Posts Tagged ‘Guides’

How to Open Boxes

Posted: August 13, 2011 in Collecting Tipz, ToyZ
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Hello, been doing this for a long time now. Thought, I’d share it with you guyz and hope you find it useful someday. Here’s how to do it and prevent creases, dents in the box flaps when opening.

The victim: SOP (Soul of Popynica) PX-01 Hover Pileder (wrap in a white thin piece of paper)

Get a ruler or any flat object and try to get inside the flaps and pry slowly, gently or flip the tip, corners of the box-flap out. The Box-flap will easily be open without a problem.

Do it on both sides of the flaps (optional).

Sorry, was a bit too lazy to get it from the toolbox kit that time so it didn’t get included at first.


Removing Price Tag

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Collecting Tipz, ToyZ
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Removing Price Tag

In my personal experienced. I use a hair dryer to soften the adhesive from the price tag, it works perfectly fine in removing any price tag and it’s also good to removed package tape. Those clear tapes used on the side flaps of the box where you open the toy. I also used my custom made “sticker lifter” aka My Price Tag Remover in removing unwanted stickers, price tag, and clear tape.

Any credit card or similar pliable materials will suffice. Once you have your (expired/unused) credit card in your hands. We can now begin converting it to a pocket size, wallet size portable price tag remover by simply sanding the edge and corners into a diagonal position or a 45 degree angle. Make sure it’s NOT a sharp like blade knife edge, co’z it might ruin the art-design and package.

Use it in a swinging motion (chemical free! no need to use any Goo Gone products that might harm your boxed/carded toys)

This sample image is for demo purpose only.

Terminology and Condition Rating Guide

.000, .001, .002 This is similar to the SKU number, but refers to an assortment. When figures are released and coded for sale to retail markets, they are part of an "assortment." The assortment number is a long number followed by a decimal point and a 000, 001, or 002 (etc.) suffix. Sometimes the same figure is retooled, recolored, or even unchanged and released again in a new batch, or assortment. The completist collectors will often search for the first assortment release (.000), or perhaps a change was made to the figure and the changed version is released in limited quantities, making the 0002 or 0003 (or whatEVER) the "hot" item.

+ (plus sign): This is just to indicate that an item being rated in terms of condition (usually via the C-scale) could be in better condition than the rating states. For instance, a C-8 figure is an 8 out of 10, but a C-8+ figure is even better, but probably not as good as C-9. Most people use decimals to be more specific (like C-8.2 or C-8.5). Sometimes the "+" is added as a type of exclamation about how perfect a C-10 figure is (C-10++!!).

Backing: Any supportive or decorative surface to which a toy is affixed in some way for display in the retail market. For the earlier Transformers figures, the piece of cardboard that the figure was sealed to in the bubble is the backing. This is not ypically the "card" of carded figures, but rather some secondary packaging inside a main box.

Blister: One of the common ways for toy companies to package their wares for display in the retail market is to use a clear plastic shell that is affixed via some sort of adhesive to a cardboard backing. This is most often referred to as the "Bubble," but many people use "Blister" as well. It enables buyers to see the item for sale without being able to touch it before purchase.

Bubble: See Blister.

C-1 (or C-2, C-3, etc. up to C-10): This is a basic rating scale used to describe the condition of figures or their boxes, packaging, etc. It’s no more than a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. It is generally assumed that the "C" just stands for "Condition." While everyone’s definition is different (see General Advice for using or interpreting the C scale), C-10 generally means in perfect condition, as if the figure has just been taken out of a sealed box; no scratches, looseness, no flaws whatsoever. C-1 would be a figure that is more than likely broken in some way, with dirt, scratches, bends, stress/tooth marks, total looseness, etc. The same applies to boxes; a C-10 box looks as if it just came off the belt at the factory; no creases, dents/dings in the acetate windows (or what have you), no corner wear, etc. Every item can be judged in its own way; the C-scale is just a way for us as collectors and sellers to standardize how to quickly present the gist of an item’s condition.

Card: The most common ways for toy companies to package their figures are in boxes or on Cards. Cards are the types of packages hung on hooks in stores instead of stacked on shelves. In the U.S., the deluxe-sized Beast Wars figures were all on cards, as are most of the standard-sized Star Wars figures.

Case Fresh: This means that the packaging is in perfect shape, and usually also means it’s sealed and in untouched condition. It’s as if the figure was just pulled from a case that was shipped to the retailer by the toy company. Similar to

Factory (or Factory Applied): Most figures have some detail applied at the factory that made them, often a certain set of stickers. If a figure only has the factory-applied stickers, it means the stickers that are already applied when the figure is removed from its original packaging.

