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Subject: Protecting Board Game Boxes from Surface Wear, Shelf Wear, Corner Wear etc... rss

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Emperors Grace
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I "contact"ed many a softcover RPG book in the early 90's and they still look great. (I was doing it as waterproofing as some of my group sometimes "accidentally" used books as coasters for drinks.) We also covered pictures on our dorm door with it (to act as a wet/dry erase surface).

"Con-tact" is a brand of self adhesive vinyl that comes in many designs and is highly adhesive. It's primary use is as a shelf/drawer liner but it's sold in clear as well. You can find it it most department stores here in the kitchen section.

It would not be removable from paper once applied. When applying you have to be careful to avoid air bubbles and stretching (it makes wrinkles if stretched). Buffing after application with a soft cloth will make the surface more clear.
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Mark Guttag
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To reduce shelfwear and damage to bookcase games when I travel with them, I've been successfully using 12" x 15" zip-lock bags so there is no direct contact between the game boxes, between game boxes and the shelf:

http://www.nobleknight.com/ProductDetail.asp_Q_ProductID_E_1..._

Some added added advantages of using zip-lock bags for your games:
1. You can slightly over-stuff the box since the bag will hold the box halves together; many wargames, as most of us know, won't fit inside the box once you take the punched out the pieces.
2. If your bookcase box is thin, you can also pack a counter tray in the bag.
3. If your bookcase box is thicker and you still need more room, you can bag additional counter trays separately and store them with the bag that contain your games.
4. If your bookcase box is an old Avalon Hill box, you can pack your 8 x 11" inch copies of General articles, errata, etc. with the game.
5. The bags also help protect your games when you travel from jostling in a storage box.

For larger games and flat box games I use 20" x 30" non-ziplock bags:

http://www.nobleknight.com/ProductDetail.asp_Q_ProductID_E_-..._

By the way, these bags are fantastic for using with Avalon Hill, GDW, Clash of Arms and SPI flatbox games to avoid loosing pieces from the games and to hold these boxes together and to avoid losing pieces from these games.

For any game with a larger box or a mounted board, I also now try to apply a thin bead of PVA glue (white glue) to the inside box corners of the upper and lower box to strengthen them as others have written. If you have the time, this would not be a bad idea to do with almost any boxed game. Because of the way most game box corners are made, there is usually only a thin layer of paper holding the corners together. Once the glue dries, you can hardly tell the corner has been treated, but the difference in structural strength can be significant.

Consider that you can even use PVA glue to repair a completely broken corner:

http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/RepairingBoxes.shtml

Mark

blindsorrow wrote:
I have a problem and you can call me crazy if you want (you won't be the first)... I am paralyzed with fear from opening many of my new shrinkwrapped games because I like to keep my stuff in pristine condition and have seen firsthand the wear done almost immediately to game boxes upon use, even with the most careful, considerate, and ginger handling. Shelf wear from sliding the box off the shelf. Corners frayed from being lightly rubbed. All sorts of general wear sets in effortlessly and quickly. The matte linen finish of most euro boxes seems to wear even more quickly than old, and new, amerigames with flat, sometimes glossier finishes.

Sometimes, even new shrinkwrapped games come to me with wear from the dealer, such as slightly frayed corners and print wearing off the box, even under the shrinkwrap (this really upsets me but I feel it's too petty to make the dealer go through the expense of replacing the game).

While I have been able to implement a few precautions to protect the components (card sleeves, printing copies of instructions so the originals can be stored away, sealing components in plastic with an impulse sealer), I haven't decided on the best way to protect the boxes themselves. This has culminated in my refusal to open any of my new games (which probably numbers about 50+ titles now). Like I said, call me crazy if you want.

So, I am looking for any advice on how to properly, durably (so I don't have to repeat the time and expense of application), and inexpensively (reasonable cost) protect my game boxes from all surface wear, including shelf and corner wear.

