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Old 05-18-2012, 11:03 PM
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Default My Guide To Poly Bags and Protecting Your Collection

I am creating this guide because there has been a huge amount of interest in finding the correct size poly bags to protect your games and collector's Edition. So I though instead of writing out and explaining them via PM, I would just make a guide for future reference.

Please use this image for reference when reading this guide: Reference image

What are Poly bags and what do they do?
Polybags are also known as Plastic Sleeve, Protectors and Plastic wraps

Ploybags are essentially transparent plastic bags that go over your game, they are used to protect it from the following:
  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Rubbing marks
  • Scratches
  • Small amounts of liquid - temporarily
  • Small indentation to seal

An example of a Plolybag: Zelda 25th Symphony Programme


Types of polybags?
There are hundreds of variations to choose from, each has advantages and disadvantages but here are the mains properties to choose are:

Size
There are a wealth of shapes and sizes out there, there are thin ones and there are squares ones. Each one will fit certain objects, while others will be too short on one side. The general rule is to use a poly bag that is a oblong shape, the reason for this is that you can turn a item on it side and you will have a better chance of it being more usable for multiple objects to protect.

Sealable
You can get polybags that are resealable, this is when the sticking line is placed on the flap and you simply stick it to back of the polybags. No tape, glue, etc and cleaner look. This is quite important, alot has been said of aesthetics and it is definitely true is that resealable bags are a cleaner finish. I recommend that the vast majority of polybags be resealable and not plain polybags.

Clarity
You can purchase different polybags that use different formulations, this means that it will be more transparent and the object is not made dull from a matt finish. You get what you pay for and the cheapest of cheap poly bags are not as clear as the more expensive one. Also it is even more important for thicker ploybags which will diffuse light. A common problem of CGA poly bags.

Thickness
There is a international standard for the measurement of polybag thickness, this is how thick the plastic film is that is used in the production of the polybag. They are all measured in Microns and you should ensure the minimum is 25 microns, anything lower and you reduce the protection. Remember that thicker is not always better, they add weight but also become less clear with cheap materials. Also note that a minimum of 35 microns should be used for larger polybags. otherwses it will become easier to crease and more likely to break.

Seam Quality
The seams are the two sides of the polybags that have been bonded to make one bag, see reference image above. The seams can be bonded with glue and heat and again you get what you pay for. There is little to no chance to determine the polybags seam strength without testing it yourself or by recommendation from the forum. The seam quality becomes very important for larger polybags, one because they are much more expensive when you break one and two they are usually subjected to much more weight from bigger items such as an Artbooks.

Vents
Be on the look out for these, the vent holes are usually two small holes near the base of the polybags, they allow air to pass through preventing condensation. However most polybags do not completely cut off air especially near the flap. The holes allow dust to come through as well as ruining the clean look of the final finish. I recommend them without vent holes.

UV dyes
This is something that has come up recently, This is when a UV dye is added to the plastic formula to block UV light from passing through to the item inside. While they do block UV they also reduce clarity and make the contents slightly dull. Standard polybags block a certain amount of UV light anyway especially the thicker ones, they also bend the disperse the UV light thus reducing UV radiation. If your items are in a area that is exposed to a large amount of UV radiation then it would be worth while to look for the UV blocking polybags.

Chemical Reactions
This is something everyone should consider very carefully, This is when two plastic material transfer oils from the production process when they come into contact or simple because the formulation is made to do that. An example is for self lubricating components, it is not a major issue for items produced in the UK and Europe which meet certain trading standards, however items from China which are half the price may be an issue if they have not used approve formulations. The process is not quick but can over time cause oil build up and decay. This is why I always recommend plastics made for the food industry, which has passed UK standards for safety and have no impact on price.


My thoughts on CGA poly bags see here CGA
I am not a fan of CGA poly bags, it is true they are high quality in both material and seams strength, however they have three major drawbacks. The first is that they don't have a resealable strip which mean you will need to use ugly looking tape or glue. Secondly they are not super clear, they are a little cloudy for my liking. Lastly is the price, I don't understand why the price is so high when others are far cheaper and do just as good or better job.


Size guide and Recommendations
Below are sizes and recommend polybags, it is my intention to have a list a approved polybags for most Collector's edition and Books.


Small Squares - Purchased from Packaging Store
  1. G2 instruction manual - require some overlap on back, still very clean
  2. G2 DLC Card - require some overlap on back, still very clean
  3. Other small items - example


Extended Squares - Purchased from Hobby Craft
  1. Soundtracks single jewel case - perfect fit, - Example
  2. Nintendo DS game - A little tight be careful test with open case first, - Example
  3. Nintendo 3DS game - a little space on top and base, - Example


Slim-Line DVD ( 7mm thickness) - purchased from ebay
  1. Mini Artbook G1 + G2 - perfect fit - Example
  2. Small CD sized items with Slipcases - Exmaple
  3. Smaller items in Collector's Editions - Example
  4. Thin PSP games - loose on one side, requires a little overlap. - Example
  5. Thicker PSP CE - almost perfect fit, tiny bit loose on one side - Example
  6. Standard PAL PS1 case - perfect for unsealed games, too tight for sealed games so don;t use for them.
  7. NES PAL Cartridge with Black Sleeve = very good but about 8mm gap on side.


