View Full Version : The worst thing that can happen to any collector has finally happened to me (pics)

04-03-2004, 06:36 PM
I had to pull out an older toy from my basement today cuz I was gonna scan in the image for another project, and lo and behold what do I find? Water Damage!!! :cry: Most all of my Star Wars collection is gone now and I dont know what to do with the damaged ones


More pics
http://mywebpage.netscape.com/JakeZula/TeknoSideA.jpg (this is what I went to go get when everything fell out the bottom of the box it was in)

What should I do? Everythings still wet and moss is everywhere...

04-03-2004, 06:50 PM
Dude, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry that happened. But rest assured, I will learn from your mistake. :beard:

04-03-2004, 06:53 PM
Sorry to hear that. I guess you're an "opener" now.

04-03-2004, 07:01 PM
There's nothing you can do, but open them or sell them as is on e-bay. If you plan to replace them you, should Star Case them and keep them in a closet inside the house.

04-03-2004, 07:06 PM
That sucks man. The only thing I can suggest is to open them all and clean 'em up if you can. Better a loose collection than no collection. Fortunatly it looks like most of the SW stuff is either Green or Orange carded. These can be replaced in MOMC condition for reasonable prices.

This does bring up an important issue. The issue of long term storage. Cardboard is great for putting a lot of figures in one container, but it really dosen't "protect" carded figures. I recommend the following for long term storage:

1. Star cases, or a similar type of carded protector for each carded figure. I also use smaller protective cases for my loose collection.

2. Box 'em up and label 'em. I use rather large boxes that allow me to store anywhere from 24 (Star Case 2) to 30 (Star Case 1) figures. I also print out a list of which figures are in the box and then I tape 'em closed and tape the list to the box. I also number each box and keep the lists in MS word. So if the list on the box is damaged I can print the correct one out again and re-label the box.

3. Use pallets to avoid water damage/flooding. I rent from a climate controlled storage facility ($60.00 a month for a 10X10). One of the things they tell people is that water damage often occurs if boxes are on the cement floor, even a small amount of water on the ground can cause significant damage. They recommend using wooden pallets to stack your boxes on. This provides a 3-4 inch level of security.

4. Climate control! I recommend keeping it all in your house if at all possible. This way it remains climate controlled all year around, along with your family. However, not everyone has the ability to store their collection in the house. If you must resort to a storage facility I recommend using a cliamte controlled building. This way you avoid severe changes in temperature which can lead to moisture developing and damaging your cards.

5. Rotate your stock. I also recommend going in and checking on your collection from time to time. Move the boxes around and make sure there has been no damage to the boxes exterior, which could indicate any problems with it's all important contents.

I hope this is helpful for preventing future damage. I am sorry to hear of your bad luck.

04-03-2004, 07:13 PM
I would also use rubbermaid totes instead of boxes. Just a personal preference. It is hard for water to get into them with out them being cracked. Also pallets is a great idea if you can get some.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-03-2004, 07:22 PM
Oh my God, that is horrible! So sorry to hear that. What are you gonna do with all that stuff now?

Emperor Howdy
04-03-2004, 07:49 PM
OUCH! That sucks man. :eek:

Well, if it's any consolation...the other day I spent about 45 minutes crawling around with a bucket of hot water and a washcloth wiping cat spray off all of the figures, vehicles, playsets, etc. that are placed at baseboard level around my "Star Wars" room. I had no idea that day after day he was coming in and splattering the figs. If that ba$#^* of a cat has ever come close to getting his neck snapped, it was then. :mad:

Like sith-killer said, the figs. shown in your pictures are very easy to replace. Probably for LESS than what you paid for them in some cases! Even the long saber Ben and Vader aren't that expensive. I don't know about the other non-SW stuff. Also, those rubbermaid totes that KH mentioned rock. I have about 17 of them. They're about 3' long/2' wide, and 2 1/2' deep.....around $7.00 at WalMart.

They are also cat pee-proof.... :rolleyes:

04-03-2004, 07:52 PM
I would of beat my cat if it did that. As it is now, I hate when they knock over my Lego toys. If one dared to pee on anything, it would be sold to the closest Chinese restaraunt, and we would have General Meows for Dinner.

04-04-2004, 04:02 PM
That has to suck. Do you have renters/home owners insurance? If not you might want to consider it as a way to protect future collectibles from this type of unforeseen damage. Fortunately for me my collection has an entire room indoors to call home but I still have it insured just in case something catastrophic occurs.

