What’s rockin’ in the world of protective polyethylene

By Eric Bradley

Bags UnlimitedIt’s funny how collectors have an uncanny ability to remember minute details about their collection. One of the strangest details that still sticks in my mind was the day I first bought a pack of comic bags, which in my 12-year-old mind signified my transition to a more serious collector.

In one hand, I held a freshly-printed hardcover copy of Marvel Comics Re-Presents, a commemorative reprint of Marvel Comics #1. In the other hand was a pack of 100 comic bags. It was like being served a scoop of ice cream and a serving of broccoli on the same plate. However, buying the bags changed how I treated the comics in my collection. Just like broccoli, once I tried it I really liked it. I grew to love sliding each copy in a protective bag and quickly came to consider an un-bagged comic as somehow ‘not ready’ to join its numerical spot in the boxes.

I haven’t thought about that day in years until I spied the latest catalog from Bags Unlimited, a clearing house for collector’s supplies. The annual catalog gives collectors the same fuzzy feeling they once got when Sears Wish Book finally arrived for the holidays. Grabbing a cup of coffee, I settled down with it to see what’s rockin’ in the world of protective polyethylene.

This catalog has everything. It’s pretty impressive to see just how many things have been adapted under the auspices of conservation grade acid-free storage. Collect original comic art? Archival art frames for your wall. Have a thing for odd-sized movie poster inserts or lobby cards? Take your pick from boxes made of material approved by the Library of Congress for indefinite-term storage. From currency to stock certificates, vintage vinyl to even raw film, you can find materials to keep it safe and on display.

I’ve always seen preservation and storage materials as just one more way to enjoy your collection. It’s one thing to research and hunt then haggle and buy. Once the item is home, it’s up to you to enjoy it … and keep it in good shape for another collector.

 

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