Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Thing Inside

Looks like everyone else in the hobby did their math, too: the BreyerFest Bear set is sold out now. Everything else is still available, though I’m a bit surprised the Misty and the Adios still are. That Adios is a mighty handsome piece; I’ll definitely consider one once I get the sales-versus-storage issue sorted out here.

It’s hard to believe, but back when the plastic boxes debuted in the mid-1980s, most hobbyists thought they were a good idea. At last, no more mysteries over what you were buying! No sliding around in the box = fewer condition issues! Handpicking was at last a possibility!

I was a little…skeptical. Strapping a horse with zip ties to a bright yellow backer board? We were just swapping one set of condition issues for another. It was the stability of the boxes themselves worried me the most: they seemed kind of flimsy from the get-go, and even under the best conditions I doubted they’d have the same durability (or usefulness!) as the chipboard boxes that preceded them. I feared this sort of thing was in their future:

That Mesteno is so getting liberated after I post this!

The dealer I bought him from at the flea market was very apologetic about the box's condition, but I told him it wasn’t that big a deal. As far as value goes, these plastic boxes are so common and ubiquitous that most of the time, it simply doesn’t matter.

There are a few rereleases - like the Toys R Us Bay Fighting Stallion - where the box may be significant, but most of the time, it just isn’t.  And I think that’s a good thing, something I wish more toy and collectible segments would emulate. The box is not the thing. The thing inside is the thing.

Well, most of the time. Though with the prices the early 1970s Showcase boxes are bringing, I doubt I’ll even have to worry about it.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Oh, those good old yellow boxes. This summer I've been lucky enough to experience pristine model packaging from today all the way back to the early '80s with all its attendant wonder, nostalgia, & friggin' condition issues. Funnily enough, one of my more constant dealers gave me a Sham simply because one of the plastic flaps on his box was cracked & he was therefore 'broken' & unsalable.