You’ve spent years carefully purchasing, maintaining, and hunting down those rare items, whether its radio control cars, vintage toys, or video games. Yet how often do we just store them away in the garage, hidden away from your everyday life? It’s time to change that! We need some RC Car Display Ideas!
The best thing about having a collection is to see it, and let it bring that smile to your face every day. And for me it’s not just seeing, it’s smelling! Oh yes, a 30+ year old Jet Hopper / Turbo Hopper that’s been sitting in its box for decades smells just like Christmas morning in 1988! Mmm mmm! haha…
But what about those super special ones you dared not remove from the box, otherwise that darned UV will fade its mint condition? Check my Super Fight F1 restoration to see just how bad the sun can damage your precious items.
So let’s get to it, and see how we can bring those rare collectables out of their boxes, and into your life – safely!
First, let’s get the most obvious out of the way…
The Billy Bookcase from Ikea
Surely one of the first solutions that anyone considers for displaying their RC cars, toys, or collectables – the cheap bookcase, either from Ikea, or any other local big box store. The Billy in particular is tried, tested, and reasonable quality for the price.
Fits: All Sizes
Positives: Cheap, available in many shapes and sizes to suit your needs, and it should pass the wife check.
Negatives: Depth can be an issue. Delivery can add to cost. No UV protection, keep away from windows.
Now that’s out of the way, let’s get a little more creative.
The Black Mesh Shoe Rack
Here’s my favorite go-to solution that’s cheap and easy, especially for smaller cars like Toy-Grade, but it will fit many hobby-grade too. Costing only $19 AUD ( $12 USD) from my local Kmart, but you’ll find these everywhere.
This works best placed on an existing desk or table, ideally your work area, or somewhere you’ll see it often.
Fits: 6 x 1:14 – 1:16 scale cars, 4 x 1:10 cars, and 2 x 1:8 cars.
Positives: Cheap, easy, looks decent.
Negatives: Depth can be an issue for some models – get one with the most depth possible, at least 25cm or 9.5 inches. No UV protection, keep away from windows.
Where to buy: Almost any big box store, and online.
The dimensions on the one shown are 36cm (H) x 70cm (W) x 24cm (D) or 14.2 (H) x 27.6 (W) x 9.5 inches (D). I’d consider 24cm / 9.4 inches the bare minimum depth if you’re a Tyco / Taiyo RC collector, any less and the larger cars wheelbase may not fit. To ensure my bandit did not risk rolling off, I added some board to the back, but if you’re against a wall this will be fine.
Large Clear Plastic Shoe Storage Box
I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time, these clear plastic boxes originally designed for sneakerheads, they also make excellent RC car display cases / storage boxes for smaller 1:14-1:20 scale radio control cars and other vintage toy collections.
Perfect for keeping the dust off, and I suspect they’ll also prevent much of the UV light damage which will fade all plastic and stickers over time (see my Super Fight F1 restoration for an example of a badly sun damaged car)
- Pay attention to the dimensions. The inner dimensions will be a little smaller. The boxes in the photo are 22cm (H) x 27.7cm (W) x 37cm (D) or 8.6 (H) x 10.90 (W) x 14.6 inches (D)
- Looks best with several stacked together, I’ll be creating a 2×3 display for mine.
Positives: Looks great, excellent way to display your treasured items while protecting them from dust, and I expect this would disperse some of that nasty UVA/B.
Negatives: Usually only fit the smaller sizes such as 1:14 scale, but will fit most Tyco / Taiyo RC / Nikko models. For example, will fit a 35cm long Tyco Hammer or Twin Turbo Lamborghini, you just need to tilt the car downwards a little by putting the rear wheels on blocks, which looks great and adds to the drama!
If you’re an Australian like me, you can buy the same ones I got from Kmart Australia.
What about for larger areas?
Pretty much any cheap shelf with sufficient depth is going to work (minimum 24-25cm for toy grade, larger for hobby grade). For larger areas ensure you measure out your space and buy at the same time.
Important! If you’ve bought 2, and think maybe you’ll need 3 in the future, buy that 3rd one now before the design changes. These cheap shelves often only last in stores as long as the season (12 months) and next time the design and specification will change.
I learnt this lesson when buying 2 of these excellent Kmart Shelves in 2021.
But by 2023 those shelves were starting to get… a little full
Going back to Kmart, I purchased another ‘Blake’, brought it home, assembled and… it’s completely different (not shown here). So now to expand outwards I’ll likely need to buy 3 of a completely new design and start over. Lesson learned.
Tell me about your storage solution for your collection!
If you have a trick, whether it’s a particular combination of Ikea items, or a product meant for something else (like shoes!), I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
And if you have a photo of your collection, even better!