If you play and/or collect any kind of collectible card game (CCG) chances are storage is an issue. After you start building up your collection into the thousands figuring out where to put them all will be one of your biggest concerns.
I’ve been playing Magic: The Gathering for around four years now and I’ve amassed a collection of 12,500+ cards. Throughout this time I’ve tried many different methods of storing them and while some worked, others didn’t. In this article I’ll go through what some of those were and how I found them.
NOTE: This article pertains specifically to collectable card games and playing cards. In games such as these it is often desirable to have multiples of each card, unlike regular collector cards where you’d only want one of each. Being that the cards are intended for physical play the ideas in this article take that into consideration. There cards aren’t to be left in a folder and flipped through but rather pulled out, examined, shuffled, put into decks, played with and then, eventually, returned.
Specialised Storage Boxes:
There is no shortage of specialised storage boxes for collectable card games. Many creators of CCGs release their own storage products such as the Magic: The Gathering Holiday Gift Box or Pokemon Collector’s Chest. While they do look nice and offer your cards good protection they can be expensive if all you’re after is a storage option, but they do come with cards, dividers and other goodies.
There are cheaper options, however. Boxes such as those from BCW can store a huge number of cards for relatively little cost. Being made of plane white cardboard they can look a little boring on the shelf, especially if you are storing them somewhere they can easily be seen. However, it doesn’t take much to pretty them up.
If you have a little extra cash, there are also heavy duty storage options available for those who want ultimate protection for their cards. What if you want to take your whole collection with you to the games shop so you don’t have to pull cards out each time? Well, you’re covered there as well.
Depending on exactly what you want from your card storage and how much you’re willing to spend will depend on which of these options work for you. Personally, I quite like the Holiday Gift Boxes. With each new set of Magic: The Gathering released I always pick up a bundle pack (previously called Fat Packs) which are also great for storing lots if cards (I’ll never understand why some people throw these away).
Still, even with these options I’ve found my collection overflowing so I’ve had to improvise a little…
There are heaps of everyday items one can use for storing CCGs. Cheap gift boxes you can pick up at $1 stores are perfect. Even if the box is bigger than the actual cards, all you need to is to create a simple divider out of a spare piece of sturdy cardboard, as seen in the image below. With a bit of ingenuity a simply box like this can be turned into a wonderful CCG storage box, with several dividers and sections.
Wine and port boxes are another great item which can be used in a similar fashion. Indeed, any item that the CCG cards fit into will work nicely for storage. All you really need is a sturdy box, sturdy cardboard and some good glue to create something that will house your cards comfortably and securely.
The best thing to do when it comes to CCG storage is figure out what space your boxes are going into, how accessible you want those cards when stored, if the storage boxes need to look pretty on the shelf and how many cards you have to put away. Once you have this information you can decide if you want to pick up specially made products or if you’d prefer to make your own.
Either way, once you have your storage solutions sorted it’ll be a lot easier to find the cards you’re after and keep them out of the way on those rare occasions your not playing or deck building.
I’d love to hear how others store their CCG cards, so sound off in the comments below!