Collecting 101: Save the packaging!

Fodder for recycling or hidden gold?

So you just received your latest model find. You rip off the clear wrapper and open the box to see a new treasure. Maybe you toss the packaging in the recycling bin. Maybe you don’t. What to do? Save the packaging! 

One of these days you might move. How will you safely move your collectibles? Or you might decide to thin your collection occasionally. How will you safely ship that model? In the manufacturer-supplied packaging, of course. Note that when selling your models on Ebay, collectors generally pay more for models in the original packaging. Many a model without the packaging tend to sit unsold until the price is lowered considerably. Even if the model is rare.

If you put your models into a dedicated display cabinet, save the packaging here too. See above. This also applies to hand-built models or kits that have been built. Eventually you’ll want that packaging!

You might now have a whole bunch of empty packages to deal with. Read on.

Store that stuff

Even if you live in a small apartment, you are going to need some sane way of storing that mass of packaging. If you put all that plastic and cardboard into a large cardboard box, you might inadvertently crush the box along with the contents. Solution? Think tubs.

There are many types and sizes of plastic tubs you can pick up at your local big box or home improvement store. Of course, your available storage space and/or budget will come into play. But tubs are the way to go. First off, they reject humidity/water. This is very good. Humidity/water can wilt all the paper-derived packaging. You might store them in the basement, which is a known source of humid conditions. What if your basement is subject to water infiltration, or worse, flooding? Plastic tubs can float. I know this firsthand! If you’ve had the foresight to pick tubs with lids that lock on or at least snap into place, you are likely good to go.

I am a fan of Rubbermaid Roughneck bins (left). They stack well and the bottom of the bins nestle into the bin top below it. This works to prevent tipping or falling over. One slight negative is that the sides are tapered downward, making the fitting of packaging a hair difficult. The advantages outweigh that slight inconvenience. I’ve found that around 80 or more 1/43 Spark, Minichamps or similar packages will fit in a Rubbermaid bin. If you need to store boxes from 1/18th or larger models, look for more straight-sided bins. Christmas decoration bins are larger, straight-sided and more accommodating to those larger boxes.

If you need to store packaging under your bed, here’s a solution. Pick up storage bins made for storing wrapping paper (right). They are low profile, wide and long and can hold many, many smaller packages.

Final notes

Don’t forget to save the attaching screws and washers used to secure the models to the bases. Take the screws and washers and put them inside the plastic display boxes that come with most models. Then slip the display box into the outer sleeve or box.

You are now a responsible collector, both to yourself and to your garbage dump. Less in your garbage can, better for the environment and more in your wallet upon selling. 

Just remember: save the packaging!

Some storage possibilities here.
More modeling goodness here.