Thursday, April 9, 2009

Are you improperly storing your valuable collectibles?

Now I'm not insinuating that you need to lock your valuable dolls in a vault so thieves can't make off with your vintage #1 Barbie. When I bring up improper storage I am not even referring to the obvious "improper storage" of a damp basement or that blazing hot attic. The number one mistake in storage of collectibles is not being able to see if deterioration is beginning to occur. Being in the collectibles business for over 15 years, I can't begin to count the times rodents, bugs or mold have dropped the value of a collection by hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

You might ask then, "What is the proper way to store my collectibles?" I'm not claiming there is one perfect way to keep carded action figures or a complete Boba Fett Star Wars 12" doll absolutely safe. While humidity control and protection from direct sunlight is important, the most important thing is "you" being able to see your collection on a regular basis. There are few sinking feelings like the one felt opening a file box where your 12" G.I. Joe has been "safely" stored, unseen for the last 3 years, and find that G.I. Joe has lost a war waged by a band of hungry moths!

The value of any collectible is directly related to its current condition. When a rare 1978 Vinyl Caped Jawa Star Wars action figure on a 12-back card is found in Grandma's hall closet, the value is derived from the way the item fared during its travel through time from 1978 until now. If it looks just like it did the day Grandma forgot to put it under the Christmas tree, then it travelled through time well. That brings us back to the present and the question of how to keep it in its current pristine condition. One place that the answer can be seen in practice on a daily basis is in a museum. Museums display their valuable relics in full view. Even the items not on public display are stored so they can be checked quickly and often by staff members.

There are many types of collectible display cases that are good for storage too. Doll Domes and ExpoCases are great for displaying and protecting but aren't practical for stacking. So, if showing off all 360 degrees for your prized doll is what you are after, a Doll dome or ExpoCase may be the way to go. DollSafe Display Cases are great for stacking and displaying as well as storing efficiently. This type of case is nice because you can inspect your dolls often even though they are kept in a small amount of space. Protech offers carded action figure cases that allow you to hang, display or store your carded action figures flat and protected from warping. While there is no surefire way to guarantee your favorite toys will remain the same over the years, being able to conveniently view your items regularly is an excellent way to monitor condition.

For more collectible storage ideas, check out the wide selection of collecting supplies offered at