Action Figure Collecting In The Era Of Windowless Packaging Begins

Action Figure Collecting In The Era Of Windowless Packaging Begins


Jay Cochran - August 25, 2022
Hasbro's new Marvel Legends environmentally friendly windowless packaging has begun to hit physical retail stores here in the US and with that the problem of figure swapping has already started to rear it's ugly head.

FaceFront tells us about his experience trying to buy the new Renew Your Vows Spider-Man 2-pack at his local Target stores in Arizona.

At the first Target he went to he was able to find the new Spider-Man set which he purchased. Noticing the tape on the box looked like it had been tampered with he decided to open the packaging in his car instead of waiting until he got home. To his surprise, instead of finding the Spider-Man and Spinneret figures inside that were supposed to be there, he found a couple of WWE figures instead. He of course was able to go back and return the figures and get his money back, but now he once again had to continue looking for the actual figures he had intended to buy.

Arriving at a second Target he once again was able to find the "Renew Your Vows" set. This time he noticed the tape on the box for the first one he picked up was completely missing, so instead of waiting to see what was inside after he bought it, he checked it there in the store. Once again he found WWE figures inside. It was pretty clear the same guy who had hit the first store had also made his way to this one as well. At his third Target he was able to find a "Renew Your Vows" set that hadn't been tampered with yet, mainly because he was able to get it brought out from the back stockroom. Third times a charm I guess.

"Figure Swapping" has always been a problem in this hobby long before Hasbro started switching to windowless packaging, but its even easier for a Swapper to do this now since people can't see what they are getting until they open the box, which means the problem is likely only going to get worse, not better.

While we appreciate Hasbro's efforts to be more environmentally friendly, it seems to us like they are going to have to do more to better secure their products within the new packaging to ensure this problem doesn't get worse. Until then our recommendation to collectors is to buy more online or make sure you check what's inside the box of your purchase before driving away from the store like FaceFront did.
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
McHogan - 2022-08-31 @ 2:52 am
On 8/26/2022 at 5:39 PM, Satam said:

I think they fact that they've been boasting about their "plastic-free" packaging for toys that are made of plastic shows this has been PR spin the whole time. It's been about saving money with the price of oil (and plastic) rising higher, now that it's dropping, the cost of paper is going up a bit, and seeing the negative reaction to this whole thing, they're pulling back. I wonder if they've seen any kind of slump in sales on their collector lines. I'm usually an opener, but there are some themes that I had been collecting MOC and passed on a few new releases because of the new packaging. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Im selective about what I (used) to buy 2 of. Before the double whammy of higher prices and plastic free packaging I would ALWAYS get 2 of every MCU and Avenger figure/ set . The higher prices stopped me from buying doubles. The plastic free stopped me from regretting that decision.

Hasbro USED to make a pretty penny off me. I guess they still do, there is quite a bit to great product Id like to get. But their decisions to raise prices ( maybe this decision was made for them) and give thiefs an easier way to swap product ( feels like a stretch to claim this is for the Earth) has literally cost them half of what I spent before. If even 100 other collectors in the WORLD also cut back, Hasbro has got to be feeling the drop in sales. Im sure what I spend in a year on Legends is a drop in their bucket but I cant imagine Im the only one who hates the price increase and plastic free packaging. With luck, this whole blind bag experiment at least will go away.

Satam - 2022-08-27 @ 4:45 pm
On 8/27/2022 at 3:25 AM, leokearon said:

To be honest, no-one throws the toys in the bin.

You'd be surprised.

leokearon - 2022-08-27 @ 7:25 am
On 8/26/2022 at 10:39 PM, Satam said:

I think they fact that they've been boasting about their "plastic-free" packaging for toys that are made of plastic shows this has been PR spin the whole time. It's been about saving money with the price of oil (and plastic) rising higher, now that it's dropping, the cost of paper is going up a bit, and seeing the negative reaction to this whole thing, they're pulling back. I wonder if they've seen any kind of slump in sales on their collector lines. I'm usually an opener, but there are some themes that I had been collecting MOC and passed on a few new releases because of the new packaging. I'm sure I'm not alone.

To be honest, no-one throws the toys in the bin. What also shows this is ridiculous, this what happened when I got my Spider-man Noir/Spider-Ham 'Two pack'. I opened the packaging got out the figure and the accessories, enjoyed it immensely and then i got all the packaging and put it into the recycling bin, the exact same thing i did with all my Marvel Legends figures. This whole plastic free idea seems to be for those kids who just pen the figure the minute they get out of the show and throw it in the nearest bid (or god forbid the street)

McHogan - 2022-08-26 @ 10:27 pm

So I don't know if this is the best solution but I'm my travels today I happened upon the Peter/Ned 2 packs with anti- theft "spiders" around them. First time I've seen this on Legends 2 packs. Though the issue isn't theft from the store as much as its someone buying the set, taking home and swapping the figured then returning.

