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How Much of Your Collection Do You Display?

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It is one of those never-ending battles for many collectors I think, how to display all of this stuff. You start with just a shelf, then the years go by and you keep outgrowing and outgrowing your spaces until a decision has to be made.

I've come to that crossroads myself, or have been dancing with it for awhile now. I recently completed a nearly lifelong goal of mine by getting a loose collection of the initial run of vintage Star Wars figures (the first 77 anyway). Now that I have them, I would really like to put them on display. Problem is, no room. I've been going through the process for a few years now of both packing things away and selling things off because I simply don't have room for it all (and no end in sight). I'm also one of those weak collectors who has branched off into things like Marvel, DC, GI Joe, He-Man, Indiana Jones, etc., so that doesn't help anything.

I've always been the type of person where if I like it enough to collect it, I want it displayed instead of packed away. I've come to the realization that something (or things) have to move out. I am allowed one room essentially, our office, and I don't like things to look overly cluttered so space is at a premium.

Anyways I was wondering how you manage things. Do you display most of it, some of it, or none of it? Do you display both vintage and modern toys? (I've since fallen down the rabbit hole of vinty Joes as well) Do you just keep a selection of your favorites out or maybe rotate things? After so many years of collecting Star Wars (without an end in sight), it seems like a problem we all deal with at some point. Thank you for any insight and advice.

I don't really have any insight or advice as I don't think we have the same school of thought here, but I'll post anyway.

Of course I'd love to have a giant room to display everything museum style. I don't. I am one who likes the display as much as you can clutter look over the prettier display what you have room to not have clutter and thus store more.

That being said I still have a bunch of stuff "stored" in same room. My wife is hell bent on selling the house and buying something bigger next summer. Hopefully that includes size of my toy room.

I'm also dreading it, but excited once again to tear it down and be able to weed out things I just don't need/want anymore

I have told this story before, but back about ten years ago I finally gave up trying to put together a "complete" collection of modern stuff. (I had all the vintage figures, minus a couple of the POTFs, as a kid and was never interested in completing a new collection of them. The modern line, however, held onto me with the promise of new figures and a "complete" collection.

So I sat down and made my own list of the figures that I needed in my complete collection, and stuck to it as much as was humanly possible. I also gave up on vehicles at that point--there's a whole rationale there, but basically I loved playing with them as a kid but never thought they displayed well among the figures.

Once I had a set of what I thought was going to be my complete collection, I went about designing customized shelves to display them on, broken down by themes (Imperials, Hoth, Cantina, etc.) I had a thread about those back then, but the links are busted. Here's a couple of the shelf designs I made to give you the idea:

And I was pretty satisfied with those...though I didn't put the finishing touches on acouple of them, and never built the Jabba themed shelf I wanted.

Since then I have moved, and had a couple kids, and I never got the office space back that I wanted. So these shelves are still packed away too.

These days I make cardstock and cardboard displays to sell as Cardboard Galaxy, and my collection mostly rotates through those new designs as I make new ones and need to photograph them. The latest thing I have been making is "archival displays" designed to show off the vintage figures on cardstock displays reminiscent of the Action Display Stand Kenner made for the first 12. Here's the "Empire Strikes Back" segment of that:

I have enjoyed seeing my modern figures broken down into the vintage equivalents, I like them set up this way lately.

Good luck Brian, and please share pictures when you have the set-up you're dreaming of!

Very cool Muftak!!

It all boils down to what do you want to display, and how do you want to display it?

There were certain items that are great for display, for me it boiled down to:  Prop replica sabers, movie posters, playsets, vehicles, loose figures, rare carded figures.

For the how to display it, I have always liked the look of old battles re-created so I put up shelves for the battle of Hoth, Endor and Naboo.  While I have a Jedi shelf, Sith shelf and random alien shelf, I also have a Jabba's palace display as well as the Rebel hangar to balance out the shelves where I do have vehicles or figures lined up.  Also, I like to put pilots in all the vehicles and load up playsets so that they have a more snapshot feel that a typical display.

I have a bunch of stuff stored due to space...mainly complete carded collections and items I've never removed from their boxes...if my collection wasn't a black hole for figures, I would probably consider selling them at some point.

It's all going to come down to your personal preference on how you want to show off your collection and what you think looks best.


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