Greetings and salutations, my collector comrades! Dear reader, I’m very sure a vast majority of you all have owned some sort action figure, statue figures, collectibles of sorts over the years, and take pride is displaying them for any to view. Although, here is the caveat of owning any collection: how does one clean it and maintain it? Well, my fellow comrades, let’s figure that out, shall we.  

Display Options

I’m very sure this really isn’t all that difficult of a subject to cover, as many of have often done this once you’ve gotten your hands on a new figure or whatever- you take it out of it’s boxy prison, pose it around, take some pictures of it, and admire its beauty. Now, once all of that is done, you either put it back in its box or leave it out for display. Both are fine, actually. But lets say you wanna show it  off, how do you do it? 

1) Shelving

Most common type of shelving is the bookshelf as they come in a multitude of shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Also, there are shelves that can be directly installed onto walls to maximize the space in your room. Another plus to using bookshelves is the multiple layers they provide give you plenty room for your figures. All in all, shelves a great for new  collectors and for those on a budget.

Unfortunately, there’s also drawbacks to this mothed, notably is that your figures are more exposed to the environment and will accumulate dust more easly.

2) Walls and Peg Boards

Our next mothed those require a little more effort and DIY knowledge on the collector’s part. peg boards or hook boards can often be seen in comic book store or in toy isles in major stores. This display method is best used for action figures as their packaging has a hook for you anchor it on. This way, collectors have the option to display the figures back-in-box and this gives the figure an added layer of protection against the elements.

On the negative though, this is not the best for Japanese-brand figures like Figma or SHF as they lack the hooks for you to hang them on the wall without modifying the box, and that will hurt the resale value.    

If you guys are interested on trying this out for yourself, you can head on over here and how these guys do it

3) Glass Cabinets

Often regarded as the go to for figure collectors everywhere. Glass cabinets like the Ikea Detolf gives you a more clean and professional look to your cellection. Additionally, by installing some LED lights will certainly make collection pop. This method is more of a step up from the bookshelf as not only allow to display multiple figures at the same time, but provides protection from dust and dirt.

However, there are a few negatives that do come to mind, and this is coming from personal experience. While glass cabinets like the Detolf are great, they sure are expensive, especially when you need more than a couple. Second, they take up a huge chunk of space in your room, so plan accordingly. Lastly, they are a pain to transport if you ever decide to move houses. 

What Can Harm Your Figures

Now that we’ve gotten our display option sorted out, our next order of business is maintenance. When you display your beloved collection, there are some harmful factors to be wary of: dust, heat, humidity, sunlight and dirt.

1) Dust

Dust is very common to the point that we don’t even notice it a majority of the time, but rather more of annoyance, really. However, if left untreated, that dust can accumulate over time- creating layers upon layers on figures that’ll be difficult to remove and will require more than dusting.

2) Heat

Figures mode with plastic, like PVC for example, will become warped or begin to sag to extreme heat- while this more of an extreme. But continued exposure to prolonged heat can cause the surface the figure to get all sticky  and slimy. To avoid this, just make sure you keep them away from direct sunlight.

3) Humidity

For collectors living in more tropical climates, humidity will certainly become an issue. I’m no science expert, but your figures do “sweat” the combined aid of humidity and heat thus resulting mold to grow. Figures made with PVC plastic are more prone to this problem and if left untreated that mold will eventually turned into a permeant stain.

4) Sunlight

Keep your figurines displayed out of natural lighting. Sunlight can cause your figurines’ colors to fade or become spotty. Avoid placing your figurines under windows where natural light pours through.

5) Dirt

The natural oil of your skin, and any dirt or dust on your fingertips, can cause your collection to get grimy and gross. Avoid touching or handling your figurines on a daily basis, or else they may develop a “gently used” appearance.

How to Clean Them

After going to all that trouble with storage and care, were on the leg of this post: cleaning!  Here are some of my helpful tips and tricks to keep your top figures in peak shape and your collection neat and tidy.

1) Regular Dusting

As we’ve discussed earlier, Over time, your figures can collect dust on its surfaces that became really hard to remove. To avoid situations like this, you can purchase a brush with fine tips or a Swiffer Duster to get into those tight corners. Use it to lightly brush away dust while using a microfiber cloth to clean a figure’s base stand. A cotton swab is also useful if you want to reach those tight corners. 

Just watch the vid below by Youtuber, Batman Statue Collector, for more in-depth tutorial. 

2) Use Air in a Can

Additionally, you can also use compressed air to blow away dust in a figure’s finer corners. It’s perfect to use if your figure has crazy, pointed hair or a detailed intricate body. That might save you more time than individually using a brush for everything in your collection. 

3) Give them a Bath

While this is certainly for more extreme of circumstances, but does happen- your figures do need a bath. Start by filling a basin with lukewarm water, soak the figure and lightly scrub with a soft bristle  brush, once done gently dry the figure with a towel or rag, lastly let  them dry naturally before display.

If you plan to wash with soap, please be weary as it might bleach your, so take caution.

Well, alright everybody, this was very lengthy, and we hope you got some benefit out of this. So until next time, stay safe out there.  

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