04-04-2004, 04:35 PM
OUCH! That's terrible. I'd become an opener if I were in your shoes, but I'm already an opener so it's easy to say that. ;) Seriously though, it's like friggin' xmas when you have that many figures to open and display!

EH, cat whiz on toys is one of my fears, I had stowed a bunch of my stuff in a black plastic trashbag while moving some things around and the little bastage peed on the bag. Luckily, no toys were damaged, but I hated going through it all, and am not sure I would have kept anything that had urine on it. A long time ago, when I was in jr high, my mom's dog broke into my room and stepped on my 1/18th die cast cars, smashed one of them (that's nigh-unreplaceable) and took a dump on the other - ever since, I've kept collectibles as far from the floor as possible.

04-04-2004, 04:37 PM
I really feel for you. I've posted on here before about losing 10 long boxes of comics in a hurricane some years ago. And you've gotten some great advice: Keep it of the floor, use plastic totes. I know plastic totes can get a little expensive, and sometimes they don't fit packaged figs and toys all that well, so maybe start one or two layers high of totes, then change back to cardboard.

And if your not interested in keeping an opened collection, maybe open them all anyway, possibly boil them to kill any mold / mildew, and sell the opened collection.

Good luck and best wishes on whatever you decide...

Sidiously Darth
04-04-2004, 05:37 PM
That is very unfortunate. You've received some great suggestions here and I hope there is a positive side to all this in the end. If you decide to sell them, good luck. If you become an opener, welcome to the club.

04-04-2004, 10:47 PM
Owe, owe, owe that hurts to look at. I also have put my figures away into some containers. In one of them i was able to fit about 80 basic figures in one. I was able to get all 215 into 4 huge 30 gal. containers including basic, deluxe, and unleashed.

I like to be optimistic. At least now you can take them out of the cases, guilt free.

04-06-2004, 07:43 PM
I'd like to ask the same thing hellboy asked, do you have your collection insured? I had my insurance agent out to look over my collection to make sure I would have enough coverage should something like that happen. One thing though, he said that water damage would only be covered if a pipe burst as opposed to an "act of God" like flooding from a rainstorm. Also, when I put my collectibles in storage, I placed them on some overturned milk crates. This kept them higher than on a pallet, plus once I got everything out of storage, I was able to use the milkcrates to store things in (but not my SW collection).

Also, I knew a guy who lost most of his collection when his sewer backed up. he had to take his whole collection out to the garage so his insurance agent could look over the sewer matter covered collection. It was not a pretty sight, nor smell.

Any loss of something you worked so hard to get always hurts.

kool-aid killer
04-06-2004, 08:16 PM
I remember once my old dog Spot peed on the Action Fleet Hoth Base i had and i beat up my little brother thinking it was orange juice he had spilled on it. I tried to clean it off but i could never play with it for some reason. I have it thrown in some corner of my house now.

One time a pipe burst in my room and damaged most of my Episode 1 figures, thankfully i didnt have anybody special so i didnt lose out on anything big, sorry to hear about your collection DravenUnleashed.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
04-06-2004, 11:08 PM
Yeah, your situation sucks but has happened to a few collectors including myself. Luckily, the only thing I loss were 3 Action Fleet Ships, and I really didn't lose them, just had some water damage for the box.

So if you store your collection in the basement, here are a few pieces of advice, many of them previously mentioned.

1) No Cardboard Boxes! Store them in rubbermaid storage bins, a lot harder for water to seep in there.

2) Palettes are nice if you can get ahold of them. The place I worked in college had quite a few. If I knew what might of happened to my stuff, I would have lifted a few. Keeps ground-level water from getting at your stuff.

3) Store away from pipes and on shelving if possible.

4) Check your sump-pump. Often the number one reason for basement floods, aside from weather, is sump-pump failure. If your sump-pump is rusty or more than a decade old, run over to your local hardware store and get it replaced. That was the reason for the flood we had.

And check your homeowner's insurance. Luckily, our house did and though my mom was denied reimbursment for the cost of new carpeting, cleaning, walls, I did get my money for damaged comic books (about 400) and the 3 Action Fleet ships that I lost.

