My first geek display case of sorts.
In an older post, I highlighted how blogging encourages you to try new experiences. I’d now add that blogging also compels you to dig deeper into whichever niche you write about, and, if you’re not careful, suffer from insomnia because of itchy desires.
Nope, you didn’t read wrongly. I literally mean that.
What happened was this. In the beginning, I did what every other new blogger does and joined several social media groups for the purpose of networking a.k.a. self-promotion. (Ahem) Among all of these, my favourite were the retro video games and retro memories groups. The former of which I could linger for hours just geeking over the pictures and screenshots posted.
If you belong to such groups, you’d know many members take pride in showcasing i.e. showing off their setups. Yes. Intricate display cases with every video game console since the 80s. Entire shelves stocked full of retro games. Every wall of a play-room adorned with collectors’ figures, with the walls themselves covered with a screengrab from Mario or Zelda, or Donkey Kong.
Short of it was that it didn’t take very long for me to turn into an avocado. For months, actually, for over a year, I yearned to mimic such devotion in my own den. Problem though, I didn’t seem to have the space. The finish on my walls, left by the previous owner, also forbids any form of wallpapering.
Worse, I neither have enough retro games or still-functioning game consoles to display.
No thanks to these, I was forced to shelf all intentions. I comforted myself by thinking, ah, screw it, why give yourself more things to dust/clean every week?
Well, all that changed last week. And again it’s because of Hardy Boys; devious Franklin W. Dixon continues to exert an influence on me.
While hunting for the books at my mother’s place, I noticed how my mom had shrink-wrapped all my childhood toys. My Lego sets, Castle Grayskull, M.A.S.K., etc. Not only so, she obviously also cleaned everything before wrapping. While the toys weren’t exactly pristine, they weren’t exactly unpresentable too in their current state.
It was seeing my old Point Dread & Talon Fighter set that I suddenly realised, hey, you don’t have to just “do games.” Mix everything up! Cross display as you cross niches on the blog. Once again, one thing led to another, and the next evening all my (wrapped) toys were at my own place. That began one week of further cleaning and furniture buying for my first geek display case.
At IKEA Alexandra
I’m proud to say this. I go to IKEA for most of my furniture needs.
Ask any Singaporean and you’d probably receive mixed reviews about the Scandinavian Chain though, but to me, they still provide the best balance of affordability, design, and reasonable quality. In this “case,” it helps too that they have exactly what I was looking for, under a hundred bucks. The gist of it, I set aside work for one afternoon and headed down to the Alexandra Road branch. While I was there, my refreshed toys awaited in a row in my living room, for their soon-to-come renewed life.
By the way, I’ve read more than once that IKEA makes more money from food and beverage sale than from selling furniture. No idea whether this is true, but honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is indeed so. (You’d agree if you’ve seen the crowds at the Tampines Store)
The DETOLF display case wasn’t the only thing I bought. The way furniture hunting usually goes, I ended up buying a TV table, a chair, and a bagful of curiosities too. I’m going to skip ahead now and skim over all the bits about waiting for delivery, buying MORE toys, etc, etc. Let me close this section by saying, if you are thinking of getting Ikea’s DETOLF, you might want to consider paying for assembly. It needs two persons and it took my dad and me over an hour to assemble. Clumsy me nearly cracked one of the glass panels while at it.
My Semi-Finished Geek Display Case
I’m still undecided on whether I should put in the figurines. I still have all of them. Unfortunately though, all have gone soft in the legs i.e. the rubber thingy connecting the legs are lax due to age. I kind of prefer the minimalistic feel too.
Plus, believe it or not, I don’t have He-Man. I loved the other characters but I never liked He-Man.
The Japanese Compartment
The Japanese compartment is currently the weirdest, the most unfinished, and what I’m going to work on after this post. My concept is, erm, a consolidation of the pop culture symbols Japan is famous for.
To fill up the background, I bought a 3D puzzle of Himeji Castle. As I have never done any 3D puzzles before, I’m not sure how this is going to turn out. Fingers crossed I wouldn’t make a huge mess of it.
Apr 29 Update: Assembling Himeji Castle
Finally had time to sit down and finish the CubicFun puzzle.
The box highlighted 200 – 220 minutes necessary for completion. I took nearly all four hours! In summary, the main difficulty wasn’t assembling or identifying the pieces, it’s all well-marked and instructed. It was the end bit, the climax, so to speak, when you piece together the various segments. It being made of paper, after all, the final process was quite awkward.
If you’re trying out your own CubicFun puzzle soon, I have the following tips:
- All components are clearly marked and pre-cut. Removing them from the boards is a breeze.
- Nearly all components have little holes/grooves that needs to be poked through before used. I would recommend a small flat-tip screwdriver for the task.
- Obviously, you ought to have a small container or bag to store all the unwanted bits after preparing the holes.
- Furthermore about the grooves, try not to miss any! I missed a couple and now the unwanted bits are permanently trapped inside my castle.
- Many pieces look similar or symmetrical. THEY AREN’T. The differences are usually like in the positioning of the legs, the locations of the grooves. Etc.
- Many pieces come with folding lines. “Season” i.e. fold these before assembling.
- The greatest difficulty is coaxing the legs into the holes/grooves during assembly. I say “coax” because everything is ultimately made of paper. If you apply brute force, well, you can predict the outcome.
- Overall, the puzzle is well conceptualised and manufactured. It’s also incredibly addictive once you get into the mood. Preparing the holes felt a little like therapeutic bubble-wrap popping.
Not quite what I was hoping for. Now it feels a little crowded. I also had to retire Arahabaki.
Saga and Death Mask on the castle is also … weird, I know. But strangely, that’s the part I like. Oh well, such things are constant work-in-progress.
As For the Rest …
Where the geek display case currently is was previously an aged bookshelf where I stored all my older video games. All of these are now in the lowest compartment of the TV table I bought while shopping for the cabinet.
Update Jan 2019
I finally got down to watching Black Mirror. You know what, my display case is in Robert Daly’s office! Of all the people!