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Review: Console Dust Covers from The Pat Rat Shack w/ Creator Interview

Today we’re going to be reviewing several dust covers that are on Etsy on The Pat Rat Shack‘s page. As you’ll see, they offer a multitude of covers for several different companies and generations too. Right now there are more retro consoles covered on his page, but if you read the interview at the bottom of the page, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Dust covers are not something that most collectors or even part-time console gamers think about getting, but they should. This article isn’t going to talk about if you should or should not get a dust cover, because you absolutely should. This review is going to discuss the color options, fabric, quality, durability and much more of the dust covers from The Pat Rat Shack. Naturally, I’ll have links for the individual covers as we go along as well as the link to the main page again at the bottom following the short interview that I got to have with Pat Huggins. Let’s dive in!

Shipping:

This review is about dust covers. I also wanted to do a quick mention about the shipping of the items. This will show how the Etsy page runs its business as a whole. Mention how nicely everything came packaged and how quickly the items arrived. The quick unboxing video is here. Feel free to watch it to see how well the items came packaged.

Color:

Dust Cover on Sega Saturn-Front

Every console that The Pat Rat Shack makes dust covers for have different color options. For the sake of brevity (because the company gives you a lot to choose from), I’m going to talk about the color options that exist for the consoles that I received dust covers for. For the Genesis model 1, there is black, blue, and red. In terms of the Sega Saturn, there are black, red, white, light blue, light grey. The Dreamcast covers come in dark blue, purple, orange, yellow gold, red, fuchsia, and grey. With regards to the Dreamcast VMU bag, those come in black, orange, red, dark blue, yellow gold, fuchsia, grey and white. The Sega Saturn controller bag comes in black, red white, light grey, and light blue. Now that is a ton of options.

 

And the options that the site has for you doesn’t even stop there. I won’t go into the specifics, but no matter which color you choose for those dust covers that I just mentioned, a lot of them you can change the color of the logo as well. This would be particularly fun for the Dreamcast logo. The swirl is orange in the United States, but blue in the PAL territories, so if you own a British Dreamcast, it may be fun to put in a different colored swirl.

Overall, I think the options that exist for colors more than exceed the expectation that most people have for buying dust covers. These colors show that you can be more outspoken with a dust cover and that it does not have to be dull and ugly to resist dust. I also like how The Pat Rat Shack has a lot of color options that when mixed and matched evoke color schemes that scream the 90’s. Which is all too appropriate for the consoles that I got covers for. If you buy a cover for your Atari 5200 though, you wouldn’t want to probably have it be red with light blue print.

One final note, I was sent a Dreamcast cover that has a color scheme that is white with a standard colored logo. I can’t speak as to how that occured as I don’t see that option on the site. I certainly hope that The Pat Rat Shack realizes that people will definitely see my Dreamcast dust cover and want to order that. Last note on color, some will be sold out from time to time. I can’t imagine that that means that they’re permanently out of that color. If you’re set on it, don’t settle for a color that you won’t want. Get one that matches your personality and no matter what it is that you choose, it will look great on your system. 10/10

Dust Cover on Sega Saturn w/o Save Cart-Back
Dust Cover on Sega Saturn w/Save Cart-Back

Fabric:

Dust Cover on Sega Genesis-Front

The Pat Rat Shack order page says that these covers are comprised of “thread, duck cloth, canvas, ink”. When I googled what duck cloth was, I came to find that it essentially is a tighter woven than a standard canvas. So if you’ve had canvas in your hands before, you’ll know that it can feel sort of rough. These, however, feel smooth to the touch and are soft overall. Meaning that since the weave is tighter, it’s something more akin to a high thread count sheet in canvas form.

