One of the most anticipated LEGO collaborations is with Swedish furniture giant IKEA, which was heavily teased for obvious reasons.
The notion of two big household names partnering on a range was especially enticing to LEGO fans, many of whom I suspect already use IKEA furniture to organise or display their sets.
When the range was revealed to just be a set of white storage boxes with studs on their lids, AFOLs collectively groaned across the internet.
The LEGO x IKEA BYGGLEK collection releases today, 1 October 2020 in Europe and the United States, and will be available in IKEA Stores, or on their website. Unfortunately for those of us in Australia and Asia, we’ll have to wait till early 2021.
Update: The LEGO x IKEA Bygglek collaboration will land in Australia on 17 February 2021, and will be available online and in-store! See below for Australian pricing.
1. BYGGLEK 201-piece LEGO® brick set, mixed colours, $35
2. BYGGLEK LEGO® box with lid 35x26x12 cm, $22
3. BYGGLEK LEGO® box with lid, white 26x18x12 cm, $20
4. BYGGLEK LEGO® box with lid, set of 3, white, $20
LEGO got in touch with a unique brief- not to review the BYGGLEK range, but to do something creative and build with them. This was both exciting and terrifying as I don’t fancy myself a talented builder, but I was up to challenge myself.
I’ll reveal what I built at the end!
Like all IKEA products, some assembly is required, but thankfully you won’t need power tools or an Allen key.
The box design is typical IKEA minimalism, with a pop of colour along the side, with a colouful and haphazard LEGO element pattern along the side.
There are 4 different products, 3 boxes, and an set 40357 BYGGLEK with a small assortment of parts to get you started.
There are 3 variants:
- Large (USD $14.99 CAD $24.99 €14.99)
- Medium (USD $12.99; CAD 19.99; €12.99)
- Bundle with a small, and extra small box (USD $9.99 CAD $15.99 €9.99)
- Large: 32 x 44 studs (35 x 26 x 12 cm)
- Medium: 22 x 32 studs (26 x 18 x 12 cm)
- Small: 16 x 22 studs (17 x 13 x 6 cm)
- Extra small: 11×16, (13 x 9 x 6 cm)
The BYGGLEK boxes are exactly as advertised – boxes designed to bridge the gap between play and LEGO storage.
The lids of each box have studs on them, and the tolerances and clutch are indistinguishable from LEGO. These are the real deal, and function as intended – base plates fused to storage boxes.
I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the boxes, which are made out of ABS plastic, just like your LEGO elements.
With these boxes manufactured by IKEA, I was a little concerned that they might skimp on quality, but my fears were unsubstantiated.
What I really liked was the design language, curves and subtle details of BYGGLEK.
Here’s the underside of the lid where you can see the bars for added support and strength.
Here’s the underside, which instead of tubes like traditional LEGO brick, “teeth” are present.
The undersides are also embossed with product details which I think is a nice, subtle yet premium touch.
As you can tell from the photos, BYGGLEK boxes stack on each other firmly, and the secret to it is a devilishly simple solution – using the teeth to lock the boxes in place with studs.
Kudos to the IKEA and LEGO Engineers and Designers who came up with this solution as it functions as a close analogue to “clutch power”, and allows for stability when these boxes stack on each other, or on baseplates.
It’s brilliant in the sense that this is an entirely new product, made compatible with LEGO’s System in such a seamless way.
If you’re an adult LEGO fan, the main draw here is likely storage, which the BYGGLEK boxes do well. The fact that they stack nicely and easily is a big drawcard.
This is an observation I made – the BYGGLEK boxes definitely don’t feel like LEGO, mostly because they’re not as dense and the materials used aren’t quite LEGO.
They make a very distinct sharp sound when you click the lids to the boxes, which I’ve illustrated with this video above.
If you’re used to handling all sorts of LEGO bricks, you’ll likely notice this immediately. The lid also doesn’t have a tight seal and can wiggle around, mostly to make it easier for younger kids to lift the lid off when building/storing their LEGO.
So what happens when you build on them? Here’s what me and my daughter came up with. It was mostly her creative direction (she wanted a Princess castle), so I helped put some of the elements together, but this was mostly hers.
Not bad for a 4 year old and a 31 year old.
As a parent, I had a lot of fun with this – the white BYGGLEK boxes serve as a blank canvas, inviting you to to decorate and build on and around it to create something new, which is why I think LEGO have something special on their hands here.
The main benefit as a builder, is that you can quickly obtain height and mass for builds, encouraging you to stack them up and create multi-level creations.
Here’s a gallery of our Disney Princess BYGGLEK creation.
This is really a product designed for smaller children, and parents who want to help facilitate the love of creative building and expression.
The “storage” function is also ultimately very useful.
For those of you with kids, there’s the tendency to have LEGO minifigures, parts and small models strewn everywhere (especially when multiple sets inevitably get combined), so I really appreciated that you can just dump all sorts of random bits into BYGGLEK when you’re done.
For more seasoned builders, don’t write the BYGGLEK boxes off. In addition to being great (if a little pricey) storage solutions, it’s also a quick (and modular) solution to quickly getting height and scale for your builds.
As actual storage solutions go, the fact that they’re opaque doesn’t help, but I reckon these could be great for more specialised elements like animals, or minifigures.
Final Thoughts: Ultimately, BYGGLEK is designed for younger children, not only as a canvas to build on, but doubles up as a storage solution as well.
I think of these as 3D baseplates, as they instantly open up new levels and scales to build with, and it’s been spectacular to see what the LEGO community have been doing with these – just check out the #playdisplayreplay hashtag on Instagram to see what people have been doing with them.
I really love the BYGGLEK boxes, I think the pricing is extremely reasonable for the utility AND plastic that you get. With the biggest BYGGLEK box coming in at US$15 and the small bundle at US$10, if you regularly purchase $200+ LEGO sets, these are a no-brainer.
I expect these to be very popular, not just with parents but with adult LEGO fans.
IKEA x LEGO BYGGLEK is available in Europe and the US from 1 October 2020 onwards, and the rest of the world in early 2021.
Check your country’s IKEA website to order some, or head into your closest IKEA.
Special thanks to LEGO for the creative opportunity with BYGGLEK.
What do you think of BYGGLEK? Let me know in the comments if you’re looking forward to picking these up!