How to display/browse handheld cartridge games

With a few notable exceptions (jaguar, N64) most western-released home cartridge games have a label on the top as well as the front/side, meaning you can stick them in a drawer, tape organizer, or other flat conveyance and expect to be able to still know what they are.

Handheld games are another story - they almost never have labels on top, they're tiny and fiddly, meaning they usually wind up in a box where you have to sift through everything to find anything.

I've been searching for a way, without satisfaction, to browse my handheld games alphabetically and rather than suffer in silence I figured I'd ask for advice, or if nobody has any, we can all figure this out together.

I thought I had a brilliant idea when I found these: https://a.co/d/04r8e8Y

They're hangable clear pocket sleeves with enough width to display several gba or wonderswan carts next to each other. Unfortunately, since they're meant to hold cards, they generally want to expel anything thicker than that, so the carts don't stay in. I also considered one of these: https://a.co/d/52eYgDM

But they're so ugly, and my experience with the last "sleeve" product was so poor that it doesn't seem viable.

I also considered lipstick shelves but you can only get so many carts next to each other on those things. They look kind of fun though. https://a.co/d/9UePUD4

I've heard of folks using binders with trading card sleeves but that doesn't seem too efficient. I'm trying to sort about 50-60 titles each across 3+ platforms so I need something with more capacity but which doesn't take much space.

Anyone got any smart solutions? (also, I could maybe put labels on the tops of the carts but that's fiddly and inelegant especially since none of these are designed to be lined up this way.

Ideas please!!

@“Syzygy”#p107134 I guess it just seems like you wouldn‘t be able to get that many in there, but maybe that’s wrong! I wonder how many sheets you can get to a binder?

Maybe this is the solution I've been needing all along, hmm.

A binder makes sense for browsing, but half of this equation is displaying… Personally, I think the binders don‘t look that great! They’re gonna wind up tucked away in some drawer like what Brandon is already trying to prevent. It‘s a more organized solution than just having them loose in that same drawer, but I don’t think a binder makes sense on a shelf.

For my own collection (which is much smaller, but you can imagine it scaled up) I use this nail polish rack. The lipstick one linked above would probably be pretty similar. You're right that there's limited space, but depending on which cartridges you're mainly dealing with, I found that angling these GBA carts makes maximum use of the space while still both easy to browse and pleasant to display. I could probably do the same thing with these GB carts too, but since they're taller they feel more precarious to keep balanced. The GBA ones handle themselves.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/tJsEkIJ.jpg[/img]

The MLG people did this video years ago. Might give you some ideas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oreOa_rIUj0

Looks like a lotta folks having similar ideas! My other issue is the lipstick cases take up a lot of room - I don‘t have basically any surfaces left (lol) so binders might be the thing, but I don’t like them hidden away either, which is why I was hoping for a hanging solution, to put them on the back of my door or something. I'll keep looking but sad binders are looking like the top choice currently

This type of stuff is fun to go antiquing for, but California antiquing is bad in my experience. Sorry… this is probably the only thing the midwest does better than the west coast. Same with thrift stores now that teenagers pick them apart and resell everything cool on Depop, its mostly just overpriced junk.

In lieu of that, I would recommend searching on Etsy! You can get lots of handmade and vintage shelves (imo we can all do with less plastic/mass produced stuff in our homes).

Just from a quick search, you would want to measure it first:

  • -

    [Trinket Shelf](https://www.etsy.com/listing/1327712654/32-compartment-wooden-display-shelf?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=gameboy+trinket+shelf&ref=sr_gallery-1-15&frs=1&cns=1&sts=1&organic_search_click=1)
    https://i.etsystatic.com/12329085/r/il/a9af11/4329470550/il_794xN.4329470550_76g1.jpg

  • -

    [Display Shelf:](https://www.etsy.com/listing/1386616980/vintage-franklin-mint-display-shelf-for?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=trinket+shelf&ref=sr_gallery-1-32&pro=1&sts=1&organic_search_click=1)
    https://i.etsystatic.com/9640352/r/il/6b5690/4600260537/il_794xN.4600260537_arr0.jpg

  • -

    [Sunglass Shelf:
    ](https://www.etsy.com/listing/1353752933/sunglasses-holder-for-wallglasses?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=glasses+shelf&ref=sr_gallery-1-8&pro=1&frs=1&organic_search_click=1)
    https://i.etsystatic.com/37892511/r/il/f9e1a4/4375289396/il_794xN.4375289396_fabz.jpg

  • I keep my Game Boy and Game Gear games in a cheap briefcase I bought at a yard sale. It‘s pretty space-efficient if nothing else. But it is nothing else: it’s hard to keep them in order or look through the collection.