The best I have been able to come up with is to use Mylar sheets and wrap the boxes, using using thick, clear plastic rigid bookcover material(which sort of transform softcover books into hardcovers) cut into rectangles to secure the Mylar sheets onto the game boxes at the inside corners and close the seam at the outside corners (this should also serve as fantastic corner reinforcements almost guaranteeing no torn corners down the road).

Demco (www.demco.com) sells a lot of these products, but it seems at basically high MSRP/list prices. So, a great source of inexpensive suppplies is a must (haven't been successful in my Amazon/eBay/google searches).

Any advice/ideas on this topic? Thanks!
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Damien Seb. ●leoskyangel●
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I remember watching a video about a guy who showed how he protects his boardgame box, with no cost, but I forgot where it was in BGG (I did tried to find inside the Outside the Scope of BGG page). Tried googling and using youtube (since it's a youtube video) but couldn't find an exact match.

But I remember that he used Mansion of Madness game to show how he did it. To my surprise, I found it there, in MoM page, lol. It's totally unrelated and wonder how the mod approved it Here you go. See if you find it useful.
- Damien

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Ashley Grenon
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Aaah, this sounds very much like me! @_@ glad to know I'm that the only one this picky about care.

I'm more worried about the cardboard game components than the box, but it still upsets to see corners bent, etc. I've been thinking about covering some components in ModPodge to see if that will help protect them.
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Ashley Grenon
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Emperors Grace wrote:
I "contact"ed many a softcover RPG book in the early 90's and they still look great. (I was doing it as waterproofing as some of my group sometimes "accidentally" used books as coasters for drinks.) We also covered pictures on our dorm door with it (to act as a wet/dry erase surface).

"Con-tact" is a brand of self adhesive vinyl that comes in many designs and is highly adhesive. It's primary use is as a shelf/drawer liner but it's sold in clear as well. You can find it it most department stores here in the kitchen section.

It would not be removable from paper once applied. When applying you have to be careful to avoid air bubbles and stretching (it makes wrinkles if stretched). Buffing after application with a soft cloth will make the surface more clear.

Oh that's clever. I never thought of using it that way.
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Rob Rob
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Yep, that's what I would have recommended as well. Clear shelf liner or contact paper. It's removable and rugged.
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the only advice I have to give, and I'm not certain it will be benificial to you is: Own the games, Don't let the games own you x
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Joseph Courtight
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DarkCelt wrote:


Okay, I'll bite- You're crazy. Really, wear and tear is all part of it, unless you're a museum curator and we're talking about the Mona Lisa.

One day my games will be stolen from a museum and found being played by the crooks not even to their getaway car.
 
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Mercedes (Mandy)
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I'm on my phone typing this
But I board game sleeve my boxes, bc if I want to sell or trade them I want to keep them in pristine condition. My brand new copy of cosmic encounter started to fall apart after two games, and the corners got all torn just from transporting. So I decided to sleeve the boxes and it's actually done wonders. Not sure how to post links using my phone as it's complicated switching windows, but if you search on youtube seven sisters /7 sisters unboxing by missmerc007 (that's me) you can see how I do it.

It's saved all my games, as I transport them all around tokyo in a suicase which used to damage the corners etc. but now they'e all survived. I'm also OCD. I recommend it. It's the easiest way. Plus somei purple said the tape will get on the board game boxes, but it never has, and I've been doing sleeving for a while, plus it's mega humid in Japan and there hadn't been a problem. The people I give the games to are extremely happy when they get a pristine copy.

Please ignore typos and gramma mistakes, hard to edit on mt phone.
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Mercedes (Mandy)
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merc007 wrote:
I'm on my phone typing this
But I board game sleeve my boxes, bc if I want to sell or trade them I want to keep them in pristine condition. My brand new copy of cosmic encounter started to fall apart after two games, and the corners got all torn just from transporting. So I decided to sleeve the boxes and it's actually done wonders. Not sure how to post links using my phone as it's complicated switching windows, but if you search on youtube seven sisters /7 sisters unboxing by missmerc007 (that's me) you can see how I do it.

