MISB collectors: do those clear elastic bands just have an expiration date?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Smokescreen38, Mar 19, 2021.

  1. Smokescreen38

    Smokescreen38 Fight fire with smoke!

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    I finally found a MISB BW Rampage at what looked like a reasonable price. Seller showed pics of the box from all sides, didn’t mention the dried up elastic bands that are now swinging free inside the box and I guess I didn’t see them in the pics.

    Then I looked at my MISB 10th anniversary Primal/Megatron box set from 2006 (8 years newer) and spotted the same damn thing. I know for a fact that my set has been stored in cool/UV free, low humidity (but not extremely dry) environment... :( 

    So do these things just inevitably dry up?
     

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    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  2. TickTockGoesTheClock

    TickTockGoesTheClock Dōmo arigatō, Mr Roboto.

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    Yes. The elasticity of older items, especially cheaper rubber bands that have had weight or tension upon them, does degrade.

    I've had ago x wings bands go loose even after not touching it for a few years.
     
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  3. heltskelt

    heltskelt Well-Known Member

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    They all will eventually degrade. The rate depends on quality and storage conditions.
     
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  4. Liokaiser1989

    Liokaiser1989 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, unfortunately.
     
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  5. Smokescreen38

    Smokescreen38 Fight fire with smoke!

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    The feedback is appreciated!
    I think I should clarify the question. Given that the laws of physics as we understand them and the Universe's inevitable march toward complete entropy, we know these things, in their recognizable form as an elastic band, will not last forever. :D 

    I guess my question is more specifically; are they ALL like this? Is this like GPS where storage conditions might make a little difference but after a certain point, they're absolutely all ready to shatter? If not, is it worth trying to hunt one down that is not like this?
     
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  6. heltskelt

    heltskelt Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it is worth the effort if your intention is to keep it MIB. Even if you obtain it with intact rubber bands, they will snap at some point. Like it was noted above, they are in tension and the oils that allow the elasticity will degrade. ALL elastic bands will fail at some point.
    Those elastic bands are not meant to secure the figure for 10+ years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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  7. OptimusTarzan

    OptimusTarzan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for pointing it out. Good question! I stopped collecting after Energon and at that time they were using metal wires enclosed in plastic. 90% of my collection is MISB and in storage. But the last time I looked, 3 years ago, they were still intact.

    IMHO I don't think it's worth your time or effort to hunt down other ones with intact bands. I think everything, in time will deteriorate. E.g, I had 2 Nike Air Jordans from 1996, 1997 never worn, stored in closet for 10 years. Guess what, the rubber soles started to deteriorate and crumbled to the touch, as I took them out of the box to examine.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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  8. Smokescreen38

    Smokescreen38 Fight fire with smoke!

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    There certainly is value in recognizing the fleeting, ephemeral nature of material possessions. It could be argued that this is why many people collect stuff to begin with; to try to defeat that supposed inevitability of losing something beautiful.

    In that way, collecting is often an attempt at freezing a moment in time, capturing a feeling and being able to go back to it again and again. This applies to an even greater extent when we are talking about mint in sealed box/on sealed card items. Owning these is an attempt to capture an even more rarified experience; the thrill of getting that new item sealed in its original time capsule, never touched by human hands after leaving the factory. It's like capturing lightning in a bottle in a way.

    Signs of age like yellowing blisters, dried up tape, accessories rattling around in the package, wear and tear, etc are stark reminders and confirmation that the treasure inside that box has still been subject to the passage of time, and the illusion is broken. In that light, if there are examples with rubber bands that didn't crumble, they would be that much closer to that original experience and therefore that much more desirable.

    I don't doubt at all that these bands, especially since they are under tension, will all fail at some point but if someone has examples where the bands still look fresh on a 20 year old figure, there is hope that they might last much longer than one might guess.
     
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