Hasbro's Marvel Legends Brand Team Attempts To Dance Around The New Non-Plastic Packaging Problem

Hasbro's Marvel Legends Brand Team Attempts To Dance Around The New Non-Plastic Packaging Problem

Jay Cochran - April 26, 2022
Last week during Hasbro's Marvel Legends live-stream they showed off the packaging for their Spider-Man 60th Anniversary subline of figures which no longer contained any kind of clear plastic windows that allows you to see what is inside.

This "no-plastic" packaging initiative is something that clearly was handed down to these brand-teams from the top of Hasbro's corporate structure and was originally announced back in 2019 as an effort for the company to be more "environmentally friendly".

Now to be fair, from an environmental stand-point, removing plastic from the packaging isn't a bad thing. Product packaging is something most people just throw away and the plastics even when you put the garbage in a recycle can is often said to just end up in some landfill. Landfills that are filled with plastic is definitely not good for the environment. I point this out because I've seen on more than one occasion people try and say why does it matter if the packaging has plastic when the figures themselves are made of plastic? Well the difference is most people when they buy an action figure don't actually throw away that plastic action figure, and therefore it doesn't just end up in a landfill some place.

Anyway getting back to the issue at hand, saying many collectors weren't thrilled with the idea of no longer being able to see whats inside the box with these new Spider-Man figures is an understatement. Last week whether it was Marvel Legends Facebook groups, message boards or other places on social media, many fans quickly took to the net to express their dislike for the new packaging. Honestly I think the new packaging had more people upset than word of the recent price increases.

There are two main and legitimate reasons why collectors are fearful of not being able to see whats inside the box before buying an action figure, at least when it comes to items one buys at physical retail stores.

The first reason is that they want to see the product they are buying in order to check it for quality control issues. Now when we say quality control, this can include anything such as paint blemishes, crooked eyes or a figure having two left feet. Being these things are mass produced at overseas factories where it's near impossible to check every single product before it makes its way to the retail shelves, having a figure pop up here and there with these kinds of issues is not super uncommon.

The second reason and probably the most important one is making sure the figure you are buying hasn't fallen prey to the dreaded figure swapper. This is when some pathetic individual buys a figure, takes it home where they then carefully remove the figure from the packaging and replace it with some old figure no one wants.They then return it to the store in order to get a refund. Because most retail employee's who work those return counters at places like Walmart and Target have no clue whats really supposed to be inside the package, they just except the return and eventually the product is put back on the shelves to be resold.

So if you have packaging where you can no longer see what's inside, not only can you not really check the item for possible QC issues, you don't really know if your actually going to end up with the figure you think you are buying. Now if your buying your figures online neither of these things are really an issue, and when it comes to the Spider-Man figures shown last week, those are part of a sub-line being sold as Fan-Channel exclusives which means they are primarily only sold online.

So the big question remained, would Hasbro be moving to this completely windowless style like we saw last week for all their Marvel Legends releases? Initially I thought the answer would be no. While I felt they would remove the plastic, I did not think they would completely remove the windows. I figured they would adopt a similar style of packaging as we have seen them use for other lines such as their Transformers Legacy figures or Fortnite.

While the windows are smaller and have no plastic covering them, you can still tell what is inside so at the very least you don't have to worry about if a figure swapper as gotten to them or not.

Then I started listening to recent interviews the Hasbro Marvel Legends brand team was doing with various YouTube influencers this week where they were asked about the packaging dilemma, and the answers they were giving as they tried to dance around the issue were not all that encouraging.

In the Dan Who interview the topic comes up around the 10:20 mark. In the erivera94 interview the topic comes up at the 15:00 minute mark. In the Xmanny87 interview the subject comes up much sooner at the 2:33 mark.

From these interviews it does sound more and more like the plan is to go completely windowless with most of their figures by next year with perhaps a few exceptions like the Retro Cardback stuff.

Now listening to the Marvel Legends brand-team members trying to stick to their corporate talking points in addressing the questions about the packaging knowing full well how upset many in the fandom have become over this issue is somewhat comical if not sad to watch. On the one hand you can't help but feel a little bad for them knowing they don't have a lot of control over the decisions handed down to them from above and now tasked with the job of trying to go out and sell this as a good thing to people who know it's not. Never-the-less, at the end of the day it looks like it is the customer who will have to be inconvenienced the most by these decisions if Hasbro truly does move forward with removing all windows from their action figure packaging. I'm just glad I buy 98% of my action figures online these days and I open most of my stuff.
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Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
Atlantis - 2022-06-23 @ 3:45 am

They did indeed try to dance around the issue, but I appreciate that Jay time marked the pertinent spots in the interviews. The team squirmed and tried to be bold by bringing out the company's talking points, but really what else could they do. They know full well they are the faces hasbro has chosen to bolster the feeling the comany wants you to have, that they'e your friend, and really relate to you- Hasbro Pulse Fan Friday, ya'll! But they are easily replaceable, and don't think hasbro doesn't let them know it.

The real issue is how this comes on top of collector dissatisfaction, price hikes up the wazoo, selection of characters and then the inaccurate figures you get when the characters are made, etc. Eventually, Legends is gonna take a consumer hit.

