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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Gaming & Collecting:
Any suggestions for storing LOTR Toybiz figures?

BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


Mar 27 2008, 8:06pm

Post #1 of 20 (1188 views)
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Any suggestions for storing LOTR Toybiz figures? Can't Post

I'm going to be moving to a new house in a few months which means I'll soon be packing up my many, many (MANY!) LotR Toybiz figures. Since I don't think I'll be re-displaying all of them once we get settled, I was hoping to find some kind of organization/storage system that:

A) keeps the figures and their accessories in separate compartments of some kind,

B) is fairly robust (so neither it nor the figures get damaged in the move), and

C) is at least partly clear (so I can see the figures inside without having to open the box).

Does anybody have any thoughts on this? I've collected a lot of Star Wars figures in the past and have often used tackle boxes to store loose figures (they're perfect for the scale of SW figures). But LOTR figures are considerably larger and I haven't been able yet to find anything that can accommodate them.

Any suggestions?


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


Hobbiton
Rivendell

Mar 27 2008, 10:08pm

Post #2 of 20 (853 views)
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Are they loose or in the package? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm thinking of opening mine up so I can actually display them.


BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


Mar 27 2008, 10:17pm

Post #3 of 20 (843 views)
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They're all loose. [In reply to] Can't Post

After many unsatisfying years of hoarding a mountain of unopened Star Wars figures, I decided to do things differently when LotR came along. I opened all of the Toybiz LotR figures and currently have them displayed all over my apartment. But they've been up for a few years now and I would like to change up the decor in the new house.

I need to store them and I would love to find some kind of nicely organized compartment-box system. Because the alternative is a cardboard box full of figures in zip-lock baggies!


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


Patty
Immortal


Mar 27 2008, 10:20pm

Post #4 of 20 (881 views)
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I didn't buy any Toybiz... [In reply to] Can't Post

but I got two sets of the Burger King toys--one for display (in the ring) and one that is still wrapped in its individual plastic. I haven't taken them out so I don't know how well those plastic bags hold up.

Good luck.

For Gondor!


Hobbiton
Rivendell

Mar 27 2008, 10:39pm

Post #5 of 20 (875 views)
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what really burns my rear... [In reply to] Can't Post

is that the whole time Burger King had the toys we didn't have a restaurant in our city. I love eating fast food, that would have been the easiest for me to collect.


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 29 2008, 1:49am

Post #6 of 20 (864 views)
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no good suggestions but some cautions [In reply to] Can't Post

1: I believe the sort of pliable plastic which is used for many of the capes, weapons, etc. would be very prone to deforming if items are stored improperly. I'd be careful not to mash up things when you put them away. Maybe even using tissue paper to keep things in place. But, I would also worry just a bit about the plastic, over time, sticking to things like tissue paper. I knew someone who wrapped up some painted collectibles in kleenex and after quite a few years, we unpacked them only to find the tissue paper had stuck to the paint. Think about whatever you might use and maybe check on things every once in awhile.

2. As I said the weapons are really prone to deforming. Some of mine never recovered from their being bent in the box. But besides that, it's really easy to lose them or get them separated from their figures. I have an obsessive personality but, for many of my figures, I went to Green Dragon (which has/had? excellent pictures of the toys) and downloaded folders of images so I could reference just what went with what figure. I have quite a few of these organized on my harddrive and would be willing to zip them up and share them with you if interested. I collected primarily the Elves with a few others thrown in. I haven't done this with the images for all my figures and there are lots more figures I never collected.

3. Having clear boxes makes seeing inside easier, but you wouldn't want these boxes exposed to any kind of sunlight at all. Sure as shooting, they'll fade if you do.


Have you checked out inexpensive, plastic shoe boxes? I bought lots of these for about a buck at Target when I was working in the schools. Rubbermaid/Sterlite type containers also come in larger bins. I had a few that I kept stuffed puppets in (and my fast food toy collection when I had it).

