Hasbro has made a statement confirming their intention to remove all plastics from their toy packaging by 2022.
"Removing plastic from our packaging is the latest advancement in our more than decade-long journey to create a more sustainable future for our business and our world,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO, Hasbro. “We have an experienced, cross-functional team in place to manage the complexity of this undertaking and will look to actively engage employees, customers, and partners as we continue to innovate and drive progress as a leader in sustainability.”
The press release talks specifically about the phasing out of "polybags, elastic bands, shrink wrap, window sheets and blister packs".
While this is brilliant news for the environment, what does it mean for action figure collectors going forward and what will MIB figures look like come 2020 and what difficulties could that bring.
The obvious and most agreeable route would be for Hasbro to source an alternative for their trays and box windows, potentially using plant based plastic alternatives such as PLA (polylactic acid). This would cause the least change to our beloved action figure blisters and window boxes and allow things like Marvel Legends and Black Series to continue.
Of course the above may not be possible or cost effective in which case the packaging would become cardboard based only. Would that mean a fully enclosed box with illustrations on the front - perhaps even with an opening flap like the NECA Ultimate series to view the figure within. Or they could go to a minimalist packaging like the animated Spider-man figures with no protection at all round the figure.
Both of these could prove problematic. The enclosed box is less desirable to MIB collectors and also makes it easier for figure swaps and could lead to a lot of fraud and frustration from on the shelf purchases. The open box without protection will lead to more figure damage and perhaps as we saw with the Vulture figure a lot of missing parts.
It will be an interesting journey over the next 3 years to see Hasbro's evolution to this plastic free packaging. In the meantime let us know what you think and how it could impact you as a collector.