Finding a good way to store my Famicom carts has been a problem that has vexed me ever since I got my first carts. My general way of keeping them has been to simply stack them on shelves like this:
This looks good but is wholly impractical. For starters I have no way of determining which game is which. The lack of labels on the sides or top of the cart is probably the only area where I think that NES carts (which have them on the top) are superior to their Famicom counterparts.
A second problem is that even if I know which game I want, if its on the bottom of the stack I've got to move all the other ones to get to it. About 1 time in 5 I'll end up knocking a whole bunch of them off the shelf in the process, resulting in the issuance of a stream of profanity unfit for the dignity of these lovely carts.
Long have I dreamed of a better way to keep them. Imagine me, looking pensively out the window on a rainy day, scattered pile of recently knocked over Famicom carts littering the floor behind me. An 80s love ballad plays softly in the background. My gaze wanders upward to the sky as I wonder: Will there ever be a rainbow (of Famicom storage)?
Yesterday, my dreams were answered. As usual, inspiration came at a time and place you'd least expect it: while wandering the dishes section of a 100 yen shop. My eyes alighted upon a vision of excellence: Dish drying racks.
A bunch of these were haphazardly piled on a shelf under the cold glow of fluorescent light, just below the placemats. I realized at once that these things were exactly the right size to hold a Famicom cart.
I bought a basket-full of the things and headed home to make my Famicom cart storage dreams a reality.
They required a bit of alteration before putting them up. I bought a pack of skewers at the same 100 yen shop:
And glued them to the sides of the racks to prevent the carts from falling off once I put them on:
Then I just hung them on the wall and put my Famicom carts on them. Simple as that:
These things are perfect. At a stroke they instantly took care of all my Famicom cart storage problems. Take a look. The pegs are spaced apart the exact right amount. Just enough so that you can see the front label of the game, but not so much that it would constitute a waste of space:
And whenever I want a cart I can just pick it off its little shelf without disturbing the rest. Its the perfect solution.
I was so impressed that I went back and bought a few more to put my favorite Super Famicom carts on:
In addition to their convenience, I think they look good too. In the past I've seen racks made of plastic that could have fit my Famicom carts, but I don't think they would have done a good job of displaying the games in an attractive way. These wood racks are perfect. They are small and unimposing enough that you barely notice they are there. The carts themselves dominate the visuals, both at night with the lights down:
And in the light of day:
My living room is transformed:
Of course I've got way more carts than can fit on these shelves. But I keep the ones I like to play a lot on there. I can now calmly approach them on a quiet evening, glass of brandy in hand, and peruse the selection without the headaches. My dream come true.
So if you are in Japan and wondering how to store your Famicom carts, get your ass over to your nearest 100 yen shop ASAP!
I would be remiss if I didn't take the opportunity to end this post by noting the passing of opera legend Enrico Pallazzo yesterday.
I take solace in the comforting thought that somewhere up therein that crime scene in the sky he is backing over drug dealers with his car.
- Famicom Cart Storage Mark II: The Kitchen TV
- Wall of Famicom