I didn’t find that any of the colors of fabric were inherently different than any of the other colors. I know sometimes that color is printed onto cloth and that was not the case here. The cloth was dyed at the cloth factory clearly. What must’ve been done at The Pat Rat Shack is the printing of the logos. Or maybe they have a place that prints the logos on for them, but nevertheless, you can ever so slightly feel the logos. They’re raised off of the surface of the cloth the tiniest bit, but nothing is gunky or bubbled or anything crazy.

The fabric that was chosen is probably my favorite type of dust cover fabric thus far. I think it does more than expected and stops just short of overkill. I think that the price is right and The Pat Rat Shack could charge more for this level of cloth, but doesn’t and stays neck in neck with competitors. By keeping the fabric quality high and the cost reasonable, I feel like The Pat Rat Shack can impress even the most discriminating retro collector. 10/10

Dust Cover on Sega Genesis Model 1-Back

Quality:

Dust Cover for Dreamcast VMU-Front

This is the part where I have some slight issues. I’m not saying stop reading and don’t buy these products, because that would be a bold faced lie. I still think every retro enthusiast should own some. What I’m wanting to bring up is some small quality issues when it comes to the backside of the dust covers. That’s right, even though you can’t see it, I still have to scrutinize just in case one of you would’ve never have bought the product had they known about this small issue.

It’s not a consistent issue and again, it only exists on the dust covers and not the bags. On the backside of the dust cover, where you find the cord holds, you can see where they have cut the holes. That’s all fine and normal as it should be. They also sew the holes so that the holes do not expand, fray, or cause the cloth to tear. What seems to still be happening is that the holes have strings hanging from an unclean cut. This may not be a big deal to anyone and I certainly hope that that’s the case. However, if there was a way that The Pat Rat Shack could clean up that one small complaint, then they’d go from 99.3% to 100% in my eyes.

All of the rest of the quality is on point. From the sewn seams to the contained draw strings. All of the way to the aforementioned beautifully printed logos. Not a glob of ink out of place on those prints! I also love how nicely the dust covers squeeze the corners of the console to stay in place. There is no stretching to make them fit and there isn’t some overabundance of fabric either. I would hate that as you’d have to lay the dust covers on top like an over-sized hat. No, these are great in every way. And if you don’t mind snipping off a couple of frayed strings to clean it up a bit, you’ll find that you have a high quality dust cover. 9/10

Dust Cover for Dreamcast VMUs-Inside

Durability:

Dust Cover for Sega Saturn Controller-Front

The dust covers and bags are probably the thickest fabric that I’ve ever come across in my natural life. These things are thicker than painters’ canvas as it’s woven tighter than standard canvas. What does this mean for you in terms of durability? According to the internet, duck cloth is not naturally liquid, stain, or odor proof. My recommendation to you personally if you get a dust cover is to keep your drinks and such away from the cloth. Just because it’s woven tightly doesn’t mean that you’ll have much time at all to stop the liquid from getting through the dust cover and onto your console.

In terms of everything else, you certainly have a strong bag or dust cover if you buy one of these. I tried to literally pull the bag apart at the seams and was hilariously unsuccessful. So the seams are just as great as the fabric is. The fabric was damn near untearable with my bear hands as well. The drawstrings in the bags also hold their own and I could pull them out or fray them or anything that I tried to do to hurt them under conventional means. Does this mean that these products that range from $12-$20 will last you a life time? I can’t say as I could only test them over the span of the last few weeks. But they seem just as durable as that old duffle bag that’s been used time and time again in your household for travel and such over the last who knows how many years. I think these things should be able to stand the test of time. I am thoroughly impressed! 10/10

Dust Cover for Sega Saturn Controller-Inside

Review of Individual Dust Covers:

