This article is sponsored by The Perth Mint.
When I was just starting primary school, I found myself in a very lucky position. Despite my family’s very-bad-not-fun-super-crappy financial situation, I still was able to have a pop culture collection that would put even some of the affluent kids at school to shame.
How? It was thanks to my older sister, who worked at a small pop culture toy store. They’d end up having to get rid of old stock to make room for the next new craze pretty regularly, so that old stuff went straight to my bedroom.
I had all 151 original Pokemon figurines, more Dragon Ball Z action figures than I could count, Crazy Bones, Pokemon Cards, Yu-Gi-Oh cards — It was pure bliss.
Then, when I was 12, I lost it all — along with everything material from my childhood, but that’s a story for another day. Anywho, I still remember those times so fondly; the joy of collecting pop culture items is just so special and unparalleled, in its own way.
But unfortunately, that nefarious scoundrel known as time will get to your collection if you’re not careful, so here are some tips to keeping that collection nice and minty — and gamer gunk free.
One of the OG collectable items. The thing with comic books though, is even the most minor of defects can significantly alter their value. Comic book collectors generally come in two camps, there are those who believe in the original purpose of the comic book and use it as such — basically, they actually read the things. Then there’s the other camp, who choose to keep the books in mint condition.
This same trade-off works with basically every collectible. Unfortunately, the less one uses it, touches it, or in some cases even looks at it, the more value it will retain. If you’re keen on displaying your collection while keeping it in mint condition, framing and hanging on your wall is a good bet.
If you don’t mind whether your collection is on display, you can opt to bag your comics and store them in a cool, dry place, ideally just under room temperature — around 20 – 18 degrees celsius is the sweet spot. It’s also a good idea to keep your storage in soft light or darkness if possible. And lastly, humidity! Avoid it! Ventilation is your friend.
Action figures and models
Over the past decade or so, Funko Pops have absolutely exploded in popularity, to the point where if I say “pop culture collectable” you’re most likely going to think of Funko Pops. But we’ve been collecting sized down (or sometimes up) replicas of our favourite characters long before these big-headed fiends entered the scene. Some G.I Joes date back to the 2nd World War — that’s a lot of time for nerd bacteria to accumulate.
This leads us nicely to my gripe with the sun. That’s right. The grand life-giver, mother to all that lives in our solar system, muse of all myths known to mankind — yeah, that guy. See, if the sun gets a prolonged look at your action figures, it’s gonna lead to all sorts of discolouring. Which sucks and blows.
Apart from keeping them out of the sun, it’s standard care fare: store in a cool, dry place, avoid humidity or extreme temperatures and you’re golden, baby. But if you really want to treat your Frieza-era Super Saiyan Goku with the respect he deserves, you’re going to want to buy yourself a nice glass display box to keep him in. Let’s see Kakarot Kamehameha his way out of this one.
I collected weird coins as a kid. Wasn’t like a full-on collector, but if there was a weird coin I came across, then I’d stash it in a little jar. Looking back, that wasn’t the best way to preserve the integrity of the coins, but hey, what did I know? I was just a dumb brat who genuinely believed this kid in Grade 1 who said Pokemon were actually real in Japan.
Enough about Bulbasaurs. Now, this may seem counterintuitive to avoiding nerd gunk build-up, but it’s common consensus among experts (coin nerds) that cleaning your coins can actually have detrimental effects.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, your friend here is a cool, dry place, free from humidity. Just like trading cards, coin-specific plastic sleeve display books are the best option for keeping your coins in mint condition while still easily accessible to enjoy whenever your little mind desires.
From Pokemon to Yu-Gi-Oh, footy to Shrek (yes, really) — if it exists, then you can probably find a trading card version of it. When it comes to trading cards, you can get the best of both worlds when it comes to safe storage and accessibility in the form of trading card display binder folders. Safe and neat to look at! — like a rainbow helmet, or a security guard wearing a funny hat.
I was always more of a Digimon guy, but they’re the same basic concept. Tiny little creatures on tiny little screens that you feed every now and then while trying to keep their virtual habitat as poo-free as possible. A truly Sisyphean task considering the sheer amount that comes out of the virtual colons of these unrelenting digital defecators.
When it comes to storing your virtual pals, I have some bad news. Well, somewhat bad news depending on what you’re into. If you’ve already formed a bond with your little creature, then it means you’ve opened the package and, well, that’s basically an eventual death sentence for your little pal. The best way to store these things is to keep them in their original packaging, lest you want your digi pal to eventually succumb to the cruel ravages of time; a being with no moral nor mercy who eventually comes for us all. Fun!
Tazos & Pogs
Ahhh Tazos, AKA one of the many reasons I was a fat kid. See, they’d hide these bad boys in chip packets. And I loved Tazos — so naturally, I devoured more salt & vinegar and light & tangy chips in one term of primary school than any human should ever eat in their entire lifetime.
When it comes to keeping your Tazo and Pog collection alive and kicking, your best bet is to keep them in plastic sleeves, ala trading cards — you can even find Pog or Tazo-specific sleeves online that fit your lil ‘zos nice and snug like. That way you can still enjoy a little nostalgia hit from time to time as you flip through your collection, without worrying you’ll get any delicious Cheeto dust all over it.