Do you take your toys on vacation?

Do you take your toys on vacation with you? If you do, then we need your help!

A few weeks back we turned our first article into the Bricks Culture magazine. It was a brief introduction to the world of toy photography and featured the work of eleven talented toy photographers and friends of Stuck in Plastic. (You can order Issue #5  here.) Now that we have our first issue under our belt, it’s time to start thinking about our next article. With summer just around the corner we thought we’d talk about taking toys on vacation.

Everyone here at Stuck in Plastic has taken their toys on vacation at some time. I remember when Mike took a toy or two to Edinburgh, Boris always seems to have an adventure up his sleeve like his epic journey to Cape Nord and I’ve taken my toys to Arches Nation Park. Recently, Avanaut related his experience of taking IG-88 on his family holiday to Greece and the story that seemed to unfold unbidden. All of these experiences have made our holiday adventures more memorable.

We could go on and on about our experiences traveling with toys, but we thought it would be fun to incorporate your experiences as well. If we combine what we’ve learned with what you’ve learned, we can create a list of good practices for taking toys on vacation. Hopefully we can also learn from each other and help minimize the mishaps and maximize the magic.

If you would like to help us with our article by sharing your experiences, please answer any of the following questions in the comments section. We would also love to see an example of your toys on vacation so be sure and leave a link to one of your favorite photos.

  1. What do you pack first: toys, camera gear or clothes?
  2. Why do you take your toys on vacation with you?
  3.  Do you travel solo, with friends or with family?
  4.  If you travel as part off a group, are your traveling companions supportive or barely tolerant?
  5.  What is the best (or worst) experience you’ve had with your toys on vacation?
  6.  How do you pack your toys?
  7. How many toys do you bring?
  8.  What is the biggest lego set you’ve taken on the road with you? How did you keep it together?
  9. Do you pre-plan your shots by packing specific characters and accessories? Or do you wing it once you’re on location?

Taking toys on vacation can be fun. It’s a wonderful way to experience a new environment all the while scoping out likely photo spots. It’s also a great way to break out of your normal routine and try something new. We’re looking forward to sharing this mostly pleasurable activity with the Bricks Culture audience. 🙂

You’ve heard us talk about our experiences, now it’s your turn…

~ xxSJC

My favorite photo from last years summer vacation. Walking along the beach taking photos while my daughter and Julochka (in the distance) were looking for rocks.
One of my favorite photos from last years summer vacation. I was walking along the beach taking lego photos while my daughter and Julochka (in the distance) were looking for rocks.




  1. Of course!
    I usually take up to max 3 figures. Though they are not Lego piece, on my next vacation I will be bringing along Lego 3P0 and R2. Am only just appreciating shooting minifigs!

    I would just use my iphone to shoot the toys , and them use the appTYPORAMA to add in some fancy typography work. Usually the captions would indicate the place I am visiting.

    Take them on vacation cause I love toy photography and making up stories ….what better way to take photos and creating scenes in a totally new place with zero expectations.

    I usually go on vacations with my family. My boys have pretty much out grown their toys and have returned them to me! They don’t really enjoy taking photo, so I end up taking photos of my toys. They are usually embarrassed when I start taking out the figures and start shooting! My wife is very supportive tho…she took lots of behind the scenes of my lying down on our last vacation in Australia!

    I like to pack light (the more toys I bring…the more likely I might lose them) I would just thrown them in my pocket and then go exploring..sometimes that can be a mistake, cause all kinds of lint and tiny particles get stuck on the figures.

    Just started on my lego collection so hope to see more of them in action overseas. I would just look at a place and then wing it to get my shots.

    Below is my fav pic from my last visit to Australia:

  2. Hello, my name is Alex and I read your blog since long time and I follow your activity on Instagram and Facebook, but I think this is my first comment here.

