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

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Darin Bolyard
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I once had the OP's "fear" of "marring" the game boxes, among other things...to a lesser degree. I achieved a reputation among my gaming friends that has stuck to me, despite having been mostly freed from my previous obsessive tendencies. Nowadays, I am much more relaxed and definitely enjoy playing my games more. I even take pride in the white, frayed edges on my old Power Grid box. It's a game that continues to create memories.

Don't get me wrong, I am still known for taking extensive care of my stuff, but it's because others don't always care one way or another. The difference is that I'm now more comfortable with that latter fact. The games will still last for plenty of years to come. I'll even still call someone out if they're truly mishandling components or cards (you know the guy who curls the cards in his hand shake) ...these aren't 99 cent decks of cards after all.

Once, when I lent a game to some buddies, as I sometimes do (surprise, right?), the guy who transported it placed the game in his child safety seat and strapped it in. He intended it for laughs (and it was funny), but part of me actually still appreciated it beyond the laughs

Honestly, I couldn't be happier that my friends now know that I'm more concerned with having fun with them than I am with having a pristine game. Without them, the game is worthless...
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Jonathan F
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Purpletriplecrown wrote:
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.
i have been having similar issues even with the dehumidifer (since games are in a closet that doesn't get very much circulation unless i stick the D and point it's air outlet at the closet while leaving it open). what sealer did you use? i lately have been taking my expensive games that I know i won't play physically (war games i play on VASSAL mostly) and putting them in large totes with silica gel packets as i don't want to see them get warped if they aren't even getting played. i am just making myself live with teh warping on the games i do play enough to keep in the closet which is hard for an OCD person like me yuk
 
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Candace Mercer
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Purpletriplecrown wrote:
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.

This was totally going to be my tip. It really is pretty easy. I wouldn't bother but I think it is the most effective way.

I also use plastic bags, I came into some really heavy duty ones. They work well, as rain is my biggest transport issue in Pacific NW.

Personally, I would never alter a game or components in any way. I am guessing it is not just me, but it ruins resale/collectability value. I shudder at the thought of varnish or tape or contact paper. I would pay significantly less for such an altered game. That would bother me WAY more than a bit of corner wear. I don't have energy for that.

I have done a bit of trading and geek auctions and marketplaces, and I think only once been mildly disappointed that box condition was not listed, but that was structural/dishing. Maybe I have been lucky. Ditto for components, we all treat our games pretty good!

To the OP, it is sad you are being shamed, in a group that, myself included, is pretty OCD. It is your choice, and your concern. I am glad you got some ideas, and hope you come up with a workable solution that is good for you!
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Candace Mercer
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+1 to silica packs if you are shrink wrapping! Especially in any heat/moisture situation.


DO NOT put shrinkwrapped games in the sun!!! Like if you are at a swap or something. I have had things get ruined that way.
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Jochar Flyingwomen
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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!



When traveling with my games, I wrap each game in 2 large kitchen catcher garbage bags. This seems to stop the box corners from scuffing.
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Jonathan F
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jochar wrote:
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!



When traveling with my games, I wrap each game in 2 large kitchen catcher garbage bags. This seems to stop the box corners from scuffing.
i destroyed some game boxes by not protecting them on long car rides on holidays. i think from now on i will put them in a box with packing peanuts. not sure if that would obviate the need for plastic bags to go around them.
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Bannister Nicholas
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Not crazy,.. sorry I didn't see this post before:

At Bunnings (in Australia) or any hardware shop maybe? there are some rolls of plastic that people buy to put on their outdoor furniture. You can get it clear PVC 1mm up to 5mm. buy the 1mm, and like wrapping a Christmas present, wrap your board games. Leaving of course an edge to open up when playing.

You will need a cloth or felt between multiple boxes, else they'll stick. and you need to store in a cool place, else the pvc may take a thin layer of ink off the box if it gets above 30c.

More permanently, cut the plastic to match the box, make a lid, fold into shape and hot glue the edges(smooth with warm knife)to slip over your boxes, with either a fold around strap (like a medieval book) to cover the base.. or use felt cloth to store on the shelf.

At least that's what I do.

Until I get them made up, I photocopy the box lid, and glue it to a cardboard box that matches the size (usually the box it came in, when delivered) and store on the shelf in those boxes.
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