Exhaust Port
04-07-2004, 06:55 AM
Sorry for the loss. I can only imagine the shock you had when first discovering this. On the bright side, there's nothing wrong with becoming an opener. :)

04-07-2004, 08:01 AM
Damn....what a loss. Welcome to the openers club.

04-07-2004, 09:05 PM
Sorry for your loss, brother. I do think this makes a good argument for why you should never bother keeping things on cards or in the box. You spent the money on it all, you may as well be able to open it, display, set up dioramas with it, and get the full appreciation from the toys that you can only get by actually picking it up and looking at it from all the angles (the only way you can truly gauge the quality of the mold, for one thing, or the quality of the toy as a toy).

A question to the person whose cat was spraying on his Star Wars toys: you let cats in rooms where toys are displayed??? My wife and I live in a two-bedroom apartment. One is "her room," or the bedroom, where we sleep and which she decorates. The other is the spare room, or guest bedroom, or "my room," where 95% of my Star Wars collection is set up on every flat surface available in dioramas and displays, like all the Action Fleet stuff is together, for example.

Anyway, point is, no cats are allowed in "my room" unless I am in there with them to supervise, and as soon as I leave, they leave, with the rare of exception of when my brother and sister cats are curled up on the spare bed and sleeping, and I am right around the corner at the computer where I can see if they get up from the bed and start walking around.

I used to keep the door to my room open all the time, and gave the cats free access, but one morning I woke up and saw that my Episode I Hangar Duel Obi-Wan's lightsaber was chewed to hell, and that was the end of that. My wife actually kept the figure around to remind me of why I don't let them in there anymore...

04-08-2004, 01:00 AM
Open Open Open :)

someone mentioned above that an open collection is better than no collection at all...a very wise statement I think.

Though, I'm truly sorry for what happened to your collection since you are a carded collector!!

As for the cat spray, arrrrrrrgggggg! I'm still looking for a spot the neighbor's cat sprayed in here somewhere...I definitely smell it on some days but I can't freekin' find it and it's driving me crazy!

04-08-2004, 07:45 AM
Ouch. That is one reason I collect open figures.

I tell ya, one of the best days of my life was the day I sold my MOC duplicates, and opened one of everything! It was, as JT said, like Christmas, and I never felt so free!

B'Omarr Monkey
04-09-2004, 10:33 PM
I was one of those weird kids who prior to the collecting craze and all the moc concerns, opened all my toys, but kept the boxes, including inserts etc. I had this great two foot Eagle-One from Space 1999, which I stored in it's box. My parents stored it in the basement, on top of a carpet, and when a collector offered me a very sweet amount of money for it, I went to retrieve it and discovered that the box had completely rotted out where it was in contact with the carpet. That taught me my lesson. I still have the ship though. No box.

I've had the cat problem, too, only it was everything on the bottom two shelves of our bookcases, which tended to be the heavy expensive books.

As an opener, I'll tell you another advantage. I'm in the process of moving, so all of my SW stuff is packed up, or about to be. I have roughly 600 loose figs from 1996 to the present, they are all sealed individually, or in pairs with their accesories in ziplock bags to prevent rubbing, etc. Everyone of those figures is packed away in a single 3' long plastic bin. It's heavy as hell, but will take up very little space on the moving truck. Try doing that with your figures moc.

04-28-2004, 06:23 PM
I had some water damage happen to me some years ago. Now most everything was protected - I lost a few books and a ton of cool Star Wars Insiders BUT strangely enough, I had my Episode I figures (all MOC) in Hasbro boxes on the floor.

Now when my basement flooded the Hasbro boxes floated on top! HAHA! The Mint figures inside the boxes were untouched!

04-28-2004, 08:44 PM
Well Jay, aint that some sith (jumble the letters) :beard:

05-16-2004, 09:30 PM
Welcome to the world of openers and invest in some rubbermaid-like containers.:D

05-17-2004, 07:48 AM
Water and Fire, a collector's worst nightmare.

Oh and scalpers too. :cry:

05-17-2004, 06:28 PM
Water and Fire, a collector's worst nightmare.Frankenstein's too. :D

James Boba Fettfield
05-18-2004, 05:14 AM
Frankenstein's too. :D

You mean his monster. ;)

05-18-2004, 02:51 PM
I was going to waste my time putting "Dr Frankenstein's Monster's, too", but it not only had too many apostrophes, it also was too longwinded for the gag to work.

James Boba Fettfield
05-18-2004, 03:55 PM
I see... :D