Non plastic alternatives: Banker boxes found at office supply stores - shop around for prices - they vary a lot. For individual boxes, (comparable to shoe boxes) look at photo boxes. Around here I can find them easily at Michael's craft stores and if I wait for sales, I can get them cheaper. Some of these have label holders so I can print up little label cards. I have lots of these with my collectible card game cards in them and some extra BK and ToyBiz figures. I know you want to look inside but I've had a lot of sun damage and I'd prefer something opaque with a label on it.

Recycled options: boxes that reams of paper come in? Those are really sturdy and have a removable lid. Know any place that buys paper like this?

Looking around at craft stores might present other options. People who buy at those stores seem to have money to burn and they have to have containers especially made for yarn or scrapbook paper or ribbon or whatever. They aren't cheap but you may find something you love.

Or check out organizational options for preschool/elementary schoolrooms. Ikea would be a good place to look if you can. They're prices are quite competitive for certain items.

If you are looking at quite a few containers, consider how stackable they are. If you have on office paper box, a few bankers boxes, and a couple of odd Rubbermaid containers... they'll be really difficult to stack.



magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website


CAhobbit
Rohan


Mar 29 2008, 2:24am

Post #7 of 20 (854 views)
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You should... [In reply to] Can't Post

display them. I freed mine from their confines a couple of years ago and was happy I did. They take up less space as loose figures and look pretty nice on the two shelves I've put them on.

Do not meddle in the affairs of hobbits for we can bite your kneecaps off!



CAhobbit's flickr page

CAhobbit's myspace


BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


Mar 29 2008, 3:41am

Post #8 of 20 (881 views)
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Wow! [In reply to] Can't Post

Phenomenal tips! Thanks, Magpie!


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller


Anduril54
The Shire

Mar 31 2008, 12:47pm

Post #9 of 20 (1292 views)
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My Storage [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a lot of the Toy Biz figures that I have stored away in Those large plastic Rubbermaid tubs. I put the weapons and any other removable pieces in Ziploc bags and just made sure to carefully put the figures in the container. I keep them away from direct light and they seem to hold up well. I have had them stored away for about a year now with no damage done. just be sure to put the weapons at the topso they don't get bent or even worse...break. Take care.


stormcrow20
Gondor


Apr 2 2008, 10:35pm

Post #10 of 20 (865 views)
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Tissue paper, zip-loc, and unbending/storing weapons [In reply to] Can't Post

I know what you’re going through; I moved about three years ago, and my almost complete, loose Toy Biz collection came with me.

I had the bright idea of wrapping each figure in bathroom tissue to keep them from rubbing/sticking to each other, and put them in cardboard boxes. When I unwrapped them about a year or so later, the tissue had stuck to them, mostly on the rubber “clothing” and hair, as Magpie said. Fortunately, a light scrubbing with a wet toothbrush corrected this problem. I won’t be doing that again!

I remember reading somewhere that plastic zip-loc bags can release chemicals over time, possibly harming the figures and/or the paint. So I would urge you to keep a close watch on them, and replace the baggies on occasion.

Keep a watch on the rubber/pliable plastic parts as well, most notably the cloaks. My Boromir figure’s (from the Boromir and Lurtz FotR two-pack) cloak has released a yellow/greenish oily substance all over it. If you see something similar, make sure it doesn’t rub onto other figures.

As for bent weapons, I tried putting them inside thick, hardback books and then placed something else heavy on top of it, and left it for a long period of time. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, it really depends on the weapon and the extent of the bend. Just make sure it’s a book you don’t care to mess up, sometimes the paint can scuff onto the pages.

I’ve found that the plastic cases from Ferrero Rocher candies make perfect storage cases for the weapons. It can be expensive, but at least you get the candy with it. Wink They come in several different sizes; some rectangular cases can even hold the longer spears and such.

I don’t know a good way to store the actual figures, though. Mine are standing, or very carefully stacked, in cardboard boxes. I’m hoping to get a glass case to display them all….someday. If you find a good method of storing them, please let us know!

