View Full Version : How to store a huge collection?

05-27-2005, 04:45 PM
I've decided that it's a waste of time and money to sell my collection on Ebay for a 4th of what I paid, so I'm going to store all of my toys for a several years. What is the best way to store them? I have large plastic bins to put the toys in, but should I get certain padding on the inside? Is it alright to store them in my basement? What do you guys recommend if I do'nt plan on opening them for five or ten years?

05-27-2005, 05:11 PM
I recently started to buy plastic tubs at Wal-Mart, seems the easiest and best way since they keep water out and dust as well.

05-27-2005, 06:36 PM
I have been keeping all of mine in the original cases they came with. But about 50% of mine is in copy paper boxes or by itself. Yeah, I think I need to buy those clear tubs.

05-27-2005, 08:33 PM
Rubber maid totes is the best way to go.

Moved to Gen Discussion.

05-28-2005, 02:31 AM
Be careful what you buy though, if you go with some of the cheaper totes, they can crack or get brittle after years of storing your collection. Heavyier items on the bottom. Also make sure that the totes you buy can be stacked on top of one another. I bought several large totes some years ago, not even realizing that the tops were rounded, and not designed to stack on top of one another.

05-28-2005, 07:31 AM
I go with majority on this one. I have recently moved and with the size of my apartment being what it is there is no way to have everything there, so it's all stored in large blue totes I got from wallymart. Everything is in there except my vehicles. They are all stored seperately in their original boxes.

05-28-2005, 07:42 AM
I keep all of my carded figures in pro cases then put them in large cardboard boxes, most are packed away in a climate controlled storage shed. If you don't want to drop the $$$ for individual cases I suggest the large rubber maid totes as well.

05-28-2005, 08:35 AM
Most of my carded figures are in original cases as well. Those cases are in large totes. My 12" collection is in original cases or other boxes that the would fit in. Any extra space inside was filled with plastic bags and newspaper to keep them from moving around in transport.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
05-28-2005, 10:03 AM
Rubbermade totes are the way to go. I have about 7 completely filled totes in my basement, as well as one oversized cardboard box that houses many of my Micro Machines collections.

Two years ago our basement flooded due to sump-pump failure and all of the totes protected the collection from the water. Just to be safe, I stored the totes on folded up carded boxes where they can be safe from a low level of water.

05-28-2005, 12:53 PM
Alright, I'll go with the totes, but shouldn't I use padding or anything on the inside?

05-28-2005, 05:34 PM
Alright, I'll go with the totes, but shouldn't I use padding or anything on the inside?
If you really want to go with padding you can always use crumbled newspaper or, if you want to buy it, you could always get bubble wrap. Packing popcorn would work too.

06-01-2005, 08:27 AM
How much does the value of a figure decrease when you open it? Cos I always open mine, I have several unopened and stored away.

06-01-2005, 02:26 PM
I use totes and no padding. If you have a really large collection you can kinda fit all of the pieces together like a puzzle. Try and think of like Tetris when you're packing your stuff into the totes and fill every space possible so it doesn't move. I've had all of my carded figs in totes for over a year now and they're all still in great shape.

jedi master sal
06-01-2005, 09:13 PM
If you are an opener, then I HIGHLY suggest that you pack each figure in its own plastic bag first, then pack those into a larger freezer bag.

For one, you can keep the accessories that go with that figure in the bag. Also, you don't have to worry about paint rub off from other figures.

Before seeling each bag, carefully squeeze out the air (as if to vacuum seal it). Place as many of these individually bagged figures into a freezer bag as you can stand or it will allow. (I usually put anywhere from 20-25 per freezer bag, depending on size of figure and space in bag.) Again just before sealing this bag, squeeze out the air as well.

A few reasons for squeezing out the air. One, less air to interact with figures (that can cause decay over long periods of time. Two, generally you can fit more figures into larger bags and those larger bags more of into the plastic tubs.

A note about the plastic tubs. Check them for holes. A lot of the tubs have a small hole near the handgrip part. You need to plug this hole. A good strong tape will do, but you need to cover both the inside and outside of the hole. Reasons for doing that:
Keeps even more air and dust out, as well as potentially bugs...
Also, depending on where you live, and where you store them, in the off chance that it floods and your stuff is susceptible to this, it will help to keep water out. On that note, unless you plan on constantly going into the tubs, I suggest you seal the lid to the tub. Duct tape works perfectly well.

Also, some notes about storing many tubs of your collection...
Catalog everything!!! This helps you know what you have and in what containers, as well as gives you something to go by, should your collection ever be stolen or damaged. It's good for insurance purposes, in that regard.
Label tubs Clearly! For instance, when cataloging, if all you store in one particular tub is 12 inch figures, call that one "12in figs #1" and so on. If you sort tubs by movie, then call them "ROTS #1" or ESB #1" etc... Having this brief tub label lets you know at the least the general contents of any given tub.
Include an inventory list Since I've cataloged almost all of my collection to date in the computer, I've got and easy spreadsheet of it all. I print out a copy of what's in a particular tub when I'm finished packing it, and place it in the tub for future reference. This helps greatly, if you aren't able to get to your digitally saved checklist, and again is great for insurance purposes.
Videotape the storage process What I mean by this is, when you are finally ready to store these at an off property location like a storage facility, it helps greatly to tape the packing of the boxes, showing briefly the list you've included in each tub. This is proof positive of the validity of your collection. This used in conjunction with your digital spreadsheet/checklist again helps for insurance, but also allows you to revisit your collection, whenever you want, without having to go to the storage facility to view it.

