The ultimate minifigure display solution

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View image at flickr

If you're looking for a frame to display your minifigs in you are spoilt for choice. There's a large variety of different solutions available, both official LEGO ones and those made by others.

Official LEGO frames tend to be a bit garish and not the sort of thing you'd want to hang on the wall of your lounge, and are also expensive if you have a lot of figures to display.

Some of the better quality 3rd party ones are based on Ikea Ribba frames but as they are relatively shallow you can't always get every shape and size of figure in them. Even better ones are custom made for the purpose, which is the case with this one that's sold by DisplayFramesUK, a husband and wife team based in Devon in the UK.

My collectable minifigures have been languishing in plastic boxes with many not seeing the light of day for years so when they offered to send me a frame to review I thought it would be an excellent opportunity both to evaluate it and to finally put my figures somewhere where they can be admired.

Having done so, I think I've found the ultimate minfigure display solution...


The company offers white and black frames in one size, at a cost of £89.99. However, there is a way to get them cheaper, as I'll explain below.

I opted for the white one which arrived very well packed in two cardboard boxes.

It measures about 56cm square and 6.5cm deep. It has seven shelves and a hinged door with a plexiglass window, which is held closed with hidden magnets.

View image at flickr

I am very impressed at how well it's made. There are no cheap materials or unsightly plastic veneer edges in sight.

View image at flickr

There are two hooks at the back to enable it to be hung on the wall.

View image at flickr

I'm sure you will have noticed in the pictures above that there does not appear to be a way to fix your figures to the shelves. That's because the plates needed to do so are packed separately.

The shelves are exactly six studs deep by 64 wide so the unit is supplied with 56 6x8 white plates to cover them.

The plates are sourced directly from LEGO so add significantly to the cost of the frame. For that reason, if you don't want them, perhaps because you have enough already, you can order the frame without them for a £24.99 discount, which thus brings the price down to £65.

However you source the plates, once they are in place you can then do with the frame as you see fit, which in my case was to display the first seven series of collectable minifigures.

64 studs of width provides ample space for the 16 figures in each series, plus their accessories, although you can of course bunch them up a bit to fit more in if you plan to display CMF series with more than 16 figures.

There's a 6 brick+2 plate clearance between shelves which should be enough for even the tallest minifigures: indeed, 71023 Giraffe Guy fits just fine.

View image at flickr

When the frame is full and the figures are all neatly spaced I think it looks very attractive.

Many minifigure frames make it difficult to access the figures once they're inside, but not this one: the door keeps the dust off but also opens easily allowing you to play with them whenever you want.

View image at flickr

You are not limited to just putting minifigs in it. This picture, from the DisplayFramesUK site, shows what can be done with a little imagination.

View image at flickr


Verdict

I've been looking for something like this for some time: high quality, cost effective and attractive. I would go so far as to say that this is the best solution I have come across for displaying figures en masse in a pleasing and uncluttered way, and in fact I have just ordered two more to display series 8 to 21 in.

Their flexibility is also a very big positive. You are not restricted to using them for minifigs: Speed Champions cars and other 6-wide models would look great in them. My father-in-law collects thimbles. They look to be ideal for displaying them, too!

They can be purchased directly from DisplayFrameUK for £89.99 including the 6x8 LEGO plates, or £65 without. Postage to the UK is free. I think that's pretty good value, at around £10 per CMF series, given the cost of new figures and value of old ones nowadays.

European and worldwide shipping is possible, although because they are bulky and quite heavy it's not cheap: £60 to the USA, for example.

View image at flickr

Here's what the black one looks like:

View image at flickr

If you're quick, you can enter a competition to win one.


Thanks to DisplayFramesUK for sending me the frame to review. All opinions expressed are my own.

77 comments on this article

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By in United States,

Awesome!

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By in United Kingdom,

I usually just put my figures on a 48x48 baseplate. This is a much better solution!

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By in United Kingdom,

They look like great quality indeed, and well thought-out for CMFs, but those dioramas of theirs absolutely take the cake!

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent. Although if I get one I will then need to buy more and more minifigures.

