Monday, May 6, 2013

Famicom Storage: the Next Generation

As I mentioned in a recent post, I moved about 6 months ago.  One of the sacrifices we had to make while packing up was my beloved Famicom shelf system.  Painstakingly constructed from 100 yen shop dishracks it was a bit too bulky to justify taking with us, so it went out with a truckload of other stuff to the myriad of Fukuoka second hand shops that take stuff off people`s hands when they move.  The North American tradition of the garage sale  does not exist in a country where most people don`t have garages.  Sadly a Super Famicom and a big pile of Famicom carts (pretty much all baseball and Mahjongs) went wtih it.

Until this week my Famicom carts at the new place were relegated to storage in a box and were completely undisplayed.  That continued until the other day when, in a scene reminiscent of my visit to the 100 yen shop in Fukuoka a couple years ago when I stumbled across those dish racks, I stumbled across a pile of these:

Postcard racks!

I picked up a whole bunch of them (the great thing about 100 yen shops: you can buy tons of stuff on a whim and it won`t break you).  I then put them on the wall and presto, a new Famicom cart storage system is born:

Compared to my old dish rack system these have one advantage and two drawbacks.  The advantage is that these do a much better job of displaying cover art of each game, which you couldn`t see very well with the dish rack system.  Since Famicom carts generally have awesome cover art that is a big plus.

The first drawback is that these can`t hold as many games as the dish racks.  One of these can hold 4 Famicom carts whereas one dish rack could hold 8. The other drawback is that these aren`t quite as stable as the dish racks.  In two years the dish racks never dropped a Famicom cart.  With these, the carts are a bit more precariously positioned so when the next earthquake comes along (they do happen pretty often here) these are all going to be on the floor.

Still, I really like the way this ties a corner of the room together. If you are in Japan and are interested, these racks aren`t available at the Daiso (the main 100 yen shop chain in Japan) but only at Seria.  Also, they have two kinds of these postcard holders, the metal ones I bought and some wood ones (you can see two of them in the photo on the left, just below the Famicom carts holding some baseball cards).  I recommend using the wood ones rather than the metal, they are a bit wider and will fit Famicom carts a bit better (I`m probably going to switch over to those next time I hit Seria).


  1. I think the postcard holders would be great for displaying boxed famicom games.3 to a rack, horizontally, that would fit right? Is double sided tape holding the racks up?

  2. Yes, they would be able to hold CIB games too. The only problem here is the earthquake situation, I know they would all fall off onto the floor and get damaged so I`ve decided not to put my boxed games on them.

    They are actually held on with two thumbtacs, there are holes in them for the tacs to go through.

  3. I wish pictures were larger to see the details. It is a great idea, I am in need of space/storage for my carts :D sadly, one of the most horrible things here in the south is...DUST. How do you protect them from dust?

    hugs - Ben

  4. Oh, I love it. I've been using cassette tape racks and while they do a good job of holding lots of carts, they ran into the same problem as your dishracks--no way to see the labels, with the added bonus of being very hard to extract then when the rack is full. This looks much better if you've got the room!

  5. I dunno, with the bare carts on such a perilous shelf, wouldn't it be better to have them in the boxes? I mean, if they have the plastic inserts and all, that'd make them safer and more stable, right? Or maybe I'm missing something... you'll have to explain that. Anyway, new article! It's good! Glad to see you've returned. What do you have planned next?

  6. Nerdweekly - you can see the pictures in larger size by just clicking on them. Dust I just deal with by allowing it to accumulate.

    Nightmare Bruce - thanks!

    Skyrunner - I just worry about the cardboard boxes on some of them getting damaged in a fall. With some of them, like my early Namcos, the boxes are the best part (mainly because replacement carts are a lot cheaper to buy)!

    1. You could get the plastic clear protective cases thats on ebay, they are a little pricey though. What kind of walls do you have in your house? I have trouble hammering iron nails in my wall!

  7. Very nice solution, Sean! I hate to think about these games all being in a heap on the floor at some point, though :|

    Other than that, I hope life is treating you and your wife and pup well at the moment and that we'll eventually see you around these parts on a more frequent basis!

  8. Man, it would be kinda impossible to have nice collections of games in japanese houses, considering how small they are right?

    Speaking of, did the japanese actually have videogame rentals back in the day?

  9. Steven - I don`t like the way games look in those plastic cases, I would prefer to display them au naturel!

    Bryan - thanks! The games will be easy to pick up off the floor at least. Things are good with us, I hope to be posting more (though I`ve been saying that for a few months now)!

    Kiki - Yes, the housing here is way too small. I`m not sure if they had game rentals here back in the Famicom day (they haven`t since I`ve been here, which is since the N64 generation). They do have rental CD and even retnal comic book places though, which is a bit different.

  10. Post card racks? There truly is a niche for everything.

  11. Those do seem to work pretty well! I suppose the earthquakes at least give you plenty of opportunities to play at reorganizing them or picking new carts to be on display. :) I bet those figures all come tumbling down too?

  12. BRIK - yup, there is indeed a niche for everything:)

    gsilverfish - yes, they don`t work too bad. And those action figures fall down all the time even without earthquakes!

  13. Hi Sean, I just discovered your blog while looking for some famicom cartridge business card cases and I read through the whole thing. Pretty awesome, I'll be a regular follower now :)

  14. Hi magic general, thanks for the nice comment! And good luck with the search for famicom cartridge business card cases (I saw one once shaped like a Famicom controller and have been looking for one for myself for a while)!