View Full Version : Cut out wasteful packaging elements and practices!!!

Old Fossil
04-28-2008, 10:54 AM
Hi Hasbro,

I buy quite a few of your figures these days, when I can find them... Star Wars and G.I. Joe, specifically. I am regularly astounded at the immense amount of waste from Star Wars packages: plastic from the huge bubbles, mainly.

In a time when many leading companies are "going green" in attempts to become more environmentally-friendly, your Star Wars line seems blissfully ignorant of the staggering amount of waste it is producing. This is odd, considering that Star Wars' distant action figure "cousin" G.I. Joe makes do with considerably less packaging elements and, as a result, much less plastic and paper going into the world's landfills.

You have an incentive to make money. You also have a responsibility to humankind to leave as small an environmental footprint as possible while making your money. This cannot be the first time you've heard the plea for less waste in your products -- I have seen it mentioned on the boards here before, and on other collecting sites as well.

Step up to the plate, Hasbro. Be a leader in this effort. I bet your customers, many of whom support environmentally-friendly causes, will reward you with their $$$.

El Chuxter
04-28-2008, 01:45 PM
Couldn't agree more.

And why not eliminate window packaging altogether? Does it really boost sales that much? Cardboard is more environmentally friendly, plus the items wouldn't have to be twist-tied into place, and so less packing material would be required.

Hell, if it means a benefit to the environment, go back to the age of GIJoes, where everything was in a cardboard box and it was all disassembled to fit in a much smaller box.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
04-28-2008, 02:16 PM
Recycle the bubbles and keep the cards; problem solved.

El Chuxter
04-28-2008, 02:27 PM
Not all areas offer recycling. Some areas that offer it don't actually follow through. And, IIRC, plastic degrades in quality every time it's recycled.

04-28-2008, 02:44 PM
in my country, the bubbles aren't recyclable. we don't have enough fundage to set up enough recycling plants to deal with plastics. just paper products glass and metals. for the most part.
I would welcome less packaging waste as i've been saying for a number of years on here anyway. considering how small most of these figures are the packaging is vastly oversized. I know carded collectors will whine as they always do but the fact is every time hasbro changes the style of the cardback and bubble they have to deal with it so a shift to a more subtle and earth friendly packaging would be no different.
as i've suggested, a small card box with a clear photograph of the product inside is all that's needed. plus some kind of seal over the box ends like a tape or sticker. if the seal is broken the figure has been tampered with.
collectors who want to continue living in the days of the late seventies and early eighties have vintage products and the many vintage styled items. the hard fact is that we don't live in an age of inexhaustable supplies of the materials currently used to package figures. we all need to adjust and adapt to new ways of thinking and methods of cutting down on the amount of absolute waste and crud going into landfill sites.
I don't care what hasbro says about wanting to present their product in a premium format, what they're doing is selling a tiny scant bit of plastic figure in huge amounts of packaging and it needs to change. not just hasbro but acros the industry.
When Toybiz changed their LOTR figure packaging from the massive rounded front window box to the smaller cardaback and bubble format I thought that was fantastic. And it shaved a big chunk off the overall cost of the figures too.
Quite honestly, any company that sells plastic products has a duty to help minimise the damage that product causes in the long run and that includes how it's bundled for retail.
Shame on you hasbro. shame on the toy industry. selling wastefulness to children. selling global trash mountains.

04-28-2008, 06:25 PM
Bigger bubbles should only be used when they're including set dressings and large accessories - deluxe-style figures have been put into the basic line and cost the same as 'ordinary' figures that don't have large accessories so I don't see why the packaging can't be dealt with on a case by case basis. Large figure requires big bubble - fine - small figure needs only a small bubble - they're charging the same anyway. I LOVE those narrow figure compartments on the vintage boxes and it aint nostalgia for me because I'd only recently began my existence back then.

04-28-2008, 07:48 PM
And why not eliminate window packaging altogether? Does it really boost sales that much?Well, you've gotta assume that being able to see the product makes it much easier to sell. I'd never buy any Star Wars figures if I couldn't see them first, but with that said, there's no reason why they can't lean back in the direction of more cardboard (recycled paper products), and less plastic materials.