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By in Turkey,

I have very few of them in display. I mainly buy CMF to use them in my town or space port or some other creations. I used the Native Americans in my remake of 6746: Chief's Tepee, or the cowboys in the saloon that I made, for example. I also collect all the clowns, now them I put on display....

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By in Spain,

Good solution!! Yesterday I was just putting all the series in a 48x48 baseplate, but normally inside boxes.

The only problem is to convince my wife...

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By in France,

Thanks Huw.
What about BigFigs?

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By in United Kingdom,

great quality indeed

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By in United Kingdom,

I have seven of these frames on my walls. If you plan on buying several, email and ask about a discount - I got 10% off :-)

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By in United Kingdom,

I believe shipping for new countries is quoted for as and when requested so contact them via the website and ask.

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By in United Kingdom,

Fantastic! I've wanted a display solution that actually allowed easy access. All those hacked Ikea frames basically mean putting your figs behind glass and leaving them there. I may well treat myself to one of these.

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By in Sweden,

I just ordered one to Sweden, flat rate shipping £15 was a very good deal imo, very quick and nice customer service, go get one (or a few)!

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By in Australia,

Pretty cool.

Would be even better with an option for some LED strips hidden along the edges.

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By in United Kingdom,

Absolutely loving those vignettes.

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By in United Kingdom,

I have for the last few years made my own display frames using Ikea shadow boxes and display frames.

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By in United Kingdom,

Well I'm tempted. Definately the best case displays I've seen out there.

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By in United States,

I love the way these look and appear to serve as a great solution. Congratulations to DisplayFramesUK. I would get at least four of these in a heartbeat, and possibly even more, but I can’t come to grips with spending that much on shipping. I am not suggesting the shipping to the U.S. is inflated; rather, it just makes the total cost prohibitive. If only there was a similar option on this side of the pond. DisplayFramesUS??

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By in Netherlands,

Great review!

Is there space between the Plexiglass and the edge of the shelves, maybe a plate or two thick? I wonder if you can fit a 1x4 tile piece attached to a bracket piece of the edge of the shelve, and using this as a name plate. I can't tell from the photos...

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By in United Kingdom,

Wow, just wow. I have to have one. Great value. Now should I get black or white...

Just thought... the advent calendar mini-builds would look great in one of these.

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By in United Kingdom,

FWIW, I just checked the price of the 6x8 plates at Lego. If you were to buy 56 of them, it would cost over £34 plus shipping as they're 61p each. Bricklink is even more expensive to get them in those quantities.

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By in Spain,

I prefer those of www.minifiguresdisplay.com, better price and more personalized options.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think you could somehow secure together the black plates that the Minifigures come with already, maybe with plates that are two studs wide. I’m going to experiment when I get my frame.

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By in France,

Yes. It's beautiful. Raw materials and final design are very good and really sublimate our beloved Lego minifigs. But I mean, it's about 95 euros a piece + shipping, so still quite expensive, even if much more elegant than the official Lego display cases and as mentioned by Huw more easy to include in a living room or so. But I would have preferred a dedicated product as this one with maybe less noble materials and more affordable price? The point for me is that I hardly can spend such a amount of money on one display item. Lego's cases are about 30 €, made of plastic and can only offer room for 30 minifigs depending on their equipment or utensils. So... But eventually I would like so much to get one of these. They look superb. And my wife could then accept it in our living room. I will keep for the moment my black Lego display cases, which maybe are a bit pricey for what they are, but stackable and which eventually offer me a good solution to sublimate my ever-growing minifig collection (because even if I have not bought a single star wars set for months now, finding them not very interesting, I have turned my eyes on Ninjago range and have added so many characters at my Brickset minifigs wanted list!) . I'll try to save a little money to get one of these nevertheless.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Ninraygo! Great idea, and yes you can do that. There's at least a 1 stud gap between the window and the shelf edge, which is also handy for fishing rods and swords and so on!

On the bottom shelf, whatever you use for a label would not be able to extend much below the bottom of the 6x8 plate if the door is to close. You can, of course raise the plate up a bit if you need more clearance.

