How to Preserve Your 80s Collectibles

All of your 80s collectibles are priceless treasures that you want to hold onto, but how do you ensure that they stay safe so that you can show them off to the next generation? Some of those books, board games, toys, and various other items will deteriorate if they are not well cared for. Here are our top pieces of advice for how to preserve them.

Store Them in a Clean Area

This is probably the best bit of advice we can give you concerning the preservation of your collectibles. You want to put them somewhere that is clean, and you need to clean the area regularly. If you want to store your old cassette tapes in the garage, that’s fine, but they need to be kept dust free so that they will work great when you are ready to listen to them again.

You may want to opt for garage cleaning to get the place looking pristine. Get rid of the dust, dirt, pests, and spills before you store anything valuable or precious in the garage. You have to be careful about dust and dirt, as they can collect on the items you are preserving and make them wear down sooner.

Keeping dust off your collectibles is important, because that means you'll have to clean them less often. The more frequently you clean your vintage collectibles, the quicker they will deteriorate.

Keep the Temperature Regulated

If you store your 80s trading cards, books, and toys that are still in the box in a place where the temperature fluctuates, the packaging or surface may break down. Changes in temperature can damage cardboard and paper products very easily. That is why it's not always advisable to store your collectibles in the garage.

Diecast cars could hang out there, as can plastic toys, plastic licensed mugs, and other memorabilia, but you want to keep paper products out of the garage unless you can regulate the temperature there.

Even storing delicate collectibles inside your home isn't always a surefire way to keep the temperature around them at a safe level. If your home is poorly insulated or if you allow your home to get very hot or very cold, your collectibles could be damaged.

If your home goes through temperature fluctuations, you can either store your collectibles in a room where you can control the temperature or you can place them inside an airtight container where they won't be damaged by temperature fluctuations. In other words, throwing trading cards into a shoe box in the basement is not a great way to protect them. Storing them in a temperature controlled environment or inside an airtight plastic box is a good option.

Handle with Care

There are some collectibles you have to be really careful with when you're handling them. You may want to show them off or look through them for nostalgia’s sake, but when handling delicate older items, you may want to wear gloves.

What you have to be careful of is that the oils from your hands can get onto your prized collectibles and cause damage that makes them deteriorate over time. You may not notice the damage right away, but dirt and oils from your hands can cling to cardboard packaging and other materials and wear down the items.

If you're not sure if an item is safe to handle without gloves on, then wear gloves as a precaution. You can use any kind of disposable gloves, so long as they are clean and are tossed away after each use. This will greatly decrease the amount of harmful substances that come into contact with your collectibles.

Use Light Sparingly

You may notice that some of your 80s merchandise is not as vibrant and bright as it used to be. It may have started to fade, and the paint might not be as colorful as it was in the past. That's not something that has to happen to most of your items. This is usually the result of light damage.

If certain kinds of collectibles are exposed to bright sunlight for extensive periods of time or are placed under a bright artificial light frequently, then their color can start to fade. This typically happens with plastic toys, plastic bottles, and anything made from paper cardboard. So, toy packaging, trading cards, and comic books from the 80s are especially susceptible to this kind of damage.

Our advice is to store these in a cool dark place where they will not be exposed to much light. You don't have to be too concerned about bringing your collectibles out in the light to look at them every so often. You simply don't want to leave them exposed to bright light for more than a couple hours at a time. If you can be very sparing with how much light they are exposed to, then your collectibles can retain their vibrant colors for many years to come.

Set Up Display Cases

There are a lot of great 80s collectibles that would be best preserved inside some kind of glass, transparent display case. This is going to take a little investment from you, but it will be well worth it. Putting them into a display case removes a lot of the risk that comes from handling items and taking them in and out of their storage areas.

Set the item in a display case in such a way where you can see most of the item’s sides. That will mean you won't need to pick up the collectible to look at it from every angle. Keep the display case clean and temperature controlled and make sure that it is secured so that no pests can get inside.

Keep in mind the other bits of advice we've already given you and ensure that the items inside the display case are not exposed to direct sunlight or bright lights for extended periods of time. If you can do all of this, your 80s collectibles should last for generations to come.


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