Insert: Almost all toys are packaged with some secondary materials besides the figure itself and its accessories; there are usually promotional brochures, catalogs of similar toys available for sale, etc. These are often referred to as "inserts." Some people use the word to mean many things, however, so be sure to check the General Advice section.

***Quick summary of all the "MIMB," "MOC," "MISB," etc.***

I = IN
O = ON

MIB: Mint In Box. The item in question has its retail packaging. Some people use this to refer only to the presence of the packaging, not the CONDITION of the packaging or of the figure; see the General Advice section for details.

MIMB: Mint In Mint Box. The seller is specifically stating that not only the figure is in Mint condition, but the box that it is packaged in is in Mint condition as well.

Mint: "Perfect" in terms of the condition of a figure or its packaging. For car enthusiasts, a synonym would be "cherry."

MIMP: Mint In Mint Package: Same as MIMB, but perhaps the figure in question was packaged in some way other than in a "box" per se.

MIP: Mint In Package. Same as MIB, but perhaps the figure in question was packaged in some way other than in a "box" per se.

MISB: Mint In Sealed Box. The packaging for the figure in question is unopened. Most toy companies packaged their items in some way as to make this a definable trait. Boxed Transformers had tape holding the opening flaps shut, as well as bubble/backing seals of the actual figure inside. Some people use MISB to refer only to PARTS of the packaging being unopened; see the General Advice section for details.

MISMB: Mint In Mint Sealed Box. Same as MISB, but the seller is specifically stating that the packaging is in perfect condition as well as the figure.

MISP: Mint In Sealed Package. Same as MISB, but perhaps the figure in question was packaged in some way other than in a "box" per se.

MISMP: Mint In Sealed Mint Package. Same as MISP, but the seller is specifically stating that the packaging is in perfect condition as well as the figure.

MOC: Mint On Card. For figures that are packaged on cardbacks instead of in boxes (hung on hooks in stores rather than stacked on shelves). The majority of the Beast Wars figures are packaged this way. It means that the figure is still able to be held to the cardback by the packaging. Not sealed, necessarily, but the cardback should be able to be hung on a hook without the figure falling out.

MOSC: Mint On Sealed Card. Whatever packaging there is that holds the figure to the card (usually a bubble) has not been breached; the figure itself is provably untouched by consumer hands.

MOSMC: Mint On Sealed Mint Card. Same as MOSC, but the seller is specifically stating that the packaging is in perfect condition as well as the figure.

NRFB: Never Removed From Box. Same as MISB.

Paperwork: Included in the packaging for most toys is some amount of documentation, usually instructions on how to use or transform the figure. Most often paperwork refers to the instructions, but some people use it to refer to all paper inserts (catalogs, mail-away offers, promotional items, etc.).

Punched (or Unpunched): For figures that were packaged on cards and hung on hooks for display in retail stores, there was usually a little hole in the top/center of the card where the hook would go through. Sometimes this hole was scored but not punched all the way through by the packaging manufacturers. It’s an added feature to a figure’s "newness" and "untouched" quality. Doesn’t apply so much any more, as most carded figures now have shaped cards that allow for hooks, as opposed to "island" holes that needed to be punched.

Recolor: Toy companies (especially Hasbro) often release an action figure that is identical to an earlier figure, but has a different color scheme. Sometimes they are marketed as separate figures with different names, sometimes they are considered "re-releases."

Re-release (or Re-issue): Because of popularity, or to correct an earlier error/recalled toy, companies may begin selling a figure again that was discontinued. The new figure may have different colors or packaging, but is still considered the same character and has the same name.

Rock Bubble (or Rock Blister): A Beast-Wars specific term; several carded figures were altered in their packaging while still in production. The earlier variations had bubbles on the cards that where molded to look like rocks. The Bubbles were later changed to smooth rounded shapes with no special molding (known as Smooth Bubble or Smooth Blister).

Shelf Wear: General overall minor damage to packaging due to typical shelf activity in a toy stor; being slid along a shelf, or stacked and scuttled along over and over until some whitening appears along corners (for boxed figures), or some flat edges are a little bent and bubbles are a little scuffed (for carded figures).

SKU: In the world of collecting, some people are amazingly complete about getting variations. Sometimes a toy or its packaging is altered in some way while it is still in production, creating two (or more) near-identical toys in the retail market at once. Sometimes the variation is so minor that the only evidence is a different "SKU number." SKU stands for Stock Keeping Unit, and is the bar-coded number on packages that identifies the smallest marketable unit (ie. one action figure) sold by a company. For some reason a SKU number difference can create a lot of excitement for the completist collectors, and so is referred to when describing the figure for sale (like "Transmetal 2 Cybershark, Sku# 0-76281-8054-2!!!!")

Smooth Bubble (or Smooth Blister): See Rock Bubble.

