Taking care of your Transformers can be rather easy and fun. Though taking care of it can be tedious at times depending on how large is your collection, it can be really rewarding. By taking care of them you will retain it’s value so you can market them any time whenever there is crisis that you need to tackle in your household.
Just like any other collectors, Transformers toy collectors have very distinctive habit. They will:
- Buy and display as boxed condition MISB, MISP or MOSC.
- Buy, open, play and display them on the display cabinet while packaging is being retained, flattened or discarded.
- Buy, open, play and repackage them in their original packaging.
You will automatically find yourself in one of these groups when you start having a reasonable amount of collection, and you might not realise those above are already part of ‘taking care’ and upkeeping you collections.
As you might have already known, Transformers action figures can be very susceptible to environmental factors and material ageing. You can take some small measures in a few simple steps to help keep your action figures looking like new all the time.
All Transformers figures apart from die-cast versions are made of plastic, and plastic is a material that is far from indestructible. After some time, it will show some signs of ageing. The most significant occurrence is yellowing accompanied by paint chipping, rub offs, discolouration and dirt build-ups.
Being a collector, just like a farmer waging war against weather and pest attack, Transformers collectors are prone to have threats from:
- Excessive heating – dissipated by sunlight it can cause the material of the toy to become discoloured and blotchy. The effects is your toy will become irregularly shaped and brittling will occur on edges and corners. For MISB/MIB’ers, direct sunlight melt down rubber bands tied around the figure, loosening tapes and glues, and brittling blisters. Direct sunlight can wreak havoc on the printing inks on the card, bleaching and fading the graphics in a matter of weeks and destroying its “mint” value. Ensure good ventilation in cases where the room is hot by cooling them with AC to achieve equilibrium.
- Humidity – this will cause chipping and peeling on adhesives such as stickers and decals. Not to mention that joints will start loosening, affecting poses and standability. If you are an avid toy photographer, posing them is almost impossible.
- Dirt and Dust – resides in small cavities of the toy mold and it will tarnish the overall look and beauty of the figure. Avoid handling the toys with dirty fingers especially oil. Grimy buildup will trap further dust and dirt making it a headache to clean.
- Pest & insects – if you have cases make sure they are properly shut. Spiders, geckos and insects are prone to make their little Cybertron a good hideout. Spiders will make comwebs and cobwebs like grime is a good dust and dirt trapper. Geckos are unpleasant because of it’s droppings, and droppings on a figure is really unpleasant. Insects tend to buzz about and die when their lifetime comes. Their carcass attract spiders and geckos. They need to be dusted away.
- Kids – you might have family friends around, relatives or yourself with small kids. Ensure that they are being kept away from toddlers because they contain small parts like missiles and projectiles. Swallowing them is a worst thing to happen. Make sure there is an adult accompanying.
Here are some helpful tips of how to safeguard your collection on display:
- Away from sunlight – for avid displayers, put your cabinet away from incoming sunlight penetrating through the windows. The glare and reflection is a hazard. The best way to remedy this is put them far away from windows and source of sunlight.
- Right temperature – if the room is hot (such as in Malaysia), you need AC for cooling. If that is costly, just make sure there is good ventilation. If you are really rich, you can have ceilings and walls of your house or display room to be constructed with built-in thermal insulators! Avoid putting them under zinc roofs, that spells meltdown!
- Casing – this applies to MISB/MIB’ers who love their toys and the boxes. Wrap them with plastic films or zip-lock plastic bags, make sure it is airtight – no bubbles or trapped air. Then store them in storage containers with tight lids. Cardboard boxes are not ideal for storage as they let in heat and humidity as well as often contain acids that over time can destroy plastics and discolor paint.
- Dusting and cleaning – handling them lesser will lessen dirt however you can soak them in soapy water and gently scrubbing them with sponge or soft-brittled unused toothbrush. As for dust, you can use a can of air-propelled dust remover like the ones being used on your computer hardware.
- Handling pests, carcasses and droppings – extract all your figures from the areas affected, use vacuum cleaner to suck out all the droppings and insect carcasses. If the droppings hardened on the surface, scrub them off with wet cloth. As for spider cobwebs, you can do the same by vacuuming them. Geckos however, they can run away fast. Just to ensure they stop coming, terminate each and anyone of them invading your cabinets. Usually getting rid of insects first will deter the presence of geckos.