Chapter 7: Displaying LEGO Minifigures
Minifigure Display Case & Frame
The only LEGO minfigure storage solution that’s made by LEGO is a hybrid solution — it can be used as a stackable tabletop display case, or can be wall-mounted like a frame.
- Small collections
- Easy access
Also good for:
It comes in two models, one which can display up to 8 minifigures, and one which can display up to 16 minifigures. I like that it has a front cover to keep the dust out, and you can open the front while it’s attached to the wall. While I have not tried it yet, it has very good reviews.
- LEGO Minifigure Display Case – Not only is this an officially-sanctioned LEGO product, but you can stack them too. The larger model is the better value, at around 30$. (15″ x 1″ x 7″ h / 37cm x 4cm x 18cm h)
Minifigure Display Cases
If you want to display your LEGO minifigures on your desk or a shelf, a display case is perfect. Most cases have a stair-shaped platform, allowing you to show off several rows of minifigures while still being able to see the figures in the back row.
- Large collections
- Low cost
- Large and oddly-shaped minifigures
Also good for:
- Displaying minifigures alongside small models.
The simplest solution is to build your own stepped platform using basic LEGO bricks and plates. This allows you to build a custom solution of any size. Even if you want to build your own stepped platform, you may want to consider a plastic enclosure to prevent dust. By the time you add a plastic enclosure, you might want to consider one of these purpose built solutions.
- Plastic Display Case – While it is technically designed for 1/18 scale model cars, these stackable cases work great for LEGO minifigures. You can use a flat baseplate, or build a simple stepped platform. If you are willing to put the figures very close together, it can hold around 90 figures. (13″ x 5 1/2″ x 5″ h)
- Small Multi-level Display Case – This compact display case comes with a three-tiered insert. It looks great with about 24 figures, but can probably hold more than 50. (10″ x 5 3/8″ x 6 3/4″ h)
- PureDisplay 32 Minifigure Display Case – This mingifigure display case is designed for minifigures and their 3×4 stud base. (320mm x 150mm x 120mm h)
Minifigure Display Frame
Many LEGO enthusiasts have every shelf in their home covered with completed LEGO sets and custom creations (MOC’s). If that’s a familiar problem, maybe you should find a different way to show off your LEGO minifigures — hang them on the wall using one of these LEGO minifigure display frames.
Display Frames you can buy
You can always buy a purpose-built frame for your LEGO minifigures. I recommend options with a glass or acrylic front to keep dust out, and a hinged cover so you can access your minifigures easily.
- Large collections
- Limited storage space
- 200 minifigure Display Frame – This well reviewed frame can hold a lot of minifigures on it’s 6 shelves. Easy access with a latching door.
DIY Display Frames
There are a couple reasons to create your own LEGO minifigure frame. For one, you might be able to save a little money compared to the commercially available options. You also might want a custom size or a really large display case.
- You have lots of extra LEGO bricks
- Colorful, kid-built solution
The easiest DIY options involve modifying commercially available frames, but if you have the skills or budget, you can build a custom display case of any size.
If you are thinking about making a custom display for your collection of hundreds of LEGO minifigures, you should also check out the gallery of custom cases highlighted at minifigpriceguide.com.
- Brick-built frame – You can build your own frame using a 32×32 or 48×48 baseplate, and some basic LEGO bricks. It’s a free solution if you have a large collection of unused LEGO bricks, but it is not dust free.
- Ikea Ribba Frame – Sarah offers detailed instructions to make your own frame using a 15$ Ikea Frame, some white matboard, basic 2×4 LEGO bricks and superglue. This attractive display option holds 56 minifigures, but it doesn’t have a glass door so it isn’t dust free.
- Modified Shadowbox – You can buy pre-built shadowboxes that are 2″ deep at a framing or crafts store. Another option is the Ikea Kasseby Shadowbox which is pretty small but inexpensive. I recommend shadowboxes with a hinged door, since you can open the front and swap out minifigures easily. There are two ways to mount the LEGO minifigures: Gluing bricks to matboard as suggested in the Ikea Ribba project, or by adding small shelves. Either option will give you a dust free, and professional looking display.
I came up with a different solution which some might like.
I got hold of an old printmaker’s drawer, they are easy to find in “antique shops” or better still, flea markets. People often hang them on walls to display small trinkets, and they are actually a good size for Minifigs. I took all those Minifig bases (the 4×3 tile with 4 studs) and cut them in half and glued them into the bottom of the “cells” of the drawer to hold the Minifigs in a seated or standing position. Might be easier to just buy a bag of 2×2 or 2×3 plates, it’s an option. I also drilled some small 5mm holes on the sides, they will take either axles or technic connector pins to hang more Minifigs from. Along the top I got a length of that 2 stud long flexible strip you see in the cheapy shops. Holds about 60 characters.
It’s not one for the purists, but I love the display we get and it leaves all the Minifigures easily accessible for the kids to change/play with/use in their creations. I firmly believe Lego should be played with!