    I have been trying to figure out storage for my loose gameboy carts too. Recently I realized we recycle tons of little cardboard boxes every day at work. I brought home a few different sizes of boxes and one of them perfectly fits two rows (columns?) of gb carts. The cardboard is kind of flimsy but it works and they‘re free. Each box fits about 40 cartridges and it’s easy to flip through them to find a game. Like I said we throw away tons of these boxes at work, if anyone wants some I could probably flatten them and send them through the mail easily enough.

    https://imgur.com/PUBxx1F


    Friend of mine uses tea storage boxes for this:

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0606/5530/4888/products/2000_Square_JPG-04136MDK.PT01_1000x.jpg

    @“exodus”#p107159 on the back of your door, eh? I like the sound of that.

    it immediately made me think of a clear hanging shoe rack.

    you‘d want it to be secured so it doesn’t smack around.

    https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41hQzlaCJGL._AC_.jpg

    covers your criteria:


  • - like a binder but not hidden away
  • - easily visible label art
  • - mounted on your door or wall
  • @“Syzygy”#p107430 oh thank you, I just assumed I was doing it wrong, so I tried 4 different things. I also tried that imgur format, and it still didn‘t work, but I maybe did that wrong too. I’m also on mobile, which could be the problem. I just wanted to show off my cute Gameboy shelf!

    @“treefroggy”#p107441 I looked at these as well but I feel like they will become “bags of stuff” - it won‘t be a snug fit so it’ll wind up being a jumble, I think. If anyone tries and finds differently though, I'll give it a go!

    patent pending: a connect four-style organizer that you slide loosies into horizontally or vertically that displays the label.

    https://www.geekyhobbies.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Connect-4-Box.jpg

    Edit: maybe have each on a hinge so each one can be separated popped in or out

    Here's a related question for this thread: what are good ways to store or display your handheld consoles? I currently have mine in a drawer and I want to do something a little more special.

    @“kyleprocrastinations”#p107672 now for the consoles THEMSELVES I was considering that shoe organizer treefroggy showed earlier

    I keep my portables in small clear black plastic totes that I got from various places, like DAISO and amazon. This is good for long term storage, don‘t wanna be taking them out a lot, just wanna have peace of mind that they’re not going to be damaged by the elements. When they go in one of these long term, I remove the battery.

    https://imgur.com/jnIYDeA

    For portables I'm taking with me to play out in the field every day, aka whatever I'm daily drivin' at the time, I put them in neoprene cases, also found at daiso or amazon. What's great in this day and age is neoprene phone cases will always be the right size for wonderswans, neogeo pockets, gameboys, etc. Then I just throw them in my man-purse and don't have to worry about it getting scratched or dented.
    https://imgur.com/yd05gFg

    Then I have a couple officially licensed bags I've held on to over the years. they used to be a dime a dozen at thrift stores in the purse section-- I used to find them all the time, and you may still be able to as well. I also had both of these as a kid. It's where I keep appropriate consoles with loose games and accessories long term, or on the increasingly rare occasion where I'm big pimp on the block with a fully stocked gameboy case, boots on the ground.
    https://imgur.com/r79gp6P
    https://imgur.com/kZaG1Wo

    https://imgur.com/a/nlEmp5s

    I figured out how to post a picture here after all. Don‘t know what to do about that ugly border, but oh well. This is my Gameboy shelf. This method does take up a lot of space, but I think it looks classy and my collection isn’t gonna get much bigger.

    For my handhelds, I keep them all in this kind of tub. In there is also a USB hub with charging cables going to everything. I cut a hole in the tub and the USB hub goes out to my PC so whenever I turn my PC on, things get charged.

    ![](https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSNwABDrIIWGGvDnyWAuzSArf1vhCdmrCEtckYsOZVfUBPr2hAQUXoKBSUFuTtDGdg_SMge-Peu&usqp=CAc)

    My cartridges are just in a clip lid sandwich box because I have run out of room to be able to display them since I have a lot of games and one wall of my home office to store them.

    Doing some spring cleaning and trying to improve organization/storage. I ordered some tea bag organizing containers like @Personasama suggested and they work very well for gameboy games. They are even tall enough to fit oddly shaped carts like Pokémon pinball. Here’s a link to the ones I got - https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B094RCMNS6?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title



    @“mindleftbody”#p116557 I wonder where all the lost Pokémon Pinball battery covers end up?