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Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:55 pm
by larrydw
Hello All,
One comment on being intimidated - never feel that way as I have learned a lot from people who had as few as 25 CJ items or that just started collecting a few weeks ago and found a prize that I have not seen in 10 years. Aside from the competition at an auction, almost all are willing to help and tell all they know - unless there is a convention coming up and they are asked to help a study group!
I personally found the riker mounts expensive, heavy, and, with glass, breakable, but everyone has their own way of displaying and collecting. I tended for the earlier prizes. Those that saw my collecting would rate its storage and presentation somewhere between a cigar box and Smithsonian, but I also found myself never completely satisfied in how it was displayed. Then my wife, Mary, would come along and rearrange her items.
Collecting and displaying is a never ending pleasure.

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:56 pm
by spudgy
Thanks, Larry. You are so right about the never ending fun of reorganizing. I can envision having a main collection in sequence by date issued but also having separate specialty sub-sets off to the side, such as translucent only pieces or just red or just trains, etc. I also have a small collection of bubble gum machine toys that I've always just kept in a glass jar. Now I think I'll have enough space to spread them out in one Riker mount of their own but 23 of the 24 mounts I ordered are earmarked for CJ use only. Now I can start thinking about building a custom case to hold all those Riker mounts. There's a site on the Internet that sells just that, but it's very expensive so I can't do that.

Isn't it great, having something fun to look forward to? :cloud9:

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:46 pm
by Luke
We put our prizes in a thingamajig, I don't know what to call it, but it's part picture frame, part Riker Mount. We hang out prizes on the wall so we can see them every day.

As for organization, generally if it's a series we try to keep, and display them together. There are exceptions, like I keep all religious icons together, even though they aren't part of a series (shown below).


Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:45 pm
by spudgy
Thanks, Luke. Those are nice prizes. I have all but one, the second one from the left.

Yeah, I've been thinking about the prizes that are in a series. I think that if I organize by date, that will pretty much keep any specific series grouped together, assuming that the series was produced in the same year. Even so, I think certain prizes deserve their own separate display. Keeping some on display is a great idea.

I suppose certain prizes, like tops or magnifying glasses might be better displayed together even though they were produced at different times. Decisions, decisions.

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:19 pm
by spudgy
Thanks, Sister Diane. I finally got access to the "Odds and Ends" forum you told me about. Wow! I just love seeing a lot of the same shapes displayed together like the KerChoos and Mummies! They have me drooling :drool: ! I can't wait until my collection is large enough to put together my own displays like those two. Getting there will be Fun Fun Fun.

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 12:41 pm
by dianep2
Your welcome! Glad you enjoyed seeing others' collections. They are pretty, aren't they? :D

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:12 am
by Jeffrey Maxwell
Spudgy. Perhaps I am an odd collector. Many Cracker Jack collectors have a large variety of types of prizes and other collectibles, whereas I collect mainly one thing from Cracker Jack, plastic flats, which are lightweight. While I can understand the comments about Riker mounts not being suitable for some collectors, they were the best investment I ever made.

In 2003, I had over 2,000 Alphabet Animals alone, and I collected all the colors of all the other plastic flats too. Keeping them in coffee cans or cigar boxes just wouldn't do, because I needed to be able to see at a glance what I had in what colors for buying, trading, and selling -- especially when I was buying NOSCO flats every week through the mail from photographs. So the Riker mounts were perfect. I could take the stacks of well-organized Riker trays off the shelf and spread the displays across the bed and see a whole series at once -- in a matter of seconds. I once designed a "track system" for a display wall where a whole collection of Riker mounts could be traded out for another set in minutes, but I never had a big enough wall in my tiny house that wasn't covered with furniture or shelving -- so the bed had to do.

In years of using Riker mounts I have only broken a couple of glass tops, and that was due to inproper packing on my part. I always used durable polymer merchanding crates with attached folding tops that worked well to transport them to shows. (One thing I learned over the years, the blue or gray colored crates will last a little longer than the red ones -- the red color polymer becomes brittle and breaks quicker with exposure to ultra-violet light.) Be sure and save the cardboard boxes the Riker mounts come in from the distributor, they will come in handy for transporting or storage as well. Also when I took my Riker mounts to sell out of at toy shows, I pulled out the pins and put giant rubber bands around them to hold them together -- much quicker to get into, and less likely to loose. I had a specific group of Riker mounts that I used regularly for selling or trading, but my Riker mounts with my personal collection did not leave the house so they would maintain their like-new appearance.

