Video Game Storage Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 I covered the more extravagant ways to store your video games, but I missed one giant way that seems to be quite popular, and that would be bookshelves. I personally don’t have room for a large set of wooden shelves, so I use the means which I covered in parts 1 and 2. I also feel as though I may have been a little too focused on storing video games themselves, when in reality that is only the way I store them. The truth is the tall plastic drawers are a great way to store your consoles, AV/RF adapters, power supplies, controllers and almost anything else.

Now we have reached part 3, the in a pinch or not so glamorous ways to store and display your video games. The only things I personally care about, when it comes to video game storage, is organization, safety, and how much I can pack into a concentrated space to make room for even more! Not all of today’s storage solutions are quick fixes, but I do feel they fit in this article more so than they would have the previous two, but first lets start with a little tip I’ve worked out that has helped me store NES games.

A few years ago, while moving video games around, I stacked some NES games on top of some Playstation cases. At first I didn’t really notice as I was focused in on getting everything organized, but it eventually struck me that a single NES cartridge is approximately the same size as 2 CD/Playstation cases. So when I’m out hunting I find a pair of CD cases and check if NES games will fit inside any given item I think would be good for storage, such as a cardboard postcard box.

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A solution I’ve found for storing loose SMS, Genesis and even Famicom carts are long, white cardboard hobby boxes.┬áThese boxes measure 11.5″ wide, 3″ tall and 4.25″ deep and are bigger than sports card boxes, so I have no clue what their original purpose is. I’ve found a few of them along the way and they fit almost everything I want, although 32x and EA Genesis games take a little bit of organizational skills.

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One of the most common ways to store your video games, at least the most common I’ve seen, are shoe boxes. Almost everyone has an old shoebox laying around and if you don’t currently, you may soon in the future. When I found my small SNES at a thrift store all the games came in a shoebox, and that is exactly where they have stayed. This box holds 20 games in order and an additional 4 games on the top, and it still closes properly.

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Now I arrive at the more niche items that were licensed by Nintendo, aren’t exactly something you’ll find every day, but are still only suited to do one thing and that is to store NES games. First up are two vintage units that I found at the outlet store, admittedly I thought the black one was home made, but some quick internet research proved me wrong. The gray plastic box holds 10 NES games (doesn’t hold them very well without sleeves) and has a place in the center for the manuals, although I prefer to keep game manuals in the sleeve with the cartridge. The black wooden box will hold 18 NES games (don’t even try without sleeves) but can also be mounted on a wall.

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And finally is the only one I’ve managed to find, but Nintendo officially licensed these in a few variations, the faux leather/alligator NES game carrying case. These things are super cheaply made, so I’m assuming not many of them survived as they’re merely textures plastic covering a cardboard structure. But unlike the previous 2 this one will hold up to 10 NES games with or without sleeves! This also leaves a little wiggle room for manuals as well.

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Well that wraps up part 3 of video game storage solutions, as well as all the ways I currently store my video games. Perhaps in the future I’ll find out more creative ways or more efficient ways and I’ll add a part 4. I hope this series has given some of you more ideas on how to store your video games, and don’t be afraid to comment below with your own video game storage solutions!

Posted September 27th, 2013

Video Game Storage Part 2

In part one I focused on larger plastic drawers to hold almost anything you’ll ever need, but today I’m going to focus on something geared a little more toward a single usage. That would be the copious amounts of plywood boxes with plastic pull out drawers! A lot of people love them, and when I can find them cheap enough I do too!

The first one I ever owned was found at a local Goodwill on half off day, with the name Nintendo sprawled right across the front I often wonder why it wasn’t gone before I even showed up that day. The unit is nothing more than a plywood box covered in a black plastic wood grained veneer, holding 2 plastic drawers. The top has enough room for the Zapper, 4 rectangle controllers (because they stack, unlike the dog bone) and possibly even an RF adapter/AV cables. The bottom drawer is slotted off to hold up to 28 NES games, although they don’t fit very well without a sleeve.

Although seemingly cheaply made (as you can see the corners are coming loose and the black plastic veneer between the drawers was never put on straight) the unit is holding together quite well and holds everything I ask it to, even holding my NES control deck on top. As you can see the wires tend to clutter up the top drawer, but I’ve managed to make things fit as I need them. If you look hard you can see there is another controller under the Famicom shaped turbo controller.

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The next unit I happened to find for $1 at a local flea market, originally I passed this over but it sat in my mind for a whole day so I knew I had to go back and pick it up. The name on the outside was Video Matic, which made no sense to me, but when I pulled out the drawer I saw plenty of storage for CDs, which meant Playstation games would fit just as well. More recently I managed to pick up a second one identical to the first, but this one had a nice little surprise sitting on one side of the drawer, which I had never seen before.

The second one was found at another local Goodwill, sitting on a shelf next to a stack of SNES sports games, I assume which came from inside this! When I pulled out the drawer one side looked the same as my Video Matic, but the other side had an insert that held SNES and N64 games. Even if it was only one side I have plenty of Playstation games, so I would figure something out.

