This is the story of how Back of the Box Builds was born.
My name is Preston, I’m an AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO). My LEGO childhood included countless hours of playing with M:TRON and Blacktron II. While I remember flipping through many LEGO catalog pages and dreamed of owning a LEGO space monorail, those are the only two themes I remember playing with and collecting as a child. I loved them – the adventures in space, the magnetic connections of M:TRON, and the color scheme of Blacktron II. I remember a couple of technic sets growing up, but slowly faded from LEGO. Then, I entered my LEGO dark ages (≈1993-2016).
Nearly 25 years later, LEGO pulled me back. I don’t recall how I got it, but somehow I found myself building the LEGO Speed Champions LaFerrari (Set 75899) and I was hooked again. It soon became a very wonderful thought to be reunited with all my childhood LEGO and the task to try and reassemble whatever I could. (My Mom had saved them all (Thanks Mom!) and my brother’s children had all my old LEGO while they were young kids.)
As I looked into and reassembled all my old M:TRON and Blacktron II sets I discovered something truly amazing – official images of even more space ships and space stations with magnetic connections and more trans-neon green goodness! I was never a box collector growing up and didn’t even remember that there use to be photos of additional builds on the back of old sets. I very much love following the official instructions, and rarely enjoy making LEGO MOC (My Own Creation) sets. (Here’s my first MOC, a nod to the theme that brought me back to LEGO.) But, once I found out about the alternate builds and even more spaceships and space stations I couldn’t wait to find some instructions!
In this amazing day and age in which we live with the internet and dedicated communities for every interest and hobby I figured it would not be a difficult task to find what I was looking for, simple instructions for back of the box alternate builds. But, no instructions existed.
In the fall of 2019, I took to the Reddit LEGO community of over 500K+ to try and find some instructions to build this super cool Blacktron II spaceship that fascinated me (6981 – Back B).
No help. I tried again.
The instructions didn’t exist. However, I did hear back from a few other people who felt the same need and were ready to help. I knew what must be done. As a web and graphic designer by trade, I already had all the tools. So, I created Back of the Box Builds.
I hope this site will serve as a resource to the entire AFOL community and to any kids who are lucky enough to discover the magic that was once printed on the back of old LEGO boxes. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped provide feedback, box photos, and submitted instructions to build these forgotten images! This is a fan created site, for fans, by fans of classic LEGO.
Happy building! M:TRON FOREVER!