It's saved all my games, as I transport them all around tokyo in a suicase which used to damage the corners etc. but now they'e all survived. I'm also OCD. I recommend it. It's the easiest way. Plus somei purple said the tape will get on the board game boxes, but it never has, and I've been doing sleeving for a while, plus it's mega humid in Japan and there hadn't been a problem. The people I give the games to are extremely happy when they get a pristine copy.

Please ignore typos and gramma mistakes, hard to edit on mt phone.
Sorry got home and finally found the link
It's exactly the same way Damien does it

The person I learnt this unboxing style from was
Jimmy CHAN
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and have been using it every since. I think that might be the video you were looking for, perhaps I highly recommend it if you're OCD like me, or like to protect the covers of the boxes It doesn't work on all shrink. Sometimes if the shrink is very loose it might not work. But for most boxes it does I use thick clear tape, and if it doesn't stick properly (e.g. bubbley) the first time you can restick it until you're happy with that side, and then move onto the next side. The tape I use is thick width wise, as well as depth? wise. It was pretty cheap, but more premium quality.
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Jarrett Dunn
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I've started buying cheap chests and boxes from Hobby Lobby when they are on sale and moving the game supplies into there and putting the regular game boxes up in the attic or closet. I have a nice fantasy/piratey looking chest that I'm in the process of putting in balsa wood dividers into right now for all of my Terrinoth games (so it will have all my Runebound, Descent, Talisman, DQ, etc. games in it), and I have a small old looking box that seems like it would be from some kind of fantasy land that I have my Dungeon Run game in. Also looks a lot better around the game room with various chests and wooden boxes than simply having a ton of game boxes stuffed into a bookcase. The only problem is remembering which box holds which items .
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Daniel James
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dtroy_de_rapcore wrote:
I remember watching a video about a guy who showed how he protects his boardgame box, with no cost, but I forgot where it was in BGG (I did tried to find inside the Outside the Scope of BGG page). Tried googling and using youtube (since it's a youtube video) but couldn't find an exact match.

But I remember that he used Mansion of Madness game to show how he did it. To my surprise, I found it there, in MoM page, lol. It's totally unrelated and wonder how the mod approved it Here you go. See if you find it useful.
- Damien


This is totally ridiculous.
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Dan King
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I think most game designers will agree, a game is created to be enjoyed, not set up on a shelf to admire. It is designed to create happiness and fond memories. Unless you are a collector and not a gamer, enjoy your games, life is short. Create some memories.
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Christopher Kunzelman
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Acrylic coat the boxes using Varathane or Minwax. Both water & oil based products work.
 
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Kyle A
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I don't have the same fear as you, but I do like up upgrade my gaming boxes. For the games that see the most use, I will buy/build wooden boxes as replacements.

It costs me anywhere from 2-10 bucks per game. most of the wooden boxes I find in thrift stores. I even found one to hold waterdeep and the expansion.
 
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ROGER DEAL
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Raphus wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Best way to protect the game is to not open it, and store it in a dark, humidity and temperature controlled environment.
Place the box on a soft, forgiving, non-reactive surface.

These games should be sure to give you years of enjoyment!

And cover the whole place with concrete sarcophagus.

Then place it in the Vatican archives.
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Helmut Apel
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I own around 250 games. Many of them i really like, a few i love. Also i have a certain amount of very fine games that are out of print (like Ambush and all of it´s expansions, Rundebound 2nd Edition with all Expansions, everthying from Descent 1st Ed. etc.) or games that won´t be available ever again in this awesome configuration like "War of the Ring Collectors Edition" or the great "Incursion" - Kickstarter.

I always handle my games with care and already get a bit nervous if a friend brings nuts and chips with him for playing. But i do not sleeve cards and i don´t care much about shelfwear. Whenever i have the feeling that i become a bit to nerdy with all my precious which keep me away from simply enjoying them in the way there are meant to be enjoied i remember two simple given facts in life:

1. One day i will die and there´s nothing i can do about it.
2. This day i can´t even take my most favorite game with me, this day i have to leave everything behind - and again, there´s just nothing i can ever do about it.