@Brick6, we have reviewed them in the past and I agree, they are great products, but not quite as versatile as this one.

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By in Netherlands,

A nice display frame and it has a reasonable price as well. I only wonder if the plexiglass window prevents decolorization of the LEGO parts inside.

I would like to see an article about why bricks decolorize over time, how it works and what the best ways are to prevent it from happening.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ We are not chemists, unfortunately, but if one is reading and would like to write such an article we'd be happy to publish.

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By in United States,

Gorgeous case, but being on the other side of the pond it wouldn't be a realistic solution for me. Are there any good minifigure display systems being made in the US?

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By in United Kingdom,

Lovely cases and definitely a good contender for new buyers I'd say. I already have some large Ikea Ribba display frames which I love, but these frames do offer more depth although not the option of a printed background spanning the whole back of the frame like the Ribba variants.

Huw, can you say what the frame is made of? Is it real wood or a fibreboard?

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By in United Kingdom,

Hi all,
Thank you for all the comments and questions. We are very happy and flattered that you like our frames and also our creative efforts with the play and display scenes - it was a lot of fun assembling them!

As for the questions...

1. We would love to expand our range to include a larger model with an extra high shelf for big figures such as Hulk if there is enough demand for this feature. We'll leave it up to our lovely customers ;-)

2. We have often considered LED strip lighting as a deluxe option, we think it would look fantastic. We just haven't figured out the best way to do this yet.

3. Speaking as a fellow wife (that sounds slightly oxymoronic) we designed these frames to be aesthetically pleasing hopefully to all. I am happy to have 6 dotted throughout our home, my husband is pushing for a 7th though! Need more walls!

4. DisplayFramesUS - I did think about sending a bulk load over to the US of A and selling them on from there, but it was only a fleeting thought. Maybe I should revisit the idea.

5. Ninrayo - There is enough room between the door and the shelves for a tile. I just tried it with a modified 2 x 1brick with studs on the side and a 1x8 tile. It fits fine with the door closed. It's a really nice idea, thanks for the inspiration.

6. The frames are made from MDF style wood.

Thank again for all the comments and questions, and especially for the sales. We have a busy evening ahead of us packing up frames. Also a really big thanks to Brick Set and Huw for the review.

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By in United States,

I've actually been thinking about something for a loose Bionicle mask collection I have going... each mask is about the size of a minifigure so it could work.

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By in United States,

@Display Frames UK those dioramas are wonderful.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Display Frames UK Very nice looking frames! I would also suggest to have frames in the future to accommodate all the brickheadz!

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By in United Kingdom,

OK, so who is going to design and sell more of those vignettes?

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By in United States,

I'll have to get my hands on one of these.
I would make a panel made of lego bricks behind each minifig to make an appropriate set for each minifig.

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By in Canada,

Just an opinion of mine, perhaps unpopular, but I don't believe that display frames are the ultimate minifigure display solution and think it's the worst instead. It's 2D-like, too busy, and not very customizable. I believe that the custom rectangular prism or cube cases are the ultimate minifigure display solution. It's very customizable, has more depth, and not busy. You can display your minifigures or set however you'd like.

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By in United States,

Oh I want one or two of these beauty display cases but better get building, time is running out.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Display Frames UK Do you know how much weight these frames can hold? I know my Ikea Ribba frames use to get pretty heavy when they had the proper glass in them not the perspex of today. If you start making each shelf hold three rows of figures then you've got well over 300 figures plus any accessories / plates etc. Do you know the frames will hold up to this weight? They are very good looking frames and seem like such a good solution as when your figure collection starts growing it's amazing how a Ribba frame fills up so quickly and, like you say, your walls! I also get tired of having to remove my frames from the walls to open up the back to add to the figures inside.

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By in United States,

A six brick plus two plate clearance, huh? For a lot of minifigs that would definitely be sufficient, but it's not quite adequate for my purposes. One of my minifigure collections that I would want to display prominently is my Ninjago minifigures, and while Nadakhan (https://brickset.com/minifigs/njo195) might just barely squeeze into that clearance between shelves, the 2019 Overlord minifigure (https://brickset.com/minifigs/njo501) is over seven bricks tall with the horns of his helmet aligned vertically! To say nothing of "bigfig" characters like Dogshank or Killow, who I generally see little reason to display separately from other characters just because they are built differently.

