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Gemini and the Quest for the Graded Comic Mailers

Origin Story

A mailer dedicated to graded comic slabs has been - by far - the most frequent product request we have received for years.  However, it always presented us with an interesting problem: you ask ten retailers the best way to ship slabs, and you get ten different replies.  The only commonality was that conventional methods require a lot of time to pack, a lot of expensive supplies, and usually a lot of excess shipping charges on dimensional rates.

We set out to find a solution to this problem.  We wanted to develop a compact mailer that is easy to pack, relatively inexpensive, and provides adequate protection for high value contents like graded comic books.  We also wanted to avoid plastics and other wasteful materials.  But where could we find such a remarkable object?

The logical starting point was to convert our popular Flash Mailers into a size suitable for graded comic mailers.  We quickly realized that this was not a viable option because it produced a massive unfolded mailer that would be ludicrously expensive to ship in bulk.  We tried and failed many more times.  We soon learned that this was no longer a problem to solve.  This was personal.  We were on a quest...

The Quest

Eventually our journey lead us to find inspiration in other product categories - anything flat and delicate: picture frames, glassware, LPs...LPs!  Surely LPs are bigger, flatter, heavier, more delicate, and have been around much longer than graded comic books.  

We reviewed many different LP shipping solutions and drew inspiration from the designs that offered the best corner and edge protection.  We tested our prototypes by shipping graded comics internationally to simulate the most rough and careless handling.  Although none of our slabs were damaged in any prototype, one design held up best again and again.  This became the... (cue the Zelda treasure tone) Gemini Graded Comic Mailer.

Due Diligence

Since there were no other products of this type for graded mailers, we knew we would face skepticism and doubt.  Graded comics are among the most treasured in the hobby.  We needed to be sure that we were bringing a product that we could believed is suitable for graded comics.  

First, we upgraded the grade of the corrugated board to 200# Test.  200# Test board refers to the bursting strength and is 50% stronger than your typical 32 ECT box.  This means that our single graded comic mailer is industry rated to hold over 40 slabs.  We also used a thicker liner combination to protect against blunt force impact to the sides of the package.

We again tested this final prototype extensively by shipping graded comics all around the world.  All arrived in pristine condition.  Not only were the comics protected, the outer structure of the mailers held up remarkably well.  We observed rounding of the edges that indicated the mailers had withstood rough handling, but did not put the comics in any immediate danger.

Of course we cannot guarantee 100% protection against egregious handling or unusual situations (i.e. water damage).  However, we can assert that we have tested this product extensively and are confident in its efficacy for shipping graded comic slabs.        

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