Dust Cover on Sega Dreamcast-Front
  1. Sega Saturn-The Sega Saturn fit perfectly into the dust cover as you may have noticed up higher in the pictures. The red color looks absolutely fantastic with the black color underneath it. I think it helps the red stand out even more. My favorite thing about the dust cover thus far is that even with my Action Replay cartridge in the memory slot of the Sega Saturn, the cover still fits. Now granted, this isn’t an exact fit, but it still works with the ports as it only lifts the cover up a little bit. This should be a sigh of relief for those of you who are wanting to not have to take their cartridge out of the cartridge bay…because that would be very tedious.
  2. Sega Dreamcast-This dust cover I do wish was a little bit deeper overall. The Sega Saturn and the Sega Genesis dust covers fit over the entire height of the console. But the Sega Dreamcast cover is just about an inch too small. My guess is that it was cheaper to cut it off and not make holes for the video cord. Nevertheless, at least the white cover matches the white console, so that’s decent. If it were a totally separate color that had been used, I would most likely have been more chuffed about it. Otherwise, it looks official enough that I’ve already had someone ask me “When did Sega make a dust cover for their Dreamcast?”.
  3. Sega Genesis Model 1-This is one of the oldest systems I remember owning. I certainly wanted to make certain that my 1st generation Sega Genesis would last much longer. It was the first dust cover that I tried out. Where I’m not a massive fan of the color blue, I was greatly overwhelmed with how great it looked and hugged the system. The blue matched the Sega logo with just seemed to add so much more validity to the cover. Not only that, but the cover seemed to fit better than any of the other ones. Not that they don’t fit at all, it just seemed to look so legit that I can’t help but not want to even take the dust cover off of it.
  4. Sega Dreamcast VMU Bag-This is much larger than one VMU, so you could actually put several VMU’s in the bag. I would much prefer the bag be larger so I can just have it be a controller bag like what I have for the Sega Saturn. Only because the Dreamcast controller can already hold two VMU’s in the controller itself. It makes more sense to protect the controller with the VMU’s inside, rather than have VMU’s protected in a bag, but leave the controller exposed. Even more so because of the fact that then you’ll have to take the VMU’s out and put them into the controller anyhow. My recommendation to The Pat Rat Shack is to make the bag slightly larger and then it will be 100% perfect.
  5. Sega Saturn Controller Bag-As I was just saying in the previous paragraph, controller bags are awesome. I think that this Sega Saturn bag is stupendous overall. You may notice in the picture for it that I jammed the bag full of Sega Saturn accessories. This means I was able to fit the controller inside as well as the video cord, the power cord, and an extra RF adapter. This is ultra useful because if I decide to take my Saturn with me to a party or a friend’s house, all I have to do is grab the console and this bag and I’m set to go. This bag is a great idea and well executed by having a drawstring (as does the VMU bag) instead of a zipper or a snap.
Dust Cover on Sega Dreamcast-Back

Interview with Patrick Huggins of The Pat Rat Shack:

Do you have plans of extending your dust cover business to any other consoles in the near future?

Yes, we do have plans for more covers for consoles. The Gamecube, Super Nintendo Classic, and the PS2 are the ones closest to being ready. Our overall plan is to make covers for every console old and new. 

Can customers buy in bulk and receive any kind of a discount?

We usually give discounts to customers that spend $100 or more by request. 

What is it that drew you to making dust covers for consoles in the first place?

I have always loved video games and been a collector. I wanted a cover for my Atari 7800 so instead of buying one I decided to make one. Once I had made it I was very happy with it and I thought that I would offer it to people. In the first month, I sold one but I made more covers for my collection. I put more online and it has slowly grown. 

What is the number one ordered dust cover?

Sega Dreamcast is by far the biggest seller. Not just in the US, but Europe and Australia too. 

What’s the average turn around time and what is the worst case scenario for your turn around time?

We get covers shipped within two or three days. The worst case scenario for us would probably be a week. We luckily haven’t had this happen yet. As far as restocking, it can take two or three weeks depending on supplies or how much we are trying to do at once.

If you would like to see more than just the dust covers featured here, head over to The Pat Rat Shack over on Etsy.

Stay tuned here on Hackinformer.com for more reviews and follow us on Twitter @Hackinformer

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