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Tips for displaying portable systems and games?


Retro STrife
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I've recently moved into a larger place and finally able to dedicate an entire bedroom to being a gameroom. With over 50 different systems and an unknown number of games (likely 2000 to 3000), space is at a premium of course. But I also want things to look "professional" and displayed neatly. I'm a messy person, so if I don't do it now, it'll never happen. I have purchased media shelves for my console games and plan to do shelves on the wall for consoles. I have a vision in my head for most things in the room, but I'm struggling with the portables. About 10-15 of my systems are portables... everything from Microvision to 3DS, and things along the way like Game Boy, Lynx, Game Gear, Game.com, N-Gage, Tapwave, Gizmondo, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Wonderswan, DS and PSP. For boxed games, displaying should be easy enough (i.e., most of my N-Gage, Lynx, DS and PSP games are boxed). But I'm struggling with the loose games, because, unlike say loose NES games, you can't just neatly stack loose Game Gear games on a shelf. I imagine them toppling over and not being easy to comb through. For certain loose games, I am considering using these kitchen trays: https://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-No-Slip-Interlocking-Organizer-15-inch/dp/B004BAEMIG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=19ac6d41e8aaf9795d1f9f81d4868003. Or one like it. I think Lynx, Game Gear, Game Boy, etc., would fit in there. (I've seen some people use binders to store their portable games, but I think this diminishes the "visual" of the collection, so I'd prefer to avoid that.) Any thoughts on other space-conscious ways to display the games?


And then there are the systems. I'm worried about them falling off a shelf if I put them loose on a shelf. For example, an Atari 2600 is big and heavy enough that it would not slide off the shelf on its own... but an Atari Lynx, standing up for display purposes, might get knocked over easier and take a tumble to the ground. Or am I just being overly cautious? Anyone have thoughts on how best to set up portable systems? Pictures are greatly appreciated too, if anyone has some of how they do the portable systems and games. But either way, any and all tips are much appreciated!

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What about using some sort of dinner-plate holder or portrait photo holder? Sometimes you see them being used in ebay photos to help better present the item.

 

Or perhaps some sort of angled shelving or shelfs with small lips that won't let anything slide off?

 

Bad comes to worse, a real display case (with doors or flip-top glass) would work. And flea markets have all kinds of stuff for displaying smaller jewelry-sized items and knick-knack types of stuff. You just kindasorta have to go and look and see.

Edited by Keatah
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  • 2 weeks later...

bd2284d3b4629097be9eae6089c1168d.jpg

For the games depending on room size have you thought of something like a pegboard display? I recall seeing someone cutting pegboards to slide into a cabinet and then having items displayed on them. Kinda of like this but specialized.

Edited by Professor Gull
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Try this site for displaying some of your portable consoles.

 

http://www.rosecoloredgaming.com/display-stand-styles/

 

 

Wow, these are perfect. Thanks for the tip. They only cover the more mainstream portables, but I wonder if I can use some for other systems as well. For example, the 3DS XL stand might hold an Lynx or Game Gear too. The Neo Geo Pocket stand is probably similar in size to the Wonderswan and Tapwave Zodiac. And so on. I'll definitely have to try this.

 

If you (or anyone else) knows any similar sites for displaying games and systems, please let me know.

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No problem.

 

As far as displaying games, I'm a big fan of keeping all of my games in custom game cases. This is especially true for portable games which don't display well on a shelf on their own. Here's a quick picture of my portable games all in cases.

 

Obviously, the DS and 3DS, PSP and Vita games come in their own cases, so those aren't custom, but the GB, GBC, and GBA games are in a special game case made just for those games by a man named Shadowfox at http://www.customgamecases.com/ I also took those same GB cases and used them for Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Game Gear. The cases needed some modification to get the Game Gear games to fit.

 

Visit http://www.thecoverproject.net/index.php for more info on finding and printing the covers that go into these cases.

 

 

2dmzbrb82b3oivp6g.jpg

Edited by TDIRunner
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For the games depending on room size have you thought of something like a pegboard display? I recall seeing someone cutting pegboards to slide into a cabinet and then having items displayed on them. Kinda of like this but specialized.

 

 

I like the concept, but if I did it like that I have a feeling it might cheapen the look of the room. I liked Keatah's suggestion too, about dinner plate or portrait holders. But I looked into that and it's tough to find ones that are the right size (especially if you're looking online and have to predict if they'll fit right). That's why that site TDIRunner mentioned might just work perfect. For most handhelds anyway... I have a feeling I'll still have a few that don't quite fit into those, but we'll see.