This could potentially be resolved with a shelving unit which has adjustable shelves, like some bookshelves have. A shame this one doesn't have that going for it.

A six stud shelf depth might also be pushing it with some figures who use parts like the snake tail element. I can see from your photos that there's a little bit of extra clearance between the front of each shelf and the Plexiglas window, as is needed to allow accessories like spears and fishing rods to fit neatly. But a character with a snake tail element (already slightly over six studs long) AND large accessories that might need to tilt forward a bit to fit might end up a little cramped unless you placed them sideways, which is hardly ideal for display.

I definitely appreciate some of the other considerations you judged this cabinet by, though! Besides space constraints, I find that a lot of display solutions don't allow easy enough access to remove minifigures, which is a huge bummer when so many of my favorite minifigures have amazing detail that can't be appreciated solely from the front, let alone when I have a collection I might want to reorganize as I add to it!

Overall, I'm still waiting on a display solution I'm truly happy with, but there's no rush… that can wait until I am more permanently settled in a home of my own instead of always bouncing back and forth between home and college, and having to tote my favorite minifigs with me in shoeboxes or Ziploc bags.

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By in United States,

Oof the price

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By in United Kingdom,

@backtobricks, the weight of minifigures is negligible and the wooden shelves will have no problem holding that quantity, and the fixings on the the back won't be troubled either.

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By in United Kingdom,

Having reconditioned many old, discoloured LEGO parts, I would love to write about the processes which lead to the yellowing and how to reverse it!

@creativetim
The plexiglass won't prevent discolouration unless it is specifically made for blocking ultraviolet light.

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By in United Kingdom,

More shipping costs:

UK - Free
Germany - £10
Belgium - £13
Luxembourg - £15
Sweden & Demark - £15
Singapore - £45
USA - £60

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By in United Kingdom,

Well I'm obviously in the minority here judging by all the positivity here about these display boxes.
I can't for life of me see how its a good idea at that kinda price, and I'm shocked so many consider this a feasible idea, I mean how much money you people got? I can barely afford to keep minifigure collecting let alone pay for super expensive displays Like these...
Series with greater than 16 figures look like they wouldn't fit on a row, imagine buying a bunch of these but then a couple series don't quite fit....
Flawed and expensive.. not for me but apparently somehow that's just me seemingly me that doesn't think they're awesome

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By in United States,

Huw, Could not agree with you any more!

Most all my minifigures (numbering in the 100's) are also "languishing in plastic" containers and most products available are too garish and limited in their appeal...

This is ingenious and deserves the write-up and link. Solid, tasteful and meets an obvious need. Wish them success and will definitely be checking out their product offerings!

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By in United Kingdom,

OMG! I have been buying these for the last 3 years! Great display cabinet. Lovely to see them get the spotlight they deserve!

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By in United States,

As someone who lives in the USA territory of Puerto Rico I better make that contest a priority, need to get one or two.

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By in United Kingdom,

@stevenzhang - Brickheadz would be a great idea. We'd probably need to remove a couple of shelves, but it would be a really nice addition to our fledgling product line.

@HugeYellowBrick - sell the vignettes you say? hmmm. Sounds like a anther opportunity.

@j.d - We'd love to see a panel of bricks behind each minifig making up a specific set for them. Please send us pictures :)

@LordMoral - Yup, only 6 days left to enter the comp and win one (only one to be won though)

@backtobricks - good question. I don't have an exact weight, but I'm assured by our manufacturers that they can take 15kg. We have some at home that hare hanging on the wall with over 300 minifigs in and we've never had a problem. We also hung up a frame with all the playndisplay sets in and there was no problem with the weight (assuming your nails and wall hold out - but we are not responsible if your house collapses)

@aanchir - 7 bricks high? That's a tall minifig. We mentioned earlier that the big figs don't fit, but they are very close and we may consider making a larger frame. As for the depth, the Medusa from series 10 fits in ok. The tail is ever so slightly flexible and fits in without a problem. I'm not sure about accessories tilting forward but we have found if you turn the hand right they can tilt backwards.

