Author Topic: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023  (Read 4300 times)

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18044
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2022, 10:05 AM »
These days its all pre-orders where I have no ability to control any of that and get what I get from Amazon/Target.com.  I don't think I've purchased more than two figures at retail in the past two years.

I'll miss the 3.75" bubbles and the nostalgia of the form factor, but at the end of the day this doesn't really get me too upset.  If I'm going to get upset about something with the figure line I'll spend my time bitching about the lack of truly new figures.

^ This ^

If I find something in person I pay pretty close attention to the paint details, eyes, etc. and have passed on figures I need because of bad paint issues.  But now that almost everything is preorder, its a total crapshoot on what you get anyway, so the packaging is even less important.  My biggest concern is getting hosed by re-packers and returns.  We already see a fair amount of people stealing BAF parts or swapping figures with the bubbles - is that going to get 10x worse when you can't even see inside the package?  I'm going to be suspicious of pretty much every package that didn't get mailed directly to me or didn't come straight out of a case.
Climbed a mountain & never came back. I will not quit & I always fight back 
From this moment for all my life. What could I say? Was born to be this way. And what could I say?  Just livin' for today

Offline P-Siddy

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9114
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2022, 11:07 AM »
My biggest concern is getting hosed by re-packers and returns.  We already see a fair amount of people stealing BAF parts or swapping figures with the bubbles - is that going to get 10x worse when you can't even see inside the package?  I'm going to be suspicious of pretty much every package that didn't get mailed directly to me or didn't come straight out of a case.

+1  I think that's my biggest concern.  There have been so many cases where the unseen figure pack-ins have been stolen from playsets and vehicles (Merrick) or even the item has been stolen and replaced with duplo blocks or unwanted other things.  Lately, I've been buying my things online from reliable sources so they usually come straight from a box.  It's Target and Walmart that might ship the returned item that you have to be wary about.

As much as I love the Vintage look with the figure next to the photo, if it changes then there's nothing I can do about it (save for making the choice of continuing or quitting).  I'm not going to let that stress me out. 

Speedermike posted a concept he came up with on facebook that I though was interesting. https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10223936057803504&set=gm.1053849495203064  Check it out if you haven't seen it yet.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 11:08 AM by P-Siddy »

Online Matt_Fury

  • Jedi General
  • *
  • Posts: 9042
  • I aim to misbehave.
    • View Profile
    • Every Action Figure Parody has a beginning.
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2022, 11:36 AM »
I think I've found to solution.  Hasbro is going to forgo the current packaging and everything will be in white mailer boxes.  Unfortunately there are no poly bags.
This is the way.


I have spoken.

Offline JediJman

  • Jedi Guardian
  • *
  • Posts: 18044
  • I don't get drunk, I get awesome.
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2022, 03:34 PM »
I get not using the plastic, but couldn't they still include a small window/opening to see a little bit of what's inside?  The new Transformer line has this where there isn't a big enough to steal anything, but you can still see part of the actual figure inside to know what you're getting.
Climbed a mountain & never came back. I will not quit & I always fight back 
From this moment for all my life. What could I say? Was born to be this way. And what could I say?  Just livin' for today

Offline Dave

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5851
  • Never Trust a Big Butt and a Smile - BBD
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2022, 03:45 PM »
I assume this is going to be a cost savings to Hasbro as well.  Less packaging, less design effort since you can't do cool window boxes, etc.  My guess is that we're not going to see any of the savings though...

Offline Ryan

  • Retired Staff Member
  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 5659
  • Destiny is all
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2022, 06:50 PM »
I too wonder what kind of impact that this will have on re-packers and returns and picking a figure for its paint job.I do keep the occasional carded double figure, and would certainly miss the nostalgia of the bubble. In the case of a carded figure the packaging is part of the product, and it would be a shame to lose that. I love the look of a nice wall of carded figures, especially TVC figures. I've always been someone who appreciates nice looking packaging, even if I plan on opening the item.

That all being said...

The environmental impacts here outweigh any other concerns I have. We need to start cutting back on excess plastic production, particularly single use plastics even of the recyclable variety. I'd be interested to see if Hasbro has any sort of hard data on what the total percentages of figures that are kept card vs opened. My guess is that between kids, openers, and carded collectors, the vast majority of figures are still opened. Once that happens, all plastic bubbles, windows, and baggies are all ultimately just trash. Alone, this may not make a significant change to the amount of plastic production in the world, but every bit helps. (The irony that I am still buying plastic toys is not lost on me, but I at least feel like those are not going to be trash any time soon, even if they will all eventually end up there.)

I'm also not at all naive enough to think Hasbro is doing this purely out of concern for the environment, like Dave already said this is all about the cost savings for them, not that we will see any of that as consumers. But if the net result is less plastic in local dumps, rivers, and oceans I'm good with that.

This is ultimately a small trade off for me and isn't like to significantly alter how I collect. I am mostly opening things anyways. 95% of what I buy anymore comes from an online retailer, so I can't check for paint jobs or repacks anyways, which really lessens the impact of this change for me. I'm willing to wait and see how it all plays out before I decide on what it means for my collecting habits.