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I like the concept, but if I did it like that I have a feeling it might cheapen the look of the room. I liked Keatah's suggestion too, about dinner plate or portrait holders. But I looked into that and it's tough to find ones that are the right size (especially if you're looking online and have to predict if they'll fit right). That's why that site TDIRunner mentioned might just work perfect. For most handhelds anyway... I have a feeling I'll still have a few that don't quite fit into those, but we'll see.

Nah you paint the pegboards put logos on them then back light the holes with led rope lighting. But yeah otherwise the site TDIRunner mentioned though looked pretty cool.

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No problem.

 

As far as displaying games, I'm a big fan of keeping all of my games in custom game cases. This is especially true for portable games which don't display well on a shelf on their own. Here's a quick picture of my portable games all in cases.

 

Obviously, the DS and 3DS, PSP and Vita games come in their own cases, so those aren't custom, but the GB, GBC, and GBA games are in a special game case made just for those games by a man named Shadowfox at http://www.customgamecases.com/ I also took those same GB cases and used them for Lynx, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Game Gear. The cases needed some modification to get the Game Gear games to fit.

 

Visit http://www.thecoverproject.net/index.php for more info on finding and printing the covers that go into these cases.

 

 

 

First of all, that's an amazing site, which I never knew about. I will definitely need to start using that for my console games. That shelf you have looks great with it too. For me, I would be a little hesitant to do that though (at least for now), for two reasons: (1) cost and (2) space. (Aren't those always the two reasons?) I'd have to get game boxes for every loose cartridge and then print off each cover art, which sounds pricey. And for space, I was looking forward to the fact that my handhelds would take up relatively little space in the gameroom (maybe 1/3 of a wall) and boxing all of them would kill that plan. I'm still leaning towards trays of some sort (like kitchen utensil trays) for storing the loose cartridge games, but haven't decided for sure.

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For example, the 3DS XL stand might hold an Lynx or Game Gear too.

 

I have both model Lynx and they are considerably larger than a 3DS, so I'm not sure if that would work, but if you find that it does, let me know. I don't room to display all of my portable systems right now, but I would like to some day.

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First of all, that's an amazing site, which I never knew about. I will definitely need to start using that for my console games. That shelf you have looks great with it too. For me, I would be a little hesitant to do that though (at least for now), for two reasons: (1) cost and (2) space. (Aren't those always the two reasons?) I'd have to get game boxes for every loose cartridge and then print off each cover art, which sounds pricey. And for space, I was looking forward to the fact that my handhelds would take up relatively little space in the gameroom (maybe 1/3 of a wall) and boxing all of them would kill that plan. I'm still leaning towards trays of some sort (like kitchen utensil trays) for storing the loose cartridge games, but haven't decided for sure.

 

Space and cost are always an issue, as well as time. Yes, the cases take up more room, but for someone like me who's collection size is limited (approx. 1,600 or so) I'm able to get it all to fit. It definitely cost me some money to print everything out, but that was spread out over a long period of time. I have game cases for every cart based game that I own and it took me a few years to get it all put together.

 

The nice thing is that there is no rush. ;)

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I wonder if something like this might work well for loose handheld cartridges too. Gotta think outside the box for this....

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/InterDesign-Organizer-Kitchen-Cabinet-Countertops/dp/B002BRU8R0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=e839eaf27c5ad23ecc893485732154ee

 

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I've ordered a few things that people suggested... including the custom stands mentioned by TDIRunner and a couple holders like Keatah mentioned. And also that soup can tray to try for games. I'll try to update this topic as I try things, so that perhaps others can benefit from it in the future as well. By all means, though, please feel free to keep any suggestions coming if anyone else has thoughts.

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  • 4 months later...

Ok everyone, thanks for all your help with this. I'm back with an update. Over the past few months, I've been working on my gameroom and just recently got around to doing my portables area of the room. I used a lot of the ideas you guys gave me, as well as a few that I had in mind or that popped in my head along the way. As I mentioned before, it's tough to find info online about displaying a collection of portables, so I figured I'd share what I did now that I have my section mostly complete. (I say "mostly complete" because I'm satisfied with where it's at, but open to switching things if I get new items or think of a better way to do it.) I'm not remotely handy, which means everything I used had to be bought (rather than hand-made). So, I've posted the photos of the shelf here. For those interested in an explanation of what I did, feel free to keep reading below.