Happy Collecting,
Jeffrey in the Jungle

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:47 am
by spudgy
Thanks, Jeffrey.

Now that I have started using them, I'm beginning to see why you like Riker mounts. I love them and the company I bought from has been especially helpful. I have already filled 19 of the 24 I bought and still have several prizes to go so I'm thinking of adding a few more for future growth while they're still on sale. The completed mounts look terrific. Like you said, it's so much easier to see what I have.

I'm putting everything in order by date issued, which is no small task. There are a few prizes I haven't been able to find in Larry's book (like the bunny in my other recent query) so I don't know where to put them. I also spaced the prizes far enough apart to be able to insert new additions. I limited the stand-up flats to five rows per case. In a couple of instances, I tried to keep all of a series in it's own mount. I'm sure that after adding a lot of new pieces, it will be necessary to re-do them. I noticed that items stay in place better if all the pieces are about the same thickness. They work especially well for unassembled put-togethers. They also work for the more three-dimensional items but I'm a little concerned that items like the cave man and pterosaur (bird-like pterodactl?) might get distorted over time from the added pressure.

I'm glad you mentioned the cardboard shipping boxes. I was trying to decide whether to keep them. They are good and sturdy and perfect for transporting so I am definitely keeping them.

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:37 pm
by Luke
I don't have Riker Mounts, instead I use these picture frames from Hobby Lobby. The come in various sizes, have hinges on one side and a closing latch on the other side, with a cotton or poly padding. Below are a few pictures of the various frames, sorry about the blurriness. I like them because they hang nicely on the wall, so I can see my Cracker Jack prizes every time I walk by them.

Image Image Image

Re: Best pratices for cleaning, storing and displaying prize

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:02 am
by spudgy
Thanks, Luke. We have a Hobby Lobby here in Birmingham so I plan to check them out. Thanks!

Also, I found something that will bring back the shine to dull pieces but I wouldn't advise anyone to use it yet because I don't know if it can harm plastic over time. It is "Nevr-dull which is the cotton wadding used to clean silver. I tried it on a few broken pieces first and found that if I pressed too hard, it broke the pieces that were already cracked so it's best to use very light pressure. It takes a couple of minutes for each side depending on how bad the dulling is and it won't take out scratches, just light dulling. You also have to buff it with a clean soft cloth after polishing while turning the cloth frequently. If you're patient and repeat the process if needed, you can get a really nice shine. Some pieces take more time than others. If I find that it harms plastic, I'll let you know.

Well, I wrote to Nevr-dull and asked if it would damage plastic. If they write back, I'll post their reply. I understand it is petroleum-based and contains Kaolin (a type of clay).

In the meantime, I searched the Internet and could find nothing bad about Nevr-dull. Another product which I have not yet tried, that supposedly will clean foggy plastic is Novus which folks use to remove light fogging from plastic headlight lenses, motorcycle windshields, displays, watch crystals and more. It is not to be used on coated surfaces like eye glasses because it damages the coating. It's a 3-part system (course, medium, and mild) but they say all three steps aren't necessary for light hazing. Maybe just one or two. This supposedly works very well on Lexan and acrylic plastic. I don't know about Styrene.

UPDATE: Nevr-dull sent the following email:
We do not use Nevr-Dull on plastic. Nevr-Dull uses are only for all METALS that do not have a lacquered or painted finish. If you choose to try it on anything else, I would certainly try it on an inconspicuous spot first.
The George Basch Co., Inc

That sounds like the typical disclaimer. I've polished several very dull hard plastic pieces with Nevr-dull with good results. I only use it on badly dulled pieces and never on soft plastic. Also, after polishing, I try to remove any chemical residue by washing pieces in soapy water. I haven't tried WD-40 on anything yet.