Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Saturday, August 4, 2018

How Do You Display Your Collection?

Recently, a reader posted a comment asking how I display my collection. I thought that was a great question, so I decided to turn it into a post of its own!

But, bad news: I can't and don't display my collection. Long story short: my collection is split between three places, none of which are good for displaying and enjoying. Make that four: I have a lot of cards in storage at COMC waiting for shipment. The cards that I do have at home are just stored in boxes, and the other souvenirs are in other boxes. Japanese apartments just aren't suited to displaying so many collectibles. I don't want to end up like this:
Image Source
But I do have a few pictures from my collection displays in the past. Let's have a look!

All of these pictures are from my apartment in Georgia. I don't live there anymore, and everything you see is in boxes.
These two shots will give you an idea of all the (fairly worthless) souvenirs I had. The left picture shows many of my team-related souvenirs. For the most part, each team had its own shelf. Some teams didn't have much; you can see the Orioles and Angels sharing a shelf above the Pirates Wheaties box. I have gathered even more stuff since these photos.

My Starting Lineups are stacked across the top, and again I now have more. The right-hand photo shows my card souvenirs, with packaging and oddball inserts . And all of those bats leaning against the shelves are game-used. Most are from minor league games, though I might have one MLB gamer.
Souvenirs that don't fit in with a certain team went on this bookcase. All of my baseball books in 2010 were on this shelf, I think, though I believe I have more that just didn't get photographed. On the left is a CD/DVD holder with my small collection of DVDs and my movie memorabilia.

To the right is a rack with many of my sets other than base sets. Diamond Kings sets are visible on the top, several of Topps' throwback sets on the shelf below. The third shelf has my other collections, with the bottom shelf holding non-baseball sets. Peaking over the top of the binders is just a small sampling of my autographed photos of movie and TV stars I've met.
The binder rack is seen toward the back of this photo, so this is continuing down. The plastic shelving is full of boxes. Large sets are on the middle two shelves with some smaller sets fit in wherever they could be. My type collection is on the bottom shelf. This area is full of my non-baseball sports souvenirs. You can see my love of gymnastics and figure skating here; those photos are all autographed. The cabinet with the lock on it held loose cards to be put away, supplies, and various other sets that had no home.

On the other side are more shelving units. Another large plastic unit holds another 20 or so shoeboxes packed with my non-sport sets. One plastic unit has my movie and science books. And another bookcase is covered with my concert and movie memorabilia.
I have a lot of Giants, A's, and Braves souvenirs. The Giants got the top three shelves here and the A's got two. The Braves had their own shelving unit.

I mentioned movie souvenirs a few times. There's a rack sitting just to the left of the bookcase covered in more autographed photos. I used the rack so I could move it and get to the shelves, or spin it around to "rotate" my collection.
Some of my larger things - a couple clocks, a poster, uncut sheets, and a few Nolan Ryan flats. You can see my Nolan Ryan bust from Upper Deck Portraits. A smaller bookcase held my Nolan Ryan and Tony Gwynn stuff, but it was pretty lacking.

Looking at these photos now, it's amazing how much space I had and used to display my souvenirs. I will mention that the shelving mostly came from Ikea - the bookcases were under $20 each. I had a big loft apartment, so there was plenty of room to spread my collection out. 

As I mentioned, my collection is all in boxes now. But I would love to have another massive man cave kind of like this again!


  1. Love seeing SLU's displayed proudly. I'm in the same boat as you. My collection is spread out across three places. I do have a bunch of stuff displayed in my office and classroom, but the majority of my stuff is put away in boxes too.

    1. Unfortunately, I didn't have any pictures of my Braves souvenirs for some reason. I went to so many SGA dates that the statues and bobbleheads are overwhelming!

      I'm curious how many people open up their SLUs and other figures for display. Time has shown that most of them aren't really that valuable to begin with - it's just the really rare ones. I've taken all of my Japanese anime figures out of their boxes, partly to save space and partly because they're really hard to enjoy when they're covered in cardboard. (SLUs are different since they have a clear plastic bubble instead of just a cardboard box.)

    2. I opened up about 80% of my SLU's years ago when I created a SLU card binder. The only ones I kept sealed were the rarer issues and some of the older issues with really nice packaging.