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PROTECT MY COLLECTION ANSWERS: WHAT IS THE BEST STORAGE AND PROTECTION?

Updated: Apr 13


close up of superman and batman collectible action figure

As a collector, your prized possessions are über valuable to you, whether they’ve been graded or not. They’re a testament to your know-how and your badge of honor. To keep your cards, comics,video games, music and movies looking their best and worth the most, you’ll want to store them properly. And when you bring them out of storage to share the love with fellow collectors or inspire the next generation, protection can be the difference between fun and fail. General Tips for Collectible Storage There are some basic, common sense ways to protect your stored collectibles: avoid areas prone to moisture buildup, avoid direct sunlight, and locate a spot that doesn’t get too extreme in temperature and isn’t frequented by vermin. We’re pretty sure we’ve all put some beloved thing in the wrong place only to find it covered in mildew, bleached by the sun, warped, cracked, or in some other state of disrepair. Location, location, location––that’s at the heart of this. And when it comes time to enjoy or share your collection, a clean, dry spot is best. Here’s another tip: find a spot for storage and then dedicate it to your collection. Keeping collectibles alongside other belongings is a recipe for loss, breakage, or damage. They can clutter up an office or bedroom pretty quick, and are often better off in their own space. Speaking of, don’t just throw them in the basement or attic and be done with it. If it’s doable, climate-controlled surroundings are best, especially if you have a really valuable collection and you hope to keep them in prime condition for sales. This could be a space you outfit at home, or a paid facility off-premises. Now some folks will fall in what we’ll call the “enthusiastic” group of collectors and protectors. Their preference is full-scale lockdown. This could involve a safe deposit box for extra valuable, graded specimens, or fancy climate-controlled digs and protective display cases designed for the ultimate in protection. If you can’t or don’t want to get that deep into this (but aren’t you already?...no, we joke) then opting for water- and air-tight containers is a next-best move. And before you put those babies into their snug, safe homes, be sure to pack them properly to prevent totally avoidable damage. Some must-have materials might include: cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, sheet and blankets, plastic sleeves, and other packing items like archival tape, markers, and tie-downs. With all these tools in your box that collection will be safe and locked down whether they’re being moved from one room to another, across town, or across the country or world through the mail. Does all of this sound like a lot of work? Not enough room to store your entire collection in your home? That's where collectible storage comes in! Wündervault (https://www.wundervault.com/) is a collectible storage provider that will store your collection in their secure, climate-controlled storage facility. Your membership includes free shipping, temperature and humidity control, and 24/7 security so you can rest easy knowing that your collection is safe. Wündervault has been an incredible resource for PMC customers who need their collectibles stored away from home - visit their website to learn more about collectible storage. How to Store Trading Cards Rookie card from your childhood or mint Pokémon card you just bought––they both need to be protected. As much as we want to examine and handle our precious collections, accidents happen and the natural oils in skin can discolor and devalue. Plastic sleeves are a first line of defense against deterioration. But as with any hobby, the plethora of choices is there folks. Plastic sleeves can mean basic penny sleeves, but they can also be deck protector sleeves, which are a bit larger. In fact, these can be used together, and if you stack things right, the card will be sealed in, far away from dust, dirt, or other no-nos. Pro tip: use plastic sleeves to make a TCG sandwich or matryoshka doll style envelope for the best protection Semi-rigid card savers are another layer to add. Top loaders are stronger still and are also smaller, so they demand less space. You could also opt for a binder, equipped with multi-sleeve pages for an efficient way to store a collection, plus a durable and sturdy exterior for extra protection. Use it with the layered sleeves for the ultimate dust-free situation. Binders allow you to better organize your collection too. Just be sure to buy a product made for trading cards, with crystal-clear display sheets and acid-free materials. If graded slabs or screw-down holders are in your collection, larger sleeves are your best bet. How to Store Comic Books Like trading cards, comic books just beg to be handled. The whole point is to read them, to revisit childhood or discover a newfound love. But they’re also paper, which is vulnerable