pair of feet for balance. Ideally, if you were to put these on a shelf or a table, you'd use the large ones on the bottom so you can use the feet for stability and stack them upwards. The fact that a Small is exactly half the size of the Large makes stacking them like bricks a no brainer.

LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 7 LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 8

Star Wars themed cases. Back at Toy Fair, the sales rep I spoke with mentioned working on a Star Wars themed case. And if I remember correctly, they would be black with white plates, with an alternate color of white with black plates. My memory is fuzzy and I'm not entirely sure that is accurate, but if they can include a generic minifig, maybe they'll throw in a Stormtrooper in the Star Wars themed case.

There are 16 compartments. 'Nuff said.

LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 10 LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 12

What I didn't: Not very deep. A minor issue but I wish the cases were a little deeper and a little taller. Since the plates are 4x6 I set all my figures on the third row of studs from the front to give their accessories some room. This also gives the minifigure room in the back for their helmet, hair, or other accessories. Some of the minifigs have accessories, like the Series 1 Spaceman with his ray gun and ray, that extend forward quite a bit so some adjustments have to be made. I'm not thrilled at all with how the Spaceman ended up fitting in his compartment. I suppose I could have removed the 3L bar, but that isn't the best solution either since you'll end up with a loose part. In the case of a jedi with a lightsaber, my Arealight custom Aayla Secura fits perfectly. However, if she were to hold the lightsaber out directly in front of her in a vertical position, the top of the blade won't fit under the ceiling of her compartment. After tinkering with her, the best position I found was across the body as seen in the pic above. In the case of the Sandtrooper from 8092 Luke's Landspeeder set, I had to set him on the second row since his bulky backpack prevented him from standing up straight on the third row. Extending the depth probably would have dramatically increased the cost of each case, so despite the compartments feeling a little shallow, overall I'm happy with the compromise. The compartments will fit 99% of the minifigs made to date without any issue, so dealing with 1% isn't that big of a deal.

LEGO Minifigure Display Case - 9

I'm nitpicking here but I wish the plates were the same color as the case; and I wish the minifig they included was a blank figure in the same color. So a blue case would come with blue plates and an all-blue blank minifig, etc.

Price. The Large case from Toys'R'Us cost $22.99, with what I presume was a $3 dollar markup. I'm hoping the actual MSRP is $19.99. The Small case was $14.99, which is atrociously expensive. In my mind, the Small case, since it's exactly half the size of the Large case and holds exactly half the figures, should have been priced at $11.49 (or $9.99 if my MSRP theory is correct). I am hoping that the cases will become available at Amazon soon and Shop@Home soon, but I don't expect the price of the Small case to go down that much or at all.

No bulk pricing. An AFOL can dream, can't he?

Verdict: It's a no brainer. These are durable cases with a myriad of display options. I highly doubt anything better will come along. LEGO Licensing will not be able get these to market fast enough. These are just now starting to show up at Toys'R'Us so with a little patience they'll be available through other retail channels, but not soon enough.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby evil » Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:58 am

These have been for sale In Aus apparently exclusive to TRU for a month or so now...

AUD$29.95 for the 16 and AUD $14.95.
We only get black base plates like the big ones, and we miss out on the generic minifig!

A case of them on comes with 2 of the black case too which is disappointing if you (like me) wanted black only!
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby bigospedros » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:06 am

When I first saw these, I saw them as an answer to my display woes for the collectable figs. However, I gave up waiting and bought a colletables display case (for £49.99) recently. It's working great having wall mounted it at the weekend. I just need to buy a load of the same colour bricks to make the stands for them.

The one thing that strikes me about these though (and it's not something I contemplated) is how they'd cope with the fisherman figs from the collectable figs line? Based on your review about large accessories, then I'm getting the impression the answer would be "badly". Is that the case ?
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby onions » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:51 am

The fisherman will fit but the fishing pole would have to be held diagonally in front like how aayla is holding her lightsaber in this pic:

Image

there is a little bit of space between the clear plastic door and the frame of the compartments, so even if the tip of the pole protruded out of the compartment slightly, there should be enough room. it's really easy to shut the compartment door and bend the pole, but with some creative positioning, you can prevent any bending. i found that if the fisherman held the pole at the very top of the handle, the pole will fit inside the compartment. the garden gnome should work the same way since his shorter legs will bring the height down some.

i'm not a fan of the diagonal hold since it blocks the view of the actual minifig, but there isn't much else you can do other than customing a stand for the accessories, or removing them altogether.
onions
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby DarthNick » Mon Sep 19, 2011 5:18 am

Are the plates in the case by any chance removable? From what I can see they look like they could just slide out.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby MShiels » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:44 am

Any indication on the packaging of who actually makes/markets this product?
ImageIf near Mississauga, come visit us at 2410 Dunwin Drive, Unit 5 - your local Ontario LEGO only store - TRUly the largest selection of LEGO around
And out Bricklink store is http://Shop.LastingToys.Com
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby Chief » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:31 am

RE: minifigs + accessories, fishing pole, etc.. From our conversation at Toy Fair with the Lego rep they said all the figs they've tried had fit, except for Darth Maul with his double-bladed saber.
Image
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby quincy » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:52 am

What bothers me is that these licensed cases are more about the case than they are about the figures. Who want.s a gaudy looking chunk of plastic when all they want to do is show off their prized Greedo figure??? Here's my solution:

Image

I've been using cases that I purchase at 'The Container Store' for years now and they've never let me down. ...And they're dirt cheap!!! Of course, they won't fit larger figures due to bulky part, but if you can place your figures strategically you can end up with a nice display at a great cost.

