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Atarigirlwonder

To Tape or Not to Tape

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Hi all! I am so excited to finally rejoin the Atari family after my uncle rightfully reclaimed his system I used several years ago. I just purchased a heavy sixer off of eBay and was lucky enough to get one that came with the original chess piece box. However, the box has definitely seen better days. My question, should I take clear packing tape to the tearing ends to hold them together? I was thinking putting it in the inside rather than the outside. I'm not a collector and do not intend to sell the system anytime soon (maybe pass it down and let my kids or whoever do with it as they please at a much later time), but would like to preserve the integrity of the box. Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? 

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Ya it's beat enough that you are better off fixing it up the best you can. You are not going to loose any value on something that hurt. 

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10 hours ago, Shawn said:

Ya it's beat enough that you are better off fixing it up the best you can. You are not going to loose any value on something that hurt. 

That's what I figured. To me, it's cool to have and show to my friends and fam, and that's worth more than ever trying to make a quick buck off of it.

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I know a few that when they try to repair board game or toy boxes they often use water activated gum tape to tape the inside of the box for added strength.

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Actually surprised at the general responses, I would have thought repair attempts would be frowned upon, but kinda like Atarigirlwonder said initially-I DO collect, a lot, but it's "mine", any real-World value is gone anyway once it hits my domain, and I personally have no qualms about attempting "repair jobs" on anything and everything, if possible, cart labels, Boxes, etc.

I've seen much worse boxes than that tho, you definitely have something to work with!

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The biggest issue is that in the long-term, the adhesive will dry-out and leave a nasty stain/residue on the surface. 

 

I would suggest reinforcing the torn parts with some additional cardboard (on the inside of the box, of course), and perhaps consider using an adhesive other than tape -- such as a thin layer of glue.  

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2 hours ago, lwizardl said:

I know a few that when they try to repair board game or toy boxes they often use water activated gum tape to tape the inside of the box for added strength.

Ohhhh that's good to know! I'll look to see if I have any of that laying around. 

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1 hour ago, Rogerpoco said:

Actually surprised at the general responses, I would have thought repair attempts would be frowned upon, but kinda like Atarigirlwonder said initially-I DO collect, a lot, but it's "mine", any real-World value is gone anyway once it hits my domain, and I personally have no qualms about attempting "repair jobs" on anything and everything, if possible, cart labels, Boxes, etc.

I've seen much worse boxes than that tho, you definitely have something to work with!

It's nice to know there are boxes out there worse than mine XD The back and longer sides are actually really well-kept compared to the pics I shared. At first, I wasn't even that excited about the box because to me it seemed super destroyed. There were some REALLY nice ones on ebay and other sites I've looked at. However, once I really thought about it, the thing is almost like 45 years old lol. The fact that it even looks that good should be a feat in and of itself. 

 

I'm also surprised I haven't gotten any, don't fix! responses. My initial gut reaction was to repair now before more damage is done. Boxes aren't supposed to last forever, so anything I can do to help preserve it is probably best done now. I like jhd's suggestion to reinforce with cardboard and glue to prevent the eventual wear of tape. 

Edited by Atarigirlwonder
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36 minutes ago, jhd said:

The biggest issue is that in the long-term, the adhesive will dry-out and leave a nasty stain/residue on the surface. 

 

I would suggest reinforcing the torn parts with some additional cardboard (on the inside of the box, of course), and perhaps consider using an adhesive other than tape -- such as a thin layer of glue.  

@jhd Do you have a suggestion on what type of glue might be best?

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I have been out of the heritage sector for a few years, so I do not know the current products, but a quick Google search for "acid free glue" (which will not stain or discolour the underlying surface) turns-up several products at a range of prices. Bodart is professional-grade, but serious overkill for your needs. 

 

If there is a craft store near you (e.g. Michael's), the staff there should be able to recommend what choice is best for cardboard. 

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If you wanted to keep it without trying to repair. I believe you can get a box protector of that size to put it into? Then you just store it out of the way somewhere and it all remains original that way without further damage.

 

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2 hours ago, Atarigirlwonder said:

I'm also surprised I haven't gotten any, don't fix! responses. My initial gut reaction was to repair now before more damage is done. Boxes aren't supposed to last forever, so anything I can do to help preserve it is probably best done now. I like jhd's suggestion to reinforce with cardboard and glue to prevent the eventual wear of tape. 

I actually went to the trouble in the last couple of years to get boxes for consoles I never had when I bought them, including the 2600. They aren't the originals and in some cases not even the same model - but they serve a really important purpose: They store my machines and protect them when they aren't being used (which is probably the best place for them given even half the ones that are out just act as dust collectors!). In boxes consoles is mobile, secured, displayable, deliverable (if ever sold or given away) but most importantly, stackable. I just don't have the space for 40+ boxes to not be on top of each other, I can't do that with loose consoles and plain cardboard boxes is horrible brown colour. With this in mind, repairing (or preserving in crossbow's plastic case suggestion) is the only solution as it fits all the functional uses a box does.