Variation (or Var): Oftentimes a toy company will alter the packaging or a small detail regarding an action figure’s components while it is still in production. This creates two items of the same name that are concurrently in production. Sometimes it is a recolor, sometimes a very slightly different figure attribute (like an open fist in one variation and a closed fist in the other, or decals on one variation and paint on another), but the word Variation is most commonly used for a difference in packaging for the same figure (like roman numerals used in the first releases of the Transmetal II figures instead of the later Transmetal 2 packages).

Caring for Toys

Whether you’re in it for love or money, keeping the toys in the best shape is the most important part of collecting. Every figure and packaging type has different things to watch out for, but the following needs apply to all toys:

– PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE/CARE: The best way to keep these toys in the best shape is to not mess them up in the first place. Below are some general tips in the proper care of your collectibles.

Dark/sunless environment: Of all the things in the world that cause the most damage to toys and their packaging (besides firecrackers), the sun is the worst. It only takes a few days for the sun to bleach a box’s color, or yellow a figure’s plastic pieces. Continued exposure to sunlight will DESTROY. Windowless rooms are the best for storage/display, but if you don’t have any, then put your figures in something that you can close or cover to keep the sun out COMPLETELY.

Smoke free environment: Second to the sun is tobacco smoke. After continued exposure, the smoke starts to leave a grimy residue on box and toy surfaces, which, if built up and left alone for long enough, will be unremoveable. Smoke also discolors a lot of plastics; ever go in a room where someone smokes all the time and taken a picture or poster off the wall? A yellow wall used to be white. That can happen to your figures too.

Dust them every once in a while. NO environment is absolutely dust-free, unless you’re some mad evil villain with inexhaustible resources and you have one of those futuristic science-domes where earth-blasting laser beams are being built, and you also happen to keep your Transformers in there. If that’s not you, then dust off your figures and boxes every month or so; dust will build up and create a damaging sticky film if left long enough. Plus, it just looks better.

Dry environment: excessive humidity can really wreak havoc on packaging. Cardboard will warp, tape will separate from surfaces, stickers will peel or come off. Paperwork will often begin to stick to itself too; ever see those Transformers instructions that ripped when you tried to unfold them? Moisture.

Careful/moderated stacking: Even though it LOOKS like a tall stack of toy boxes is stable, there is a lot of play among cardboard over time. Stacking a lot of toys on top of each other begins a slow but certain compression of the boxes. Leave 5 to 7 Transformers boxed figures stacked up for a year or two, and the bottom 2 will show some pretty heavy creasing at the corners. Don’t overstack, even if it looks like nothing bad will happen at first.

Careful moves: If reorganizing or moving, pick the boxes/cards straight up and set them straight back down; sliding them along surfaces will rocket the packaging to the state of "shelf wear." Cardboard and plastic bubbles seem pretty tough, and you don’t see anything happen after one or two slides along a shelf, but it catches up to you very quickly.

Careful opening: Doesn’t apply to you "keep it sealed" folks, but for us collectors who think these are too cool to leave in their boxes forever, just be careful. Don’t open flaps or bubbles ALL the way if you don’t need to; just open them enough to remove the figures. Hinges and corners will crinkle and whiten very rapidly.

Careful play: Again, just for us "play with ’em" types. Be knowledgeable about where parts rub together during transformation. Stickers are usually the first to show scrapes, but even if it’s just plastic on plastic, scuffs will form and painted details will streak. Try and transform with an eye for where pressure creates a lot of friction and account for it. And sheesh, just go slow; it’s not a race.

– CLEANING: You can’t clean all the figures the same way, but here are some general tips for shining up those dusty or dinged up pieces:

Dust everything very well first; you may not need to go further. Just because something looks dirty doesn’t mean you need to go straight to Ajax and scrubbies.

If an area looks like it will need more than a dusting, try wiping at it with a slightly damp cloth; this will clear up the area and show if further steps need to be taken.

Dingy plastic can often be shined up extremely nicely with some Q-tips and rubbing alcohol. TEST A SMALL HIDDEN PORTION FIRST; some plastics are painted, not cast in the color they appear to be, and alcohol could take the paint right off.

NEVER LET ALCOHOL TOUCH STICKERS; it will take the color off the stickers with one tiny swipe.

Detergents are usually NOT the way to go. If something isn’t coming clean with just elbow grease or warm damp cloth, detergent probably won’t help either; these aren’t cooking pans, they’re toys. If you MUST use some form of detergent, make sure you rinse/wipe it off COMPLETELY; if it stays on the plastic it will more than likely deteriorate it rapidly.

Use a pencap or some pointed object with a rag or napkin around the tip to get into those hard to reach corners/crevasses.