@bananaworld - We tried out some UV protective Plexiglas but it wasn't a clear as the normal stuff and so we felt it would detract from the display aspect of the frame.

Thanks for all the questions and praise (and some criticism) you've given us a lot to think about and consider in which ways we can improve our products.

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By in United States,

These look well thought out and good quality. A lot of good suggestions for improvements as well. I was considering buying several but as others have said it is very cost prohibitive with the high shipping cost added to the US. Nevertheless I hope your business does extremely well as there is a need for quality display options for Lego.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Display Frames UK Thanks for answering my question. :)

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By in Finland,

It's mentioned in the review to keep the dust off but how effectively exactly, does it leave a gap between the door and the frame? I absolutely hate dusting.
I might wait for one that fits bigfigs but otherwise this looks amazing. The possibility to display small dioramas as well as minifigs is especially terrific.

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By in United States,

I built one similar to this with my dad but it doesn't have glass, maybe ill try and add glass

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By in United States,

Thanks BrickSet,
I Guess I don't need to eat for the next few months.
Because I definitely need a few of these for My Lego room.
More than I need food.

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By in United States,

i like this for displaying figures en masse, but I want a cheaper, nice solution for displaying single figures. Fabiox appears to be the best solution for this but the per case price is astronomical.

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By in United States,

Wow. That's ~$112 (USD) for the frame alone plus another $75 for shipping? That's pretty close to the price of a modular. I'm quite certain I'll pass on this.

I do have to say the vignettes look very nice. Cuts down on the number of figures but makes for a much less sterile, more compelling display. I hope they publish the entries in the competition. I'd love to see what people come up with.

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By in Canada,

Would love this but shipping to North America is prohibitive! Can you feature a company from North America sometime in the future that have a great product?

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By in United States,

Great, if you have a finite amount of Lego Minifigures. But the tedious thing is when you have to buy more of these £90 frames when your Minifigures collections keeps growing. Not to mention it's relatively hard to buy from the US.

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By in United States,

@Display Frames UK - Please please reconsider Step 4; Bulk shipment to the USA!!! I would be so interested!

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By in Czech Republic,

@ backtobricks I think you are slightly more than being paranoid.. what the hell is the usual weight of a single, regular minifig? about 15 gr? .. so 300 - if you are able to stuck them in, would be around 4-5 kg.. do you really think that these, rather well-built wooden frames, put together using some cheap glue or even e chewing gum are not able to support that weight?

- I would expect that kind of a question for the racks supposed to hold 30+ UCS SW sets.. - but not minifigs!

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By in United States,

@BigDumbWookie I have the same problem, nothing that quite fits my needs and price range. I ended up building one last summer by hand, not as pretty but more substantial than the plastic options and my cheapest display solution by far!

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By in United States,

@Mica86:
I absolutely agree about the expense. Even with free shipping, that would be a hard pill to swallow, but basically doubling the price of the cabinet seems like it would kill interest from the US market. Using current conversion rates, that's a whopping $156 to get just the cabinet, or $187 if you want it with the plates included.

However, with six studs of depth, there's room enough to put three ranks of standard minifigs in, if you do it right (jumper plates really help with the back row). There's not a single series of CMF that couldn't fit on one of these shelves, with a bit of work, provided there's enough headroom for tall ones like the giraffe costume. The worst option I've ever seen was when The LEGO Company released an official minifig display case several years ago. It was cardboard, for starters, so _very_ cheaply made, and allergic to water. It was yellow, which neatly tied in with the packaging for S1 (which had been released a few months earlier), but it only had 15 pockets. Unless you doubled up two minifigs in one of those pockets, it wouldn't fit the series that it looked like it was intended to display.

