19 February 2017

LEGO® boxes: are they important?

Posted by Admin
The LEGO® Group want to know what fans think about the way that premium, expensive sets are packaged. They've created a surprisingly detailed survey for everyone to use. As someone who saved LEGO boxes from an early age, I found it rather fun to complete! The survey closes on March 6, 2017.
Here's how they describe the project:
Dear LEGO user,

We are a team of packaging designers belonging to the LEGO product development department. Our key mission is to design packaging that supports a strong LEGO product experience. We are conducting this survey among RLUGs/RLFMs since we know that you have a great deal of experience with our products and packaging! To achieve our mission it is important for us to get an understanding of how you perceive the LEGO packaging experience. Please help us by participating in a survey:

Please complete the survey before March 6, 2017.

Thank you in advance for your feedback – it is highly appreciated!

Kind regards,
The LEGO Packaging Experience Design Team

Later, one of the designers from the team will describe how they used the input, so we will pass that information on as well.

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  1. i had no idea how strong my feelings were about packaging until i took this survey.
    10696 LEGO® Medium Creative Brick Box is my favorite second are the lego ideas sets with nice graphic design and the tab locking boxes that make for great instruction manual storeage. my least favorite are lego's poorly made attempts at telescoping boxes. the curated cardboard is just not strong enough to make a good telescoping box.

    1. What exactly is a telescoping box? To me that would mean it can be expanded in size without separating the sections, and I can't think of a single instance of a cardboard packaging design that fits that description, from _any_ product line.

    2. "telescoping boxes"? I'm not sure what you're talking about--can you give an example?

  2. As far as I'm aware, the Architecture and Ideas lines are the only examples of true premium-format boxes. In all other cases, the box is more robust the larger the set gets, but it's more about handling the weight of the set. The little punch-tab boxes may suffice for the $6-20 range, but they'd be crushed under their own weight with $100+ sets inside. The boxes with the taped ends would also pop their tape seals under the weight of a $400 set. But the integrated lid box design that was created for Architecture was intended to make the set look more like a premium-level souvenir and less like a kid's toy (hence the super-expensive instruction booklets with white text on pages that are individually soaked in more black ink than most entire instruction booklets use).

  3. Telescoping box is the style used commonly for board games. The huge technic Porsche uses one. The old board game line of Lego products uses them. When made from stiffer boards telescoping boxes are great! But cardboard is a poor material and it only takes a few flaws to make a teliscoping box fail structurally or for the suction to not hold it together.

    1. So puzzle boxes, basically. Just a little more on the robust side, with the folded-over sidewalls. Also, based on what I'm seeing with copies of Magikus and Pyramid, it's _barely_ corrugated, which is what I consider to be "cardboard". If it's just a single layer with no fluting, that's generally referred to as cardstock. The punch-tab boxes, the Advent Calendars, and the Fun/Level/Team Packs for Dimensions are definitely cardstock, where boxes that are taped shut seem to all be varying weights of thin-gauge single-wall (two flat layers, one fluted layer) corrugate. But even large sets like the UCS Tumbler are packed in corrugate that's maybe only 50% thicker than you'd find on the average $30 set. In contrast, the CMF shipping cartons are double-wall (three flat layers, two fluted layers) corrugate that's maybe around 4-6x as thick as the CMF display box.