Heroclix Figure Storage

Avengers vs The Collector

Where to put all my crap.

Superheroes, Jedis, anti-terrorist soldiers with overly specific code names…doesn’t matter what you’re into, if you — like me — lack impulse control, cool displays quickly morph into an episode of Hoarders.

That’s how it got with my HeroClix collection, and here’s how I slew that combat-dialed dragon:

Heroclix Storage Container

Big honkin’ storage containers.

A trip to Target delivered what I was looking for: Tubs. To fit all my figures, I needed four tubs, two for for Marvel guys, two for the DC dudes. To avoid opening and closing each container to find what figures were in what box, I bought two purple tubs…

Heroclix Storage Box

… and two blues ones. Marvel was blue, DC was purple. Why was Marvel blue? I have no idea, don’t read into it.

To further help identify what was in each box, I busted out a Sharpie…

Heroclix Storage

…and tagged one of each color tub with a ‘V.

‘ V…for “VICTORY!”

Actually, no, I just love that old ’80s V TV show. The ‘V’ on the tub indicated which tub had the villains, and which had the heroes.

So let’s go inside one of these…

Heroclix Filing System

Before buying the big tubs, I measured the small boxes used to hold my individual ‘Clix figures (more on those smaller boxes in a minute). The larger tubs can hold four stacks of the smaller boxes side-by-side, with extra room on the side for a couple boxes stacked vertically.

In addition to the smaller figures, if you have one of those unwieldy big figs, like, say, this guy…

Heroclix Galactus Storage

…whoop, looks like Galactus just got his hair did.

Storing a big fig in its own container felt unwieldy, so by bubble-wrapping any delicate parts (like Galactus’ Mardi Gras helmet), he can slip into the tub without fear of breakage.

Now, as far as the smaller containers…

Heroclix Plastic Box

These were found in a local craft store, and were labeled “sewing storage” (needles and thread and stuff). I immediately bought out their inventory. Like sixty of ’em. I get lots of weird questions when waiting on line at craft stores.

“You must really like sewing.”

“Nope, just need a place to keep my little plastic Taskmaster.”

[awkward silence]

Anyway, to quickly locate a figure, each box is labeled with its contents. Some boxes are alphabetical, but here’s where sh*t gets fancy…

Heroclix Figure Box

When a character is part of a team, that team gets its own box. Wanna play the Masters of Evil…? No need to hunt around three dozen boxes for each member (I’m looking at you, Norbert Ebersol): just grab the MoE box.

And check it: if a character is a member of different teams, that info is cross referenced. I don’t wanna brag, but this is some Dewey Decimal-level sh*t. [pops collar]

So what happens when the second-best rogues gallery* doesn’t fit in its own box…?

Heroclix Tupperware

Just break ’em up into sub-categories. Easy peasey lemon squeezy.

(*And sorry about that “second-best” crack, Spidey. You’re the best fictional character ever created, but Batman’s got you beat when it comes to baddies. But hey, you’ve got an arch enemy made of bees. No one can ever take that away from you.)

One more quick thing about the labels…

Heroclix Label Assortment

While I prefer to keep a ‘Clix game relegated to a single comic universe, my gaming group is comprised of anarchists. Flash Rogues mixed with evil mutants, Hellboy teaming with the Avengers…it’s like CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and SECRET WARS had a baby. Plus Conan.

Anyway, as a quick way to differentiate all the universes, and the good guys from the bad, each category gets its own color. Pink for non-Marvel/DC, yellow for Marvel heroes, green for Marvel villains, orange for…why the f*ck am I typing all this? The picture up there spells it out.

Let’s pop open one of those small containers, and see what’s lurking inside…

Heroclix Labels

That’s what I love about these boxes: the small compartments — everyone gets their own cubbyhole!

Heroclix Compartments

Different brands of containers have different setups: my favorites are those that feature customizable dividers. Got a tall figure like Giant Man, or those with larger bases like Mr. Whitman…? Pull out a divider, and sha-BOOM!, now they fit.

But what about those figures that are big through the hips, roomy…?

Heroclix Bin

Sometimes a slot needs to be wider instead of longer, so out come the wire cutters. Some snipping, and now I gots me a double-wide.