For my own collection, I figured out how to string those minifig magnet bases together into a long chain, which really helps keep them from wandering around the doors of your fridge. I accented them in the color used for the packaging. That worked great until Mr. Gold made it basically pointless to even try to stay 100% complete on the CMF theme, so I stopped at S11 even though my fridge could have fit at least six more series before I hit the bottom of the doors.

My Batman-related minifig collection (~370 unique minifigs as of my most recent count this weekend) I can't display at all in this manner because I simply do too many public displays with my LUG, and I need to be able to just grab the travel cases and go. It takes a few hours to unpack them all, and a few more hours to repack them, so that's just never going to happen anymore.

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By in United States,

Saw a question about this way up there. The main cause of discoloring is UV degradation. Sunlight is everywhere, bouncing off of everything. It is also, sadly, in almost every kind of generated light, at least in some fraction, though some bulbs claim to have zero UV in them.

The science and chemistry to it is complicated. If you want some basics, here is something...well, frankly it is ALL dense...where is Bill Nye when you need him? (This is partly why I don’t work with plastics anymore...hurts my NOGGIN)

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4320144/

Oh, and unless the glass has some kind of protection in it, you’d need to apply a film to it. None of them are awesome. Best solution? Display all LEGO in a room with no windows or with all windows blocked off.

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By in United States,

I really like this display case but as I'm in the U.S. it's way out of my price range.

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By in United States,

A MUCH cheaper alternative would be a simple shot glass display case turned on its side.
In the US, Michaels has some for $32.50 each:

https://www.michaels.com/default/10147365.htmlq=shot+glass+display+case

Here's an image of it in use:

http://i.imgur.com/AedAiGF.jpg

Looks like you can fit 5-6 minifigures per slot, depending on how visible you want them all to be.

I found this with just a simple 2 minute google search. I'm sure a more thorough search could procure something even more cost-effective.

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By in United States,

They look nice but they're already a bit overpriced and with shipping to Portugal costing £20 it's just out of the question.
There are more reasonably priced solutions for me at over £109.

Maybe if Britain finally sorts out Brexit (or leaves without a deal) and the pound comes crashing down I'll change my mind :P

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By in Netherlands,

Very beautiful, only I don't like it that the minifigures are so close together. I usually leave 2 studs space between them for better display and to allow room for animals e.a.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ There is two studs between them. 64 / 16 = 4 studs per figure

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By in United States,

Would definitely consider it if it shipped from the US!

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By in France,

Outstanding! And so much better than the frame I got from minifiguresdisplay (which looks OK but is a pain to open everytime I need to access the minifigs). Will definitely buy one if I don't win their competition :-) Hopefully they ship to France

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By in United Kingdom,

@crayxmp I was just asking a legitimate question knowing how heavy the Ikea Ribba frames can get when filled with figures. There really is no need to be rude.

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By in United States,

Since we're talking about alternatives, Michaels keepsake display cases work well. Under $30 when they do one of their regular 50% off sales, have a glass door and each shelf is deep enough to fit two rows of figures. Here is a photo of one in action (not mine) https://i.imgur.com/LWuGNgZ.jpg.

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By in United States,

Wow, these are niiiice! But shipping is indeed prohibitive to the US, it doubles the price per frame… Let us know if you do end up shipping a large bulk order of them!

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By in Canada,

Those look absolutely superb. That black colour is just class making the minifig colours just pop!

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By in United States,

I’m in the US and would also be in to buy several if there was a decision made to bulk ship some over here for distribution. Be willing to pre-order in that situation.

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By in Netherlands,

I’ll buy one, if only for the purpose to recreate scenes from the LEGO Tower game.

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By in United States,

If you don't want to do the much cheaper DIY Ikea solution, Walmart and Amazon also sell front opening Lego Minifigure Display cases. They aren't as cheap as the Ikea shadow boxes, but they are a lot cheaper than these display frames.

Search "Lego Minifigures Display Case Wall Thimble Cabinet Shadow Box, solid wood (Black Finish)"

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By in Sweden,

Received my frame yesterday: fast delivery, very well made and great customer service.
There are other ´display solutions but when you get this in hand, it's hard to see that there is something with higher quality out there.

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