Then look how long it takes for the figures to appear. That list 27:40 the last interviewer ran off, Xmanny 87? A good chunk of those (with the exception of Mr Negative), if made, won't show up until 2024, 2026. We're talking 6-8 years from now. Some of you reading this are gonna be in your mid-50s -60s by then lol. So they need to get a'crackin'.

bashpics99 - 2022-06-22 @ 12:09 pm

it is what it is. i expect a lot of MOC collectors will move on to other lines, and retail sales will drop since the one advantage retail had over online ordering (ability to inspect product for QC issues) will be gone. What impact those two consequences will have on the line are hard to foresee, but man tough time to implement this policy when collectors are already having 2nd thoughts about the line due to price increases...

and yeah i expect swapping and part stealing to be rampant, whether you purchase in store or online

leokearon - 2022-06-22 @ 7:14 am

After seeing some in hand images and videos of the new Plastic-free packaging there are a couple of problems that Hasbro should address.

The waste: Seriously, you are trying to go green and you fill most of the packaging with more cardboard that is twice as big as the figure. They should reduce the size of the box, especially as cardboard prices are on the up.The box art: Or lack of, instead of a nice or cool image of the character, like Transformers, we get a stock image render. That isn't going to attract buyers, Hasbro already use nice boxart on the backand side of their figures, so now it should be at the front.Security:As I stated before in this thread and others. If Hasbro were going the Plastic Free route, they need security, something like the Transformers Generation Selects boxes. But nope, it is the same way of opening the box with the same pieces of clear tape. That isn't going to deter thieves and swappers at all.
Atlantis - 2022-06-22 @ 3:52 am

Corporations are not your friends.

Have they been treating you like a friend does?

Something to think about.....

leokearon - 2022-04-29 @ 6:47 am
On 4/28/2022 at 9:45 PM, MonsterChris said:


That would be one solution to plastic free packaging

MonsterChris - 2022-04-28 @ 8:45 pm
On 4/22/2022 at 3:16 AM, leokearon said:

Yeah it is hard to see how the Retro line would work without the Blister packaging


Atlantis - 2022-04-28 @ 8:10 pm
On 4/28/2022 at 5:42 AM, bashpics99 said:

"I don't really get too worked up about the chest size of female figures, but i do agree that Hasbro could stand to have more variety in body types among the molds for female characters. A lot of them look like they might have an eating disorder, but i guess that's preferable to hinting at sexuality by making them too curvy or something...."

Again...its not about chest size. Its about accuracy. Its really no different from the complaints about lack of lines on Spider-Man's webbing, or Electro's quilted outfit. No different from Moon Knight being on the wrong buck, Dormammu having his eyes and mouth painted over, Quicksilver with granite gray hair and without his "tufts", Omega Sentinel's head painted as caucasian when she's brown-skinned. Note how "sexuality" isn't an issue when its the Sub-Mariner, the Beast, Hercules or the Thing depicted in their briefs.

When Legends puts out the likes of Psycho- Man, War Machine, Hercules, and even Rock Python, its clear that they can do figures in their correct outfits ( no matter how simple or complicated), correct body proportions from the comics. Just want to see that accuracy in their female figs as well.

bashpics99 - 2022-04-28 @ 1:42 pm

Hey, it could be worse... at least hasbro still allows their figures to come with firearms, even if its mostly sci-fi type guns.

I don't really get too worked up about the chest size of female figures, but i do agree that Hasbro could stand to have more variety in body types among the molds for female characters. A lot of them look like they might have an eating disorder, but i guess that's preferable to hinting at sexuality by making them too curvy or something.

I am glad that more female character are getting double jointed elbows.

Atlantis - 2022-04-28 @ 5:07 am

Right. But trying to make lemonade out of lemons here, if they're gonna go thru with this windowless idea, they could put their corrected robust figure in those boxes. Just a thought.

monron999 - 2022-04-28 @ 4:57 am
On 4/27/2022 at 11:25 PM, Atlantis said:

I agree. However I wouldn't call it "drastic" change.....just making the figures they way they're supposed to be made. And its not like they don't have a better mold option...after all they didn't retire or eliminate anything, far as I know.

But isn't it a little sad that in order to get the figures accurate, there has to be a "drastic" change made?

Some of you know what I mean here. If you have the Ms. Marvel from the 3 pack, or the Gamora from the SDCC 5-pack (both of these from about 8 years ago?), and stand the "vintage" Black Widow (5 yrs) next to them, clearly the newer figure has the worst detail and accuracy. No double jointed biceps, spindly, gummy legs....hardly a worthy representation from what's supposed to be one of Marvel's premiere fighters. Its like putting Cap on the pizza Spidey buck. They just use this model for their female figs way way too much.

This is absolutely correct and there is no better proof of this than to comparing the Warbird, Captain Marvel from the Odin wave and the recent Walgreens Binary. All the same person, but one of them is clearly out of cinque with the other two. And why? It's for ridiculous reasons and to deny it's an intentional thing is equally ridiculous, and I would venture to say nobody here is clueless enough not to see what they're saying with it.

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