Bursting the Bubble of Star Wars Collectibles and Collectors

“You can’t stop change any more than you can stop the suns from setting.”

The past 24 hours have been rife with discussion on the advancing progress of Hasbro’s commitment to removing plastic from their packaging by the end of 2022. Yesterday’s Marvel Legends Livestream gave collectors their first official look at the redesigned packaging for several products that incorporate the windowless form factor. Star Wars Black Series collectors can expect something very similar to be implemented this year as well. Last year, we exclusively shared Hasbro-proposed designs for the Black Series and now sights are set on what will happen to the beloved Vintage Collection, Retro Collection and even the 6″ Kenner-style carded Black Series figures.

How do you keep the essence of a 44-year-old design without sending adult collectors (the true target audience) into fetal positions resulting in rage-quitting a line they’ve spent hundreds/thousands of dollars supporting through good times and in bad? I feel that for individual TVC figures, the classic Kenner card back and bubble combination is the signature feature of the line and part of the entire package in which many collectors showcase in their collections/displays. It is a look that other companies have emulated over the years for Star Wars and non-Star Wars products alike and provides perceptible continuity in the modern era of collecting.

We’ve already seen Hasbro wading into the plastic-free pool for the Vintage Collection with the deluxe/world-building packs and the army building 4 pks., but that brings us to the individual carded figures themselves. You can be sure that Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars will not be seen as the sole holdout for Hasbro’s green initiative. Sadly, collectors should prepare themselves for the fact that the signature element of the Vintage Collection will undoubtedly be no more.

Will we see a mass exodus from Star Wars collecting over these changes or do more collectors see the packaging as (to borrow a phrase from Robo over at TheFwoosh) “the pretty garbage my toys come in”?

UPDATE: Hasbro currently has windowed (includes a cutout to see a portion of the figure) and windowless (solid, blind boxed) packaging for many of their lines including Fornite, Marvel Legends, Transformers, Power Rangers and more to come. Star Wars Vintage Collection, Retro Collection and Black Series will certainly be no different. But whatever the packaging style, there will be no plastic sheet or bubble in most cases.

Leave a comment below with your thoughts on the change.