These units are pretty much the same as the others, plywood construction covered in a lightly textured black plastic veneer. My only issue with these are that sometimes I have trouble getting the games from the very back slots, so I’ve had to put the least desirable games in the back. A great feature for the CD storage side is that I can flip through the cases and when I remove one I know exactly where it needs to go when I’m done with it.

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The next drawer I found at the outlet store, literally as I had track down the plywood box for it. This one is absolutely identical to the Video Matic units, but the front of this one says Game Stuff, which pretty much says all there needs to be said about what its for. Again this one holds a lot of Playstation cases, and if you organize it well you can even fit double case in there, but it doesn’t always close very well.

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The very last one of my video game drawers is the all too famous Nintendo 64 unit, which is oddly shorter than all the others as I had just assumed they used the exact same plywood box for these as they did the Video Matic and Game Stuff. I found this one at the outlet store as well, again the drawer was ripped from the box and put in a completely different bin, for some stupid reason. Unsurprisingly the whole drawer is the exact same design as the insert I got with my second Video Matic, meaning this whole drawer is more versatile than it claims on the outside.

I learned from that small insert that not only does it fit SNES and N64 games, but it will loosely hold Genesis, Master System, Famicom and even Jaguar cartridges. They do make a Genesis and SNES drawer, neither of which I’ve managed to find but I assume the inside of them looks identical to the N64 and the Video Matic insert. My only real issue with the Nintendo 64 drawer is the N64 carts themselves, namely their lack of labels on the top, making it hard to figure out what game you’re grabbing.

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With all the drawers I have I can chose from a lot of video games just by simply pulling out a drawer, which slide in and out without issue, no binding or creaking noises which I would have expected from plastic on wood. As you can see they’re versatile and there are many different kinds to choose from, some are hidden under cryptic names. But overall they do their job of keeping the video games organized and ready to be played when I want to play them.

In part 3 I will be discussing some less than elegant ways to store your video games, I’m sure many of you will be familiar with a few of these methods. Sometimes when you can’t find the right tools for the job, you make due with what is around, and video game organization is no exception! I will also be giving a tip that I found a while ago that may help you come up with some of your own video game storage methods.

Posted September 20th, 2013

Video Game Storage Part 1

Any video gaming enthusiast will know that once you start a collection you need somewhere to put it, and you better have somewhere that will expand with your collection. This is part 1 of my personal storage solutions where I will be discussing the pros and cons of those infamous plastic drawer sets that everyone was so crazy about a few years back, but now put them in their flea market booths for ungodly prices. I will be showing off both of my current storage drawers and how I store the contents inside, so lets get started!

The best part about these plastic storage units is the fact they can be expanded to your desires, as long as you can find a decent deal on another unit that fits. My smallest set is a mixture of blue and grey Iris TG-47 units; at only 31 inches tall it still holds quite a bit of stuff. The tallest has no brand markings at all, stands 64 inches tall and seems to be a very common set as I’ve found additional drawers and sections at the outlet store quite frequent.

When I first picked up the Iris TG-47 I did some research and found that it was made specifically for video game storage! The top is a flip lid with plenty of room to store a variety of different video game consoles, but since it only holds one I decided my Atari Jaguar needed it more than my other consoles. Below that is an open front sliding drawer that I use for boxed games, and finishing out the bottom are 3 drawers filled with miscellaneous boxed Genesis games, empty Genesis boxes and anything else that needed a home.

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The second set was a flea market find, it was missing quite a few drawers and the top kept coming off, but it was marked so cheap that I decided to take a chance on it. The two top drawers are only 3″ deep and are used to store video game manuals or smaller handheld games, while the bottom drawers are 7″ deep and hold a whole slew of video game related items. I’ve filled this one with anything from PS games, to my plug n play collection, video game related toys and even two drawers dedicated to my Famiclone consoles.

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The tallest unit is quite strong and rugged, but as you can see the Iris TG-47 has one section that was cracked when I picked it up from the outlet store. I would say the plastic used in the Iris has become more brittle over time, but this could be due to previous owner abuse. I enjoy the TG-47 a lot and decided to (poorly) glue the section back just to have it, as I rarely see sections for these come through.

If you happen to find a good deal on any plastic storage drawers I would say give it a try, but then again I have a slight OCD for organization! Make sure the unit you buy will be one that you can find more of, if you ever wanted to add additional sections, as well as making sure none of the drawers or supporting structure is damaged. Most importantly make sure the drawers are going to hold what you want to store, I used CD cases to measure the drawers to make sure they would hold what I wanted before I bought them.

Next time I will be taking a look at the officially licensed drawers that I showed in a Sam’s Scores a while back. Since then I’ve bought more so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on them as well as showing one set you may not have known would even be related, but it is!

Posted September 13th, 2013