The care and feeding of Boxed sets
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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:09 pm 

red_bus wrote:Hmmm, quite a few box sets in those auctions.  

In my experience they are the worst for nasty surprises when (eventually) opened - there is usually enough air inside for quite a bit of mold growth over the years...

I recently bought a couple of Shrinked boxed sets off ebay. I'm not a big shrink fan but I do try to get Boxed set in Shrink because opened ones nearly always seem to always be worn/damaged/incomplete/crushed (out of about 30 sets that have passed through my hands I have had 1 mint & 2 near mint)

So my question would be is what is the best way to store the boxed sets so they won't be damaged & crushed?


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:28 pm 

ON THE SIDE... and here's the switch from what most will say.. The LONG side, so as to distribute weight the best over long years.

Stored snugly, but not tightly with other boxes, on something 'soft' that won't create boxwear.

I have not found a good 'bagging' solution that works... I keep my boxes on a shelf in the closet with a few comic bags along the tops to keep dust off.

If they aren't shrinked, you can/should make sure the insides don't bounce around and don't 'warp'.  You may want to consider bagging the insides to keep them flat and undamaged..  WHen possible, stor books 'spine down' in the boxes so the pages edge doesn't splay out. Same with maps that are folded... One side will be fully folded usually.

Do not ever stack a box on another box if you're treating it like a collectible.

I also don't think 'reshrinking' a box will really help preserve it unless your environment is exceptionally dusty/smoky or moist.

Watch out for moisture... but don't have air constantly blowing on your boxes since box paper is very porous.. (in the old stuff anyway) and it'll soak up moisture instantly and 'bubbles' if liquid hits it.

(you all remember the first time your gamer buddy spewed his Mr. Pibb all over your basic set box when he got surprised by the hill giant?  Instant Bubbling of the box followed by instant bruising of your friend!)




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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:27 pm 

JonOakes wrote:Do not ever stack a box on another box if you're treating it like a collectible.

That is an essential advice!

- "When the going gets weird, the Weird turn pro."

Hunter S. Thompson (July 18, 1937 - Feb 20, 2005)


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 6:18 pm 

I use plastic bags I get from the record store. Most boxed sets fit fine. If they are too large, I put one on and put another over the exposed end.

If you hit a Rowsdower, you get to keep it.


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:39 pm 

Well now.

If they are *shrinkwrapped*, then depending upon who you are, this poses a number of interesting philosophical dilemmas…

If you are going to game with (the contents of) the sets then I suppose there is no better advice than careful handling when at the gaming table.  But eventually, even with the most care, they will get that good old loved-to-death look that all great rpg books get.

If on the other hand, as a collector you want items that literally are as if they were still on the gaming shop shelf, then I assume that you will keep the box sets in shrink (why open them and reduce their value?).

Until you open it and *look* inside - you don't know whether there is any mould (as I previously posted) or big blotches of staple rust on every page or if the sets have been rattled or stored so that the pages are creased or bent.  Or the contents could be mint.

Now, my understanding of quantum measurement is pretty thin but I think it works like this -  that right now, as you look at your shrinkwrapped box sets, the state of the contents is actually undecided at a quantum level.  They could be in great condition or they could be mouldy.  It is only once you look inside (or otherwise measure the quality of the contents) that the quantum wavelengths collapse into one state or another (from the various possibilities) -- and you get to be happy or disappointed.  Sort of Schrodinger's Game Set.  So, of course you aren't going to peek (and risk the disappointment)

Therefore it doesn't matter what you do at all with them as long as the *outside* still looks good.  

Go on, pick them up, rattle them about (hard) -- treat them whatever way you like (as long as the outside stays looking good) - it won't matter as long as you never open them.  And the next person who you sell them to in 10 years (to finance your sportscar/yacht/divorce) won't open them either.

I was looking at a shrinkwrapped box set this morning (not D&D a MERP set as it happens but the point is the same) and wondering whether to open it…  I have a duplicate copy (in near mint condition) but this one is shrinkwrapped and so part of me thinks "this is better".  But is it?  I probably won't open it for fear of… (see points above)…  so then why have it?

So I started thinking, "maybe shrinkwrapped sets are bad?"  Not bad as in not as nice as my non- shrinkwrapped collectable bits, but morally bad, you know, bad for society.  The reasoning goes like this…

- D&D (and other rpgs) are great games that bring people together.

- Unless you are buying and selling for pure financial speculation, collecting rpgs (and in particular older rpgs) is driven by (a) nostalgia for the youthful game, and (b) a sense of history for the beginnings of the game.

- So if you buy them and just keep them on the shelf - (not reading them or enjoying them or sharing them) you are betraying the ethos of the game.

And having two (one for reading and one for, erm, keeping shrinkwrapped) is worse.  That shrinkwrapped set needs setting free for people to game or read

So, go on, set your games free !!!!!  Tear that shrinkwrap and open the box sets!!!    I can feel the free wind on my face, yes the people are with us -- come on !!  (rant descends into babbling incoherence at this point….)


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Post Posted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:53 pm 

And when you've set them free, I can sell my shrinkwrapped items at an even bigger premium!  :wink:

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