When I first started collecting FDS games, I really didn’t contemplate how the game was sold or presented to the consumer. Obviously, it didn’t take too long to figure that out when my collection began to grow.
The price difference for a CIB copy of a game was and is significant and knowing I had a long journey of another 190 or so games to acquire, I decided to collect the games in the plastic cases and be done with it. Well, fast forward to now, I have every game in a plastic case and I kind of want the boxes and manuals.
I do have a few loose manuals from various bulk buys and finding the loose box WITH the correct label is next to impossible and would probably take a lifetime. So with me being me, I decided to make my own! Can’t be that hard, right?
First thing to do is determine the material. Seems to be 20 MIL mylar, slightly tinted and has a line pattern running about 40 degrees throughout. The exact material just doesn’t exist. Just going to “settle” for clear mylar. After all, these will be repro’s and they need to be different. The last thing I ever want is anything I make to be passed off as original to someone who isn’t aware of the small details.
The first material I found that might have worked was actually 10x less expensive than anything else I found on the Internet. The thickness was correct and I was hoping it was rigid enough to work for this project. I ordered samples of three thicknesses they offer. Sadly, the material was really flimsy (think those plastic curtains in loading docks that hang in panels) and was definitely not going to work. Next choice was a 36×48 sheet of PETG. The material is marketed as face shields for the medical industry or windows on an outdoor porch. Turns out, the material is spot on for this project. There is also protective material on each side to protect the plastic during manufacturing.
Now the next obstacle is to fine tune the cut and score settings on my plotter. My first attempt with scores and cuts netted me having to finish the cuts by hand with an exacto blade. That was unfun. After many, MANY tests on scrap material, I dialed in the cuts and scores to work perfectly.
To save on material, I am sheet feeding the plotter so I have to manually make “sheets” from the giant piece. I can cut two at a time and it really doesn’t take too long to make. They are very hand made but it is a labor of love.
Next was to determine how to make the grey sides and glue them together. My solution is to cut a strip of grey vinyl for the underside of the main flap on either side and REALLY strong double sided adhesive tape on top of that to attach to the back flap.
I think they turned out really well. I am going to marry the manuals I have with the disks in their cases and offer the rest up for sale on the site.
I am also offering a repro proper label for the box (game specific) as well as a little diskun circle sticker to seal the box if desired. That part doesn’t make sense to me but I wanted to kick in some value added items.
Here is a finished box with Super Mario Brothers 2 next to an OEM box with Roger Rabbit. Has the manual and the disk in its case. Not a bad replacement if I do say so myself! These will be available on the site soon. They take a bit of time to make and I want to have several on hand available for collectors.