    1. I start with clothes as I already know what minifigure(s) will join me in my trips.
    2. It’s a bit of a longer story here. The short version is that I feel that it represents me. I have a bat as my logo and many people joke calling me Batman. From here to having a Batman minifigure in photos instead of me was just a small step considering that I am a little camera shy.
    3. All 3, but mostly with friends.
    4. Some are supportive, I have a friends to whom I bought a teddy bear in one of our common journeys and since then she carries the bear everywhere with her in her vacations taking photos of him as well. The rest of my friends are just amused I guess about this situation.
    5. Well, because of the minifigure size I got scared a few times that I may have lost it. Also on the strange side of the experiences are some of the people reactions. They give me an amused gaze mostly, but I fear that there’s some judgment behind it. I’m 30 so I guess I may look weird sometimes when I try to take some shots of my minifigure.
    6. In the small camera bag pockets or in my laptop bag or in ziplocks.
    7. I have one main minifigure, the Lego Batman, but sometimes I consider bringing friends over if I am in a specific location (Napoleon or the Musketeers couldn’t have missed France for example). 1 to 3 minifigures.
    8. I have bought Lego sets in vacations, but I can’t say that I’ve carried them for a special photo session. So, even if they were build, they were kept in boxes.
    9. Yes, sometimes I do, as mentioned on 7. Some other times I realize that I could have bring some specific ones too late when I am already at my destination.

    I have about 100 shots with my Batman minifigure in various locations mostly in Europe, but I have uploaded to my instagram just a few so far

    You had a post at some point about finding resources to actually do this and be active and consistent. I am struggling with this and although I enjoy taking the minifigure(s) with me and taking the shots, no matter how weird I may look to some people, it seems that this is just the easy part, the difficult one is to upload them and be constant about this. I also noticed that if I don’t upload them on the spot I somehow feel that I loose the moment and postponing the upload I gather more and more photos, then I get back home, back to my real life daytime job and barely find the time and the energy to continue this. I wish that I was more productive and I always promise myself that I will start again tomorrow, or that I will be active tomorrow, but so far this tomorrow didn’t arrived.

    Despite my small experience in doing this and of the small number of photos on my account, I hope that my answers will help, it was a pleasure for me to talk about this. I am also preparing a blog post on my website about rediscovering Lego after the ‘dark ages’, and about how the AFOL life and experience are and I will talk about toy photography as well. 🙂

  3. Toy photography and travel.
    What an interesting subject.

    In my case, I always travel with toys in the backpack and my trusty DSLR whether for vacation or for work.
    I have a job which allows me to travel abroad, sometimes in very unusual places (in the middle of a game reserve in Tanzania – I was not going there to hunt anything -, on a barge in the middle of the Mekong River in Laos, in La Réunion (French island in the Indian Ocean), in Brasil,…).
    So, at the end of the day, when I can (because my work is done for the day and for security reason, too), I try to get the most I can from the place I am in, so I wander around the hotel, always with my camera and backpack. And I often get inspired by the locations to get some nice pictures. The only difficulty is that it is often a race against the clock because we don’t always finish the day of work early and I am also depending on colleague to go eat,…

    So let’s answer the questions.
    1. I always pack my clothes first, because it is often the same ones I use (especially when I travel for work). After comes the difficult part. I know I want to bring my DSLR (with one or two lenses) but the struggle comes with the minifgures selection. I try to get inspired by the location so I prepare minifigs related to the places I could go to.

    2. If I take my toys with me, it is because I want to get souvenirs from the places I go but with a different point of view. For example, if you come to Paris, you want a picture of the Eiffel tower. But there are thousands of pictures on the Internet with better lighting and colors than the one you could take. So why not focus instead on a story with the Eiffel Tower in the background. It is much more original.

    3. It depends. For work, I often travel with a colleague. And for vacation, it can be solo, or with family and friends.

    4. All the persons I travel with are aware of my pastime. And they appreciate my work so they can also suggest me some ideas and locations to get some nice pictures.

    5. The best experiences are the people you meet when you are taking your pictures. At first they have that look that says “What the hell is he doing playing with toys?” and sometimes mock you. Then you show them the picture you are taking and they say “Ouah, it’s so cool. Nice job.” After that, give them a business card and they will leave with a smile.
    Also when I travel, I sometimes get my bag searched at the airport and I love when the security agent discovers the box of lego. I always explain what I am doing with it, show them a few pictures on my phone and give them my card.