Here are a couple of links that might help you a bit.

http://www.toymania.com/resources/beginnersguide/loose.shtml

http://www.helium.com/items/683427-first-choose-actual-space

Good luck!

~~~~~~
Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.
'Take this ring, master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.'


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 3 2008, 3:02am

Post #11 of 20 (863 views)
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ahh... [In reply to] Can't Post

...sounds like I was right to worry about things sticking to the plastic.

I would worry about rubbermaid/sterlite containers outgassing, as well. I'm not convinced that 'airtight' is always a good thing. That's why I'm a little more comfortable with bankers boxes but they leech too. You can buy acid free boxes but they're outrageously expensive.

Although we're talking storage, not display.. and I suspect both of you know... but the stands made for StarWars figures fit the LOTR Toy Biz figures. Still, I have the hardest time getting my figures to stand up straight. The joints tend to sag over time and they fall over.

It was also interesting to hear you haven't had much luck straightening bent weapons. I didn't have much faith that I could, either.

Someone was all upset when these figures were discontinued but I was never completely satisfied with their quality. I'm not sorry I collected. But I don't think they're going to hold up well over time and they're really bigger than I have room for. I would have concentrated on the Armies of Middle-earth figures had they come out first. Those are just the right size. I can't get the weapons to stay in the hands or the figures to sit on their stands/horses... so I superglued them all together. I really don't collect for future value. Only for enjoyment today.



magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website


BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


Apr 3 2008, 4:45pm

Post #12 of 20 (839 views)
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More great suggestions! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks Stormcrow!

You know, when it comes to bent weaponry ... I've had success with the book approach as well. But I've actually discovered that briefly warming them with a hairdryer before placing them inside the book can make it even more effective. Especially with the weapons that are made of the more pliable, softer plastics.

It's looking increasingly like I'm going to have to go the cardboard box route to solve my storage problem. I've been scouring the Internet and every craft and hardware store I can find (of which there are plenty in New Jersey!) and I just can't seem to find the kind of ready-made plastic storage container/organizer that I'm looking for. I hoped to find something with individual drawers or compartments large enough for each figure. Sadly, it doesn't look like anybody makes such a thing. (I never realized before what an odd size the ToyBiz figures apparently are! It would seem that nobody in the world ever needs to organize or store things that are that size!) Tongue

So I'm thinking that, while I'm leaning toward photocopy paper boxes, I may also customize them a bit to help with organization. I think I'm going to divide up the inside of the boxes by making an interlocking cardboard grid. That way I'll have a whole bunch of cubby holes so that each figure (with their weapons in baggies) can stand inside their own little cell. (Which should also provide additional structure and strength to the box.) And I should be able to get two layers of cubbies in each box.

Here's hoping it works!

And thanks again to you and Magpie for all the great suggestions!


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller

(This post was edited by BuckyUnderbelly on Apr 3 2008, 4:47pm)


stormcrow20
Gondor


Apr 6 2008, 4:30am

Post #13 of 20 (801 views)
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Rubbermaid, stands, and Armies [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I think your right about the rubbermaid containers, too. I have my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection from my childhood stored in one, and last I looked, the figures were oily. I don't know for certain if this is from the rubbermaid tub, or the fact that the figures are now 17-20 years old, or both.

Thanks for suggesting the Star Wars figure stands, I may look into getting some. But ironically, the figures I have the most trouble standing are the ones without holes in their feet, such as Galadriel, Coronation Arwen, and the rubber-legged figures from the horse and rider sets. Crazy

I'm a bit concerned about the Toy Biz figures over time too, mostly the rubbery materials like the armor, cloaks and hair. But, same as Jackson's films, the TB figures may not have been perfect, but I'm convinced we got the best they possibly could give us. If Hasbro or Mattel or any other big company had made them, they would not have had as much detail, and probably not as many characters/soldiers.

Six inch is my favorite scale for figures, but I would have liked to have collected the Armies of Middle-earth as well, but I found them too expensive, especially on top of what I was spending on the TB figures.

I encourage you to try the book method on your bent weapons, if you haven't already. Like I said, it doesn't always work, but it does usually lessen the bend, at least.

~~~~~~
Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.
'Take this ring, master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.'


stormcrow20
Gondor


Apr 6 2008, 4:55am

Post #14 of 20 (861 views)
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Interlocking cardboard grid.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Great idea! I may try that myself. It would be a huge improvement over what I have now.