Satam - 2022-08-26 @ 9:39 pm
On 8/26/2022 at 3:19 AM, leokearon said:

The fact that they are keeping the Retro line, shows that this is a PR stunt. 'We are doing our bit for the environment by having all our products being Plastic Free (except for the line which has the most plastic packaging)'

I think they fact that they've been boasting about their "plastic-free" packaging for toys that are made of plastic shows this has been PR spin the whole time. It's been about saving money with the price of oil (and plastic) rising higher, now that it's dropping, the cost of paper is going up a bit, and seeing the negative reaction to this whole thing, they're pulling back. I wonder if they've seen any kind of slump in sales on their collector lines. I'm usually an opener, but there are some themes that I had been collecting MOC and passed on a few new releases because of the new packaging. I'm sure I'm not alone.

leokearon - 2022-08-26 @ 7:19 am
On 8/25/2022 at 4:57 PM, Satam said:

They've already reversed course regarding retro figures across multiple lines. Sucks for now, but I have no doubts that within a year or two this whole bull___ thing will be over.

The fact that they are keeping the Retro line, shows that this is a PR stunt. 'We are doing our bit for the environment by having all our products being Plastic Free (except for the line which has the most plastic packaging)'

McHogan - 2022-08-25 @ 10:45 pm

This pisses me off and confirms my fears of this exact problem. That this happened with a premium priced box set only compounds the issue.

and if this does happen to me, I dont relish getting accused of being the swapper again. It happened to me with a Mattel DCUniverse Green Lantern Set. I bought it not realizing someone swapped TWO characters out of the 5 that were in the set. I immediately took it back and literally had to argue with them after I pointed out the problem. My argument came down to youll just have to take my word for it. They eventually refunded me but not before warning me that theyd be watching for me in the store going forward. WHAAAT?!?

If Hasbro refuses to go back to plastic I would be fine with a tamper seal but this clearly needs to be addressed now

monron999 - 2022-08-25 @ 8:01 pm

I can't even begin to express the ridiculous hypocrisy of this entire cluster f@#. This is nothing more than corporate posturing in it's laziest, minimalistic, most simplistic form. And then the Retro line doesn't concern them? What, are they sending the extra 3 dollars per figure to an organization that specializes in plastic waste? No, it just goes right into their pockets. Guess that 3 dollars is just hush money we pay them to turn the other cheek while we maliciously destroy the ecosystem with our selfish wants and desires. Thanks for nothing Hasbro. The only thing this will effectively do is kill the physical store presence and the collector market and most likely ML in it's entirety.

Something tells me it won't be long till they reverse course. The thing is, and you can write this down, sure as Fresh Wipes are fresh, the price to bring back windows will come with another price hike, bringing standard cost of ML figures to a minimum 28 dollars across the board.

Lord_Scareglow - 2022-08-25 @ 7:46 pm

Yeah in store purchases of these windowless packages are probably going to be something I stay away from, I will only be buying online from trusted retailers, I have already heard about so many horror stories with these figures, people buying them and figures just straight missing from the package, one person said he actually saw the brown cardboard that holds the figures in the box just torn and ripped in the toy isle, It is way to easy to swap and steal with these packages, and the brick and mortar retailers are not going to pay any more attention to detail then they did before they don't have the means to do so, employees will continue the way they do, they don't get payed enough to care, sad truth is the real reason behind these windowless boxes isn't the environment it's a money saving tactic, cost of oil is up, cost of plastic is up, I am already seeing these things happening in the food industry (where I work), packaging is getting minimized, I just say buy online or local shops rather then Walmarts and Targets with these figures, not much else one can do.

odd1 - 2022-08-25 @ 4:02 pm

It wouldn't be a problem if Walmart would check the package when it's returned to catch the swappers red handed and charge them with theft by deception or shop lifting. Now if you walk out of the self-check and forget something on the bottom of the cart, or anything truly not meaning to and in no way trying steal, they will charge with shop lifting. It's a policy now that nothing can be explained, and the cops are called. So even an honest mistake can get you a shop lifting charge, but they can't open a package to make sure the right figures are in it.

Even if there are variants any employee working returns could tell a wrestling figure from a Marvel figure.

Or a very simple fix as others have stated, attach a gold seal that peels away and can't be replaced. All game consoles and most high-end electronics have a seal that shows it's been broken and can't be returned, very easy fix Hasbro could do.

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