    My worst experience occurred when I was in Tanzania. It was a 1 day job but we planed 3 days there to be sure. After 2 days doing nothing because of logistical issues, we were getting really angry. Finally the day of us getting back to France arrived (the flight back was at the end of the day) and they finally solved the issues. We were then able to get to the game reserve to work and we finished a bit early. The day before, I was so pissed of doing nothing that I thought we would never go there or at least not have time to take some pictures, so I left my toys in the bag at the hotel (to avoid dirtying and damaging them – my job is often really dirty). Then, as we had finished a bit early, we were brought to a beautiful place near a river. The landscape was so amazing. I wished I had my toys with me! I was so frustrated that since that day, I always have minifigures even in my work bag 😉

    6. I use several clear plastic boxes so I can quickly see what I have at hand.

    7. Too much or not enough. I often have several dozens of minifigs because I try to bring with me a large spectrum of universe (Star Wars, Super Heroes, Space exploration,…) not to miss an opportunity.

    8. For now it is the Back To The Future Delorean ( that I used at the Louvre. I packed it in a large plastic box to avoid destruction during transport.
    But I do not travel with large sets. I prefer to pack minifigures.

    9. When I know precisely the location and activities that I plan, I try to prepare ideas or at least themes and mifigures which relate to that theme. For example, I knew that I was going last month on holiday to the south of France and I would spend a day at a sailboat gathering. So I packed sea and pirate themed minifigures but with no precise idea for a picture.
    After that, I get inspired by the location itself. That is why I prefer to get a large panel of minifigures.

    Here are some examples of pictures taken during my recent travels:
    – This one was taken in Brasil. I had 30 minutes of sun. I had the idea of the scene before I went there, so I planed accordingly.

    – Those are examples of the ones I took in La Réunion island. They were totally inspired by the location.

    – Those were taken during the sailboat gathering. While I was taking the pictures, dozens of people were passing by and some of them stopped and we discussed for a while. I was even contacted by a journalist following the publication of the pictures.

    I hope this will help with the article. If you have more questions or want me to develop some ideas, don’t hesitate to ask.

  4. Pulup

    Hey guys, it’s Pulup here.. I thought I could give some answers as well..

    I first pack my clothes; but I usually know which Lego I will take with me beforehand. Depending on how long my trip will be, I take at least 10-15 (for a weekend) up to 40-50 (a week-long holiday) mini figures with me. The largest set I brought with me was the camper van (60057). I usually only take my mini figures with me..

    And yes, I do a lot of planning beforehand. I do some research before the trip to find out what beers I would drink, and what graffiti I would see so that I could take the appropriate Lego with me. Same goes for museums, monuments and some other city sights. I am usually very well-prepared 🙂

    Here are some sample photos from my holidays: (at the beach) (another one at the beach) (beer-trip) (another beer-trip)

    Cheers 🙂

  5. I hope my answers can you help

    1. Clothes and finally the camera with my toy

    2. First of all because I love the toy photography and secondly, because I started in this world taking photos to a little Wall·E. I have a lot of toys, but this is the only one that I consider one more member in my family. It’s funny see how the people laugh when I’m taking pictures of him in different places of the world. In fact, is something similar to the gnomes of Amelie film

    3. Always I travel with my husband, but sometimes I traveled with friends or in group and Wall·E came with me too.

    4. My husband is very tolerant, a lot of years travelling together I guess. He have a lot of pacience suggest me some photos and he’s always aware that not lose the toy
    My friends laugh at the situatuion but they know that, take photos to Wall·E, is part of the trip

    5. The reaction of the people when I’m taking pictures of Wall·E from the ground. They are curious, some laugh and others think that “this girl is crazy”. In fact, are the same things that when I take photos in my city. The worst Expience was the past summer in Borneo. We were navigating by the river in the middle of the jungle and Wall·E almost fell overboard :S

