This review is about an unusual item, namely one made for storage of LEGO rather than building with it. Sarah Kirk, the owner of Swoop Bag, sent us one to check out some time ago. My apologies to Swoop Bag for the delay in reviewing it.
This is actually a rather interesting product. Similar to the play-mats that LEGO made back in the 70s, the Swoop Bag is a combination play-mat and storage bag, designed to transform from storage to play-space and back again.
It consists of a 44 inch, round canvas mat with a nylon draw-string encased in a sleeve around the edge. The sleeve doubles as a containment “wall” when the bag is in play-mat mode. Place a pile of LEGO in the middle of the mat and build away. When you are finished simply pull on the draw-string and the mat folds up around the brick and transforms into a handy storage bag. It makes picking up a pile of brick surprisingly easy and hung up on a hook, ready for the next build session.
The bag is very sturdy and it can hold quite a bit of brick. I dumped in an 18 gallon bin of brick (unsorted, of course) and it held it just fine. My six year old son was able to operate the bag, open or closed, in about 20 seconds. The sleeve around the edge is a lot better than the old LEGO play-mats in that the cord is almost completely enclosed. The cords on the old mats got in the way and tripped kids up. It also comes in two sizes now. We only reviewed the larger one but the smaller one looks like it would ideal for travel. The bag is also machine-washable.
It is designed for a child’s collection of brick. It is perfect for my kids’ collection of LEGO but doesn’t have much use in my collection. This isn’t really a “con” so much as a design limitation. The price may also turn off some buyers. The large bag is priced at $48 USD, which is a lot to pay for something to keep your kid-brick in. The smaller bag is $26 USD.
Overall, I really liked the Swoop Bag. It is sturdy, makes clean up of “play brick” a snap, and my kids can do it by themselves. Obviously a lot of time and thought went into the design of the bag and it shows. This is a high quality item that will last for years. While the price is high, the ease of cleanup makes it worth it. If you have “play brick” and it gets used on a regular basis I would recommend checking out the Swoop Bag.