So with this in mind, there´s only one reasonable way to enjoy my games: Get them out for playing, enjoy the narrative, the components, reading the rules, all of the good stuff. And i see absolutely no sense in keeping any of these games shrinkwrapped laying in the shelve and never touch them like a precious artwork. Because nothing will last forever cool
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Rafał Harasimowicz
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rozar5 wrote:
Raphus wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Best way to protect the game is to not open it, and store it in a dark, humidity and temperature controlled environment.
Place the box on a soft, forgiving, non-reactive surface.

These games should be sure to give you years of enjoyment!

And cover the whole place with concrete sarcophagus.

Then place it in the Vatican archives.
And put an angel on guard. With a flaming sword.
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mark w

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Snakes and lattes video on how they protect games. Most have been mentioned but still worth a view

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYSn2Sep_nA
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Justin Hurst
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I agree games are meant to be played, but it's still sad when the game gets ruined and you can no longer play it. I did a video with some tips to help your game last or restore it to playing condition.

https://youtu.be/fZXxTB-How0
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Gary H
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poppin_fresh_wd wrote:
I agree games are meant to be played, but it's still sad when the game gets ruined and you can no longer play it. I did a video with some tips to help your game last or restore it to playing condition.

https://youtu.be/fZXxTB-How0

Amazing of the fear they will be ruined by people.

Unless you ACTIVELY DESTROY your game, it will not, by normal usage, become unplayable.

That is a fact.

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MGAC California
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bop517 wrote:
poppin_fresh_wd wrote:
I agree games are meant to be played, but it's still sad when the game gets ruined and you can no longer play it. I did a video with some tips to help your game last or restore it to playing condition.

https://youtu.be/fZXxTB-How0

Amazing of the fear they will be ruined by people.

Unless you ACTIVELY DESTROY your game, it will not, by normal usage, become unplayable.

That is a fact.


Not in my experience. People don't care about things they don't own. One player's "normal usage" is not another player's "normal usage". There are enough game-slobs out there that prove my point. This is why I don't go to board game night at any of my FLGS's any more, and I don't like anyone unpacking or shuffling through my games. I can certainly understand the original poster's trepidation.

I love my games and I spend a lot of money to get them. I'm a player as well as a collector. I understand that nothing can remain 'pristine new' forever, but I do like to try mitigate as much of the normal shelf/play wear as I can. Anyway, this thread has been helpful with some techniques to protect games and boxes.
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Doug Bonforte

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I've used plastic 2.5 gallon bags (~ 14"x16") with sliders. They are available at most grocery stores near the sandwich bags. Very inexpensive.
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Justin Hurst
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I just got a game, and while playing it two weeks after getting it, one of the players spilled their coffee with cream and sugar on the table and it got on several cards, the board, and tokens. The edges of the cards wrinkled. The cards are sticky, the board paper came up in places, and the cardboard tokens survived ok but are sticky. I would say the cards that are sticky are basically unplayable in their condition, and alter the way the game is played without them. So I can buy sleeves, and keeping using the game, or buy another copy of the game.

Other times players have brought food and ruined not cleaned their hands before touching game pieces and have ruined them as well.

Even normal use with poorly made games can result it them being unusable in what I think is an unusually short amount of time.

The solution I offer is to do some protection of the game so it will last. The other option could be to tell the players no food or drink, and to handle with care.
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Purple TripleCrown
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It may seem excessive, but I re-shrink any game that I think I won't be playing again for a while, as well as all the vintage games that I acquire through EBay or thrifting.

Not only does this protect the games from any (further) wear (dust/moisture damage), it helps to re-square the boxes, making them look better, stack more neatly, and eliminating shelf wear (not to mention reducing the chance of losing parts).

I picked up a 20 inch sealer on EBay and a roll of 20 inch shrink which is large enough for almost any board game. After the purchase cost of the sealer and a roller (just to make dispensing from the shrink roll easier), it only costs pennies per game to re-seal them.
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