Another suggestion: When I was moving, someone told me to go to Wal-Mart stores very early in the morning, and to ask for thier empty cardboard boxes. They had many sizes, and gave them free of charge. They will just throw them away after stocking the shelves. You could use them for packing when you move, and/or to make your grid for storing the figures.

~~~~~~
Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.
'Take this ring, master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.'


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 6 2008, 1:13pm

Post #15 of 20 (788 views)
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stands [In reply to] Can't Post

I only found two sources for them: Entertainment Earth and the people who manufacture them. I chose to go with EE as I had ordered a figure from them in the past and I could buy fewer quantities. EE messed up the order, sending me a box with someone else's order and packing slip. I had to call to figure out how to send it back (none of the standard checkoffs for the online form worked for my scenario), I sent it back and called them two weeks later. They got a bit pissy with me saying it took awhile to process returns. I pointed out it was their error which didn't change their attitude any. I think I would try the manufacturer in the future.

I just noticed, yesterday, my Lothlorien box on the front porch. I bought this a while back but was waiting for the stands. Then we were doing remodeling and things had to get packed away. Much of the stuff that got packed away is still packed away and I'd forgotten about the Lothlorien figures. I'd love to get them out but I'm not sure where I'm going to put them! Perhaps if I pack a few Legolas figures away. I bought almost every Legolas figure they had but most are pretty repetitive.



magpie avatar gallery ~ soundtrack website


stormcrow20
Gondor


Apr 7 2008, 12:31am

Post #16 of 20 (794 views)
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Thanks... [In reply to] Can't Post

for the story on Entertainment Earth. I'll be wary of them. Isn't it ridiculous when someone gets angry or rude toward you, over something that is their fault? Crazy.

I love the Lothlorien set. Already had Galadriel and Frodo, as well as other Aragorns, but I just had to have Celeborn and Haldir. I then noticed that they added ankle joints to the Frodo figure, which improves its stability.

Be careful having your figures outside...those TMNT figures in the rubbermaid tub I mentioned...it just hit me that I kept them on my back porch for quite a while. That may have been the cause of the oily residue...extreme temperatures.

I know what you mean about Legolas! I have maybe all but two. I almost ordered the Mirkwood Legolas from the later assortments from ebay, but I noticed that it has the same body as the TTT version, and the Council version, etc, just a different head. Now I'm not sure if it's worth getting.

Who am I kidding? I'll probably still get it anyway........Laugh

~~~~~~
Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.
'Take this ring, master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.'


BuckyUnderbelly
Lorien


Apr 9 2008, 5:37pm

Post #17 of 20 (797 views)
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So many Legolases (Legoli?), so little time ... [In reply to] Can't Post

It always bugs me when action figure lines release and re-release the same figures over and over. Especially when the changes are minor. And in this particular case I found it especially irritating because while they were producing umpteen Legolas figures, they were ignoring tons of other characters they hadn't produced at all.

I suppose it's understandable, though, from their perspective. Legolas was one of the most popular characters, and no doubt a hot seller for them. Unfortunately for them ... he just doesn't change clothes very often during the trilogy! As a result, it's time to cue the "All New Likeness" or "Super-Poseable" versions.

ToyBiz would also occasionally cheat on some of the other figures as well. Like the Coronation Arwen ... exact same body as Galadriel, but with a Liv Tyler head and slightly different paint. Same was true with some of the Uruk-Hai ... sometimes they'd have the exact same bodies but with slightly different heads ... and sometimes it would actually be the exact same whole figure, but this time with an Eye of Sauron hastily painted on the chest.

But I really can't complain too loudly. Overall I truly was impressed that ToyBiz did make great strides in articulation over the life of the line (double knees and double elbows made for greatly improved posing ... and I really liked the much improved ankles). I also loved the addition of the talking figure bases near the end -- the Balrog Battle Gandalf is probably my favorite figure in the entire line.

Sure they'd cut some corners once in a while, but overall I did love the ToyBiz line!


