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Old 07-10-2005, 10:09 AM   #1
Boagrius
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Proper Action figure storage...

Hi, does anyoen know a good climate to store action figures in?
How about the attic during winte/summer?
Garage winter/summer?
Basement winter/summer?

Does humidity or any other factor hurt the card backing or the plastic figures? Just wondering because I have to start storing them elsewhere.

Thanks...
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Old 07-10-2005, 09:43 PM   #2
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Hi, does anyoen know a good climate to store action figures in?
How about the attic during winte/summer?
Garage winter/summer?
Basement winter/summer?

Does humidity or any other factor hurt the card backing or the plastic figures? Just wondering because I have to start storing them elsewhere.

Thanks...
General rule of thumb, moderation is key in terms of temperature. Moisture and light are your enemy.

As far as temperature, you would ideally want to store figures at room temperature. roughly 70 to 80 degrees F. You want to avoid moisture as much as possible, as well as light and UV light in particular. Direct sunlight in particular is a killer, but even prolonged exposure to incandescent light will cause damage.

A garage could work, but moisture levels and temperature changes are likely going to be too extreme. An attic is likely to have problems with the temperature changes in most cases. The best option is probably going to be a closet if possible.


You can do a web search for archival and preservation techniques for more detailed information.
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:46 AM   #3
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I use a seires of plastic boxes (The big ones) and store them in my closet. If that's an option for you, You might want to look in to it. That's how I store my Star Wars, and GI Joe figues (I leave those MOC and Open the TMNT)
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Old 07-11-2005, 03:47 AM   #4
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Use plastic tubs, otherwise they will get eaten by termites. Happened to me in my garage...also no sunlight. Plastic tubs are perfect though. Keeps them safe from water, bugs, and the sun. With the tubs just make sure they don't get to hot inside otherwise stuff could melt...
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:32 PM   #5
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I'm almost runnin' out of room in my room. I display my action figures in room mainly. I have this shelf in there that's buy a fan. I just hope the fan doesn't knock 'em over. That would kinda suck.
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Old 07-12-2005, 09:20 AM   #6
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Ok, sounds like some good ideas.

Currently, I have them stored in the attic in regular cardboard boxes(no bugs)
There are some fans in the attic constantly runnig, so that is good too. No sunlight, and no moisture. Onlything is extreme heat in summer and cold in winter....any major problems with that?
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:51 AM   #7
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Use plastic tubs, otherwise they will get eaten by termites. Happened to me in my garage...also no sunlight. Plastic tubs are perfect though. Keeps them safe from water, bugs, and the sun. With the tubs just make sure they don't get to hot inside otherwise stuff could melt...
Plastic totes certainly make it easier, especially if you are prone to moving. After all, you're already packed. I started doing this with the vintage figures I have that are still MOC or MIB. I started using 12 gallon flip top totes from a company called Akro Mills and now have over 75 of them! They are a good size, not to large to handle but large enough for most items. They also had the advantage of having a relatively square bottom instead of the rounded edges of most plastic totes. They aren't the cheapest; retail is usually $5 to $6 each. But I watch for sales and stock up on clearance so they generally only cost me about half that. Unfortunately they are getting harder to find. I still find them from time to time, particularly around the holidays. But they aren't stocked year round in most stores now.

If you do want to use plastic totes, I would suggest nabbing a few figures off the pegs and test fitting them in the store first to see how well they fit. Don't expect the fit to be perfect, but an inch or two difference can mean the difference between store 10 figures per box or 20 whcih of course means you spend less on boxes and more on toys.

Then you can spend more on boxes for the extra toys so you won't have as much for toys so you'll need fewer boxes and can get more toys and need more boxes..... Well, you get the idea.

