After a long hiatus (due to opening the new toy store), I am back with a big update to my Minimates display. The last time I made a major change to my shelves was in 2009 when I added tiered Lego stands nested 4 levels deep. You can read about that project and see a video here. But even though I was happy with the structure of the display, I was always bothered by the lighting.
My shelves wrap around a corner in my home office just above my wife’s piano. The main light source in the room is pretty far away, and much of my shelves were in shadow, especially in the evening. As early as 2010 I have been planning to add LED lights underneath the shelves to help with this problem. I was finally able to set aside the time and the money for this project last week.
The first thing I had to do was take all of the 800+ Minimates off my shelves and dust them, something I hadn’t done in 2 years. I enlisted some help with this step:
While my son was busy making everything clean and sparkly (I paid him in Minimates), I worked on attaching the lights. I used LED strip lights from my local hardware store. Each strip was $20 and came with all the hardware and cords you would need to set up a display like this. Each one only took 5 minutes to install. I tested everything before putting it back up on the wall.
I also added an extra lip to the shelf, using the same type of black strips that were already on the outside of the existing shelves. I just dropped these down 3/4 of an inch to hide the lights from view. To attach these, I roughed up both surfaces with a hobby knife, and then just superglued it together.
With the shelves back on the wall, I should have been finished, right? Well, no. Of course the geek in me had to reorganize my entire collection before putting them back on the Lego stands. I had a bin of Minimates going all the way back to Marvel Series 42 that had not been displayed yet. I also had to make room for the upcoming Marvel Minimates Series 47 and Avengers vs X-Men Minimates. Who knows where I am going to put anything after that…
Video and pics below. Enjoy!
*This last one is Transformers MyClones. 😉