Collection Protection: Bagging Your Games
A major dilemma for game collectors, outside of finding desired items, is finding a way to preserve the condition of their games. Cartridges and boxes are very prone to wear and tear, and there exists infinite dangers that could irreversibly depreciate their value. As a result, sites like Bags Unlimited and Hillas Bags have become quite popular among collectors, offering a formidable array of well, bags – to slip old game carts, original boxes and many other valued pieces into.
Searching through the lists of these underrated plastic wonders, you’ll discover sizes for every game format from the pint-sized DS titles to the unwieldy Neo Geo carts. You can also choose the thickness and material of the plastic as well, with each selection having their own merits and level of durabiltity. Most enticing of all, these bags are sold by the hundreds, and usually around the $10 range; you could conceivably “bag” your entire collection with a mere few purchases.
Most collectors seem to prefer the Ziplock variety, which is best used when leaving a small opening in the top for a little ventilation. Those who decide upon an unsealable variety often tape the bag shut, albeit loosely, to achieve the same effect. Sealing your games this way will prevent many age-inflicted damages, while keeping it safe from things like dust, surface scratching, label damage and other value/functionability detractors.
Though cartridges still in their original boxes are less open to danger, you may also want to consider bagging them, to keep the boxes in top condition as well. This will prevent several sorts of cosmetic damage, but it goes without saying that the bags do little to stop things from bending or crushing them. For those looking to protect the shrinkwrap on a game still factory sealed, you may find a good solution in lamination. This will provide a stronger wrap around the box and will surely keep the original seal from tearing. In that, you’ll be able to worship your treasure forever, knowing full well that the game inside will never see the light of day (unless sold to savages).
Though I’ve yet to join the bag-wagon, there are certainly many collectors that have, some even bagging every title in their gameroom. Even most of those who haven’t gone bag happy must confess to giving the more rare games in their collection the special treatment. Whether it be bags, acrylic cases, or some other form of protection, be sure to take every measure in maintaing the sacred games in your gameroom.