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Is Closed Box Packaging An Option For Marvel Legends?!?

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Back in August 2019 Hasbro announced a company wide initiative to remove plastic from all of their toy packaging by the end of 2022. For many of their products this likely won't be that difficult to do, however when it comes to the world of collectible action figures like say Marvel Legends, that isn't as easy as it sounds.

You see many, at least those who still do their primary figure buying at physical stores, as opposed to online want to be able to see the figures they buy before handing their cash over. This is for a number of reasons. One is so they can pick the figure with the best paint applications, since all figures aren't created equally when they ship from the overseas factories.

Another reason people want to see the figure they are buying is to make sure it's the actual one listed on the packaging. You see an all to common problem that has developed in the hobby is the act of figure swapping. This is when someone decides to switch out an old figure with the new one and then put it back on the pegs. Usually these people will buy the figure, go home switch out the new figure with an old one and then take it back as a return. The stores who have know idea what the actual figure in the box should be take it, and then eventually put it back on their shelves to be resold. If one can't see the figure inside the packaging, then they have no way of knowing if a figure swapper has gotten to before they have.

 

Recently Hasbro has been selling army builder Marvel Legends figures which are sold exclusively online. These figures come in a unique closed box that features nice artwork on the outside. This packaging is totally comprised of cardboard, and has no plastic on it. The boxes are smaller than regular Marvel Legends packaging and the figures cost about $5 cheaper. So is this something Hasbro could switch the entire line over to?

Dan Yun from the Hasbro Marvel brand team poses a question not to long ago on social media asking what people thought about the closed box troop builder packages...

 

Was this just a random question Dan posed because he was bored, or was he trying to do some research, getting customer feeback about the new packaging? Most of the responses he got seemed to totally ignore the packaging aspect of his question, as people instead honed in on the troop builder aspect of it. Still this got me wondering, could they be considering this style of packaging for the entire Marvel Legends line? Is it at all practical for a mass retail produced action figure line?

For myself, I have no problem if they went to a closed box style for their action figures. I think modifications would need to be made to make it more difficult to take the figure out of the box and put a different one back in, but otherwise I would be fine with it. Of course I do most of my figure shopping online these days, and I open all my figures, so packaging to me is just something that goes into the garbage.

Since Dan didn't seem to get many responses about the actual packaging, I thought I would pose the question here for you all. Do you like the closed box packaging, and would it be practical for a line like Marvel Legends at mass retail? If not, then how do you think they can live up to the company mandate of no plastic in their packages by 2022? Let us know your thoughts on this in the COMMENT SECTION below.

Marvel-Legends-Packaging.jpg

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You know, I buy so many of my figures online anymore that it doesn't really matter to me.  Most of my figures are paid for sight unseen anyway.  And if something is broken or incorrect, it's Amazon or Pulse's thing to fix.  It is nice to see Hasbro trying to do something good and something that matters.  I'd support it.

Then again, if they go this route, I doubt many folks will continue to buy a copy of a figure to keep MIB anymore.  Who wants to hang an opaque cardboard box on the wall of their toy room to admire?  I never don't open a toy so, again, doesn't affect me negatively, but there would be at least some people who drop out altogether.

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If it's ultimately better for the environment, I can live with it, but my issue is that not being able to see the figure in the box will lead to a lot of the pain in the ass returns or desperate attempts at Ebay sales when someone gets a figure with messed up eyes or the like. 

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Mixed feeling....The figures I am able to get in store I do look for good paint apps...most of the time I buy online...

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I want to say I wouldn't care, mainly because I take my figures out of the box, and it sounds better for the environment, I however feel like in actuality i'm not for the idea, I think the swapping would be insanity, and cause so much frustration to collectors that it would be a reason to quit, I also think me and others would feel it annoying to have to buy a figure and find out it had horrible QC, also how are they fitting BAF pieces in those boxes?. in the end I vote no.

 

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If they make sure the quality control catches the sloppy figures then it might be OK. I can't believe there are actually people who steal figures that way. So lame.

I'm sure the economic and environmental impacts will be compelling, and I'm OK with that. Maybe they'll get some wicked sweet box art. Or maybe they will figure out how to do clear cardboard.

