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Action Figure News
McFarlane Announces Major Redesign on Sports Picks Packaging

Cardboard-backed Blister Card Planned for Series Starting with NFL Legends 4

Source: McFarlane Toys — Posted 4/16/2008

McFarlane Toys has made a major announcement that will affect all future Sports Picks series releases, regarding a major redesign to the packaging of single 6" figures.

A new larger blister card - created specifically for the sports lines - will debut with NFL Legends Series 4, scheduled to reach stores in July. The new blister card is expected to be 12" long. Figures will be contained to the new card with large or small plastic blisters, depending on the size of the figure.

NHL Legends 7, NHL 20, MLB 23 & Cooperstown 6, NBA 15, and NFL Legends 4 and 2008 NFL Wave 1 will debut this packaging and chase style for each respective sport. The two MLB All-Star Exclusives (Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter) will be issued in the current clamshell packaging; the John Riggins NFL Hall of Fame exclusive figure will be in the new cardboard blister packaging.

According to McFarlane, this new format will give their designers more freedom to create new and unique sports poses without size limitations. For example, a pitcher can be fully extended in a pitch follow-through, or a receiver can be diving for a football with arms fully extended - without the worry imposed by previous size restrictions.

In the past, McFarlane has had to "cut" some figures to fit in the packaging, thus requiring some assembly before displaying. While this does not affect collectors who display their figures out of the packaging, it does mean that collectors who do not open figures must display them with legs or arms not attached to the bodies. Now, collectors who prefer to leave their figures in packaging will have an improved, more inclusive display.

McFarlane acknowledges that part of the reason for this change was to reduce packaging costs for the figures. The company has not raised the wholesale price of the 6-inch Sports Picks figures, but this change to the packaging offsets production costs that have steadily gone up since 2001 without having to increase wholesale price.

Another reason for this change is to provide maximum view of the figures while keeping in compliance with the licensing authorities. For example, all of the league licensors require a logo on the front of the packaging and some of those requirements specify placement of the logo. Without the top flap, McFarlane would be forced to add stickers to the bubble. A big part of the reason for the packaging change is to better show off the figure, but having to place big stickers high up on the bubble would undermine that effort.

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