Quote:
Currently, I have them stored in the attic in regular cardboard boxes(no bugs)
There are some fans in the attic constantly runnig, so that is good too. No sunlight, and no moisture. Only thing is extreme heat in summer and cold in winter....any major problems with that?
Don't be so sure about the moisture. Attics tend to be vented to the outside and those fans are probably circulating air from outside. That circulation brings moisture from the air outside which is enough to affect the packaging. A lot of it will depend on the design. If the attic is treated as part of the living space, with the insulation between it and the outside, it should be alright. But many attics are closer to a three season porch than any other room of the house. The insulation is often betwwen the attic and the rest of the living space and the air that circulates through them is taken directly from outside. (If the toys are loose it is far less of a concern.) And yes, the temperature changes will take their toll, though temperature will probably have the least effect of the three factors: heat, light and moisture. So it may not be completely out of the question.
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:28 PM   #8
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Well, the fan blow from the inside to the outside. , there is no insulation either..... i will check on the stuff from time to time i guess....
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:59 PM   #9
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I'm strongly going to reccommend like everyone else the plastic tubs, I pewrsonally wlouldn't use the cardboard boxes like you are doing now.

1. Plastic tubs do last longer and if knocked will not dent as easily as cardboard boxes, thus ensuring the cargo inside will not be damaged as easily.

2. Moisture seeps through cardboard, although you may think it may be dry in your attic, there is always moisture in the air and it can distrort/deteriorate the shape of cardboard over time. I would also reccommend you leave some room at the top of your plastic tubs for some moisture absorbing satchels and replace them every 4 or so years.

3. If you have a poor or non existent catalouging system or fail to remember what boxes you stored a figure in, provided you have dark conditions, transparent storage containers are ideal for locating the figure you are searching for without opening every contoainer or box. That way it can be easily accessed and compared with your new carded figure for comparrison or to sell it or whatever.

4. If you purchase the same format storage containers, they can easily be stacked without taking up too much room. However, do not overstack them as there may be a toppiling effect and if the cargo is heavy the lower containers can be damaged. I would also reccommend searching for storage containers with locking handles to prevent the lids from falling off if toppling does occur.

5. Another stacking point: Plastic containers are more durable then cardboard when stacking and can support a lot more weight. Often if stcaking with cardboard the lower boxes will be crushed.

6. Packaging material such as those packaging foam things (the name escaped me at the moment) will prevent the figures inside the storage containers from moving around. If stacking figures on top of eachother in the container, I would reccomend you to cut cardboard layers to keep each surface level so the next layer of carded figures will not bend due to uneven surfaces beneath them.

That's about all i can think of for now, Iv'e only been seriously collecting MOC figures the last year so I probably wouldn't be as knowledgable or careful on storage methods as some people here.
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Old 08-14-2005, 02:04 PM   #10
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I have two cardboard boxes in my room. They haven't gotten moist yet. The boxes are on a toy box and the wall that the toy box is against can get moldy. I have some plastic tubs but they're full of other toys and magazines so I can't really use 'em. I have a friend and he uses plastic tubs. I have a wooden ammo box and it has thirty seven figures in it. It could probably hold more than that. I also have this ditty bag I made in fifth grade. I have some figures in it.

I might empty a plastic tub one of these days or buy one. Most of my figures are stored away in cardboard boxes. The boxes are in a dry enviroment so I don't have to worry about replacin' 'em.
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Old 07-07-2017, 11:04 AM   #11
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Sorry for opening an old thread, but I'm going to be storing some of my figures away this week.

I'm currently waiting on a sample of a polypropylene Ultra Clear 12x15 bag from GTZip.com. I'm going to place all my figures inside of these bags and then place them inside of a sealed Rubbermaid bin.

I plan on storing them in a (New England) basement so temps and humidity levels will vary.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:43 AM   #12
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Sorry for opening an old thread, but I'm going to be storing some of my figures away this week.

I'm currently waiting on a sample of a polypropylene Ultra Clear 12x15 bag from GTZip.com. I'm going to place all my figures inside of these bags and then place them inside of a sealed Rubbermaid bin.