But hey, this is comics: what about giant robot dragon guys with huge wingspans…?

How to store Heroclix

SNIKT! Slice and dice until they fit.

And there you go: a blog post on how to replace your unsightly pile of ‘clix figures with an unsightly stack of storage containers.

Heroclix Map Storage

The above pic  baffles me.

How do you even start fixing a FUBAR like that? If I were the Captain on that ship, I’d promote the first mate on the spot,  jump in a life boat and paddle to Cuba. F*ck it, I’m a fry cook now.

Anyway, no custom figures or whatever in this blog entry. Like the photo above, this post is all about storing big, unwieldy things like 3-D HerClix maps. Specifically…

That’s one of the custom Heroclix maps I’ve whipped up (more on it here). When not getting splashed with beer by the goons I game with, it gets packed away so freeloading house pets can’t go all Godzilla on it.

Target, Walmart, Home Depot, big plastic storage bins like this are easy to find.

FUN FACT: If you buy duct tape, nylon rope and some free weights when you pick up one of these, the store manager will send the security video of you making your purchase to the local authorities.

I needed something large enough so the fragile parts of the map (like buildings), weren’t pressed up against the side of the plastic bin. That way the walls of the bin had some give without kiboshing the loot inside.

EGGS ON TOP! The top layer of the bins are all the super fragile junk, bottom layer has all the more durable elements of the map. Of the two bins it takes to store the map, one has all the board tiles on the bottom, the other has a Tetris-like stack of Tupperware containers…

These hold all the smaller map items: trees, telephone, cars, all that fun stuff. Aisle hunting in craft stores and supermarkets has led me to some great little containers. Take this box — small, handy, and some masking tape labels makes finding what I’m looking for a snap…

The stackable nature helps keep item-types separate so you don’t have to fish through a hundred small bits for that one piece you need. I had my fill of that when I was seven and looking for that one clear Lego brick. I JUST SAW IT, WHERE DID IT GO?!?

I had a rough childhood.

Back to storing Heroclix stuff:

Bubble wrap. A couple sheets line the bottom of the box and fold over the top. This keeps the items from banging against the container and chipping paint.

Also, get used to saying this to your gaming group: “STOP POPPING THE F*CKING BUBBLE WRAP!” No one else gets to have any fun until I find that goddam clear Lego brick.

Keep the receipts when you buy these containers. It’s not always easy to eyeball which will end up being just a hair too big/small for your needs. I’m sure there’s a way to mathematically figure out what size box you’ll need for a dozen miniature gaming trees, but it’s beyond my skill set.

The bubble wrap can also help map items from damaging each other. I needed a container to hold two different kinds of model trees…

“Dead” trees, with foliage-less plastic limbs that, for fun, were made so the branches are as sharp as needles. As entertaining as it it watching absent minded players impale their fingers, they also tend to tear the foliage off the “living trees.” A quick layer of bubble wrap under these bare branch buggers protects what lies beneath…

The friendly trees, those that don’t feed on human blood, form the bottom layer.

Paper towels work almost as well as a box liner.

As an aside, if I ever get pulled over on the way back from gaming, the above container is the one the cop would open. Those hindering terrain markers are some weird, medical marijuana looking sh*t. How do Heroclix players rank in prison society…? I’m not certain it’ll help, but I’ll be sure to question an inmate’s line-of-sight when he’s stabbing me in the shower.

For some of the heavier board pieces, like die cast cars and whatnot, I went with sturdier containers. More bubble wrap between layers of items keeps paint from scuffing and scratching.

Some map items, like the custom flight stands my buddy Davis built, needed special care. Those flight stands are a variety of odd sizes, and while sturdy enough, just the right amount of pressure and KRIK!, they be toast. The weird, flat Tupperware above, with a pillowy layer of bubble wrap, keeps ’em all safe & sound.

And, well…that’s it. This whole post essentially boils down to “buy some boxes and bubble wrap.” But the real point is if you go to all the trouble of customizing stuff, spend the time & money to keep it safe.

For a list of blog posts on custom maps, click here. For custom barriers, click here. Flight stands, click here.