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Updating my LEGO minifigure display wall

by admin on January 13, 2017

in Community Articles

I have been thinking about redoing my minifigure display wall as it was getting overcrowded. There are many different ways to arrange minifigures using various display cases and stands – some made by LEGO, some by third parties, and you can also build your own.

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Collectors tend to prefer closed display cases to protect their minifigures from dust, and this definitely makes sense for rare and expensive characters. Personally, I like to keep my displays open and accessible for play, customization, or just for an occasional rearranging.

My original display area consisted of a metal sheet that I attached to, and painted the same color, as the wall. It was basically a hidden metal wall perfect for attaching magnets. I used the 2×4 magnet bricks from the LEGO magnet packs to display minifigs on the wall. While this solution worked great for a while, my minifigs eventually grew out the space, and the metal sheets were kind of expensive to get more of.

At this point, I upgraded to a large magnetic dry-erase board, which basically provided the same thing as the magnetic wall I had before, and I could still use the 2×3 magnet bricks to display minifigures on the board. I liked the versatility of being able to rearrange minifigures quickly just by sliding them around, however as my collection grew this mobility became a hindrance; when I moved one minifig, the others started to get misaligned too. I realized what I really needed was a display option that is still open and versatile, but the minifigs can be placed into fixed positions.

So I started looking at other display options. One solution that I found very attractive was using large LEGO baseplates attached to the wall. There were just a few problems; individual LEGO baseplates are expensive, they come in a limited range of colors, and they have rounded corners, which are somewhat unsightly when you place them next to each other.

This is when I ran across a video by JANGBRiCKS where he shows off his Collectible LEGO Minifigure display. Instead of official LEGO baseplates, he uses large plates produced by a company called Strictly Briks. I was super excited about this solution, got some of the plates, and also wrote a review on them (see: Baseplates for LEGO in a Rainbow of Colors).

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Just to be clear, Strictly Briks produces two types of plates. Standard thin baseplates with studs on top, smooth bottom, and rounded corners. They are just like what LEGO makes, but in a larger selection of colors, and sizes. Then they also make what they call “stackable baseplates”, which are the same thickness as regular LEGO plates with studs on top, tubes at the bottom, and sharp corners. These are the ones JANGBRiCKS used. They come in a number of different sizes and in a huge variety of colors. Landscaping colors like blues, greens, browns, white, gray, and black. Bright colors like yellow, orange, red, pinks and purples. Metallic colors like gold and bronze, and even some translucent colors. Colors and sizes can be bought individually or in various bundles.

LEGO Baseplates by Strictly Briks 8

I first got a bundle of twenty-four 32×32 stud plates in a rainbow of colors just to see how they compare to LEGO. As I mentioned in my previous review, they are the same quality as LEGO, and most of the colors perfectly match LEGO’s own color-palette. The plates also have some very thoughtful features, like the bottom tubes are not as dense as on standard LEGO plates. This is to prevent the plates from sticking together too much when they are stacked. I also like that their name is moulded onto the studs, which makes them very similar to how LEGO studs look like. All in all, I was very impressed and super happy with them.

LEGO Baseplates by Strictly Briks 7

By this time I was sure these were the plates I wanted to use for my new minifig display wall. All I needed to do was measure the area and calculate how many plates I will have to get, and also decide on the colors. While I really like the bright and transparent colors, I decided to go with the two lightest and most subdued colors, white and tan, in an alternating pattern. This is because my room is already a bit cluttered with LEGO displays and so many colors, and also because our house is under a lot of trees and mostly in the shade. As I needed 21 plates in total (3 columns of 7), I got three 4-packs of each white and tan plates, and a roll of double-sided mounting-tape. It took about an hour to mount all the plates on the wall.

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Next, I needed to decide how to attach the minifigs to my new display wall. There are various L-shaped LEGO brackets that are great for this purpose, and you can also use bricks with studs on the sides. I eventually went with 1×2 bricks with two studs on the side. I mostly choose these because they take up very little space on the wall, and they come in both white and tan, so would blend in well with the plates. I’m still in the process of displaying all my minifigures, but I have taken a couple of pictures for you to see how the wall looks like so far.

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Overall, I’m very happy with this solution, and plan to use the same plates for other projects as well. They are of course great for providing a play-surface or a platform for large displays, and they can also be used for building a minifig display wall as I have demonstrated here. Other projects I have in mind with them are mosaics and brick-built backgrounds for displays. I should also mention that Strictly Briks doesn’t just provide standard square and rectangle plates, but interesting shapes like a circle, half-circle and triangle as well. These open up some interesting opportunities for designs both for LEGO dioramas and large wall-displays.

lego-display-wall-by-stictlybricks

If you are interested to check out the Strictly Briks baseplates and stackable plates, you can find them at their online store at StrictlyBricks.com, and also at their store on Amazon where they often have discounts: STRICTLY BRIKS ON AMAZON

What do you think? How do you like these baseplates as a solution for a minifig display wall? What kind of system do you use to display your minifigures? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

PrashBricks January 13, 2017 at 10:37 AM

hmm…

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admin January 13, 2017 at 10:47 AM

Is that a good hmm… or a bad hmm…? 🙄

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PrashBricks January 13, 2017 at 12:30 PM

a good one!

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AngDavKev January 13, 2017 at 11:15 AM

Wonderful! 🙂

I too love the ability to rearrange on the fly as I am constantly having new ideas for grouping minifigs.
But I cringe from the thought of all the dust gathering on the figs.
How would you clean them in the future?

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AngDavKev January 13, 2017 at 11:20 AM

Also, do you use the 11211 brick stacked on a regular 1×2 brick?

