EndButton The Game Collecting Blog

Tools of the Trade | Invaluable Items for Game Collectors

One thing I wish I’d had when I first started collecting, is a guide to all the various little tools that can help keep a collection in good condition… as well as a warning of which tools to be avoided! For instance, did you know that the industrial cleaner Goof Off will completely melt through most plastics? Wish I’d known that before I ruined a few carts trying to use that corrosive stuff as polish!

Anyhow, here’s a quick list of my favorite game collecting tools. I may add to this list in the future, so check back!

(Regular disclaimer: I get a small kickback if you use my links to buy a game, so if you don’t like me, feel free to just plug the game’s name into the Amazon search bar).

Goo Gone Citrus Solvent

If you were paying attention to my intro, you’d remember that Goof Off is the thing with the similar name that you should never buy on accident! Goo Gone however is straight magic. If you have any sticker residue gumming up your carts and cases, this stuff takes care of it after a few minutes of gentle rubbing. If even works on that super annoying metallic crap left behind by those VOID stickers some places like to use. I always keep a bottle of this stuff on hand.

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My one pro-tip, don’t use too much at one time. It’s a really thin liquid and can seep under a cart label and stain it if you aren’t careful. Just put a small amount on a paper tower or micro-fiber cloth and work in small circles. You’ll eventually get all that junk off.Goo Gone is also decent for polishing off a cart and making it nice and shiny, but there’s probably something better for that. I should look into polishing mixtures…

3.8mm and 4.5mm Security Screwdrivers

This is one pair of items I cannot recommend more if you’re going to be buying expensive carts on eBay. There are more than a few sellers who try to pass off reproduction carts as the real thing. With these you can get under the hood and make sure you didn’t pay for nothing more than a big mess of wires.These are also useful if you ever plan on replacing a save battery, or if something comes lose inside the cart and you can hear it rattling about. You can opt to just get the appropriate bits if you have a screwdriver you prefer, but I find it easier to have the tools easily visible rather than trying to search out the bit I need.Crap, just checked my toolbox and my pair are missing? Uh… guess I better grab some new ones!
Plastic Game Box Protectors

I sure wish they had these when I started collecting. My various SNES boxes would sure be a lot less crushed!Let’s be real, your complete copy of Chrono Trigger is cool, but cardboard deteriorates, especially when subject to various temperature / air moisture changes.Also, those flimsy boxes sure hate having anything stacked atop them. Yes, someday all things will return to dust, but might as well try and stall the inevitable with a stack of these! I bought a hundred pack for the bulk savings. Definitely pricey, but I don’t regret it!

Don’t forget to grab the NES-sized versions as well.

CD Case Baggies

Though more resilient than cardboard boxes, CD cases have their own problems. Those things love to get scratched to hell, especially when sitting next to each other on a shelf. I say put ’em in a bag, keep ’em from getting all gross.You should also get baggies for your double-cd games (PS1 and Dreamcast stuff), and your DVD case sized games (PS2, Xbox, Wii, etc). The latter are especially useful now, seeing as how companies are using those awful cases with the missing plastic sections (to save the environment or whatever). A bag helps prevent those inserts from getting randomly punctured.
Spare CD Jewel Cases

If you’ve been collecting as long as I have, you’re going to have some ugly cracked PlayStation jewel cases. Swap em out for these fresh ones and admire the beauty!
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Ok, I’ve gotta be honest and say this is the one product on this list I can’t personally vouch for. As such, use at your own risk!That being said, remember how kids used to actually write their names in marker on their game carts (shudder)? Numerous sources have told me this is the best solution. Like the Goof Off, this is some corrosive stuff, but what’s different is that the “eraser” design actually gives you some control. Go lightly and only on the affected area, and supposedly you’ll be able to get Mark F’s eight-grade scrawl off your copy of Secret of Mana.

Next time I find a cart with some marker on it, I’ll give this bad boy a try.

(I’m being told that this eraser will also remove any textured surface, so don’t use it on say an SNES cart unless you’re okay with losing that texture).

I guess that’s it for now! Like I said, if I think of any other awesome tools I will update this page pronto! And please, if you have any suggestions for other awesome tools, let me know in the comments. If they’re good, I’ll add them to this (hopefully) growing list!



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