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The LEGO Build-In-The-Bag challenge…

There is a really fun and very popular LEGO building challenge that is often part of LEGO conventions, called the LEGO Build-In-The-Bag Competition. The contest involves building a LEGO set inside its original sealed bag, without opening, tearing or otherwise damaging the plastic baggie containing the LEGO elements. Whoever finishes first to successfully build the LEGO set inside the packaging wins (photo by Theis Lutzen). 🙂

LEGO Build In The Bag Challenge by Theis Lutzen

This little pastime of building LEGO sets inside their original bag however doesn’t have to be reserved for LEGO conventions only – you can certainly do it at home with your friends and family. In fact this challenge doesn’t even have to be between people; many LEGO fans just do it by themselves, as it is a great way to challenge yourself and increase your LEGO building skills (see video below).

So what kind of LEGO sets are suitable for the LEGO Build-In-The-Bag challenge? Well, one of the most obvious requirement would be that the bag contains all the elements to build the LEGO model. Usually LEGO fans use small, complete sets for the challenge; like the smallest LEGO Creator and LEGO City sets, where the box or outside packaging contains just one clear baggie inside with all the parts included. The recently released LEGO Mixels sets are also excellent for this purpose (photo by Tony Sava).

LEGO Build In The Bag Challenge by Tony Sava

Another requirement would be to make sure that the finished model would still fit inside the original packaging. With some of the sets although the loose LEGO elements all fit fine in the original baggie, once assembled the final model is too wide or too tall to fit inside the bag. So that’s something to keep in mind when you start building. You should be able to judge if the set is suitable for inside the bag building by looking at the size of the packaging and the picture of the LEGO set. If it seems like there is enough room to maneuver the pieces around and also fit the final model, give it a try! Below are some LEGO sets you might consider, available at the Online LEGO Shop.

Shop for LEGO Creator Small Sets

As your skills of building inside a sealed LEGO bag increases, you can give yourself an even more difficult challenge. Instead of building inside clear baggies included in sets (like the ones mentioned above), you can attempt to build sets in sealed LEGO polybags. These are the small sets available at LEGO retailers, often as promotional or seasonal items, where the parts come in a printed baggie instead of a clear one – so your ability to see the parts as you are putting the set together is greatly limited by the printed design (photo by jamesuniverse).

LEGO Build In The Bag Challenge by jamesuniverse

Many LEGO fans collect polybag sets. The problem is that once you open the polybag the packaging is forever damaged as they are not as sturdy or resealable as boxes, or those bags with ziplocks on top (like what LEGO Hero Factory sets come in). So LEGO polybag collectors often resort to just collecting polybag sets and never opening and building them. But where is the fun in that? Now that you know that you can build LEGO sets inside the bag, there is nothing to stop you from getting the best of both worlds; have the chance to build the set, and at the same time keep the polybag intact. 🙄

Shop LEGO Mixels Sets

If you would like to see more pictures of what other people are building inside LEGO bags, check out the LEGO Build-In-The-Bag Flickr Group where people share their LEGO sets built inside the packaging.

So what do you think? Are you up for the LEGO Build-In-The-Bag challenge? Have you ever tried it? Were you able to finish the model inside the bag? How about LEGO polybags? Did you ever try to build those without opening the packaging? How long did it take you? Feel free to share your own experiences and tips in the comment section below! 😉

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

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Lorca Strand March 22, 2014, 11:04 AM

    I have to try this! I’m going to Target today, so I’ll have to stock up on polybags and try this!

    • admin March 22, 2014, 11:14 AM

      Oh, you are going to start with the most challenging method? Nice! I did my first one inside a clear bag, and it was hard! BTW, don’t be discouraged if it takes a while. The person who put together that SW set inside the polybag you see on the picture said it took him an hour! 😉

  • Lorca Strand March 22, 2014, 11:08 AM

    Also, I unwittingly made the first comment!

    • admin March 22, 2014, 11:16 AM

      LOL! Yeah! I have found that the commenting schedule on the weekend is different then during the week. I guess people sleep in and do other stuff. During the week comments start appearing as soon as a new article comes out at 10 AM EST. On the weekends it is usually the afternoon/evening when people start talking. 😀

      • Lloydguy March 23, 2014, 8:42 PM

        I can sometimes get because I have break @ 10:20

  • steven March 22, 2014, 11:14 AM

    Nice way to market your product. But I seriously don’t think the average player or collector will be so enthused to get into this. I miss the days when they actually did these type of events in the stores themselves and actually gave away current sets to the winners.

    • admin March 22, 2014, 11:26 AM

      Steven, I don’t have any products to market, I’m just a blogger. This is actually a very popular pastime amongst LEGO fans (both at LEGO conventions and on their own) that has been going on for quite some time. And since The LEGO Movie came out social websites have been full of LEGO build-in-the-bag shares, so now the general public also picked up on the idea and joined the fun. Some people even go to stores and put some sets together inside the bags and leave them there. Just to confuse shoppers who later pick them up… not something I recommend, but it is funny. 🙄

      • Lorca Strand March 22, 2014, 11:45 AM

        Steven must enlighten himself on the ways of the FOL.

  • Beardless Dwarf March 22, 2014, 11:46 AM

    Interesting concept! I’d never thought of building sets this way. Problem is I don’t always have enough money to buy a lot of small sets because most ‘one-baggers’ are outside the themes I collect.

  • BLProductions March 22, 2014, 12:28 PM

    I’ve heard of this, and done it. When I got the Piece of Resistance polybag, I started building it in the bag on the way home. But we got home before I could finish it. 😕 It was fun though, maybe I should do it w/ a Mixel I get. 🙂

    • admin March 23, 2014, 10:05 AM

      Yeah, Mixels are great for this! The baggies they come in are clear, and quite large, so it is easy to move the pieces around. Gives you good practice for harder models.

  • Darkon March 22, 2014, 4:32 PM

    Wow, this is like the definition of having way too much free time on your hands. Trust me, I know. I build sets in the bag all the time. 😀

  • Lorca Strand March 22, 2014, 5:30 PM

    I just returned from Target. I purchased the Batman Tumbler polybag, and attempted to build it in the bag. I failed.

    • admin March 23, 2014, 10:06 AM

      That’s a hard one! Try with something easier. 😉

  • ninja5 March 22, 2014, 6:05 PM

    Yeah, as Lorca pretty much said, Target is the best place to get polybags.

  • Fikko3107 March 24, 2014, 2:31 AM

    But if you do it with the polybags, you might accidentally damage the print, not to mention, badly crumpling the bag in the process…Besides, if you open polys carefully, you can preserve the packaging without ruining a single bit of the art-it’s actually pretty easy. The new Hero Factory bags, now that’s a puzzle to open without damage!

    • admin March 24, 2014, 3:12 PM

      Yeah, that’s probably true. Especially with the more complex models with several building steps. It is still fun to do though. Maybe just stay with the baggies that you plan to open anyway. As far as Hero Factory, I just got one th eother day and cut open the bag at the wrong place. My bad. I wasn’t planning to keep it so no huge loss.

    • Ray March 24, 2014, 4:11 PM

      All you have to do to open a polybag cleanly is take a scissors and cut along the bottom edge below the printing. Then store it in a ziplock bag with its instructions and extra pieces.

      • Fikko3107 March 27, 2014, 10:54 AM

        I actually cut the top, but yeah, that’s the general idea. I always keep my packagings, and the Hero Factory ones from this year has simply stunning art at the top…art which I really would like to preserve.

  • ninja of stealth March 26, 2014, 12:27 PM

    how do you do that?!? sounds really hard.

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