I think I've found to solution.  Hasbro is going to forgo the current packaging and everything will be in white mailer boxes.  Unfortunately there are no poly bags.

We aren't too far off with the trooper builder 4-packs and their parchment wrapping paper... I actually would not be entirely opposed to that for single releases.
"This is the way."

Offline McMetal

  • Jedi Master
  • *
  • Posts: 6935
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2022, 10:35 PM »
This will be interesting for me because although I have always opened my 6” figures, I have never been able to bring myself to open those new style boxes with the art on the side. They just look so perfect as is. So I think I would actually be ok if they went away from those just so I could go back to opening my figures again, lol.

The one thing I didn’t think of til Jeff mentioned it was the inevitable 6” ROTJ Vintage style cardbacks we know are coming next year. It would suck for those to look all funky and different compared to the ANH and ESB ones. Maybe they can make an exception for those?
A character’s face is melted by fantastical energy

Offline Nicklab

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 13231
  • I saw we fight!
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2022, 08:31 AM »
It appears that Jayson updated this article BURSTING THE BUBBLE OF STAR WARS COLLECTIBLES AND COLLECTORS

I was also able to finally take a look at this piece with mockups of Black Series figures in the new packaging style.  It is definitely not a surprise.  I found the un-named Hasbro Star Wars 6" budget line of figures in the wild in the new packaging.  Previous releases of this line had some plastic in the packaging.  Others had a cut-out in the box where you could touch the figure.  But these had an illustration of the character on the front as seen here.

But as for the Yakface article?  This paragraph caught my attention:


UPDATE: Hasbro currently has windowed (includes a cutout to see a portion of the figure) and windowless (solid, blind boxed) packaging for many of their lines including Fornite, Marvel Legends, Transformers, Power Rangers and more to come. Star Wars Vintage Collection, Retro Collection and Black Series will certainly be no different. But whatever the packaging style, there will be no plastic sheet or bubble in most cases.


It's a very significant development if this does happen.  It would be a major shift in the aesthetic presentation of The Vintage Collection.  And I have little doubt that the next Hasbro Star Wars livestream will address the issue, as will any follow-up Fan Site Q&A sessions.  We appear to be due for one since we're a little less than 2 weeks away from what has become an annual Star Wars promotional event - May the Fourth Be With You.
"Call up a Hammerhead Corvette.  I have an idea."

Feedback

Offline Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Elder
  • *
  • Posts: 25643
  • Leave me where I lie
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2022, 08:57 AM »
I found the un-named Hasbro Star Wars 6" budget line of figures in the wild in the new packaging. 

It's been slowly changing over the past year.  The budget 6" stuff, the Mission Fleet stuff, The Grogu Bounty stuff - all of it has lost the plastic over the past few months.  I don't think most collectors paid attention since most don't collect these ancillary product lines.

Mission Fleet is a great example.  You can see how the basic line specifically went from plastic bubble/insert tray on card to small window box with plastic insert tray to full no plastic/no window box -




And I have little doubt that the next Hasbro Star Wars livestream will address the issue, as will any follow-up Fan Site Q&A sessions.  We appear to be due for one since we're a little less than 2 weeks away from what has become an annual Star Wars promotional event - May the Fourth Be With You.

Yeah, I was thinking about that last night.  If they announce something on May 4th, then they KNOW they will have to deal with fan reaction in-person at Celebration at the end of May.  I can see some sort of grass roots "save the TVC bubbles!" type thing at Celebration even.

Part of me thinks they're going to go with "we can't comment at this time" for both May 4th and Celebration so they don't have to talk about it in-person with the fans...  it would be best for them to rip the band-aid off, get the truth out there and then deal with it though.
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
On Twitter?  Follow JediDefender -> @jedidefender

Offline Nicklab

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 13231
  • I saw we fight!
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2022, 10:00 AM »
I think that *IF* they change Vintage Collection packaging, it's going be announced in a big way - an article on the Star Wars Official Site or one of those paid articles that turns up in USA Today or a comparable outlet.  It would be VERY controlled.  Because the stakes here are very high.  And brand identity is a huge consideration here.

The Star Wars brand was based so much on the success of the toys.  In the first year alone when Kenner introduced Star Wars toys sales were in the vicinity of $100 million.  In 2022 dollars that's around $450 million, just from those 1977 - 1978 sales.  And between 1978 and the time of the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, toy sales for the Star Wars brand were around $3 billion.  Over the span of licensed merchandise for Star Wars, the classic Kenner and then Hasbro black & silver packaging ran from 1978 > 1985, again in 2004, from 2006 > 2007, 2010 > 2013, and 2018 > 2022.  That's 18 years over the history of the brand.  The style of the Kenner cards has even been the inspiration for the cover art of numerous Star Wars releases from Marvel comics.  So it's not overstating the case to say that the packaging look of the Kenner figures and The Vintage Collection is the look of Star Wars. 

