Collector's Tips-n-Tricks

This is a page for your tips, ideas, product recommendations, etc.
We hope that YOU will write in with your own display ideas, tools and techniques, etc. so other collectors may learn from your experience.

Click here to submit YOUR tips-n-tricks via e-mail today. ---Thanks!

Adding "Stick" to Old Stickers

Using Spray Adhesives (such as "Super 77" above)

If you're like me, you have gazoodles of vintage GIjOE stickers that have lost their stickiness. If you want to trick out your vintage Joe uniforms with vintage rank stickers, 3M makes a number of spray adhesives. These are nothing more than rubber cement and are perfect for putting the stick back on stickers.

If you do it properly, using spray adhesive will not damage vintage uniforms. DO NOT spray stickers or uniforms directly! Instead, follow these simple directions:

1) Shake the can well and spray a little glue onto a piece of cardboard.

2) Dip a pinky into the moist glue and spread a thin layer onto the back of your old sticker.

3) The glue dries very rapidly (in a matter of seconds). Use the same pinky to tap the glued surface until it's tacky, but not wet (wet glue WILL stain fabric). Using your remaining unglued fingers, position the decal onto the uniform. You're done!

Click here for more info on spray adhesives

----D. Lee Brandt, Charleston, WV

Preventing Water Damage

If you are forced to store your action figure collection in an attic, garage or basement for any length of time, be sure to place the figures in a waterproof container first. I recommend those large Sterilite or Rubber-Maid style storage bins that are sold at all of the big discount stores (see photo above). Several of my best pieces were damaged in a garage flood a few years back which resulted in much lower resale value when I tried to auction them off on eBay. Do yourself a favor and keep your collection DRY! ----Edward Harkey

Sorting and Finding Figures

I group figures together in those big 1 and 2-gallon freezer baggies that you can get in any grocery store. That way, when I have to look for particular figure, I don't have to dig through a tub full of individual figures, knocking off gear, etc. I just grab a bag full of about 5-6 figures, turn it around in my hands and see if the one I want is in that bag. Simple as that. No muss, no fuss, no knocked off gear. Plus, it's an extra layer of protection between the figures and those dreaded enemies of toys, HEAT and WATER. ----Mark Otnes

How to prevent boxes and toys from spotting, or "foxing"

Here's a tip i have been using for many years now and find it incredibly valuable. Actually, the Library of Congress uses this for much of there precious vintage documents and periodicals. It's real simple. If you include some desiccant packs inside the tote in which your items are stored, it helps keep moisture and humidity controlled to a low level. I even put some inside each individual display case on the side or hidden behind the item. Just drop a few small "clay" type desiccant packs in there, and it will really keep that brownish spotting we sometimes see on boxed and packaged items from accumulating. That brown aged spotting is actually called "foxing." Clay desiccants in craftpaper packs (see above) are easy to find on the Internet and are pretty inexpensive too. They're really worth the investment. ----Bob Vander

If anyone needs more info, feel free to contact me at this email address:

Displaying Your Collection

There are many ways to display GIjOEs and action figures of course, but the BEST way is to put them in a display case. Cases protect against damage from pets, children, excessive dust, etc. The problem has been that most display cases are big, bulky, heavy, and expensive. Fortunately, IKEA has created an ideal display case for action figure Collectors. It's affordably priced at only $60 each, comes in a choice of wood finishes, has glass on all four sides for maximum viewability, opens from the front, has a pre-installed light in the top that shines down through all four levels and can display about 32 figures comfortably. Pretty cool!

Follow this link NOW to go directly to the last known IKEA webpage for this product. If that is unsuccessful, simply search the IKEA site ( for "DETOLF" display cabinets. Click here NOW to see a closeup picture of the cabinet and click here NOW to see these cabinets in use in Mark Wright's collection. ----Mark Otnes

Hip Replacements for GIjOE #1

"Rather than a 'how-to', my whole point for doing this was to show what could be done. I'd really like to see someone come out with a replacement part that we could use in place of the hip and ball joints." ----Daniel Edwards

Take a look at the article by Daniel HERE

Hip Replacements for GIjOE #2

Here's another, equally ingenious procedure for replacing the vintage GIjOE's barely poseable hip joints. This method requires no cutting and may be simpler for most collectors. Check it out! ----lui66

Take a look at the article by lui66 HERE

Astronaut Suit Repairs

Using Aluminum Duct-Repair Tape (metal tape)

After finishing a repair to a section of AC ducting under my house, I found this works for repairing GIjOE vintage silver space-suits and crash-crew uniforms. I used Nassau's tape, but 3M and others make rolls of this too (see above).

Don't confuse this stuff with the standard gray duct-tape (which does not work on ducting, by the way). In your hardware store, look in the ducting section for "aluminum duct-repair tape." It's bright silver and has a VERY strong adhesive backing. It stays on wet or dry, unlike regular duct-tape.

To repair rips or tears in a vintage astronaut suit, carefully trim a piece to the size and shape you'll need. Stick it down and "blend" it in with your fingers. Here's a set of gloves from an astronaut Joe I mended. See if you can spot the one that was repaired (hint: look at the sewing seam). Note that when I did this repair, I found that the tape cuts great, is very thin, and crinkles up to match the look of vintage GIjOE suits.

Did you spot the difference? I think these repairs work best on spots that are slightly out of the way. Good luck! ----Joe Essid

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