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21 minutes ago, Lord_Scareglow said:

I want to say I wouldn't care, mainly because I take my figures out of the box, and it sounds better for the environment, I however feel like in actuality i'm not for the idea, I think the swapping would be insanity, and cause so much frustration to collectors that it would be a reason to quit, I also think me and others would feel it annoying to have to buy a figure and find out it had horrible QC, also how are they fitting BAF pieces in those boxes?. in the end I vote no.

 

Everything here, except I do occasionally leave a figure like Stan Lee or Gwenpool (not sure why on that one) in the box, so I am also voting no. Assuming the pandemic ends, this would make things a lot harder to hunt down a figure with good eyes, or a straight hairline, or no lateral bends in the elbows, etc.

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I have no problems with closed boxes. They already do it with Transformers Select

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I dont need to see the fig before hand but the QC aspect does hinder the thought of having a goofy looking fig  instead of a nice paint job it is what it is but thats a lot of lines that they are going to have to figure out before that happens marvel/joes/transformers/ghostbusters & power rangers as well , they say get rid of the plastic but a plastic fig is still going to be in the box my gf made me say that , always hating on my plastic addiction . Ho hum 
 

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1 hour ago, 280-customs said:

I dont need to see the fig before hand but the QC aspect does hinder the thought of having a goofy looking fig  instead of a nice paint job it is what it is but thats a lot of lines that they are going to have to figure out before that happens marvel/joes/transformers/ghostbusters & power rangers as well , they say get rid of the plastic but a plastic fig is still going to be in the box my gf made me say that , always hating on my plastic addiction . Ho hum 
 

Yeah, but those figures are rarely going in the trash, and Hasbro has a recycling program for unwanted figures. Sure, using plastic at all isn't great for the environment, but using it in disposable products is the major culprit.

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It’d be a scammer’s paradise at brick and mortar stores. The employees barely care enough to check the returns now even with the open window packaging. Closing the package would just be  a free for all for dirtbags.

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Since I no longer buy in stores, I wouldn't have an issue with the removal of plastic in packaging. So long as they guarantee that the QC is at least as good as it was for last year (this year I feel has been lacking in certain figures), and that figure swapping online doesn't become a thing. 

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You guys said it. Two of the biggest banes of the modern collector are repackagers and crap QC. Having packages you can't actually look into would only exacerbate those issues . . . particularly when some retailers have a "No Return On Open Merchandise" policy.

IF the toy companies can work out those two problems, only then would I even consider windowless packaging.

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Since I've moved to pretty much only buying figures online where I don't get to check them first, I am fine with the closed box cardboard packaging. I open everything so it's all just waste to me. If it makes the figures cheaper, great. I do see it being an issue for brick and motor though. The cardboard boxes don't have a lot of curb appeal. Somebody browsing an aisle who didn't see the ComicCon reveals probably isn't going to get excited about a box, even with a nice picture on the outside.

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I’ve enjoyed the boxes for the army builders, but do I see it working for the entire line? No way. The reason that I get most of my figures online isn’t sufficient to me. And if that meant no more retro cards, then helllllll to the no 😄

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They could always put a picture of what’s supposed to be inside on the outside of the box.. you know, so the new windowless boxes look like our current boxes.. 

yeah im into recycling, everything but the little folded paper that is in the bottom of the boxes gets recycled so I know I’m not the problem (eye roll).. but I’ve seen waaaaaay to many figure swaps to think this would work at brick and mortar stores. And as mentioned above, QC has been suspect ( I wasn’t buying but I checked out the Storm / TBird set and all but one had very sloppy paint apps) and while normally I don’t care about wonky eyes as that seemed the rarity, I’ve noticed it more recently.

buying online would be ok I guess, probably only way I’d buy to avoid the inevitable swapped figure problem.

i thought Hasbro had already dropped their plastic on Legends, but without the bit holding the figure in place, might as well stuff him in a bag. What else could they do? Maybe use those annoying ties to hold them to cardboard.

had no idea they vowed to remove plastic, be interesting to see their solution 

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2 hours ago, Marconius87 said:

It’d be a scammer’s paradise at brick and mortar stores. The employees barely care enough to check the returns now even with the open window packaging. Closing the package would just be  a free for all for dirtbags.

Bingo! Not a good idea by any metric. Unless the idea is to decrease sales.