    6. In the small camera bag case. Camera and toy always together

    7. Actually just only one (Wall·E). The rest of my toys stay at home, although 1 or 2 lego stormtrooper came with me too. But it’s not usual

    8. I only use the single minifigs for taking photos. So on the road (in my city) I remember one photo with 8-9 lego minifigs like main characters

    9. When I travel for holidays I never pre-plan the shots for the toy (just for travel photography) but at my city, always pre plan the outdoors shoots because I’m thinking in a specific idea

    My idea is will do a new blog with all these images, but I never have enough time. So, you can find here some images


  6. I think my comment is going to be extensive as it combines the two things I probably prefer to do and talk about 🙂

    During the past 4 years I’ve been lucky to have a job that often sends me abroad to interesting places. Since I started taking photos of toys, almost two years ago, I always carried at least a few minifigures alongside my camera. In addition I often went on small week-end trips to the seaside.

    Recently I worked on re-organizing my Flickr profile and created an album containing all the shots taken while traveling. Overall it’s almost 20% of the photos I shared that are travel toy photography.

    1. I’m not very organized so it’s generally everything at the same time at the last moment. For the last big trip I wanted to take so many minifigs that I packed them a few days in advance. Clothes are the boring part and photo gear, while very important, is very easy and most of the time always the same: my DSLR, a wide angle lens, my 35mm prime and my macro lens. The macro is the one I mostly bring for toy photography and I recently also used the wide angle for that purpose. I also often carry a tripod but very rarely use it for toy photography (although I think I should!). There is also a bunch of photo accessory (filters, remote control) but they’re also not very useful for toy photography. Finally it’s been very common for me to bring a strobe but every time it stays in my luggage because I don’t have free space or free weight to carry it.

    2. Since I took photography as a hobby I have to admit that I haven’t been able to imagine going on vacation and not making photography (one of) the main goal. Toy photography has been a way of varying pleasures. Some of my best memories from my last trip come from toy photography.

    3. Both. When it’s a business trip, I can be alone or accompanied by some colleagues. Anyway I’m used to extend these trips to have time to visit the place I’m traveling to and so there’s always a few days when I’m alone. When it’s not my job that sent me abroad, up to now I’ve always been accompanied by friends or family.

    4. One of the conclusion of that last big trip was that traveling with my colleagues ended up with very few good photos because I can’t put enough time in these photos. (But to be honest, even without considering photography, it’s not that great to travel with them) When I’m with friends or family it’s much more easy. I can easily stop at a spot I like and take my time to shoot minifigs. On the other hand I still prefer when I’m alone and can spend a few hours in the middle of nowhere if I want to. However I’m considering that going on a big trip all by myself to have the opportunity to fully dedicate it to photography.

    5. My best memory is from the last big trip when shooting a photo in the middle of the street in Ginza. It’s a big shopping street closed to cars during the day with people everywhere. Generally I’m not comfortable with lying on the ground to take photos with many people around because I don’t like being the center of attention of too many people. This was a challenge I assigned to myself. While I’m very happy of achieving doing it, I was even more uncomfortable than I expected so the result of the photo is not as good as I would have liked. I was just too stressed and disturbed by people looking and pointing their smartphone at me and didn’t check enough that everything was okay in camera. Still it’s a very good memory because I’m still proud I achieved this. The worst memory comes from last summer when I was lacking motivation for toy photography, took plenty of great photos in Brittany but didn’t take a lot of photos of toys and none of them are part the great ones.

    6. Initially I used small ziploc bag that could fit one or two minifigs. I quickly changed to a plastic case that seems to me more secure for my minifigs. It can fit much more minifigs and also have modular small compartments where one, two or three minifigs can fit. I had two of these during my last trip. However I’m considering switching one of them to another type of plastic case to fit more easily larger figures.