I'll make a prediction that most companies, and not just Hasbro, will be going in a more "green" direction soon enough. Sure, they can produce the plastic over in China where manufacturing standards are low, and nobody cares about the polution and obvious health risks to the Chinese, but now that the cost is so high, they'll want to look at other options.

As far as recycling goes, I live in a place that recycles heavily, and even though it took me a while to get used to it (coming from an LA suburb where we could put out as many trash cans as we wanted at no extra cost), it's really no big deal once you get in the habit.

I'll admit though, I've been terrible about recycling toy packaging. Suppose the best way to cut down on waste, is to stop spending as much money on wasteful items... :neutral:

04-28-2008, 07:49 PM
Unlike Compton, here in the LBC, we can now even recycle STYROFOAM!

04-28-2008, 07:55 PM
Unlike Compton, here in the LBC, we can now even recycle STYROFOAM!No, you can recycle it in Compton also. You just throw it out on the train tracks, and the Blue Line pushes it away.

...oh, that's not recycling is it? ;)

04-28-2008, 08:19 PM
No, you can recycle it in Compton also. You just throw it out on the train tracks, and the Blue Line pushes it away.

...oh, that's not recycling is it? ;)

hehe, they would NEVER do that there!


Mad Slanted Powers
04-28-2008, 09:30 PM
I didn't think you could recycle the plastic bubbles from the carded figures. I've been throwing those away, but I keep the card part.

El Chuxter
04-28-2008, 09:31 PM
Here's another one, though I'm sure some will disagree:

Cut out the pack-ins!

Seriously, man. Kids throw them away, and collectors put them in a box. When was the last time anyone here did anything with the Freeze Frames, Flashback Sliders, CommTech Chips, or Mini-Hologram Figures?

Same for the Build-A-Droid. You'll sell all the figures anyway; why add a little collectible doofus to make one person buy them all? Again, kids aren't going to have all the parts, and they're essentially trash.

Heck, I'd go so far as to say cut out the display stands. The figures should be able to stand up without help.

Mad Slanted Powers
04-28-2008, 09:59 PM
Here's another one, though I'm sure some will disagree:

Cut out the pack-ins!
Heck, I'd go so far as to say cut out the display stands. The figures should be able to stand up without help.That would require more time and resources on their part to make a perfectly balanced figure. Cheaper to just make a stand. Too bad it's also cheaper to not give big enough peg holes to all the figures.

04-28-2008, 11:14 PM
Guess I was in the wrong thread, but I just posted this on the other one, same thought.

I think they should use simple packaging like the GI Joe's as was said. If the artwork is nice, the package well made (with no tape) I like to cut the bubble then save the card for at least the commando file on the back. Very reusable, and more paper than plastic.
The SW TAC was not so bad for this also.

I recently opened a bunch of ROTS figures to sell on eBay (trying to thin out) because the packages were either coming apart at the taped seams or the tips of the Vader helmet card were usually damaged (try to describe the condition of an ROTS card on eBay ) so I sold a loose collection of figs with all their accessories (guaranteed cause I just opened them) anyways I did at least put the packaging in the recycle bags and had the city pick them up separately from the regular garbage, which is suprisingly little because you would be suprised how much paper and plastic is in/on everything.

Albuquerque has a good recycle program for those who use it. The paper and plastic go out in the same recycle bag.

Looks like we might get a repeat of a very un-collector friendly card for the new SW coming up. That's ok, I'll at least recycle all my openers cards and bubbles.

04-28-2008, 11:35 PM
I prefer the "coffin blisters" of the vintage figures. They're smaller, you can get them off the card easily without destroying them, and you can actually keep them to store the figures in later if you have to move or something like that.

Aside from the wasteful aspect of it, my biggest pet peeve with the current packaging is that it frequently deforms the figures and bends limbs in funny ways before you even open the toy. I'm tired of seeing "knock-kneed" SL Sandtroopers.

