Shrink Wrapper’s Delight

Wrap, wrap, wrap it uppppp...

Wrap, wrap, wrap it uppppp…

     Recently, I posted about the joys of bagging up magazines, game supplements, etc. Well, if you thought that was odd, let me introduce you to the world of shrink wrapping and the modern nerd.

     For our purposes here, shrink wrapping comes into play mostly with regard to my gaming and modelling hobbies. While you sometimes find hard cover comic book compilations and graphic novels that are shrink wrapped, it’s not a big deal to just rip it off. With games and model kits…not so much.

     I was listening to Episode 89 of The 2 Half-Squads Advanced Squad Leader podcast last week when the subject of shrink wrap came up in a listener’s e-mail.  Basically, the guy was lamenting the age-old nerd/gamer/collector problem vis-a-vis shrink wrap…to open or not to open.

     I’m probably not breaking news here when I remind you that shrink wrap is an all or nothing proposition.  It’s like how you can’t be “a little bit pregnant.”  Well, a game or model kit can’t be “a little bit shrink wrapped.”  It either is, or it isn’t. And therein lies the dilemma.

     As a gamer (or modeler), one of the best things about a new acquisition is opening the box to admire the contents. But unless you’re actually going to build the kit or play the game (shocking concept, I know), then you don’t really need to tear off that shrink wrap.

     This conundrum was highlighted for me while I was re-watching one of my favorite movies, Sideways. If you haven’t seen it, the film’s story takes place against a backdrop of wine lovers and their associated culture.  In one scene, the main character and his love interest discuss various highly desirable wines in their collections.  Notice I didn’t say “wine bottles.”  Because the bottles haven’t been opened, which means they also haven’t been enjoyed (aka imbibed). Now a 2005 Chateau Lafite Rothschild and a shrink wrapped 1990 Code of Bushido ASL module may not exactly be comparable. At least if I crack open the game box, I’ve still got the contents.  When the wine is gone, it’s gone.

     So, like the e-mailer on 2 Half-Squads, I also have games on my shelf still snug in their plastic cocoon, and more than a few model kits as well.  And I really would love to peruse the contents, but I just can’t make myself do it.  And I don’t even know why.  It’s not like I’m gonna lose interest in them and try to sell them on eBay.  So I’ve come to the conclusion that I have some kind of sick collector pathology that involves the same “mint on card” thrill action figure collectors get.  Which is funny since I’ll tear an action figure off the card quicker than George Lucas will ruin a universally-loved movie franchise.

     Y’know, as I wrote that last paragraph I came to the conclusion that the shrink wrap needs to come off.  I mean, what’s the point of having books you don’t read, games you don’t play, or model kits you don’t build?  Besides, you can always get a shrink wrapped copy on eBay.  Did I just type that?  Until next time, stay nerdy my friends.

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