I’ve been prepping my collection for a revived display soon and decided I’d start logging some of the steps and research I’ve been doing here at JD. CorranHorn's cool thread inspired me to share my endeavor.
My collection of Star Wars items is primarily modern-era 3 ¾” Kenner/Hasbro offerings. I prefer loose, but also maintain a carded/boxed collection as well. My loose collection is complete and the boxed collection is missing a few early POTF2 vehicles. I also have most of the Marmit and Kotobukiya figures, a collection of posters ranging from 2-sided theatrical releases, UK subway posters, various Art of Star Wars posters from the US and UK, and PT banners. I also have an upright Atari Star Wars machine that’s in limbo at a place in Culver City. Once I get a chance I plan on diving back into vintage Kenner stuff.
Like most others, I’ve found attempting to display a complete collection of carded and loose modern figures a space-consuming task. Since I’ve moved three times in the last two years, the practicality of assembling, disassembling, and reassembling the collection has daunted me into putting most of it into storage until I find an apartment or house that I’ll be comfortable in for the long-term (and also has a large enough room to house the collection).
Stepping away from the collection for a while has given me some clarity about what I actually want out of my “Star Wars Room” once it returns. Here are my goals:
- The entire display esthetic must be elevated above the “room of toys” feel – it has to have a classy, almost museum display quality to it.
- Emphasis will be on loose items with modest use of carded/boxed items to punctuate certain eras/line changes.
- Display must be behind glass using consistent furniture color and style with high-visibility (all glass, preferably).
The second and third objectives are easy enough to follow. Nailing the first objective is the challenge – how do you present a bunch of plastic toys in a reverent way that even non-collectors can look at and understand the importance of the line to you, personally?
I’ll be trying to answer that from several different approaches, and each answer will be different for each section of the line. Since I don’t have an actual room to work in right now, I can only prep components for eventual, well, implementation.Carded Figures
Since the emphasis is on the loose collection, the carded and boxed collection is going to stay, by and large, out of sight. Only select carded figures will be used. Which ones? Ideally, one of each modern cardback will be used, which when you count them up to today, is around 22 – too many for my eventual display. A realistic number is probably closer to 6-8. That can be determined later, but what I am working on now, and believe I have my answer, is how to properly display these “showpieces”.
I am using AFA-graded figures in their sealed acrylic cases, mounted on an acrylic base easel. I documented this process in a thread here
Over the next few months I plan to do this to TF Vader, Sacul, one OTC figure, one POTF2 orange card figure, and a couple others that are to be determined.
The stand is from Aaron Brothers.
I’m happy with the results of this process for select figures. I believe it elevates their presentation to the “museum” feel I am shooting for. Loose Vehicles – Small to Mid scale
With the idea of using an all-glass display case to feature the loose collection, and considering the amount of vehicles that should be presented, there are a few challenges that need to be solved to maintain the “museum” feel. To me, lining them up on a single row, repeated on and on, won’t work from a space-usage standpoint nor an esthetic presentation perspective.
My idea to solve this is to present vehicles using foreground and background heights. Some vehicles will be sitting directly on the glass shelf with landing gears down. Others will be placed on square acrylic risers on the background row.
Still others will be displayed “in-flight” – which I think is a necessity for several of the vehicles that don’t have proper gear-down modes, like the Naboo Starfighter, any of the TIE vehicles, or the Pod Racers. This may also be my solution for vehicles with repaint variants, like the A-wing and the upcoming Y-wing, where I will display one gear-down and one in-flight.
I found an art display armature at an online shop recently and ordered one to test. The basic construction is a clear acrylic base with a single black metal rod inserted into it, with two flexible metal bars making a “T” section at the top of the rod. You bend the rods as you need to fit what you are mounting. It arrived today and I tested it out with two different ships:
I’m really happy with how it worked! This is a pretty close approximation of how the ILM TIE models are displayed at various venues. Again, this is a step in realizing the elevated presentation level I’m shooting for. Next Steps
That’s all the tinkering I’ve done up till now. I’m months away from moving again, so in the meantime I’ll be continuing my search for display cases, forming a presentation strategy for the loose figures, and testing out these display armatures on larger ships (which I think will need two supports). I’d like to display Slave 1 in flight mode.
Any comments on the project would be appreciated!
Acrylic T-Arm stands from Art Display Essentials
Novus scratch remover from MisterPlexi
Carded figures graded at AFA