Recently Rich posted the press release for a new sorting product on the market called Blokpod. I’m a bit of an obsessive LEGO sorter – in fact I’m probably guilty of spending more time sorting my LEGO than actually building with it – so I was kindly given the opportunity to review it for myself. Read on to see what I made of it below…
“Here at Blokpod we have waged war on LEGO storage and organization, and have combined our love of movement with our desire for order. To do this we built a product that sorts bricks with a shake. You insert your bricks, shake your Blokpod and watch as your bricks separate by size, in an instant! Blokpod’s adaptive design not only takes the work out of sorting it also lets you watch it happen. Blokpod is designed to be adaptive. As your collection grows so will Blokpod. Blokpod is for brick enthusiasts of all ages! Blokpod’s adaptive design means it can sort bricks of every size and brand in a snap!”
It arrived through Amazon, so was in a pretty hefty, oversized box, but then once that was opened the Blokpod itself was in a smaller unmarked cardboard box which I have photographed for reference.
I was perhaps expecting it to feature a glossy cardboard exterior with a picture of the product in use, but I suspect the lack of this is to save money. Fortunately you’ll certainly feel less inclined to keep the packaging, so instead it can be recycled and you are left with just the Blokpod itself. This didn’t bother me in the least, but I imagine some might feel a product is more premium when it features at least a picture of itself on the box it comes in. Not every time though, but I digress.
On opening the box, I found the Blokpod well packaged in bubble wrap to avoid any potential damage from transport and a small pamphlet of instructions on the top. This is essentially what you see on the front page and then a few repeated pages in different languages.
The idea behind Blokpod is simple and could potentially cover a gap in the market due to the absence of LEGO’s own ‘Sort and Store’ which was last available in 2013 (correct me if I’m mistaken in the comments). We all have LEGO that needs sorting and this product aims to make life easier for you. Take a large amount of your unsorted LEGO elements, pop the lid off the Blokpod, empty said elements into your Blokpod and once the lid is back on give it a good shake for 30 seconds or so. At the end of this, your LEGO pieces will hopefully be more sorted than before you started.
The Blokpod itself is an aesthetically-pleasing cylindrical tub that is made of 4 compartments. These 4 compartments are completely transparent and can be taken apart from each other, allowing easy access to the LEGO pieces you’ve sorted inside. At the bottom of each compartment is a brightly coloured plastic ‘grate’ with lots of square holes. These are what enable your LEGO to fall from one layer to the next depending on their size. If it’s big it will likely stay at the top, but anything smaller such as 1×1 plate studs or minifig weapons, etc should fall to the bottom.
I had a decent selection of completely unsorted bricks from recently dismantled LEGO sets, so I thought this would make for a perfect test run.
The first thing I noticed was removing the lid from the top was a little stiff. You only have to twist it but I actually struggled at first. The plastic feels pretty solid so don’t hesitate to give it a bit more force if you struggle on first attempt too. Perhaps any future iterations of the Blokpod could come up with an easier opening mechanism that is still secure but doesn’t prove difficult to open – especially for children that aren’t as strong as adults. I’m not exactly Hulk, but I don’t usually struggle to open anything so this was slightly unexpected. The same applies to each layer too. It’s all based on a ‘twist and click’ approach, but having separated them a few times it definitely got noticably easier and if it was too easy it would just fall apart when you’re sorting, thus proving a bit useless!
I emptied in my selection of bricks and closed the lid… then comes the fun part. Gently shaking the tub is quite relaxing and seeing the bricks gently fall through the levels is fun to watch. After a minute or so, I opened the top lid and gave the remaining few bricks a ‘hand-stir’ just to nudge any stragglers that may have got lodged under a bigger piece. The results can be seen below.
In my opinion the Blokpod is a good product but is not going to cater for everyone. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I am quite particular with my sorting due to the immense size of my LEGO collection and have almost got the point of sorting by piece and colour (not an easy task I can tell you). For many AFOLs, you’ll have your own way of sorting and something that filters into 4 different sizes probably won’t change the way you sort in future. It is, however, quite useful if you do have just a massive load of unsorted LEGO you might have picked up from eBay or a car boot sale just to separate the initial bundle into 4 sizes which effectively splits it up so you then only need sort a 1/4 at a time. Perhaps this makes it seem more manageable. It was good at making sure the smallest pieces all fell to the bottom and from there I can take it and add it to my usual sorting ways. I did feel that on this test run, quite a few similar pieces were left on all levels, but having a grate that can distinguish every piece is going to be a very difficult thing to achieve indeed.
The design is nice and sleek and apparently there are plans for more ‘add-ons’ in the future which could be interesting, depending on the feedback they might have had from customers. Its RRP is £34.99 on Amazon.co.uk which is a little on the pricey side in my opinion, but it does double up as a storage unit and can contain about 2,000 bricks, so for someone who is new to the LEGO world or has a modest collection then this could be an ideal way to keep their bricks safely stored until play time.
Overall, I quite liked it and will probably keep using it as a ‘pre-sorter’ to my sorting habit and as storage when not in use. There is room for a couple of improvements like the grate sizes and opening mechanism, but it looks good and sorts and stores a fair amount, so on the whole nothing to really complain about. You can purchase the Blokpod via their website here and even check out a video of it in action to see for yourself.
I look forward to seeing what they might come up with next…
UPDATE: I was contacted by the creators of Blokpod to remind our readers of a few things in addition to the review I posted. One thing I forgot to mention was that every purchase of a Blokpod includes a 15-year warranty so you’re covered for a long time!
The £34.99 is a current launch promotion sale price, but it is in fact normally a bit more expensive, so it’s a perfect time to purchase if you’re considering it. They also addressed the fact that there was no design on the packaging assuring me that the reason was purely to enable a quick launch. They are currently designing new packaging for future release and having been offered a sneak peak at photos, I can confirm it looks great, so I have no qualms there.
In the new edition of Blokpod, there will be also be 3 new solid transparent grates which will allow the compartments to be better suited for storage, as well a new full-colour instruction book.
Disclaimer: All our reviews are our own personal views. Big thanks to Blokpod for providing us with their product to review.