    7. At the beginning I carried a very limited number of minifigs. I remember that for my first trip with minifigs I only had my sigfig, Wyldstyle and two sandtroopers. For the last one I tried to count when packing and stopped at 50. I estimate I had around 60 or maybe even 70 minifigures in my bag, plus a bunch of small accessories, a bicycle and a motorbike. It’s starting to be a lot of toys to carry around and I fear it won’t improve over time. It’s interesting to note that I came back from the last trip with more toys than I left home.

    8. The only set I carried with me is 75099. I took it with me on a few week-end trips to the seaside and used ziploc bags. Although it’s not very good for avoiding the set breaking up and I don’t think I would take a set with me if I had to travel by plane. Even though I’d like to (try to) shoot some bigger sets outdoor I’m really not comfortable carrying them around.

    9. I don’t know if I could really plan shots in advance, particularly when I go to place I’ve never been to. I find it hard to plan toy photography when going somewhere I don’t know. Still there are often specific shots I’d like to take. Most minifigs I take with me are minifigs I’d like to shoot. My last trip was rather successful from that point of view but there was still many photos that didn’t work as I would have liked. (Actually it’s common for this to happen to me, whether I’m traveling, going to a familiar place or staying at home.) Most of the minifigs I brought with me during that last trip weren’t shoot. Sometimes it also happen that once on location I realized there are nice settings or opportunities to shoot minifigs I left at home.

    I think I’m done o/
    I have to add that I love that post: not for the post itself but for all the great comments I read. I see myself in many stories and at the same time many things different from what I do and that I want to try for the next big trip (even though I have no idea when it will be).

  7. fubiken

    Hello, Stefan from Malmö, Sweden here.
    This is my list:
    1. I usally pack clothes first, then my camera gear and last my minifigs.
    2. You never know what kind of environment you will find, new settings to shot in.
    3. I travel with my family (I’m single so it is with my brother/sisters) or I travel alone.
    4. Well.. They are barely tolerant I’m sad to say.
    5. My worst? Almost lost a hat for a minifig, second worst is when I loose inspiration. The best? The baltic toysafari and shooting minifigs with my nieces (kids are free in their minds)
    6. I have upgraded to special boxes with padding, used to have just a plastic bag.
    7. How many changes from time to time.
    8. The biggest toy I brought along was a Lego Dewback.
    9. I just wing it 9 out of 10 times

  8. 1. my legos, then my camera, clothes tech etc.
    2. Since photography is one of the main reason I go on vacation there is no doubt that I’ll leave my legos.
    3. I travel with my family
    4. I always vacation in a group, typically that group is my family. I leave in a big family of eight. Favorite place to go is the beach. My brother and my dad don’t take lego photography but are big into normal photography. So I can still experience the fun and receive the encouragement from them.
    5. My worst experience… Well, my photography days are pretty easy. I use a large lego pick-a-brick container for holding my legos. I almost left all four stormtroopers, eight kashyyyk troopers and countless guns after I did the slingshot with my brother. I had set them down because I didn’t want to loose them when I was shot up into the air. Luckily I remembered where I set them and came back. (I’ve never lost a single Lego.)
    6. Like I said in 5. I pack them in a large lego pick-a-brick container.
    7. I bring four utapua, eight kashyyyk, eight stormtroopers, a speeder with barc trooper, a couple sith, and some other random figs.
    8. Biggest set I’ve taken was my Lego Star Wars AT-AP. Altho I didn’t use it. Not sure if this counts but when I moved I took two modular sets. All Lego Dino attack. Minifigures series 1-9, star wars and loads of loose bricks.
    9. Currently I wing it. When I’m on vacation I plan it. If I’m at the beach its my stormtroopers. In the woods its Kashyyyk. But around the house its everything.


  9. Hy everyone! It’s sachabricks here! Have to admit, this is my first comment here…

    1.) I always pack my clothes first because I have always some figs sorted and the cam is as well with me everyday.

    2.) For me it is just a very nice opportunity to take some time to shoot outdoor in amazing locations. Additionally I always think about my holidays and then be like, hm if we go there and I have no figures with me… No, no, no that would be a shame, I just pack some to be save…

    3.) I always travel with my wife…

    4.) …and she is mostly very supportive. Sometimes a bit embarrassed or annoyed but mostly very helpful or even shoots something on her own.