Whatever your feelings are about the environmental impacts, this will never work for anything that's going to have a shelf presence. Most non-collectors need to see the product. Most of us collectors buy, at least partially, online anyway so it won't be any skin off the collectors' noses, but the casual fan (and children) push the line. Hasbro makes that very clear with it's tendencies towards spending most of the budget on movie related figures and the constant use and re-use of at least one mainline recognizable character in each wave.

Again, personal environmental implications aside, I think the team made this statement in haste, without any logical foresight, when everyone from learned and experienced multibillionaire industry heads to pompous know-it-all 16 year olds with zero experience in industry, history and life in general chiming in on environmental issues was the "in" thing to do.

In truth, we already follow the most stringent environmental guidelines in the world while other countries operate under zero to no guidelines. Incidentally, it is for those lack of guidelines that it's much cheaper for Hasbro to have their products made in the country that they do, and eliminating even the smallest of plastic windows and then looking down their noses at the rest of "industry" is so savagely hypocritical that it defies conventional definition.

That being said, I suppose every little bit counts, but the only other option I see is something similar to how they did the Spider-Man and Avengers 5" line which mostly used cardboard and twist ties which resulted in countless, headless figures on the pegs as far as the eyes could see. I promise, if Hasbro could walk that statement back they would do it yesterday.

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My recycling service excepts plastic containers like milk jugs but they don’t recycle plastic bags.  So what makes a Simply Orange container recyclable and action figure bubbles and windows not?
 

I remember years ago where there were Gundam figures (not the models) in packaging meant for display.  It wasn’t unlike the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 packaging, which also doubled as a foot locker.   So why not go that route instead for the collectors who wouldn’t mind a nice display that doubles as a package and can be recycled by those who don’t?

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Applaud Hasbro for good intentions; I'm all for cheaper shipping and also helping the environment whenever possible. The closed box option is fine for online, focused sites like HasbroPulse because there's more control. But open retail markets like Target , WM,etc are already preyed upon by lowlife swappers and other vandals. The other issue is quality control- if I'm able to see that almost detached elbow or leg before I buy, I can get a better one and bring the defective one to the store' attention.

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Swappers and thieves would definitely make that impossible for brick and mortar stores, but maybe if Hasbro made every exclusive item that came from Amazon, Pulse, BBTS, etc. that kind of box, it would help a lot. I'm in full support of less packaging if it means cheaper figures or even just if it's better for the environment.

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This whole argument still mystifies me (but then I've had me a day, so mystifying me isn't that hard at this point).

Economically or environmentally, whatever you save by phasing out plastic, you just loose all over again on increased wood-pulp use to make the extra cardboard. Plastic can be recycled, but once a tree is gone, its gone.

You'd do better keeping the plastic, and just switching back to the old blister card format like with the retro figures. As nice as the ML window-boxes are, even I have to admit they're kinda wasteful.

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1 hour ago, mako said:

This whole argument still mystifies me (but then I've had me a day, so mystifying me isn't that hard at this point).

Economically or environmentally, whatever you save by phasing out plastic, you just loose all over again on increased wood-pulp use to make the extra cardboard. Plastic can be recycled, but once a tree is gone, its gone.

You'd do better keeping the plastic, and just switching back to the old blister card format like with the retro figures. As nice as the ML window-boxes are, even I have to admit they're kinda wasteful.

You can always plant more tress and there are sustainable programs where companies plant more tress than they cut down. I think the argument for less plastic isn't due to recycling but the opposite; It is because some people don't bother to recycle and the fact that some plastic can't be recycled that is the problem. Cardboard degrades a lot easier than plastic which in turn leads to the whole micro-plastics in our water that everyone is now talking about.

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When it comes to less plastic packaging Hasbro are already doing it with their Transformers line. For Generations Kingdom the boxed figures have only a small window and as I mentioned Generations Selects is a closed box

 

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The fastest diet in the world is to stop eating. Of course, if you don't eat, you die. The point being, phasing out plastic isn't the way to go. Intelligently utilizing the resources God gave us is the only way. Smarter instead of none.

And quite frankly, I'm gettin' kinda sick of the Green-Natzis making policy. I and a couple billion other guys pay taxes, obey the laws, and say our prayers at night. Don't tell us how to live our lives just because a VERY vocal minority of tree-hugging, vegan air-heads think plastic and meat are gonna destroy the world (no, stupid people are gonna do that).

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