In case the Screaming Angel in the previous post didn’t tip anybody off, I actually opened a few action figures that have been piled up in a corner of my room tonight. Much like I’m the antithesis of a game collector who has to have all of his Atari cartridges in the box and in the shrinkwrap (never mind the fact that the shrinkwrap will eventually damage the box), I’m the antithesis of the toy collector: I open the bloody things and put them on a shelf. I just don’t have the room to keep the original packaging around anymore, except in very special cases or the very, very small handful of dupes I own. So out they come.
The odd mention of a stack of still-packaged figures in the corner, however, is a particular quirk of mine: I keep a few of my latest acquisitions in their packaging for a rainy day. As silly as it sounds for someone who’s a couple of weeks away from being 36, one of the greatest joys of my childhood, and still a guilty pleasure now, was cracking little Star Wars guys off of the card and out of the bubble. I’ve found that having a couple of these around, waiting to be opened, is a nice tonic for my soul when I’ve been down in the dumps.
But man, have things changed since Star Wars was in the theaters. There’s no more “just tear the bubble off the backing” anymore. Now the bubble has two components: the front (the outside) and the back, which is molded to hold that specific figure plus whatever goodies come with it. And these days, more often than not, it takes either a machete or an act of Congress to get the figure out of the package. Or every member of Congress wielding a machete. All the better to cut all those flippin’ plastic twisties with, my dear.
It’s my understanding that these are seen as an anti-shoplifting measure – as easy as it was in the old days to break a new figure out of the bubble at home, it was also that easy to do it in the store, leave the card and the empty bubble on the peg, and slip the figure into one’s pocket. Obviously, that’s less likely to happen with 6+ plastic twisties restraining the figure like it’s a wild animal on an operating table. But it annoys me to no end when I’ve bought the thing and I can’t even set it free. Makes me want to suggest something more along the lines of buying a CD – put it in a case that has to be unlocked at the register or something. C’mon, guys. You’re stealing my moment of joy.