"In Hollywood the screenplay is a fire hydrant. And there's a line of dogs around the block." -- Frank Miller

(This post was edited by BuckyUnderbelly on Apr 9 2008, 5:38pm)


stormcrow20
Gondor


Apr 15 2008, 2:34am

Post #18 of 20 (862 views)
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Legolads...maybe? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know what you mean about the "popular characters"....I have numerous Wolverines, Optimus Primes, Aragorns and Frodoes in addition to the Legoli...and don't even get me started on the Batmen from my childhood. Crazy

But out of all the Legolas figures, why didn't they make one of him in the silver shirt as seen in Lorien? And my Coronation scene is clearly lacking a properly dressed Legolas. We get a figure of every costume variation of Frodo and Aragorn, but not for Leggy...odd.

I must note that Coronation Arwen has different hands, as well...and they also gave her a pair of slippers. But you're right on the Uruk-hai, and I can't complain either...'cause I bought them anyway....Laugh

BB Gandalf is by far the best figure of the Grey Gandalfs, and ranks high on my favorites list, but I can't pick just one favorite. Maybe Gandalf Stormcrow....and Sauron. Sauron is awesome.

~~~~~~
Círdan saw further and deeper than any other in Middle-earth, and he welcomed Mithrandir at the Grey Havens, knowing whence he came and whither he would return.
'Take this ring, master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but it will support you in the weariness you have taken upon yourself. For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a world that grows chill.'


ArathornJax
Lorien


Apr 18 2008, 6:14am

Post #19 of 20 (1044 views)
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Suggestions: [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing you could do is use a tackle box like this: http://www.streetprices.com/Apparel/Luggage/Duffle_Bags/Plano-3741-00-SP7706963.html

This example is the Plano 3741. They fit the TobBiz line great for loose figures and the accessories can fit with the figure. It is pricey, I've seen them online for $7 to $10 a box, but I've picked them up for as low as $4 or $5 also when I ordered in bulk from a local store but that was over a year ago. Despite cost they do work nice. One thing I've done is to drill a couple of small holes on each side so air can move through the box. This helps the chemicals to release and build up (or so I think), and stops the yellowing process that can happen with these figures.

I have done some customizing and for bent weapons or accessories you can restore them to perfect straight shape through the boil and freeze method. Use an old pan and boil water then place the weapon in the boiling water to let the plastic become warm and wobbly. Use something to remove it from the boiling water, and rather quickly (I use some gloves that allow me to work well with these items) but without burning yourself straighten the item out and then place it in the freezer of your frig for 1 to 2 minutes. There you have it, nice straighten item/weapon. I have never had the paint come out or any damage doing this.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

" . . . (we are ) too engrossed in thinking of everything as a preparation or training or making one fit -- for what? At any minute it is what we are and are doing, not what we plan to be and do that counts."

J.R.R. Tolkien in his 6 October 1940 letter to his son Michael Tolkien.




presage
Registered User

May 7 2008, 7:26pm

Post #20 of 20 (795 views)
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Display suggestion....and request [In reply to] Can't Post

Basically, my 14-year-old son has ALL OF THEM! ToyBiz, etc. as well as Battle Scale; been collecting them since they came out. Hey, I love them too, but how to display and enjoy them and keep them from collecting dust? I broke down and bought a huge glass fronted double-door cabinet with adjustable shelves from IKEA. Generally, I think IKEA is the kiss of death, and putting it together took years off my life. But the cabinet we got has really worked out well. (Of course, when we sell this house, that thing is staying!) Anyway, he can see them all, re-arrange them, etc. However, only the 6" figures fit and they're pretty cramped, especially those with horses. So we are still on a quest for how to "reasonably" display the AOME's. They are currently in clear under-the-bed plastic storage boxes. While they don't have separate compartments, they still work quite well and can be safely stacked. My son has organized all the accessories into separate little zip bags. (Yeah, I know....you gotta love a collector!) How are other AOME collectors displaying theirs? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks all. Oh, did I mention that he has double sets of all of these guys? Ones for display in the cabinet, and a closet-full still in their boxes. May need to sell those if he's still determined to go to Stanford!

 
 

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