I plan on storing them in a (New England) basement so temps and humidity levels will vary.

What are your thoughts on this?
I think you want to make sure they are able to breathe to some extent. The temps in the basement will vary but not as extremely as an attic would. Just make sure you run a dehumidifier throughout the spring and summer, and probably into the early fall. I live in Cleveland, and if I didn't run a dehumidifier, I'd probably get some mold in my basement. This time of year I leave it on pretty much 24 hours a day at 50-55% humidity.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:11 AM   #13
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Cool! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:10 PM   #14
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In general, I don't think you want any of your toys to be store in completely air-tight containers. How many figures do you have? I'm forced to use my attic, only because I have about 1,000 MOC figures and a few dozen Sideshow (not just the TMNT) boxes up there. I run a fan, have a few of the large Damp-Aid buckets up there to try to fight excess humidity, and generally try to make sure the temperature is decent. But unless you scrap your collection, want to store your collection in the main part of your house, or pay for climate-controlled storage, there's only so much you can do. I think taking preventative measures, checking in on things every so often so you can catch a problem if there is one, etc., is the best approach.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:15 PM   #15
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Some of my stuff is in tubs, others are up top my bedroom closet
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:41 AM   #16
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How I roll:

I use ziplock bags from the store. Quart sized bags fit most 6-7" scale figures. Gallon for the larger and snack-size for the smaller items (3.25", Hot Wheels, etc).

I use a metal paper punch and I stack up 8 bags at a time, or fold 4 in half, and punch a total of 6-8 holes down each side of the larger bags (3-4 on the snack). This makes the punch work better as it won't work at all on just one unfolded bag -- too thin and slick.

For accessories so small or thin they would fall through the holes, I put them in an un-punched snack bag and stick inside with the fig. Larger accessories I just put right with the fig.

Some plastics are ok without breathing for a year or two but in the long run it's surely bad for *all* of them if they can't. One thing that is very bad to seal off is any translucent DST minimates, they become tacky. Also, some figs/access will have rubbery material involved. If that can't breath it's usually the first thing to go bad -- it can become brittle, or, oily, from my experience.

Next is what type of tubs you store them in. I have both open-air tubs that act as drawers (these ones here, which stack up nice in the closet for a giant storage solution) and I also have some flat horizontal stacking tubs with loosely attaching lids. I would never put them in any snap-tight, air-tight type of tub+lid.

And finally is *how* you put them in the tubs. If you lay them all in there and pile them on top of each other, most likely they will press down on each other and end up blocking most/all of the airway holes you punched, defeating the purpose. Instead, I try and stand them upright, loosely packed together, and if the tub is tall enough, stand another layer upright on top of that layer as it fills up.

Sometimes I take an entire wave of figures and put them, bagged, inside another larger (1-2 gallon) hole-punched ziplock. When they are in there snug it can help to make sure there's an air path for all.

I just opened up a 2005 NECA Dr. Finklestein the other day (wow, old as this thread!). Correct me if I'm wrong but the NECA blister packaging doesn't seem to breath in any way. It's why we get that NECA smell. His arm joints disintegrated on first attempted movement. I'm blaming being unable to breathe for so long since the bubble didn't show UV damage. They gotta breathe!

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Old 07-12-2017, 03:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DonnieLaForge View Post
How I roll:

I use ziplock bags from the store. Quart sized bags fit most 6-7" scale figures. Gallon for the larger and snack-size for the smaller items (3.25", Hot Wheels, etc).

I use a metal paper punch and I stack up 8 bags at a time, or fold 4 in half, and punch a total of 6-8 holes down each side of the larger bags (3-4 on the snack). This makes the punch work better as it won't work at all on just one unfolded bag -- too thin and slick.

For accessories so small or thin they would fall through the holes, I put them in an un-punched snack bag and stick inside with the fig. Larger accessories I just put right with the fig.