I don’t know if the link to my facebook image will work, I can email a copy if you like.
How would you store completed sets? For example, I have the Friends Central Perk set, and the Lunar Lander. What would you use to display completed projects like these?
One of these days, I hope to write additional sections for displaying and storing LEGO Sets and custom LEGO creations (MOC’s – My own creation). Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, so here are a few quick tips…
Look for storage that will protect the model from UV light and dust. If you can’t protect from dust, use compressed air to spray dust off the model every month or so. The two main options I’ve seen are: 1) protective display cases, similar to the ones I highlighted for displaying LEGO Minifigures, and 2) Cabinets with transparent glass or plexiglass doors and transparent shelves. Ikea makes a few products which are popular with LEGO collectors.
Do you have directions for your DIY frame?
I did not make directions, but it’s pretty simple. I used a 48×48 baseplate, with a row of bricks and plates around the edge to make it rigid. The minifigures are attached using 1×2 brackets.
Oh those are the bracket piece! I was trying to figure it out by looking at the photo and it was escaping me. Thanks!
My solution for displaying Lego figures was to get a piece of quarter round wood trim, like you would use around the bottom of a wall. I routed a channel in it that matched the width and depth of a 1x plate and then hot glued plates into the channel. I mounted the trim on the wall, and can then add or remove minifigs with ease. If I need more room, I can just add another piece of trim. Only downside is that you have to have a router and know how to use it.
If you want to save money, there are a lot of alternative display boxes purchasable directly from Chinese sellers via Aliexpress. From small to large.
I’ve used the Ikea Kasseby frame to display my minifigs. It is a shadow box with a hinge, and you can mount it to a wall vertically or horizontally. I just glued in 2×2 inverted slopes and can fit about 30 minifigs in one. Since it’s DIY, you can also alter the rows for larger figs, like Hulk. I even have Groot in my Marvel frame.
Great tip! I called this out as an additional option for DIY Minifig Shadowboxes.
Medusa is the most annoying minifig to display, with the serpent tail not fitting into any of the standard cases or shelves!
Don’t think you mentioned it here, but don’t Ikea also do a ‘picture rail/shelf’ that is only a few inches deep and modular, and is ideal for displaying standard minifigs? Great project by the way, will be returning regularly
The picture rail is a good idea, and I added this to my backlog of future changes to the guide.
All of these solutions are great, and I use most of them myself. Similar to your frame solution, you can find shot glass display cases that have divided compartments with a hinged glass front; no need for modification! They look really sharp, and the compartments are tall enough to accommodate figures with long accessories, or particularly tall figures like Lord Garmadon.
I have heard people mention Shot Glass display cases but haven’t seen one in person. Can you recommend a specific product that you have tried and worked well?
This is the kind I have. The regular price is pretty high, $60, but I’ve never paid that much. I’ve gotten them from between $15 and $30. At $30, it puts them in line with the standard brick shaped minifig cases which hold only 16 minifigs, while the shot glass cases have 28 individual compartments.
Thank you this! I ended up getting a non-divided case from Michael’s instead:
Great price vs. a lot of others I’ve looked at. It won’t fit minifigs over 2”, but I can get a shot glass case for those! Wouldn’t have found those without your link.
I collect mostly minifigures and have 600 – 700 in my display collection. A display solution not discussed in your otherwise great guide is flat-packed shelving. Ikea, for example, does small shelving units in its Bestå range that are only 20cm deep – perfect for minifigures. Shelf heights are adjustable and you can even choose whether to have chip-board or glass shelves. I have found CD/DVD shelving units by other flat-packed companies are also excellent for displaying prized minifigures. You can even find ones that match Ikea’s units.
Incidentally, the figures you call maxi-figures (such as the Castle trolls and the Lord of the Rings cave troll) are more commonly – though possibly not officially – called big-figs.
Having read your storage guide it seemed to be exactly how my collecting and storage has grown over the years – I started with a small collection of technic models in toolbox type storage so that my collection was portable and I could take it out and about with me – my collection grew and grew till it could no longer be portable outside of the house but could be moved between rooms by using tall storage units with drawers but on wheels – now 30 years later I have had to convert one room at home to a dedicated lego build room and have used a combination of Ikea storage drawers, really useful storage towers and boxes, and the Papimax storage trays. For mini figures I store them in drawers in re-sealable plastic bags but for displaying them I use the Papimax storage boxes and storage frames which means I can have a theme for each one of them. Your guide is excellent and so are your labels!
Thanks for the kind words, and for reinforcing that the content in the guide is organized in an appropriate order: from small, to medium, to very large collections in a dedicated room.
It sounds like I’ve captured most of your favorite storage solutions – Papimax drawers, ikea drawers, and Reakky Useful Boxes. I am of course curious to hear which of those products you like best, as i’m trying to sort the “recommended products” for each category with the top pick at the top.
Also, I’d love to see what your organized collection looks like!