Thirty years ago, my grandmother gave my brother a handmade storage bag for his heaping pile of Lego® pieces. Thirty years later, when my own son got knee-deep into Lego®, my mother gave him a redesigned version of my grandma’s original bag.
Now, three generations later, I give you SWOOP–a re-imagined, modern version of the original bag. Not only is it designed to contain all the stray Lego® pieces in your life, it now doubles as a circular playmat when opened up and spread out on the floor.
As a graphic designer and a mother of two busy boys, I wanted to design a new bag for all those Lego® pieces that was simple and well-made, and would make clean up time much easier. With an eye for modern and clean design, I’ve created SWOOP Bags using the highest quality 100% cotton canvas and nylon cording. Swoop Bags are durable, simple, colorful, fun—and stylish enough to stash in any room of the house. “Just Swoop it up!”
The original bag worked great for my family, but I found myself redesigning it in my mind—imagining ways to make it stronger, more modern looking, and even more functional. I wanted bold, solid colors and to be able to hide the cord. Here are some of the design challenges posed by the original bag, and how I worked to solve them with Swoop.
1. Cord conundrum: The cord on the original bag was visible, held in place only by thin grosgrain tabs. Because the cord was exposed, it would get in the way when kids were sifting through Lego pieces, and would sometimes get tripped over.
Swoop solution: Now, with the cord enclosed, it’s no longer a tripping hazard. As an added benefit, the bag user intuitively knows where to grab the cords on either side to Swoop up the bag when done.
2. No playmat: The original bag wasn’t designed to double as a playmat. It didn’t have edging, so when the bag was spread out, toys could easily spill over the sides.
Swoop solution: Now, the raised canvas edge serves as a border, keeping toys contained in the bag. It serves as the perfect playmat for children to play on or around while building their Lego creations.
3. Function over form: The original bag was made to be practical, so little thought was put into details like color, style, and material type.
Swoop solution: In addition to practicality, Swoop bags have style points. They come in dozens of fun colors to suit any room and personality. The canvas material was carefully chosen to be sturdy enough to haul toys, yet pliable enough to spread out as a playmat. Design was considered in every detail to ensure Swoop bags look great wherever they land!
4. Same size: Swoop bags are the same size as the original bag (44″ in diameter), as I found it was the perfect size for kids to play around comfortably. It also proved a manageable weight when it came time to Swoop up toys. When it was loaded up with the maximum amount of Lego pieces (roughly holds 15 lbs!), I couldn’t lift much more!