Normal DVD wraps Purchased From ebay
  1. G1 DVD games - perfect fit, - Example
  2. G2 sized games - perfect fit, little over hang on flap, - Example
  3. Games with Slip-case - perfect fit, - Example
  4. Steelbooks - perfect fit, - Example
  5. Standard PAL PS1 case = very good fit,5mm gap on side, recommended for sealed games
  6. Dreamcast standard case = perfect if side ways, both sealed and unsealed.
  7. NES PAL Cartridge with Black Sleeve = perfect if side ways, however a little tight. Obviously better fit without sleeve.


DVD D2 extended - purchased from Packaging store
  1. Smaller Collector's Edition perfect fit, - Example
  2. Jumbo Steelbooks- perfect fit, - Example
  3. Game + Single steelbok combo - perfect fit, - Example
  4. Bigger PSP Collector's edition - little loose, - Example
  5. SNES Cardboard case - Good fit but about 9mm gap on side.


DVD D2 extended high strength - Purchased from Hobby craft
I have found that the Hobby craft version is very high quality, the seems are stronger but the material is also thicker. Although not as thick and strong as the one I had made. Also both this and the D2 version above are slightly bigger than mine. This may lead to the item to be a little bit loose in bag for jumbo steelbooks.


Comic books size - Purchased from ebay
  1. Larger than D2 Collector's Edition - Examples , Example 2
  2. Comic Books - Perfect fit, - Examples


Large Sleeve - Purchased from eBay
  1. Thicker Collector's Edition - require small overlap, - Example
  2. A4 Sized Artbooks - perfect fit, - Example
  3. Smaller Stratergy Guides- perfect fit, - Example
  4. Longer Colelctor's Edition, - Example


X-Large - Purchased from ebay
  1. Large Collection Edition - Example
  2. Larger Stratergy Guides - requires overlap - Example
  3. Smaller console boxes - Example



This is just an initial list, I hope to add more items with more feedback from you guys.

If anyone want me to test any items for them or give specific info on polybags, let me know here.
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Last edited by gurpswoo1; 08-14-2015 at 10:52 PM. Reason: Updated with new links August 2015
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2012, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Fantastic guide Gee
appreciate the time and effort you have put in too this for us(its helped me out with poly bags for my guides)
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Very nice guide Gee

What do you suggest for the thick twin or triple disc ps1 games like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7/8/9, Tomb Raider 1 etc?....Would the DS or 3DS ones you suggested be adequate?
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games




Another great guide Gee, very informative
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:09 AM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Great info Gee, cheers mate
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

great guide, bags ordered
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Cool guide!

D'you think the X-Large would fit on the Halo 3: ODST CE?
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:53 AM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Thanks for your thread Gee !!

any idea about Dreamcast PAL, PS1 PAL, Megadrive (Genesis) , Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or Nintendo NES Sleeves ?

thanks
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Thanks for all the praise guys, much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazereths View Post
Very nice guide Gee

What do you suggest for the thick twin or triple disc ps1 games like Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7/8/9, Tomb Raider 1 etc?....Would the DS or 3DS ones you suggested be adequate?
I just checked PS1 games,

Single Standard case = Slimline 7mm perfect for unsealed games, too tight for sealed games so not recommended for sealed games.
Single Standard case = DVD wraps, very good fit 5mm gap on side, recommended for sealed games

Double Sized PS1 Case = Standard DVD wraps very good fit, a small 3-4 mm gap on side. very good for sealed and unsealed.
Double Sized PS1 Case = DVD D2 extended - Perfect fit if side ways, sealed games are slightly tight, but very little. Personal preference on this but I would use these over Standard DVD wraps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaotix View Post
Cool guide!

D'you think the X-Large would fit on the Halo 3: ODST CE?
I checked and yes they will but there will quite a bit of overlap on the side, also the little plastic hanger on top may cause issues. You need atleast a 17" high polybag which the X-large is, but a thinner one would make a overlap smaller. Not too much of an issue for me though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryaku View Post
Thanks for your thread Gee !!

any idea about Dreamcast PAL, PS1 PAL, Megadrive (Genesis) , Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, or Nintendo NES Sleeves ?

thanks
I don't have all those but can help with some.

I checked and got the following:

Dreamcast standard case = Slimline 7mm are perfect if side ways, both sealed and unsealed.

SNES Cardboard case = DVD D2 extended = Good fit but about 9mm gap at top.

NES Cartridge with Black Sleeve - Slimline 7mm are very good but about 8mm gap on side.
NES Cartridge with Black Sleeve - DVD wraps are perfect if side ways, however a little tight. Obviously better fit without sleeve.

As for the others, sorry I don't have them here. I do have a N64 box but not to hand.

If you give me sizes I can a preliminary check for you on the ones missing.



I have also updated the list above.
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Last edited by gurpswoo1; 05-19-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: My Guide to Ploy bags and protecting your games

Thanks for this guide Gee! I vote for a sticky...
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