Some plastics are ok without breathing for a year or two but in the long run it's surely bad for *all* of them if they can't. One thing that is very bad to seal off is any translucent DST minimates, they become tacky. Also, some figs/access will have rubbery material involved. If that can't breath it's usually the first thing to go bad -- it can become brittle, or, oily, from my experience.

Next is what type of tubs you store them in. I have both open-air tubs that act as drawers (these ones here, which stack up nice in the closet for a giant storage solution) and I also have some flat horizontal stacking tubs with loosely attaching lids. I would never put them in any snap-tight, air-tight type of tub+lid.

And finally is *how* you put them in the tubs. If you lay them all in there and pile them on top of each other, most likely they will press down on each other and end up blocking most/all of the airway holes you punched, defeating the purpose. Instead, I try and stand them upright, loosely packed together, and if the tub is tall enough, stand another layer upright on top of that layer as it fills up.

Sometimes I take an entire wave of figures and put them, bagged, inside another larger (1-2 gallon) hole-punched ziplock. When they are in there snug it can help to make sure there's an air path for all.

I just opened up a 2005 NECA Dr. Finklestein the other day (wow, old as this thread!). Correct me if I'm wrong but the NECA blister packaging doesn't seem to breath in any way. It's why we get that NECA smell. His arm joints disintegrated on first attempted movement. I'm blaming being unable to breathe for so long since the bubble didn't show UV damage. They gotta breathe!
As you say "They gotta breathe!"

Makes me wonder about all the MISB AFA graded stuff. Lots of money and who actually knows what's inside? Plus the stuff is only getting older.
Sad for the preservation factor of these great items that it is sometimes a mystery. Because who really knows how well it's being stored.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:09 AM   #18
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As you say "They gotta breathe!"

Makes me wonder about all the MISB AFA graded stuff. Lots of money and who actually knows what's inside? Plus the stuff is only getting older.
Sad for the preservation factor of these great items that it is sometimes a mystery. Because who really knows how well it's being stored.
I've never owned or even handled an acrylic-encased graded toy. Is the acrylic airtight?

If I ever spent hundreds on a single graded toy, well, the toy would never be coming out anyway so I suppose it doesn't matter.

But I would agree, it's Schrödinger's Toy at that point -- you don't know if it's dead or alive until you open the box! So don't do it! Which then makes one wonder (especially when it comes to graded stuff without window packaging like the large TMNT vehicles or the ooze)...why did I pay hundreds so I could look at a box inside of another acrylic box... Which is why I'm an opener! (It's ok, I did an amateur repair job on Dr. Finklestein involving a drill and some wire to thread his arms back together through the torso.)

In related news, I just picked up a still-sealed vintage TMNT Movie III Evil Warhorse with Royal Guard so I could give the purplish horse to the new Samurai Donnie. The Royal Guard figure inside has over the years somehow gotten some yellowish gunk on just one small area of his head. It doesn't look like UV damage to me, because nothing else is faded, damaged, or yellowed including the blister. I will be opening it up soon so I will see if it wipes off. What could it be? Who knows...maybe gunk from the fingerprint of the guy who pressed it in there? Bacterial colonies left their mark on all that residual bio-matter? Or sticky crap that yellowed on its own with age? I will find out!
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Old 07-14-2017, 03:19 PM   #19
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It always seems a little sad to me when I see unopened figures growing mold. I have to say I have not seen TMNT from any time like that. I have seen it on a number of old Playmates Star Trek figures though.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:19 PM   #20
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It always seems a little sad to me when I see unopened figures growing mold. I have to say I have not seen TMNT from any time like that. I have seen it on a number of old Playmates Star Trek figures though.
There's something weird going on with the exclusive Leo figure's face in most of the Walmart exclusive 2014 movie assault van sets I have seen pics of online. My own has it, too. Maybe not mold but kinda an off color green going on. I will get around to opening it someday... didn't buy it for the figure anyway and leo heads are a dime a dozen...
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