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In line with the box discussion going on on the other thread, I thought it would be fun to talk about general packaging in the diecast industry. Yeah, I'm talking about boxes. :giggle I'm a collector, but at the same time, I'm an industrial designer. Packaging design and strategy is an interesting subject to me.

I see many budget brands like Maisto or bburago show off their models in their boxes with windows. Alot of them include some type of stand with a plaque naming the car. These models are placed in retail more often, and these type of packaging can attract customers. Many use shiney chrome films to make their artwork stand out as well.

On the other hand, higher end brands don't seem to bother too much with showing the models through it's packaging. If you pick up an Exoto box, it's almost hard to tell what's actually inside it. These models also don't come with any special stand or plaques, I guess the models themselves can present themselves without any help. Dealer version boxes are usually very clean as well, without any flashy artworks or photos slapped onto the boxes.

The whole "out of the box" experience is something I also enjoy and pay attention to when I recieve new models. When the plastic windows are creased or lose, that makes the model feel cheap right there. Models that force me to unscrew many times get lower ratings as well. Models that use slotted screws instead of standard Philips head drives me crazy!

Nice packaging on the other hand make the experience a very enjoyable one. Screw-less styrofoam packaging is my favorite. If there is a sheet of cloth on top of the model, unveiling of that cloth is just as good as unwrapping presents on Christmas morning.

Blah blah blah. I just wanted to talk about boxes :happy
 

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I pretty much understand and accept your point of view, but I don't share it. Ok, so budget models need a little "show" in order to looking more attractive. Besides, this category is often found in in toy stores hence the need to make these models more appealing to kids. That doesn't mean that such display-packages aren't an advantage for us, collectors. We all know by now that, no matter how expensive, exclusive, hand made blah-blah a model is, it is still prone to imperfection (not to mention transport damage and other such variables).

Of course, there are many of us who buy diecast from on-line sources, so for them it might be a bigger (Chrismas-like, as you put it) thrill discovering models in a closed package, as they usually don't get to pick the best looking model and only see generic pictures of it before buying. Still, there are other factors that make me quite partial to the windowed cardboard boxes. First of all, I believe you are familiar with the styrofoam issue (it's outgassing that tends to affect certain materials used in the model). Therefore, collectors are forced to keep them out of the box, which leads me to the second problem. Unless a plastic stand is included (as Maistos or HWs have), the car has nothing to support it but its own wheels - and we do know what impact this could have on those vinyl tires (chemically interacting with most surfaces, flattening and so on...). Needless to mention the DUST problem! :pullhair

I, for one, am very fortunate to have a private supplier who allows me to open the boxes and inspect every single model I get from him and refuse it if damaged, regardless of the fact that I had previously ordered it. Just a few months ago I bought from him an AutoArt Bugatti Veyron and I had 4 of them to choose from, which was very lucky for me as, believe it or not, 2 of them were visibly flawed. Now, could you do that in store? No. And considering the amount you have to pay for such a model, simple and clean "professional" package or not, I'd rather sacrifice the surprise of opening the box at home to seeing exactly what I get for the money.

So, here's my :mine on this.

:cheers

PS: Screwing/unscrewing makes me wanna :pullhair and aggravates me to no end aswell! That's why I got an electrical screwdriver :lol
 

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Xeno, then you must love Kyosho. My personal record is six screws for ONE car (a Lancia). :giggle
 

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I agree with Xeno. The clear boxes help you to inspect models at a glance in not-so-friendly stores. I am lucky too cause my store lets me inspect the models before I buy them.
In some cases, the packaging and the stands really make a good model look better. For eg, earlier Hot Wheels F1 models used to come on a stand that looked like a track with the red/white corners. Burago's wood finished stand made the model look classier. Kyoshos packaging sometimes shows a background on the inside packaging which makes the model all the more appealing.
 
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I too am an Industrial Engineer, but have been a production supervisor in the pharmaceutical production field for the past 18 years. I have sold a number of diecasts from my private collection to fellow collectors over the past few years and if it's one thing I insist on, is shipping a model car that is well secured and protected. I first make sure that the car itself has all opening parts taped, wired or banded closed, and if the car is in a styrofoam clamshell, I will wrap it first in tissue paper and place additional rubber bands around the entire package. If the model comes in the original window style box, I place corrugated sheets around the plastic window for additional protection. I also place the box inside a plastic bag to keep it clean. The box is then put inside a corrugated shipper and all air space is filled will either newspaper, bubble wrap or sytrofoam peanuts. The shipper is sealed along both top and bottom flaps and also along the edges to help prevent moisture from entering. After clearly labeling the container, I typically send the model to the customer via US priority mail.

Alex B.
 

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The higher-end models are so well-wrapped there's no point in putting windows in the box. It is nice to see the model in the box before you get it home, though.
 

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I agree with those points:

-Dealer version boxes are usually very clean as well, without any flashy artworks or photos slapped onto the boxes. ....and more often then never they're the greatest version.

-Models that use slotted screws instead of standard Philips head drives me crazy! ....I agree 200% on this ( the worst model I've seen: Kyosho's Porsche 356A Speedster Carrera 1500 GS.....11 screws)

-My fav. boxes are Minichamps. simple and they are very nicely presented and compact. Keeps the cars inside well protected too! ....My favorite too but ...the styrofoam tends to affect certain materials used in the model.

I think the perfect combination (for me) would be:

-Minichamps size box,
-Few good looking pictures on the box,
-Styrofoam with soft clothe inside so the styrofoam doesn't touch the paint,
-No screws at all (more then 4 screws on a model and I go :ranting #@%#?&%$?$#? :ranting)
 
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Classic Carlectables - no screws, clamshell styrofoam packaging, with a plastic insert to mould the car to the packaging. Absolutely marvellous :happy
 

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I don't trust plastic mould on each end of the car.

When I bought the Minichamps Aston Martin DB9 Convertible (British Racing Green) , the plastic mould made scratches on the trunk and on the hood! I hate those! :pullhair
 
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