The Evolution of a Toy Room – Part Four

As time continues to roll on, it feels a bit odd writing up these updates, considering how far along I am now, but how far back I feel like I should write so I don’t skip too much time.  Folks who have been following along, know that in Part Three I talked about the sudden appearance of 7 feet of copper piping on one wall, and how that threw my entire display idea into flux.  The builder accommodated nicely by walling around those pipes and the wall-mounted ventilation system, giving me some room to work with.

At this point, we’ve been living in the house for about two months, and the room is starting to come together.  Click the read the rest of the story link below for the full details.

The initial flood into the house created some chaos, especially in my office.  When we first moved in, I got a desk and review station set up right away, so I could continue to do site updates as necessary (priorities, man!).  But I really needed to plan out my display space throughout the room.  My first real challenge was my Stack On! cabinets.  Folks who have been reading the site for a while, or have been listening to the What’s on Joe Mind podcast have heard me talk about these cabinets before, which are fairly compact cabinets meant to hold screws, nails, or other small instruments.  A very long time ago…as in probably 20 years ago, I discovered they were also perfect for holding G.I. Joe figures.  Interestingly, even the 3 3/4″ G.I. Joe figures have drifted closer to 4″ now, but they still fit relatively well.  Sometimes accessory storage needs to be somewhat creative, though.

Anyway…  as of this point I have a few thousand G.I. Joe figures, which requires about 37 of these cabinets (each cabinet holding anywhere from 60 figures to closer to 120 figures) and those take up a ton of very valuable wall space.  Because of this, creativity was key.  I needed easy access to them for comparison pictures with my reviews…so what to do?

Well, one benefit of these cabinets is that they’re designed to be wall-mountable, so I purchased some heavy duty wall hangers, and went to work.

I used the wall and used the closet with the air filtration system to store the majority of the cabinets, and it worked well, though I find myself holding my breath a bit wondering where they are going to expand to when figures continue to be released going forward.

Along with the cabinets, I sucked it up and made my first wall shelf purchase as well, lining the wall above my desk with display shelves to start storing my toys.  It was considerably more expensive than I imagined, and as time has gone on, I’ve found myself sacrificing some toys to the eBay gods in order to continue expanding on them, but things are coming together.  A couple stops at Home Depot gave me a nice 9 foot section above the desk.

I figured that I should probably get some decorations going, too, if this was truly going to be my G.I. Joe room.  I didn’t want this to just be a room chock full of shelves and more shelves with no “life” to it, so I had purchased and acquired some posters.  I decided to get a couple of those up as well, just to add some flavor.  Among the posters were three G.I. Joe: Retaliation posters that I had grown to appreciate.

Things were moving along nicely.  But then came the day that I had feared the most.  The day we had to close our storage unit.

Truth be told, we could have kept the storage unit open as long as we wanted, but we really could not continue to absorb a $125 per month fee just to store my crap.  So, with a heavy heart, I rented the U Haul and went to retrieve my stuff.  I say “with a heavy heart” because I knew once I brought my stuff back in, I would grow completely overwhelmed and progress on the toy room would likely scream to a shuddering halt.

I was right.

I spent a large chunk of a Saturday unloading the 10′ U Haul, and once I stepped back to appreciate the amount of sheer crap I had accumulated over the past three decades of collecting, I was just about ready to throw in the towel.

With this monstrous pile of stuff facing me in the eyes every time I tried to work in this room, would I ever have the drive to dig through it?  When would I find the time?  Will this feature be delayed for two years until I can make heads or tails of this?

You’ll just have to keep reading to find out…  ; )

You can play catch up with this series at the following links:

16 thoughts on “The Evolution of a Toy Room – Part Four

  1. Man…I think I’d start looking for an alternate figure storage option…those drawers eat up a TON of space.

  2. Any recommendations for storing about 3,000 figures easily, and where they can be organized and easily retrieved? I’d love to hear ideas. I’ve tried a bunch of different alternate methods over the years, but this has been the best solution (for me) so far.

  3. It’s interesting how the amount of stuff can overwhelm, no matter what the “stuff,” it always seems to have a certain….weight (?) to it all. (I threw in the towel, but combined with other reasons, to an extent, already.)

    Best part is that, really, what’s the hurry? I can wait to see the results!

  4. Thank you for this. I showed these (post Uhaul) pics to my wife and bought myself some more time for my collection!

  5. If you arent heard from for a few days we can assume that your stuff collapsed and your buried under all your Joe. Can I have your diorama set if your dead?

  6. Love it love it love it. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Hey Justin, you mentioned sacrificing some toys to the ebay gods to help fund this project. Would you mind letting us know every now and then when you have something for sale? Some of us might be interested. (And if you have been letting us know, sorry, I just can’t remember seeing any links.)

  7. I’ve scanned all these photos into a 3D rendering program so I can study them, that way I can break in at night when it’s dark and steal everything easily.

    Man… that is an intense goddamn collection. Like Stalker, I was quick to show my wife; it puts my collection in perspective! I have no vintage figures, and I sell nearly half of what I buy to fund further purchases; I kept about 60 Sigma figures and I have maybe 150 or 200 RoC/PoC/Anniversary figures and maybe a half-dozen small modern vehicles. Doesn’t seem like so much all of the sudden!

    As for the question you asked of Brian in this thread, if it was me I’d go all-out and build or buy floor-to-ceiling shelves and display all that shit! It ain’t no fun to keep it in a box.

    That said, I am loving this feature, and I look forward to more updates.

  8. Hey, Monte… no worries, man, I am doing just that. But I still need a more easy-to-access way to get figures I want. If I stand them all up in poses on the shelves, trying to retrieve them for reviews or other purposes is going to be a hassle and a half.

    As for those floor-to-ceiling shelves, just for you, here’s a pic from the upcoming fifth part of this series. ;)

  9. I made one of them…the one with the three pillars in the middle. The other building was built by “Capolan” an awesome member of JoeCustoms who has helped with dio’s for my dio-stories for a long time now.

  10. Well, it is your site. And if it helps a brother out, I can’t see the big deal in you giving us a head’s up every once in a while. Obviously not a full page article every time. But jeez, if you have some cool stuff from your impressive collection you’re willing to part with, I can’t imagine it’d hurt to let us know.

  11. Yeah, been in this situation. It’s tough! Especially after watching hours and hours of a show like Clean House – “you can only fit so much stuff into this one space.” Of course, those people never saw my toy room…more like a toy library.

    But since I read over all these posts today, I see the thought process. Part of when I scaled back the Joe collection was asking the same questions. I don’t like the Snow Cat – my snow vehicles is the Battle Bear – so why did I have six variants across the shelves? The logic is scary, because you wind up with absolute keeps and definite sellers, with a tough middle group of “do I really want this?” In my own collection, Star Brigade made the cut, and Tiger Force didn’t. I kept my DEF, but I let Slaughters Marauders and most of 1989 go. Watts asked me why I was keeping Sideswipe out of the thousands of figures that hit the sale pile. I don’t envy your task, because I have been there.

    If you are getting rid of extra Sigma stuff, hit me up. Still looking for a couple of figures.

  12. Justin, this is awesome. I love the shelves. I had those same shelves all around my office/toy room before our house fire. Now that we’re in a much smaller house, I have one little 3ft Walmart book shelf for display. Everything else ended up in storage.

  13. I’m currently working on my new Joe room. It’s just for diplaying and where my customizing desk will be. Once you’re done, you’ll love it.

  14. I had posters on the walls of my collection room once, too. Those days are long gone now. They had to be sacrificed for more toy display space.

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