Currently I have mine in a cooled, storage facility, that has a coded access gate and security cameras that cover every inch of the property. To boot, there is an on-sight an off sight alarm system, should anyone either try to access my code at the gate, or open my storage unit without the key AND correct code punched in.

The cost of my storage space per month is just over $100 and it's well worth it considering, my collection is edging ever closer to the 6 figure mark.

Every month, I take what tubs I've cataloged down to the storage facility. I pay the bill at that time and while I'm storing the new tubs, usually take a moment to look over the rest of the stuff. (Not all inclusive, just a random check of things)

Now, you may say that's alot of work, but I've been cataloging for a few years now. I can never catch up because I buy so much stuff every month. Also, the benefits of knowing what I have and being prepared in the event of some form of a catastrophe affecting my collection, far outwiegh the amount of time I've put into getting it that ready.


06-02-2005, 03:55 AM
Wow, thanks for the tips, Sal. How do you have around $100,000 in storage??? What do you collect??

Sith Lord 0498
06-02-2005, 05:35 AM
Wow, thanks for the tips, Sal. How do you have around $100,000 in storage??? What do you collect??

And how do you enjoy the fruits of your labor when they're locked away like that???

jedi master sal
06-03-2005, 02:12 PM
Wow, thanks for the tips, Sal. How do you have around $100,000 in storage??? What do you collect??

I collect just about everything. That's Habsro, on up to Gentle Giant, Master Replicas, etc for example. I'm an extreme army builder. (I have just under 500 AOTC style Clonetroopers alone for instance and now just over 110 ROTS Clones) There's so much to list and not enough room to list it. Suffice to say that my collection is ALOT bigger than some have thought. It's only been the last few months that I've felt secure enough in my storage facility to divulge how big it is. Now to be truthful my collection isn't at 100K. Sorry if that was the implication. It's over 50K for sure and I'm estimating that it will be around the 85-100K mark by the time I stop actively collecting.

Strange thing to some people might be that I no longer collect Vintage and will never go for those ridiculous "Holy Grail" items, like the Droids Vlix figure, J-hook missle launching Boba Fett, or Vinyl Cape Jawa. I can't justify buying one piece worth (supposedly) that many thousands of dollars, when I can go out and buy that much more in action figures, busts, scale props, etc. (Also, what happens if you accidentally dog-ear a corner??? You've just lost thousands of dollars because it's not MOC anymore) For me it's about what I like and want. My collection is not dictated by what's popular among other collectors or what some consider to be valuable or priceless. My collection is right for me. That's how it should be for everyone. Don't ever consider that you are in competiton with any collector for the size and/or value of your collection and you'll find you enjoy collecting all the more.

And how do you enjoy the fruits of your labor when they're locked away like that???

Trust me that these do not go forgotten. I catalog all this stuff and pack it away neatly. But I also have future plans for all of this stuff.

I'm also a diorama builder so nearly all of the Hasbro stuff will eventually be put into dioramas. Some will be massive like the Arena/Battle of Geonosis scenes (hence the need for all those Clonetroopers as mentioned above). Some will be quite small and scene specific. I just don't have enough room to display everything and am looking to purchase a large home to not only store but display all of my stuff.

So to answer the question, I enjoy the fruits of my labor by knowing what I have planned ahead for them.

Right now it's time to collect. In a few years, when things die down, it will be time to build dioramas and start to display everything.

Of course I have my dream plans that I could only HOPE to build someday. Here are the two BIGGIES:

A LIFE SIZE Imperial Hangar Bay with a Life Size Millenium Falcon in it. Part of this Hangar Bay will also house my workshop that I will use to build my dioramas and other smaller life sized sets. Another part will be used for storage of that part of my collection that I haven't displayed yet. The Falcon would be able to be boarded and have working electricity and plumbing in it Think of it as a guest home away from the main house. (Though I can see myself in it more than guests...) From the outside, the Hangar Bay would just look like a regular maintenance building.

Emperor's throne room/Collection Display room-This will basically look just like the Emperor's throne room as seen in ROTJ. Major difference is that instead of all that wasted space under the throne, I will build shelves into the walls to display prominent pieces of my collection.

Now, again, those are only my dream plans and they would be EXPENSIVE. So for now, I plan for the dioramas, and hope for the dreams to come true. Only way I see that happening though is by winning the lottery...I spend too much on toys right now to even consider making the dream plans a reality. But at least I'm smart enough to recognize that. So the end product of ALL of my collecting would be that I would have my own private museum of sorts.

Do I ever think the big ones will come to fruition? Who knows, but it's always nice to dream and isn't that what Star Wars is all about anyway?

P.S. For all of those critics, this so called "dreaming" is what got me to go to college and earn two degrees. I'm successfull in business and in life in general. Next year I have plans to be married at Lake Como (the same place as Anakin/Padme). So again those dreams have become a reality. I've set some very attainable goals for myself. But, I also throw in the lofty ones, because you never know where life will take you. (Of course it always helps to plan as best as you can though.)

Sith Lord 0498
06-03-2005, 05:45 PM
Admirable, Sal. Very, very admirable.