Weekend Project

Last week I finally decided that it was time for more space as my desk was getting awfully crowded. My first cabinet had long filled up and I’d amassed a total of 19 figures taking up it’s valuable real estate. It was time for more space, much more space.

I bought an IKEA Billy Bookcase corner system which consists of 2 single width Billy Bookcase’s and a double width, all with glass doors and shelves, except the corner piece. Hopefully with this I can last a while longer before my desk repopulates itself and I’m forced to find new options for figure storage, as I rapidly run out of space in this room of mine. Unfortunately I forgot to take before shots, but I guess it doesn’t really matter anyway.

I decided to go a different route than my original setup where I used halogen lights to light up the cabinet. This worked great for light but there was a small oversight on my part, heat. Obviously halogen lights get enormously hot, and I really would rather not melt all my figures so I rarely turned these lights on. Having been able to live half a year without turning the lights on, I decided I probably didn’t need to light the cabinets up for viewing, I have a ceiling light after all. So I opted for some fun lighting I can leave on all the time for a nice effect, IKEA Dioders. They let you select I believe 7 different colours, or have it rotate through automatically and with smooth transitions, that’s the setting I used. They’re not cheap though at a goatse-like ass tearing cost of $80/set CAD x3 they made up a very sizable portion of the overall cost. IKEA prices in Canada aren’t very comparable to those in the US, the same lights in the US cost $50 USD which works out to $52 CAD, a $28 difference and over half the US price. Bit of a ripoff, yet I bought them anyway…

Some of you keen observers probably would have questioned this next point so I’ll just say it first. Yes that’s a door behind my desk, and yes there’s a light on. I forgot to turn the light off when taking the picture and it annoys me to no end. That door does indeed go somewhere useful, however there’s an alternate door into that room from the hallway so it’s an unneeded door that also was wasting space. No longer does it waste space, just appears odd. I’ll probably put a poster over it in the future to hide it more.


Some useless stats:

  • 103 separate pieces of wood/fake wood
    • 12 unused
  • 12 additional glass shelves to replace original wooden shelves
  • 324 Screws and fasteners
    • 54 unused
  • 12 pieces of double-sided tape
    • 10 unused
  • 12 lights w/ 3 controllers and power units
  • 4 glass doors
  • Total of 470 pieces
  • 52 squirts of Windex
  • 10 drilled holes
  • 2.9 m² of shelving space (31.22 sq-ft)
  • Combined weight 174.6 kg (385 lbs)
    • Unused weight 16.8 kg (37 lbs)
  • 2 screw ups (1, 2)


  1. Rico-sama says:

    Wow. Really nice looking set-up there, Aka. Not the door of course but some things are just out of your control. 😉

    Using the Dioders was a pretty ingenious move. It adds a modern vibe without being to overly industrial. And it looks fantastic. Consider me officially jealous of this. Because I used the Dark Brown finish on mine don’t think the Dioders would look nearly as good with my set-up. Maybe on the Detolfs, but definitely not the Billys.

    On a side your shelves just look so naked. Not that that’s a bad thing as I’m sure your collection is rapidly growing (or mine is just too damn big LOL). The sparse shelf space looks really nice with the colors though – it helps the modern vibe.

    PS. Who is that in the bottom corner with Nagi and Zange-chan? I can’t quite make her out.

    • Aka says:

      They’ll be full soon enough. But I admit I like to sparseness to it right now, it does have an IKEA catalog sort of look to it, though I prefer your modern interpretation, makes me feel hip and with it when I know I’m not. Though I’ve since moved things around and put my Anime DVDs and books in the shelf without a door. The boxed figures were only there because I was lazy.

      The old cabinet had started to get 5-6 figures per shelf, which is pretty cramped. One thing I never considered with the double wide though was that the center of it is useless for display due to the doors.

      I was actually thinking darker Billy Bookcases would have worked better with the dioders. The birch wood is quite light and while I like it, it does seem maybe too light at times. But I guess overtime it’ll get darker anyway, though not crazy dark. It is easy on the eyes though.

