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Has anyone tried to preserve the TLC stickers?


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#1 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 07:48 PM

I recently got a set of which i would like the stickers to stay as they are.
I'm thinking of applying clearcoat to do so, but maybe any of you has a better idea to do this?
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#2 Skipper 24

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 09:25 PM

I assume you have applied the stickers to the pieces and you don't want them to peel? On some of my sets I have covered the sticker with Scotch magic tape. I'm not sure if you can find it in Holland (?) though. Another alternative I have tried is sticky back plastic.
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#3 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 10:20 PM

Yeah we have scotch tape, but i imagine that would be very visible?
Any chance of a pic to see how it looks?
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#4 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 01:46 PM

Nobody else tried to keep the stickers on with clear coat, nailpolish or whatever? :cry_sad:

Please share if you have.
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#5 DJ Force

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 02:24 PM

I´d just try superglue...
Some of my Exoforce sets are losing their stickers, especially when applied to round bricks. That can be frustrating...

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#6 Adam

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 04:42 PM

When I apply my stickers, I use a very... thorough... method of putting them on.
First, I painstakingly make sure that each sticker is in exactly the correct spot with the same amount of extra space around the sides.
You have to make sure that you don't move the stickers whatsoever, then start scratching them.
Another reason why most stickers fall off quickly is because there's dust or other particles under them, preventing the sticking. That's why I take a cotton swab to each dusty piece. :tongue:
I think that using a clearcoat is a great idea! If you're unsure about it, why not try using it on a different set?

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#7 Joey Lock

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 05:14 PM

My stickers preserve just fine by sticking them on or in a box. See I have loads of spare boxes I put Lego in, But I only need like 2 of them. So I just take stickers off pieces I need plain and stick them on the side of a box, Or anywhere you know there gonna survive. You could even get a book for Stickers!

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#8 KimT

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 07:58 PM

This is a good question.
I'm considering to try some decal solution and decal setting, to see if that preserves the stickers.
Also I'll move this to the LEGO General Discussion Forum for more feedback.
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#9 CP5670

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 08:46 PM

Depending on the color and material the stickers are made of, you might not need to take any special precautions to preserve them. Just make sure to align them exactly right, so they don't hang over the edge of a piece. I have stickers over 15 years old that still look great.

The important thing is what kind of paper they are printed on. Clear paper stickers are much more resistant to long term damage than white paper ones. White paper stickers in certain colors from roughly 1994 to 2006 are sensitive to UV light and will peel off and become brittle over time. I think TLG changed the white paper material in 2007, as the sets I bought from that point on haven't exhibited any issues so far.

#10 Bobskink

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 09:58 PM

I just buy an extra pair of stickers on bricklink and take realy care of the ones aplied.

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#11 Tom Bricks

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:08 AM

Out of curiosity what set are you talking about? I think the newer ones hold up better so you might not need to worry.
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#12 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:10 AM

View PostTom Bricks, on May 28 2009, 01:08 AM, said:

Out of curiosity what set are you talking about? I think the newer ones hold up better so you might not need to worry.

I'm talking about the Peril in Peru set, and i want them to hold out 50 years, at least. :laugh:
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#13 Tom Bricks

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 12:21 AM

View PostCaptain Green Hair, on May 27 2009, 07:10 PM, said:

I'm talking about the Peril in Peru set, and i want them to hold out 50 years, at least. :laugh:
Are there any stickers covering multiple parts? I would try to leave it out of direct sunlight and to try to not move the stickers- once there down leave them where they are even if there crooked, a crooked sticker is better than none at all.
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#14 dhaas06

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:50 AM

Hmm... I actually used a different method for applying my Peril in Peru stickers than I have on any other set. Unfortunately, the box and instructions are not accurate when they portray the big window stickers as having the same colors as the neighboring bricks. They are only bright enough when put on a white background, so the trans-smoke pieces make them way too dark, and the yellow looks especially terrible.

What I did was buy a few plain white labels, which are really just big stickers. I carefully measured and cut out the white labels to the exact size of those 4 stickers (including cutting out each window). Then I lined them up and put the Lego stickers over the white stickers, and then the white ones on the set. My colors match perfectly now, and it's almost impossible to tell that there's anything extra underneath. If anyone's interested, I can post pictures later.

So, all this to say: I definitely agree with you that Peril in Peru is a special set that needs extra care with the stickers! I hope you find a good technique that works well.

#15 ILikePi

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 01:58 AM

View PostJoey Lock, on May 27 2009, 09:14 AM, said:

My stickers preserve just fine by sticking them on or in a box. See I have loads of spare boxes I put Lego in, But I only need like 2 of them. So I just take stickers off pieces I need plain and stick them on the side of a box, Or anywhere you know there gonna survive. You could even get a book for Stickers!
Will the paper stickers work like that? Or do you only do it for the transparent plastic stickers?

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#16 Dadster

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:15 AM

View PostTom Bricks, on May 27 2009, 08:08 PM, said:

Out of curiosity what set are you talking about? I think the newer ones hold up better so you might not need to worry.

I don't know about that...the Spongebob Set stickers I applied were coming off that night.


#17 Tom Bricks

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 03:49 AM

View PostDadster, on May 27 2009, 10:15 PM, said:

I don't know about that...the Spongebob Set stickers I applied were coming off that night.
Thats awful. I have been lucky though no peeling so far. It's strange I have some old stickers in perfect condition an some newer ones in horrible condition. I guess it's the luck of the draw.
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#18 CP5670

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 05:37 AM

Quote

I don't know about that...the Spongebob Set stickers I applied were coming off that night.