 

I think every option has been discussed now. Most of us would repair from the inside - reinforcing is also a good idea - others have contributed alternatives to tape - but if it was too much work, and looking at the damage I don't think even taping with clear tape on the outside would be completely terrible situation (yes, it ruins the picture on the box and can never be removed without taking the ink off.. but it would remain functional). Crossbow's idea is also an alternative: the plus side is you don't have to change the box in anyway, the negative side being that the plastic cases tends to be quite pricey for what they are (especially a full size console box) - but preserves the condition of the box as you have it now.

 

The worst condition one I ever got was just the front panel of a 1292 machine - they did warn me and offered to throw it away but I said I'd keep it anyway! I used it as padding for the box when I sold it on.

 

Good luck with whatever strategy you decide.

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I would think that taping it from the inside would be tricky, particularly where that big missing chunk along the edge is.

Perhaps get a roll of clear sticky back plastic and go widthwise around the entire box from the outside, even in you do not have the inner box to support it while doing so (preferable) you can support it by hand from the inside as you go. Depending on the width of the roll you might have to do it in two halves, for the end flaps you then have two options depending on roll width...

1) include them in your widthwise external wrap around and cut off the excess

2) from the inside, you could just do the flap and about 6 inches into the box, but if the roll is narrow enough why not go all the way through the box doing both end flap in one continuous piece. 

The downside of doing this is trying to avoid air bubbles and you only get one shot at it as I suspect trying to remove and reposition could cause damage to the surface printing

 

Alternatively try to find a reproduction box, I am sure I cam across a few online last year but cannot remember where (e-bay?), just tried a quick search and found this  

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10 hours ago, Stephen Moss said:

 

 

Alternatively try to find a reproduction box, I am sure I cam across a few online last year but cannot remember where (e-bay?), just tried a quick search and found this  

 

Hell no! A beat up original is always better than a reproduction.

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33 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

Hell no! A beat up original is always better than a reproduction.

For display purposes not really. I'd rather have a perfect reproduction sitting in a glass case than a falling apart original box. But it's nice to have the original box though.

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2 hours ago, bluejay said:

For display purposes not really. I'd rather have a perfect reproduction sitting in a glass case than a falling apart original box. But it's nice to have the original box though.

 

With that logic, One day you can tell the love of your life they should be ok with a cubic zirconia instead of a diamond on their ring finger cause it's for display purposes only :P 

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7 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

With that logic, One day you can tell the love of your life they should be ok with a cubic zirconia instead of a diamond on their ring finger cause it's for display purposes only :P 

That's what my wife wears when we are on vacation and leaves her actual ring behind for security because again, display only.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Shawn said:

 

With that logic, One day you can tell the love of your life they should be ok with a cubic zirconia instead of a diamond on their ring finger cause it's for display purposes only :P 

That's a different matter. It's not like you're gonna gift that Atari box to someone you love.

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21 minutes ago, Shawn said:

With that logic, One day you can tell the love of your life they should be ok with a cubic zirconia instead of a diamond on their ring finger cause it's for display purposes only :P 

 

Or simply do not bother to tell her and hope for the best. In either case, no expert is going to be scrutinizing it very closely, and a casual observer will not notice the difference.  

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On 12/2/2020 at 5:08 PM, jhd said:

 

Or simply do not bother to tell her and hope for the best. In either case, no expert is going to be scrutinizing it very closely, and a casual observer will not notice the difference.  

 

That is a roll of the dice I just couldn't throw.

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On 12/2/2020 at 4:50 PM, -^CrossBow^- said:

That's what my wife wears when we are on vacation and leaves her actual ring behind for security because again, display only.

 

 

 

That is logical.

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Cut the original join with a sharp knife. Open up the box so it's flat.  Iron it to flatten it out from the inside.  Spray a starch spray to stiffen it.  Get something like thick brown wrapping paper and use wall paper paste to stick it on the inside of the box, then allow to dry, then trim the wrapping paper to match the shape of the flattened out box.  You can then use a straight edge to bend the box where the folds were to restore the shape.  Then glue along the original join with a contact adhesive.  You can then spray the outside with a clear lacquer.

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If it were my box, I would carefully undo the glue holding it together and open it up flat. i would clean the outside with a paper towel and lighter fluid. this will remove a lot of dirt and some mildew if there is any and in just a few moments it will evaporate completely. I would flip it over and repair all the tears as best i could using gum tape. don't use too much water on the gum tape so it won't soak through and be visible on the outside. Gum tape from the inside, but be sure the image on the outside of the box lines up as best you can. After that drys i would re assemble using hot glue gun glue to reattach the seam. when that is all done i would put it in a box protector (i got one for my chess piece box and my Promotional use only box from Retroprotection, and they are real nice).

Then i would put it up on a shelf for display.

you would be surprised how you can make pretty damaged boxes look quite displayable with a little work and patience . Good luck.

 

and i learned some of the techniques i use from a youtube channel called ToyPolloi. he focusses on retro toy repairs , but a box is a box. he does nice work and there are two or three videos that focus on just box restoration for display purposes. you are not likely to ever get a box in that condition to be a functional box, but no reason it can't look nice.

Edited by Professor Falken
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