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admin January 13, 2017 at 11:40 AM

I have two 1×2 plates under each 11211 modified brick. This is because some of the minifigs have hair or headgear that sticks out too much, and also because sometimes I like to include some additional accessories (like for the knights), and use plates with clips to attach them right to the modified brick.

While some minifigs don’t need plates at all, I settled with the two plates for the sake of uniformity. They accommodate pretty much all minifigs, and also gives me versatility with adding clips. There are only a few minifigs where I used a full brick; the Fabuland cow has big feet and a big head, and the posing/fighting minifigs that are sideways.

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admin January 13, 2017 at 11:30 AM

All three versions of my minifig display have been open, and I never had any issue with dust. However I handle my minifigs quite often. I may customize them, or rearrange them, or take them off the wall for play. If there is a row of minifigs that I haven’t touched for a while, I may give them a quick wipe with a soft makeup brush. That’s the most I have ever done.

I would add to this though, that I’m not into collecting very expensive or exclusive minifigures. If I would have something like the San Diego Comic Con exclusives that go for hundreds of dollars, I would get a closed display case just for them (like the ones sold by LEGO). But I would still have most of my minifigs on an open display wall.

All of my LEGO displays are open, not just the minifig wall, and I found that if I go through them twice a year, they will remain pretty clean. I mostly use makeup brushes (I bought a really nice kit at Walgreens with six brushes of different sizes), and occasionally canned air. At some point I may get one of those small electric keyboard cleaning vacuums.

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rainey January 13, 2017 at 12:10 PM

I like that you have your minifigs interacting with one another. What fun! And I look forward to seeing them all when you get them all up there.

The alternating colors is a nice clean, interesting but non-distracting background. Clever approach!

I use IKEA and other shadow frames. I like to group mine in categories like construction, sports, Halloween. Some have only a few figs, others are quite large groups. I use both the Lego-supplied modified plates that come with CMFs wedged between studs on vertical baseplates and inverted slopes glued to patterned or themed decorative paper on fiberboard.

And I thank you for introducing Strictly Briks baseplates. I agree that they’re excellent and I look forward to your review of the silicone ones I haven’t tried yet.

Have you tried their bricks and will you do a review of them?

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admin January 13, 2017 at 12:28 PM

Those IKEA shadow frames are very popular with LEGO fans. I actually would love to visit an IKEA store and see what they got. Everything they make looks awesome! I think there is one now in Orlando, which would be the closest to me. Just have to make the two and a half hour drive.

I do have one two-sided silicone mat with standard studs on one side and DUPLO on the other. It is very high quality, so no issues there. I just haven’t found a way to use it. How would you use it?

Are you referring to what they call Big Briks? I think they are meant to be compatible with DUPLO size pieces. I don’t have any of those. But I assume they would work just fine. I did get a bunch of standard size 2×6 panels that came with my plates (so they can be stacked to make a display unit). Some of the colors don’t perfectly match LEGO, but they are the same quality.

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rainey January 13, 2017 at 1:15 PM

I like the idea that they’re big so kids have a big blank canvas to add to without fiddling trying to connect smaller plates. Then they have the potential to be rolled, folded or mashed to fit in a bin to keep things tidy. Those are not concerns for adult users who would probably be content to stick to rigid plates but I think they do have potential for kids.

My concern is that the material would pick up dust and fibers and that they’d be hard to keep clean.

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Håkan January 13, 2017 at 1:19 PM

I think the silicone is both a positive and negative, it looks like it’d be hard to sustain the rigidity for a good clutch…

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admin January 13, 2017 at 1:20 PM

I would say that it is actually harder to attach bricks to the silicone plate as it is so wiggly. Things just don’t stay on that sturdily either. I will play with it some more, but so far I much prefer rigid plates. I think it is worth trying out one of the smaller ones and see how you like it. The quality is definitely excellent. And yeah, like all silicone things, it would pick up dust and lint easily.

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Håkan January 13, 2017 at 1:16 PM

They have regular bricks, as well… Although they might not be very different than regular Lego… Their “clear” (transparent) packs seem the most interesting…

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admin January 13, 2017 at 1:25 PM

I do have an experience with their transparent plates that I thought it’s worth sharing. The thin transparent plates (like the ones I used for my wall) are gorgeous. Very clear, sparkly, and beautiful. Kind of like glass or ice. The color choices are also very nice. However the DUPLO size transparent plates are cloudy and dull looking, even though the colors are the same. That was disappointing. LEGO DUPLO transparent pieces are just as sparkly as regular LEGO elements. For some reason Strictly Bricks was not able to recreate that with their larger, thicker pieces.

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Håkan January 13, 2017 at 1:21 PM

Some Swedish sweater there on the boy, I see, my sister used to have a transparent cap with the same “Liten men tuff” slogan…

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admin January 13, 2017 at 1:27 PM

What are we talking about now? 🙄

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Håkan January 13, 2017 at 5:57 PM

There’s Swedish text on the boy’s sweater… “Liten men tuff” – meaning something like “Small but tough” or “Small but cocky”…

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Håkan January 13, 2017 at 1:29 PM

I guess the founder’s wife is Swedish. The family have rather Swedish-sounding names.

Just found it interesting.

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admin January 13, 2017 at 1:34 PM

Oh, I see. Yeah, you could be right. 😀

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Silvia January 14, 2017 at 12:38 AM

Thx for this article. My daughter has a collection of mini figs that just sit in a box cause we couldn’t figure how to display them. I also like the idea of the shadow box from IKEA. Great ideas. Look forward to trying them out. Cheers

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admin January 14, 2017 at 12:43 PM

Silvia, thanks for sharing. Hope you guys find a good solution for your minifigs. 🙂

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PrashBricks January 15, 2017 at 5:18 AM

A link please to JangBRICK’s video.

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admin January 15, 2017 at 10:25 AM

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