A big change is on the horizon for brick fans. 2023 will mark the year of a major transformation for the LEGO Minifigures line, as its packaging is set to change from the current blind bag format to more sustainable cardboard packaging from September 2023.
The move is part of LEGO’s effort to transition to fully sustainable and recyclable packaging by 2025, a company-wide initiative that will impact nearly every product produced. Prototype bricks, for instance, have been showcased in recycled plastic form, while internal plastic bags are switching to paper very soon.
While the undertaking of a sustainability route is commendable, the change in packaging for minifig is unlikely to sit well with long-time enthusiasts, especially with confirmation that there are currently no plans to create identifying features. Part of the minifig experience, after all, involves having to squeeze the packet to get an idea of the characters sealed inside during the purchase process, and packing them in a box now means there won’t be any way to tell them apart, much like how blind boxes work. This might not align with fans’ wishes to either complete a whole set or just get their favourite characters, and the not-exactly-cheap price of the minifigs certainly isn’t helping.
It’s not as much as a cash grab as it may sound, however. According to Jay’s Brick Blog, LEGO did consider other options, such as paper-based bags, square-shaped packs, pillow packaging, and cubical packaging with customisable shapes, but eventually settled on the box format. The company is also open to tweaking its plans, stating that one never knows what will happen in the future.
It’s sad to see the iconic old packaging go, having seen the minifig line-up grow over the years. Sustainability is a good way forward, and it’d be good if LEGO can find a way to balance that with the minifig identity somehow.