      Max Factory’s Al Azif, bought from Mandarake used. She’s not in the best condition unfortunately. The plastic transparent brick wall behind her is bent and one of the things that’s supposed to stick out of it broke (my fault). She’s not as cute as Leonia made her look. Or maybe that’s just my dislike due to the minor issues with mine not being perfect.

      • Rico-sama says:

        You’re hip and with it and don’t even know it!

        Yeah, a problem with the corner piece in that you can’t get a door on it. Sounds like your making good use of it though.

        Yeah the double wides do have that center that’s hard to navigate. I usually put a figure behind there I don’t mind not seeing. 😛

        Hmm, interesting the dark brown color would work. Maybe I’ll grab a Dioder set and test it out then. I’ve got to get out to Ikea soon myself and make shelving purchase anyway. (Don’t know where in the hell I’m going to fit it).

        Well, it’s not wonder I didn’t recognize her because…I didn’t recognize her. 😛 Sorry you had an unfortunate Mandrake purchase. My first order came through in great condition.

        • Aka says:

          Yay! I’m so happy! I’m cool!

          I’m happy the corner peice has no door, it gives me the perfect place to put those DVDs etc… if it had a door I’d have used it for figures and while good too, isn’t as great as a place for DVDs and books. I mean, these are book shelves afterall.

          I don’t buy figures I don’t mind not seeing, I want to see them all! Well I did put Taki Horo on the bottomish of the one, makes her harder to see for me at my desk.

          I should stop making plans for future cabinets, my little room is too full of junk as it is! Maybe it’s time to stop thinking about cabinets and start thinking about houses haha. You’re an architect right? you can help me design the perfect display room!

          The purchase wasn’t an issue, she was marked open box and used (I really really hate saying that in regards to a figure) so the quality was suspect anyway, and given the low price like the other, I bought it impulsively not really expecting much. She’s worth the money I paid for her, she’s just not perfect.

          Glad your purchase worked out though! They’re a great resource.

  2. lovelyduckie says:

    “IKEA Billy Bookcase corner system”

    I’m not a fan of Detolfs BUT when I looked over the Ikea web site I thought I’d really love the Billy System! I’m jealous! I would have ordered them for myself but there is no Ikea near me (yet) and the shipping total was VERY intense.

    I worked on organizing my collection last weekend too…but I mostly read manga, so I’m not done yet!

    • Aka says:

      I like the Detolfs for what they are, they’re decently cheap and can work well, personally I think I may have to start using them next, because they’d work well in the center of a room, 360 viewing. But I’m not a big fan of them, I found them flimsy in the store, and the glass bent so easily, I really worried what would happen with my cats running around and if they could break the glass so I opted for the Billy’s and their additional cost.

      There’s no IKEA near me, though that depends on your defintition of near. I drove about an hours distance to pick up the stuff, and that works for big things. But it’s not economical to drive there for small things, so I tend to wait till there’s a bunch of things I need at once.

      I need to read more manga and buy more anime on DVD. Next month though, this purchase was large enough.

      • Quazacolt says:

        well, the detolfs uses tempered glass (lol heavy) and if they were to ever break, it’ll shatter into small bits so it’d be much less harmful to your cats per say. and again, tempered glasses, its hard for your cat to break it unless they somehow topple over the detolf. simply dashing into it head first will prolly smash your cat’s head than actually breaking the detolf

        not sure bout the bending though, as iinm they should break instead of bend lol

        • Aka says:

          My cats manage to break things most cats wouldn’t normally. They’re Savannah’s, while only F6s, the one is still entirely all muscle, she’s the strongest cat I’ve ever owned. The other is just heavy and fat, but once he’s moving the momentum…

          They definitely bent in the store, felt very flimsy.

  3. Kevin says:

    Was wondering where you got that awesome background picture for Holo (for the centre monitor) ?

    • Aka says:

      Hi Kevin,

      I got that background off moe.imouto and flipped it. Link.

      If I remember correctly and I hope that I do, it’s a vector from a scene in the Spice & Wolf OVA that came out between Season 1 and Season 2.


