Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Toy Topic: Mint on card or loose in box

Contrary to popular belief, this is not the continuation of my last post, so the dramatic chipmunk can rest easy.

Actually he's a prairie dog,  but anyway here we go!

Toy: an object, often a small representation of something familiar,as an animal or person, for children or others to play with.

Toys are for fun and have existed since the beginning of time, and they still exist today. The creation of toys has become something of an art form for most toy companies in the United States.

Professionals are hired every day to make every aspect of the action figure as pleasing to the adults as it will be to children. So every part of the final product is meticulously thought out.


An unopened figure is a wondrous sight to behold! Especially if it's a new release. It's so perfect and pristine! A work of art! Those packaging designers sure earned their pay!

It's a thing of sheer beauty!

I made a punny!

That 3D render is awesome!

Box art, the unofficial posters for Gunpla lovers everywhere!

To me seeing an action figure in package invokes fantasy scenarios in my mind that I can re-enact with the figures. A fully assembled Noble Team, Wheeljack joins the team of Autobots from Transformers Prime, Steve Rogers and Bucky cap go on a mission together! And so on.

 For the record I don't play with my figures unless it's for the camera.

But as soon as you open the figure reality can comes breaking down as soon as you open the figure. Sometimes you'll find out that the perfect figure isn't all it's cracked up to be. Or that awesome pose you wanted to display your Orbital Drop Shock Troopers is a pipe dream!

One such moment was with my Halo Reach Carter and his loose Commando pauldron. Which totally messed up my chances of getting into collecting Halo Reach Series 1 and Series 2 while they were still in stores.  

Then there was that  fiasco with the  "Mobile Suit in Action" Gundam Nadleeh from Mobile Suit Gundam 00. When it decided to crumble in my hot little hands :( I believe it's the only figure I couldn't recommend, out of everything I've reviewed!!!

A lot of times you'll get the disappointment of joints that you were expecting to be there but aren't. Like a missing bicep swivel that KoBaCaaTT complains about on the Halo Reach Marines.

Or you'll have loose parts that you might try to fix with glue. Or the tight parts that you either have to use a blow dryer or put in the freezer to get to work.

Or even worse, sometimes you'll have broken parts straight out of the packaging!

Another argument in favor of keeping you figures in package is that once opened, storing you figures becomes a bit of a task. Of course you will save more space when you store them. But cataloging them (if you're into that) can be more difficult. It's something I found out the hard way. So leaving your figures in their packaging makes things easier.

On the other hand you can have a wall of junk! You can use your figures as wallpaper! And display your figures on the wall like a lot of collectors. Like some YouTube reviewers have. It's OK to have a wall of junk if you own a house but if you're renting a room. Not so much.

When buying a figure on the secondary market going for a mint in box (MIB) or mint on card (MOC) means  knowing that there won't be pieces or accessories missing. One thing I don't understand are collectors reasons for getting a figure in a package that's pristine or one that doesn't have any bends or creases on the card. Sadly the packaging was meant to be destroyed. No matter how beautiful Unless it's specifically designed not to be. Most of the time this packaging is called collector friendly.

Collector Friendly
Not Collector friendly

I know of a collector that can't buy a figure in the store if there is any sort of damage on the card. Not even a rare variant like the Translucent Doctor Strange!  But in his defense He does have OCD. ( He said it not me!) This is true.

I used to have most of my figures in their box, even after they were opened. As stated in one of my older posts, I used to buy 3, one figure was for the collection and I would leave it in package.

I would open the bubble that contained the figure in an arc shape leaving the bottom intact since it had to support the weight of the figure. And I would slide the plastic tray in and out from the top.

Cut around the top.

When I had to move out from my place in Astoria Queens, I started selling my Mint On Card (MOC) collection, and discarding the packaging from my opened figures. I listed my collection on Ebay because it was an easy way to clean out my collection, and more people want MOC figures. As mentioned before it's like if you bought them from the store and since they haven't been opened you know what you're getting. You can also place a higher price tag on a figure in package.

My last argument in favor of  keeping your figures Mint On Card is that it makes it easier to return to the store in case you need the money!! Just remember to keep the receipt and keep an eye on the expiration of the return date!!


If you buy a cheeseburger and don't eat it, how would you know that it's delicious?! Or that it's not 3,000 years old!

Right now my toy collecting phase is one of having 2 figures out of package. One for me and one for the collection. I've made a bit of customization on some of my figures, and the others I have for display purposes.

Slight Customization

Hurray for collections!!

While action figures don't make the greatest wallpaper, they do look nice. If you have ample space in your house and office you can have some adorn your walls or cubicle.

But the latter is extremely nerdy and I would advise against it unless you already have a female in your life.:)
I work at an office and I would love to have my favorite cubicle be littered with action figures to relieve my stress, regardless I know that I would be the butt of a lot of jokes. Or they might start to disappear mysteriously if you get my drift. People know I like action figures, but it doesn't become weird until it's in their face.

One downside of  having your figures displayed loose is the possibility that any small accessories that come with your figures can be lost. Or worse eaten by a baby. Or Dingos!

Would you like milk with that?

If you didn't open these toys then how would you be able to create these awesome dioramas that you see on the Internet?

One of the reasons that I collect a lot figures is to take pictures of them.This started as far back as the U.S. Gundam Wing action figure line. When I used the Gundam Heavyarms as a reference for a drawing I did. But using action figures for my toy inspired scenes makes for an easier canvas than paper. All you have to do is point and shoot. And your imagination does the rest.

Wake up Kat, it's 0800!
Time to bake that cake we made last night!

Avengers Assemble?


As a toy collector it pains me to see toys that are in bad condition. Missing limbs, chapped paint, lost accessories, etc. But it's the nature of the beast, and it also shows that one kid had a heck of a good time enjoying those figures. When I used to work at B.J. Wholesale club I found a Heavyarms Gundam with a missing arm ( the inspiration for my drawing) and a 7.5 Shining Gundam without it's accessories.

I've seen my nephews Mega Bloks collection and he doesn't care that a Covenant Brute is fighting along side some ODST's against some Spartans. That's the way a young child's imagination gets nurtured. 

Some people slab their toys just for the sake of value, denying themselves the option that is the sole purpose of that plastic figures being.


So many figures...

..not enough stands.

So in the words of "Crazyjaco" open your toys! They are like stress balls, except more dynamic. And way more awesome!

So tell me guys, what do you do with your toys? Mint on Card or Loose In a Box?

See ya in the Toy Aisles!

Post a Comment

Recent Post

Toys"R"Us slashes their prices AGAIN!!

posted from Bloggeroid