I kind of like Jargo's idea of the box, but it would have to have a window of some sort. Hasbro puts out too many figures with sloppy paint apps for me to buy them "blind."

figrin bran
04-28-2008, 11:52 PM
I wish they would use the Vintage Kenner bubbles. Take it from an army builder who's recycling bin gets filled up with plastic bubbles and cardboard!

I also wish they would redesign the packaging for Evolutions (which is a tremendous waste of materials for just 3 figures) and the Battlepacks. I suppose for the BP's that the background is part of the appeal for some but for Evo, there's no such justification. Just put them on a blister card with 3 coffin bubbles!

Old Fossil
04-29-2008, 08:53 AM
Recycle the bubbles and keep the cards; problem solved.

Great idea. Problem for me is that I live in a small town, and the nearest plastic recycling center is in another town over 30 miles away. Recycling centers are all over the place, but they're not everywhere they need to be.

The cards are garbage. They're waste. You think kids keep the cards? Some do. I'd wager that most don't though, unless it is to cut out a character bio from the back. So the majority of them end up in landfills. And their manufacture requires the felling of more trees, since as far as I know they are not composed of recycled paper (I've never seen a toy package that I can recall that said "Made from recycled materials" or similar jargon.).

Then there is the cost to the environment in the manufacturing process itself. I have no idea how plastics are made, or how action figure cardbacks are mass produced, but I suspect that the manufacture of both contributes in some significant way to industrial pollution.

SO until recycling becomes more widespread and accessible to everyone (not just folks in the larger towns and cities in the developed world), we should encourage (or mandate) corporations to do what they can to cut down on waste from the top down. Minimal plastic, minimal paper in their packaged products, and utilizing recycled materials whenever possible.

jedi master sal
04-29-2008, 09:22 AM
Besides using coffin bubbles, how about making the card smaller. Granted a larger card is to catch the consumer eye, but they could decrease the card by an inch in width and at least an inch and a half tall wise. Less paper there.

Also, something that hasn't been mentioned, how about common fronts to the cards. the SAGA line (what should have been the AOTC line) used these. For one it typically means less ink used, less raw materials used for different cards, etc. There are "plates" used for these. Four for each. A print shop may be able to put 9 cards on a sheet, with each one being different, but considering last year we had 60+ figures, that's a miniumum of 28 plates just for the front sides, double that to include the different backsides of the cards. Making use of a generic front would mean only 4 plates for the front. Now 24 plates might not seem like much, but there is also set-up time and materials that add to the overall waste. When printing it may take a pressman 200-400 sheets of paper to get the ink to lay down right on the paper(card) and make it look right in tonality. Start adding that up by the amount of times they have to change plates because of different card fronts and it begins to add up. Whereas, a pressman using a "shell" that is to say a common front, could run many thousands of these and never have to change plates or worry about ink of paper waste, with exception to the very beginning.

The problem for Hasbro is that they want each and every figure's card to stand out and make them more "collectible." And dare I say it, that also drives some carded collectors. It's the figure that should stand out for being a great toy, not the packaging. But unfortunately this isn't the case. If I'm not mistaken, Hasbro has said the SAGA line (again I'm talking about the one during the AOTC toy release) was is lowest seller and that they (Hasbro) attributed part of that due to what was perceived as dull packaging.

04-29-2008, 09:42 AM
Up here in Canada we get the tri-logo cards, with no pictures or anything on them, every figure has the same picture of the first wave of figures on the back and a SW logo on the front.

They sell :D
:bored: Iso&Baws
I used to keep the cards til I realized they were ALL the SAME :D

04-29-2008, 12:24 PM
While we're at it, how about just stick the figures in Ziploc baggies with the character's name written in magic marker?

El Chuxter
04-29-2008, 12:27 PM
I'd be fine with that.

Keep in mind that, though they're not as pretty, generic cards require far less man-hours for design as well as fewer physical resources to print. We could be talking about a dollar or two in retail price--though it's unlikely that savings would be passed on to us, it could be what keeps the price stable in a couple of years' time.