to countless threats. Proper storage will not only keep them around for years to come, but also help to ensure that if you’re selling, the price is right. Pro tip: alternate comics stored in boxes to evenly distribute spines and edges and maintain alignment, and store upright (not stacked) to avoid pages sticking together over time Plastic sleeves to the rescue! If you want to have your comic book and read it too, then plastic poly bags with cardboard backing boards is the way to go. Your collection of comics can then be stored in a specially-designed long box (though short boxes make for easier handling) and stored for good keeping. You can also opt for flat and flip-top boxes along with shelf filers, depending on your display preference. Just be sure that the box fits the job––too small or large and your beloved comics could see some damage. We’re looking for that just-right Goldilocks size, or at least some padding to fill in the gaps. And as always, confirm that everything touching your comics is acid-free, and that “plastic” materials are either polyethylene, polypropylene, or polyester before placing your treasures inside. Archival quality is also a good indicator to look for. How to Store Movies and Music There’s a range of materials and forms that movie and music lovers might have in their collections. Vinyl, cassettes, and other formats will all have their own best practices when it comes to storage and protection. But for all of these collectibles a cool environment, low humidity (around 35-40%), and clean, careful handling are key. It’s best not to touch the playing surface, and to reinforce all your efforts by keeping playback equipment just as pristine. The materials used to manufacture grooved discs and cylinders, optical discs, and magnetic tape can be chemically unstable. For instance it’s possible (but not likely) that magnetic fields produced by common household gadgets could cause demagnetization. So keeping A/V materials away from these and other appliances prone to vibration is a good plan. Pro tip: use storage containers that won’t cause a static reaction The way they’re stored matters too, with recommendations from experts including upright storage and grouping same-sized items together to help prevent damage. Polyurethane sleeves beat out paper when it comes to storing vinyl. Open reel tape works best on unslotted hubs, jewel cases are fine for optical discs, and storage boxes made of acid-free paper or other archival-quality materials are perfect to house your treasured collectibles. Definitely get out your music and movies and enjoy them, but always be sure to return them to their snug homes to keep them safe between uses. How to Store Video Games Conditions in the storage area are the first thing to address. Once you’ve nailed down the right location and environmental factors, it’s time to consider what you’re actually storing your collectible video games and consoles in, and how you’re arranging them. You guessed it––storing game cartridges vertically is the way to go. Using polyurethane or other acid-free sleeves protects everyday pieces, while a specially-designed plastic box protector is ideal for an especially valuable game. If you don’t have original packaging or a laptop bag handy, then there are storage boxes available for just about any console or cartridge, new or vintage. Use dust covers for game consoles that will be out of storage. And (believe us) you’ll want a reliable organizational system–like individual, labeled, lidded bins–for all of the cords, controllers, and joysticks you own. Pro tip: avoid tight folds which will deteriorate cords over time Your collection is a way to curate and preserve these gems. But like all of the other things folks collect, you’ll probably want to enjoy using your games too. Just be sure the environment you’re in is balanced and clean, and be sure to put things away in their neat little homes afterward (minus any batteries). There’s nothing like playing games on original hardware––it’s an experience that can’t be reproduced. That’s why for true collectors, protection and preservation is everything. Insurance vs Risk There’s a lot to think about when it comes to storing and protecting your collectibles. Put together a plan to keep your collectibles safe in your home - or call wündervault and have them take care of all your collectible storage needs. But what happens when you do all the things and accidents still sneak up and get you? That’s when you call Protect My Collection by Zinc. Will and the team can help to replace your insured collectibles and can outfit your policy with everything you need to keep your treasured collection safe. So keep those prized puppies on lock, or bring them out to repeat the nostalgic adventure that brought you to collecting - PMC and wündervault are here for it, and for you. Get in touch to learn more and chat about collectibles.



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This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.

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