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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

The Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles

The CIOPCC
Last Update: 2021-04-21
Written By: Michael Crawford

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Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles

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Welcome to the Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles!

Here you'll find some general information about the build out of the CIOPCC. The building itself is 25' by 50', with 9 foot ceilings and no interior walls. It's one big 1250 square foot room.

When the building was first erected, it simply was storage for the many boxes of toys I've collected over the last 30 years. There was little room to do much else, although one small section was reserved for a photo area for my reviews. Otherwise, think the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I know I'd need to build my displays if I were going to do this for a reasonable amount of money. Even simple shelving is expensive at this quantity, and getting shelving that matched my vision of various areas was even more complicated. I came up with a simple design for the wall shelves, and for towers that would reside in the center of the room.

I also needed to repaint the walls - it had been 10 years since the building was built by the time I got around to working on the interior build out. They needed a fresh coat, but the room was packed with stuff, and it wasn't going any where. Moving it all out to do all the walls at once was out of the question, and painting only one section of wall at a time doesn't work well. If you've ever tried it before, you know you can always tell where you started and left off.

So I decided I'd paint each section of the room a different color as I worked on it, something that sorta, kinda, maybe matched the theme of the collectibles that would be in the area.  The Yellow Section is mostly Simpsons, the Gray Section is mostly Batman, the Brown Section is western and war related stuff, etc. The following photo shows the wall of the Blue Section, where Marvel goodies would end up.

CIOPCC

Next was the design of the wall shelves. Each shelf would be 8" deep, enough for most items but not too much wasted space. The nine foot ceilings meant I could do five shelves, with a 22" height off the floor and for the top shelf, with the other four shelves having a 16" height. That seemed to accomodate the broadest number of items, and by using risers - smaller shelf sections attached to the shelves - I could split the shelves up height-wise as I needed. For example, I could do a 4" wide riser, 4 - 5 inches tall, on an 8" shelf and get two rows for smaller items like mini-busts. You can see an example of that in the next photo from the Green Section.

CIOPCC

These wall shelves would extend around the entire room, except for the entryway and the four windows.

The tower designs came next. Again, I went with a simple set up, sturdy and utilitarian. All the shelves are currently white, whether on the wall or the towers. Eventually, as I build out more specific dioramas in various areas, this will change, but for version 1.0 I wanted consistency.

While I laid out several different floor plans in advance, I ended up altering most of the towers on the fly, as I decided what looked best in place. These towers have legs attached to the ceiling for additional support, and shelves that range in size from 3'x6', the largest, to 2'x4', the most common. I also used a number of 2'x8' towers, and laid all of these out in different patterns, based on the area. The next photo shows one of these towers from the Gray Section.

CIOPCC

Obviously the shelf heights in the tower matches the heights on the wall. Maximizing space while creating an interesting flow was my main objective. Some of these towers are standing on their own - others are connected to one another.  The next photo shows a hand drawn lay out of the final floor plan. All walk ways between shelving is 36".

CIOPCC

The building has a furnace of course, but right now does not have air conditioning. It sits on a concrete foundation, and does tend to stay cool during the summer. The windows are covered with both a UV film and a black out shade, which helps keep the heat out, and there's a good dehumdifier as well. However, I'm considering adding an air conditioner at some point.

Dust is not a major issue, since the building doesn't get a lot of traffic and there are no pets allowed in. Changing your furnace filters regularly helps, as does the two air purifiers.

There's a security system of course, with cameras and alarms, which is managed by ADT. I also get immediate alerts on my phone if any doors and windows are opened, or if the cameras pick up any movement.

That's the general breakdown, but if you have any questions, please feel free to drop me an email.

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The Institute
Please use the following links to navigate through the space.

- General - overall layout, general discussion of build
- The Gray Section - mostly Batman, some DC goodies
- The Red Section - lots more Batman, lots more DC
- The Green Section - mostly Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones, but other misc lines thrown in for good measure
- The Yellow Section - mostly Simpsons, with some additional cartoon lines
- The Purple Section - various cartoon lines, especially those from Palisades
- The Black/White Section - mostly Star Wars and Star Trek
- The Orange Section - horror lines
- The Brown Section - lots of war and western stuff
- The Blue Section - mostly Marvel
- The Door - lots of signage from lots of lines.
- ???
- ???
- The Bar - not part of the Institute, but inside my home is my bar area with quite a few statues and prop replicas
- The Home Theater - also not part of the Institute but inside my home, and containing lots more prop replicas

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Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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