I suspect that Hasbro was not allowed to make a change in the look of the packaging unilaterally.  This HAD to be approved by Lucasfilm licensing and probably Disney on account of the business and brand identity impact.  The environmental considerations are significant in terms of public relations for Hasbro and Lucasfilm / Disney.  But they also have to weigh the business impact, because this will have broader implications.

As for when this happens?  That seems unclear, because we keep seeing new TVC figure releases coming out in blisters.  The Target exclusive wave turned up in blisters.  And I just saw an image of a carded Mandalorian Super Commando Captain circulating on social media - also in a blister.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2022, 10:01 AM by Nicklab »
"Call up a Hammerhead Corvette.  I have an idea."

Feedback

Offline Rob

  • Staff Member
  • Jedi Council Member
  • *
  • Posts: 24528
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2022, 10:28 AM »
Changing the packaging to remove plastics, leaving TVC behind…

Pair that with going back to TAC level articulation and let’s get 3.75” scale figures down to something reasonable.  $10.99 or $11.99 maybe?

The $15.99 thing is way too much.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2022, 10:28 AM by Rob »

Offline Brian

  • Jedi Sentinel
  • *
  • Posts: 11725
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2022, 10:47 AM »
As someone who opens pretty much anything, I for the most part could care less. The only figures I keep on card anymore are doubles I get of OT characters that show up in the TVC line. I could see TVC being the “exception to the rule”, or maybe we will just see a switch to a look like the deluxe Fett. I’d like to see them finish out the original 96, but beyond that who cares. I’m fine with all cardboard. Like others, I get most of my stuff online anymore anyways, so paint is a gamble either way. Honestly I can’t say I’ve had a ton of trouble with paint overall since the face painting tech started being used.

To each their own, and I know everyone has different collecting habits/goals. It might be my age or years in the hobby, but I have more perspective on the world at this point and see how silly our complaints sound outside of a vacuum. “Did they stop making your toy line?” “No, but they are putting them in different boxes!” If cutting the plastic helps the world a bit, fantastic, give us the cardboard. Honestly I think most of the concern is over the TVC line from what I’ve seen. Maybe we have taken it for granted a bit. It used to be once or twice a year in the VOTC days, or it would go away sometimes and then come back like earlier TVC days. Like I said, finish the 96 in this same style, and then move on or make them special releases.

Offline Jeff

  • Administrator
  • Jedi Elder
  • *
  • Posts: 25643
  • Leave me where I lie
    • View Profile
    • www.JediDefender.com
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #42 on: April 22, 2022, 02:36 PM »
I think that *IF* they change Vintage Collection packaging

I'm convinced it's happening, whether collectors like it or not.  I'm guessing this ends one of two ways -

1) TVC 3.0 is born; Hasbro debuts new cardbacks with a cardboard box where the bubble used to be (maybe with an open window to see the figure, maybe not)
or
2) TVC 2.0 is dead; Hasbro debuts a brand new plastic-free package for 3.75" figures for 2023.

I think Hasbro's preference is #1.  I think they are hoping that carded collectors will feel an inertia to keep buying even if what they will be buying doesn't strictly match the 'classic' TVC look.  If those carded folks stop buying, I think Hasbro moves to option 2 with a much cheaper package design to save as much cost as possible to counteract the drop in sales/volume. Really small boxes with little wasted space (cheaper to make and more cost-effective to ship).


I will be happy to be proven wrong though. If Hasbro can find a way to keep the plastic TVC bubbles and still meet their corporate pledge deadline, it will mean something to the TVC carded collectors. That TVC classic look means a lot to many 3.75" collectors.  I hope they get what they want... but I also hope they will be able to adjust if it plays out the other way.
Editor-in-Chief  - www.JediDefender.com
On Twitter?  Follow JediDefender -> @jedidefender

Offline Jesse James

  • Staff Member
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 35428
  • Slippery When Poopy
    • View Profile
    • JediDefender.com
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #43 on: April 22, 2022, 08:18 PM »
I'm convinced it's happening, whether collectors like it or not. 

I’m with Jeff.  This is a big commitment publicly.  It’s done, stick a fork in it.
2011 Rebel Fleet Trooper Gets My Seal Of Approval!  But Where's The Friggin' Holster On Him!?
Jedi Defender.com Contributing Editor, Twitter @JediDefender & @Jesse_James77

Offline Jedi Idej

  • Jedi Padawan
  • *
  • Posts: 567
    • View Profile
Re: Hasbro to go "Virtually Plastic Free" by 2023
« Reply #44 on: April 22, 2022, 09:26 PM »
Hasbro gives TVC a rest and brings out a different graphical look and packaging. They introduce TVC 3.0 in a few years when emotions have cooled and it wont face the backlash it will now.

Who knows? Maybe a lasting, high-temp, plant-based, plastic substitute will be developed by then and all of this hysteria will be made moot.

But wow, there is a lot of anger on other forums. Surprising since this look has only come out intermittently since Hasbro brought back figures 27 years ago.