I'm not sure if the pictured case is still available at The Container Store but there are a number of similar looking ones. ...The individual compartments of this one fit a 2x4 plate nicely. I think the price was about $5 for the case.

They're not perfect, but they really show the figures well.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby Gooker1 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:59 am

Great review! I'm glad these came out, b/c I was tempted in grabbing these off eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-Minifigure-Display-Case-Series-4-Minifigures-/220821632854?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3369feb756

I'd rather pay $20 for Lego made stuff than for custom plastic cases. But those cases are nice as they match the series color.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby MrCRskater » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:44 am


That's a nicely done custom "display," but $20 for a blister pack? That's a little steep. . .

These LEGO displays are very cool, but the cost makes these impractical for anyone wanting to display their entire minifig collection. Fortunately, I'm not one of those, so this review has convinced me to try and pick up a couple for my collectibles. Nice review, Ace!
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby onions » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:08 am

DarthNick wrote:Are the plates in the case by any chance removable? From what I can see they look like they could just slide out.


yes, the plates slide right out.

MShiels wrote:Any indication on the packaging of who actually makes/markets this product?


packaging says, "distributed by blip toys". need their contact info?
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby plebeianprint » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:29 pm

Excellent. I'd love to have two of each and mount them on the wall. Thanks for the reminder about these, as I didn't know if/when they were out.

Do you know if the new beefeater/british guard is too tall?
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby Brainslugged » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:22 am

Maybe these are cool for one or two, but spending $1.50 to display a $3 figure seems kinda steep.

oh - and BTW, plebeianprint, a royal guard isn't the same as a Beefeater. Beefeaters protect the Tower of London and wear funny hats and dress-type outfits.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby robskot » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:36 pm

I still like using a SHOOTER GLASS CASE better. In Canada, I get them from a Hobby/Crafts store called MICHAELS. They are $50, but they have a 50% off coupon every 2 weeks! Then just put in bases with whatever I've found in the bulk section of the Lego Store. A 6x6 plate is a great fit for the cases I have...but also think that getting 2 4x6, and 1/2 stacking for each slot makes it a look a little nicer.

Just this the wood and glass look a better than plastic.

Image
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby mr_joshua » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:43 pm

Something I had to add after picking one up today...the stacking option is nice, HOWEVER, it blocks the 'button' on top which opens the case door. That really annoyed me. To finally find a nicely made minifig case that stacks, but the darn designers failed to address the issue of opening the cases after they are stacked.

The TRU I went by didn't have the small case, but from pictures I assume it is plagued with the same issue as well.

Hope this helps someone decide. At first I was planning on picking up at least enough to cover all 6 (so far) minifigure series...but maybe not now.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby onions » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:14 pm

i realized the same issue as well, after i had written my review. but i realized, for myself, if i'm putting my figures in display case, chances are i won't be opening the case up after i fill the case. once they're in, they're going to stay in.

this does make it an issue if, say, you order your star wars figs alphabetically. but that in itself would be a pain in the sarlacc to deal with with or without a minifig display case as you'd have to rearrange your entire set up with every new figure.
onions
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby Dr. Cart » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:42 am

Hello everyone,

Not to sidetrack the discussion, but I am an avid collector who has a complete set of each series, all sealed in original package (contents verified by X-ray). With all other sets/bricks/specials I have removed them/played with them/displayed them before... for some reason I have decided up till now to keep the mini fig series in MISB (or MISP with P for package)

However, I would like to put them in a display case of some kind... now that some appropriate options (like these or others folks have mentioned) exist. Does anyone think the figs loose value displayed over keeping them in original packaging?

Ultimately I am a collector and am not interested in keeping them for an investment.... but then again I don't want to reduce their value either.

Thanks for everyone's opinion in advance...

Cheers,

Dr. Cart
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby MrCRskater » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:43 pm

Dr. Cart wrote:Ultimately I am a collector and am not interested in keeping them for an investment....

Tough to enjoy 'em when they're disassembled and hidden inside the package. If you are interested in keeping them for yourself, then there's no sense in keeping them in the package. If you are keeping them as an investment and hope to gain a return (i.e. sell them) later on, my guess is that original packaging or "sealed" status will only nominally increase the value of the collectible figs. We're talking less than $1 difference between "sealed" and "near-mint."
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby Robzula » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:35 am

I'd say opening them would slightly reduce their monetary value but greatly increase their personal value to you. As MrRCskater said, they're no fun if you're just looking at (or not as they're probably in storage) 16 little, colored bags.
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Re: Review: LEGO Minifigure Display Case

Postby MicroJow » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:09 pm

T'would appear that Toys-R-Us will not honor their "buy two, get one free on all Lego excluding Star Wars & POTC" promo for these cases. The store manager told me "these are not Lego constructions sets, they are accessories." I asked for a definition of "Lego construction set" and was told "the ones that come with bricks and figures. The ones you build."

So, I pointed out the plates and the minifigure and asked "you mean bricks and figures... like those?" The manager wouldn't even talk to me any more after that, and when I tried asking her again, she turned her back and walked away, waving her hand at me. So I got her name & complained to 1-800-Toys-R-US.

Oh, well. Guess I'll just wait until they show up at the Lego Store.

- MJ
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