      • Quazacolt says:

        bluray/dvd special of season 2 AFAIK. shes just, sleeping lol. after being drunk of course giving educational footage of how wine are made.

        2nd special involves her teaching you how to exercise rofl

  4. takarayama says:

    Those are some snazzy shelves and lights!

    I’ve been considering getting myself some shelves, but it’s hard to know what would look good and work for figures. This seems to work great, though. The lights make it look really special.

    I don’t like the limited space in the Detolfs, but if I had something like this with more space, a Detolf or two might be good for some special figures that need more attention. I also never thought about putting Detolfs more in the middle of a room, but that would be a great idea. The concept reminds me of the glass display units Yakumo uses for his figmas and nendos.

    If I don’t spend all my money on a car, I might get me some shelves like these.

    This article has been an excellent display of what can be done with the Billy series of bookcases and it’s very inspiring. ^_^

    • Aka says:

      Thanks for the kind words takarayama! I’m happy to have inspired you!

      It’s definitely hard to know what works best. I originally was going to go the Detolf route since many collectors have gone that way, regardless of the items they’re collecting. I saw on some model car forums people using them as well, for example.

      However after going to IKEA, feeling the Detolf and seeing it in person, combined with Rico’s post about his Billy Bookcase setup I felt that the Billys were definitely the way to go, despite the limiting viewable angles. I might add, it’s also an upside depending on who you are. For me I like the limited viewing angles, it allows me to display only the side of a figure that I want to display. Very useful for figures with bad sides, or perhaps figure that cross over a certain line of comfort from some angles.

      What gave me the idea for using a Detolf in the middle of a room was it’s 360° viewing angle, there’s no point having glass at the back unless you want to view from that angle as well. It’s far more useful to have an opague back when against a wall as you can more easily run wiring for lighting, as well as hide your perhaps ugly wall.

      • takarayama says:

        Hm.. I wonder why my gravatar didn’t show up. Did I maybe misspell my e-mail address again…? >.>;;;

        I would love to have some bookcases like this for figures as well as DVDs and books. The glass shelves work really well with the lights as they allow for some light to reach even the objects on the lower shelves.

        I just wish this stuff were cheaper. It’s even more expensive here than it is for you in Canada, and IKEA is from Sweden! At least let us have the stuff for cheaper. Grr! >:@

        Oh well. ~.~

        As for the Detolfs, I wish they were raised above the ground more in order to show the contents more at eye level, but I guess we can’t get all we wish for. <.< It would be neat to have figures facing all directions in a Detolf rather than just the front. I think it could work out very well.

        Thanks, again, for making the post. It has been very interesting and informative. ^^

        • Aka says:

          Looks like you just input the wrong provider after the @, fixed it for you though.

          You’re from Sweden? and it’s more expensive there? lol That’s too funny. You really think it’d be cheaper in the place of origin.

          Yeah I was thinking with the Detolfs that placing them on a stand would work out better to raise them up more like display cases at a museum. But I’m not sure how one would mount them to the base in an appealing manner. Maybe just recessed long screws through the base of the Detolf. Who knows!

          I suspect IKEA isn’t the cheapest place for furniture like this, I’m nearly positive I could have found something elsewhere. But for me it’s just the ease of it all, sure i have to build myself, but at least I know what I’m getting with IKEA.

  5. Ashlotte says:

    Geh lucky bastard…I keep saying I want to stick some of those lights in my displays, but lack of funds keeps stopping me…

    Looks very nice though!

    • Aka says:

      They’re quite nice but I think there must be cheaper alternatives. I recall reading something over at Tentacle Armada about using Oznium’s LEDs for stuff. That looked like a mildly cheaper solution. I considered it instead of my IKEA Dioders, and thought I could place the strips of LEDs on the inside edges of the doors to light up the figures.

      That’s another option anyway. As for lucky… I’m not, recently someone unknown to me has apparently taken a vacation on my credit card. Not very cool.

  6. […] that when OMGWebsite started, I only owned 7! I now have in my possession 55 figures displayed in 4 IKEA Billy Bookcase cabinets with an additional 16 figures on the way over the coming months. And that’s just the […]

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