|Photo of stored FairyWinkles sets from the 80s Toy Ark.|
When I decided to pack all of my LPS sets into boxes and store them, I tried to be as mindful as possible: I separated each set into a plastic baggie to keep pieces together and stored some sets in my playcases.
Still, when I opened up those boxes of LPS sets years later, I was disappointed to see that damage still occurred - rubbery pets, like the Mini Surprise Pets, apparently didn't have paint that would withstand the test of time very well...any plastic surface that they had been touching in storage had a bit of tacky paint on it from the pets, who ended up having splotchy marks on them from the paint damage. Water leaked out of the ponds in my Sparkling Pond Pets sets, and anything that contained batteries - like the Pond Pets, the X-Ray machine for the Care Center, etc. - had to be cleaned thoroughly because the old batteries had leaked.
(The sad truth is that LPS sets, like most mass-produced toys, were made on the cheap. Cheap paint, cheap plastic, cheap glue. It doesn't hold up well).
Besides all the damage, I discovered that some pieces were still mixed up, despite all of my efforts to keep accessories together!
I'm fortunate to be able to keep my LPS in cabinets now, but a lot of collectors need to keep their collections stored. What's the best way to store LPS sets in order to minimize damage and make sure that pieces don't get misplaced?
I have a few thoughts...
1) Remove all batteries!
2) Dust all of your sets and ensure they're as clean as possible. If you use water to spot-clean them, make sure they're completely dry before storing.
3) Keep sets with leaking potential, like the Sparkling Pond Pets bases, in separate waterproof plastic baggies, even apart from other accessories. Leaking is practically inevitable with those things.
4) Wrap any rubbery-plastic pets or accessories (the babies from the Mommy & Babies sets, etc.) in acid-free tissue paper. If you're gentle with each set, the hard plastic pieces shouldn't rub paint off on each other - those rubbery pieces are the ones to worry about most.
5) Put each set in an individual plastic bag or an individual storage compartment.
a) Go one step further...inventory your sets as you package them! You could either photograph each set and place it in the bag as well, or you could write/type a list of what pieces you currently have in that set. If the set is incomplete, that can really help you to see at a glance what you're missing without having to take everything out of the bag. It will also help you to double-check your accessories as you package everything up.
|Photo from the 80s Toy Ark: FairyWinkles collector AngelBear took a photo of each set and included it in the plastic storage bag, along with a label with the set's name.|
|Photo by Saradavo - Sara stores each set in a plastic compartment in a larger plastic container and has a text map with the set names.|
6) Store the individually-packaged sets in boxes/bins or tote bags.
What would you add to this list?