    5.) I had no bad experiences yet with my toys (never lost something, lucky me). But my best experience was, last year when we went to florida and I took some figures to the swamps and to the beach… I still really love these shots and like the very different background to my usual one back in switzerland.

    6.) I have a bigger plastik-box (like the ones you use for some pearls and buttons and things for crafting) and then there is a small metal-box from some mints. So it depends wether we go on big holidays or just some days…

    7.) Around 20 in the big box incl. some accessoires and around 4-5 in the small one.

    8.) I never take sets on holidays… I just used the campervan in our backyard but that’s it. I’m always affraid I could lose something or it gets completely destroyed.

    9.) I don’t do real plans as for where and which figure and what story but I do think about where we are going and try to have a figure for every upcoming opportunity with me. Thats why I need the big box! But when we just go for a hike or a shirt trip I take a stomtrooper and some other random figures with me…

    10.) My favourite shots are probably the following: (In the Swamps) (At the beach by day) (At the beach around dusk) (At the beach, Macro)

  10. Ian Cockayne

    1. I am sorry to say that clothes comes first, second is camera equipment, and that toys come third; however, toys take the longest to pack, it is sometimes hard to decide who to take!

    2. I generally only get a chance to take quick photos at weekends, so holidays are an opportunity to take a little time out, explore somewhere new and build up a stock of images to gradually share with everyone online.

    3. I used to travel a lot for work on my own, but I now mainly travel with family. However I did take Lego with me on the last company offsite to Rome!

    4. I would like to think my family are supportive; I think @frenglish_girl is happy I have found something I enjoy more than work! I am not sure my colleagues at work understand it though…

    5. The #baltictoysafari has to be my best experience on vacation with toys, although I sadly lost Pirate Captain @Wiiman to the Baltic Sea…

    6. Fastidiously, I am not blessed with lots of spares, particularly for the Classic Space and Pirate minifigs which I love, so I have a travel case for a selection of minifigures and carefully selected accessories and I keep customs or brand new parts in ziplock bags.

    7. I normally take about 10 minifigures and accessories with me, so I can just slip them into my pocket with my camera or camera phone so they are on hand if an opportunity presents itself.

    8. I do not normally take sets on the road, for fear of losing parts. For the #baltictoysafari I took sets 41091 Mia’s Roadster and 886 Space Buggy and a few small builds of my own.

    9. I definitely plan who I will be taking before I go, and often I have an idea in my head what I want to turn out, but equally I like to see what inspires me when I am on location.

  11. Late to the party here, but yes, I took some of my minifigs and indoor furniture on an extended trip to Portugal. Not a vacation because I’d been hired to write some blog posts about Easter celebrations, the 40th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, and general tourist stuff. I left on the trip with a general story line, two Millenials named Trendsetter and Hipster who decided to forgo getting married but to spend the wedding money on a honeymoon anyway. When I brought them to the Peixe em Lisboa festival (a celebration of fish and other locally produced food) and wrote about how to find great non-touristy things to do like this, it turned into my biggest blog piece ever, included in various travel guides around the world. Here’s the piece:

    Anyway, for those who followed the story on Instagram, cracks developed in their relationship, having to do with Trendsetter’s obsession with popular young adult author John Green and Hipster’s friendship with out-of-control party animal Patricio, who showed up unexpectedly to cover the 40th anniversary events. So…good thing T & H didn’t get married. It saved them the cost of a divorce.

    That was the fun part. Now the embarrassing part. My camera is an iPhone. I throw the toys in a sandwich bag that I stuff into my backpack. I don’t take sets, but last year in Portugal I used a set belonging to the 14-year-old boy of the family I stayed with. His model, an airplane in the Indiana Jones series, was broken, and I fixed it for him, because I’m a better builder than a photographer. I have less than three weeks to figure out a story line because I leave for Portugal again for two months, and whichever minifigs I bring will be what I feature on my Instagram feed and my blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.