 

post-47510-0-14384300-1485703057_thumb.jpg

 

post-47510-0-82433000-1485703094_thumb.jpg

 

post-47510-0-02530500-1485703099_thumb.jpg

 

 

First, to help the explanation, I'll give a quick tour. (Ignore the Odyssey at the top, as that is just sitting there temporarily until I finds its permanent home elsewhere in the room.) The top shelf is larger/older portable systems (Microvision, Lynx, and Game Gear). Originally, the Microvision games were stacked off to the left, and this top shelf looked bad. My girlfriend came up with the idea of stacking them along the back, and I think they make a nice retro wallpaper back there. The second shelf is all Nintendo portables (GB, GB Pocket, GB Color, GB Advance, Advance SP, Pokemon mini, DS, 3DS, an e-Reader, and Virtual Boy). (On this shelf, I don't really like the open space above the systems, so if anyone has ideas for that, let me know!) The third shelf is more miscellaneous portables (Tiger R-Zone, Game.com, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Tapwave Zone, Nokia N-Gage, Gizmondo, Wonder Swan Color, and Sony PSP). The fourth shelf is a selection of my loose portable games, mostly Game Gear, but also Game Boy, NGPC, R-Zone, etc. I put most of my other handheld games on another shelf in the gameroom, because they were mostly complete games and so display better on a media shelf (like DS, PSP, N-Gage, Wonderswan, etc.) The fifth shelf is portable toys, like a Tiger handheld, Tomytronic 3D, and some plug-and-play type games. The bottom shelf is home to my Vectrex (maybe not truly "portable", but due to it's weight I prefer it here where it won't topple over, rather than elsewhere in the room) and a few storage bags for systems. I'm open to throwing those bags in a closet if I acquire new items worth displaying there.

 

Ok, so I'll explain a bit about each item and some of my thinking, so that others might be able to use them too. So first off, I decided that I wanted to display my portables on a bookshelf. That allows the depth to display many systems, without having to construct my own shelving. I wanted a sturdy bookshelf with adjustable shelves and at least 6 shelves to maximize space. By far, the hardest part was finding one with 6 shelves that didn't cost a fortune. Trust me, I get almost everything on Amazon, but a 6-shelf bookcase was nowhere to be found there or anywhere else online. Nor Craigslist. I ended up driving an hour to IKEA, and got the Hemnes bookcase for $149. For less cost, IKEA also has the Billy bookcase for $80, which is a similar size and color, but I preferred the look of the Hemnes. Shipping to home from IKEA was like $150 itself, so forget that. But here's a link for the one I picked up:

 

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80245640/

 

 

For displaying systems, TDIRunner referred me to Rose Colored Gaming. Great place. They sell stands for many of the mainstream handheld systems, especially Nintendo systems. The stands are pretty cheap at about $7 each, although they add up quick if you get a bunch. I used their stands for any systems that they make them for. Here's their link:

 

http://www.rosecoloredgaming.com/

 

 

For systems not covered there (and for more cost-minded ppl), I highly recommend Gibson Holders. Check them out on Amazon. They make display holders for things like plates (as Keatah recommended) and small ones specifically for electronics. I was stuck deciding which size to get. But now, trust me, the small version works great for nearly everything... everything from my N-Gage to my Lynx fits on the small displays. Yes, even the Lynx. I also bought a couple mediums and a large, so I used the mediums for my Game Gears and a large for the Microvision. My only issue with these is that the stand is too visible for smaller systems like the N-Gage. But anyway, here's the link for a 12-pack of the small stands:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NEDHM6A/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=240d136ae4e3ad1ff1d5924d0c23353b

 

 

Next up, it's time to display the loose handheld cartridge games. First off, as you can see, the InterDesign soup can shelf works great! (See my prior post.) I got two of them. I used them for Game Gear games... it fits 3 rows of carts across and 3 down.. and the two shelves are holding over 50 games there, with room for much more. Here's a link again:

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002BRU8R0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=4fcfb029d29f7fdbf75ef9beaf7564cd

 

 

For the other loose handheld carts, I highly recommend US Acrylic holders on Amazon. InterDesign also makes some. The trays are 3" wide, which is perfect for most handheld carts. They come in various lengths (3", 6", 9", or 12") depending on how many games you want in them. In my photo, I have GB games in a 9" tray, NGPC games in 6" trays, and GB Advance in a 3" tray. I'd avoid 12" trays as I think your games get more unwieldy at that point.. just go with two 6" trays for that many games. InterDesign also does a 3"x3" tray, which is just slightly spacier and slightly nicer looking. I used those for my R-Zone carts, because it fit one extra cart. (Side tip: These trays also work great for certain loose console games--I use them to display my loose TurboGrafx cards on one of my media shelves.) Here's some links:

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D06SIP4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=5cac6abaa63a6afb9ab6086d43cc8e91

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D06SK6G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=7f66ec72c91c4e89a1182e5bc9452946

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BKODXMG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=cd4e8742786db9fa5f4bd1c2515720c4

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WSO18SE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=atariage&linkId=d16943a0705fbdbac9759a1545943696

 

 

 

That's everything. Thanks again everyone for the help. Any questions or any thoughts on improving this display are more than welcome. :thumbsup:

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