That sounds like you got a messed up sticker sheet, which is common these days with the lousy box packaging TLG uses. :tongue:

Quote

Thats awful. I have been lucky though no peeling so far. It's strange I have some old stickers in perfect condition an some newer ones in horrible condition. I guess it's the luck of the draw.

The differences probably due to the type of paper they are printed on, as I described earlier. Also, the white paper stickers only peel in certain colors. White, red and blue components of the stickers will peel under UV, while yellow and black parts are unaffected.

#19 Blakbird

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 06:01 AM

I've had an endless array of issues with stickers as well.  For instance, look at these heartbreaking pictures of my Williams F-1 Racer:

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This happened within a couple of months.  It is easy to recommend just getting another sticker sheet, but for a set like this the stickers alone can be $75.  Blue and white seem to be the worst, as you can see.  The white stickers on my UCS Blockade Runner have completely disintegrated.  My 1:8 F-1 Ferrari is peeling too, but only the white.  The red seems OK.  On sets like this Williams racer, the stickers are a huge part of the look of the model and now it just looks awful.

I have sets that are 30 years old with stickers which are fine.  The crappiness seems limited to a few years in the late 1990's and early 2000's.  Sets from this era with black stickers seem to have no problem.

The real oddity is that I store my LEGO in a room with no outside light, so UV should really not be an issue.  Yet the issue is clearly related to light because I found that the side which faced the wall looked much better.

You can bet that if I ever get my hands on another sticker sheet for the Williams car, I will be putting a clear coat of polyurethane on it.  I've considered making my own set of stickers by tracing the original in a vector graphics program, but so far I have not had time.
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#20 CP5670

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 06:56 AM

That looks nasty. :cry_sad: The stickers on my Silver Champion have become brittle and cracked at the edges, but have held on pretty well despite that.

The color of the printing has a big impact on this. I have had the white components of some stickers largely "saved" because they were surrounded by black or yellow borders that kept the white together, like the big Technic logo on 8457.

Quote

The real oddity is that I store my LEGO in a room with no outside light, so UV should really not be an issue.  Yet the issue is clearly related to light because I found that the side which faced the wall looked much better.

I've had the same experience. In one case, I put the two different 8459/8464 air tank stickers on different sides of the tank, and only one side was exposed to light. That sticker had become trashed after three years while the one on the other side looked perfect, so UV exposure seems to be the only explanation. They are obviously far more sensitive to it than bricks are (in terms of yellowing).

Quote

The crappiness seems limited to a few years in the late 1990's and early 2000's.

The earliest sets I have with this problem are 8858 and 8880 from 1994 (at least I managed to keep together the 8858 Technic flag by taping over it) and the latest ones were pretty much everything in the World City police line in 2003. After noticing that, I stopped using white paper stickers in the affected colors until 2008, when I found that recent City sets like 7990 and 7991 were having no problems.

Edited by CP5670, 28 May 2009 - 07:00 AM.


#21 Raphy

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:46 AM

I just stick them on and kill my fingers pressing on the poor brick making it stay on. They've very very rarely been peeling off :)

#22 Commander Red Hat

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 08:56 AM

View Postdhaas06, on May 28 2009, 02:50 AM, said:

Hmm... I actually used a different method for applying my Peril in Peru stickers than I have on any other set. Unfortunately, the box and instructions are not accurate when they portray the big window stickers as having the same colors as the neighboring bricks. They are only bright enough when put on a white background, so the trans-smoke pieces make them way too dark, and the yellow looks especially terrible.

What I did was buy a few plain white labels, which are really just big stickers. I carefully measured and cut out the white labels to the exact size of those 4 stickers (including cutting out each window). Then I lined them up and put the Lego stickers over the white stickers, and then the white ones on the set. My colors match perfectly now, and it's almost impossible to tell that there's anything extra underneath. If anyone's interested, I can post pictures later.

So, all this to say: I definitely agree with you that Peril in Peru is a special set that needs extra care with the stickers! I hope you find a good technique that works well.

I would gladly see some pictures of that!
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#23 Dadster

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:07 PM

@ Blakbird...

Wow - I've never seen any that bad before...


#24 BryanKinkel

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:26 PM

I actually scan the stickers at 300 DPI and save them as a TIFF file. I use a file naming system of XXXX-set_name.tiff where XXXX is the set number.

I then print the stickers on Avery whole sheet clear sticker paper. I use an HP photo printer at the highest quality setting. The reproduction stickers look pretty good. There is a problem when the sticker contains a lot of white. Most ink jet printers print using a variety of tri-color ink cartridges and cannot print the color "white". So white areas on the sticker end up being clear when printed on transparent sticker paper.

But this allows me to save the original stickers and print new ones when needed.

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#25 Blakbird

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 06:16 PM

View PostBryanKinkel, on May 28 2009, 06:26 AM, said:

I actually scan the stickers at 300 DPI and save them as a TIFF file. I use a file naming system of XXXX-set_name.tiff where XXXX is the set number.

But this allows me to save the original stickers and print new ones when needed.

That's a very good idea, and one of the things which I was considering.  However, since my stickers are already destroyed, it's too late to do such a thing.  I don't suppose you have a nice TIFF of the 8461sticker sheet?  :tongue:
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