Out of the toy box

In all art there is not only the work itself. There is everything around it, communication, credits, packaging, in short, so many things related to the work that finish giving it visibility. Let us take the cinema as a first example. The first cinema poster in the world is considered to be an advertisement for the Lumière cinematograph on the occasion of the release of The Arroseur Arrosé in 1896. With a dimension of 120 x160 cm (format which will remain as the standard for posters of cinema), she explains both the film via the gag visible on the screen but also demonizes the cinema room by showing it as a friendly place for people of all ages and all sexes. The poster will gradually lose its didactic side as cinema becomes more democratic, but it will retain a primary role in the success or failure of the film. Take, for example, one of cinema's most celebrated illustrators, Drew Struzan. He has created more than 150 posters for film classics like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back to the Future and Harry Potter. It has an instantly recognizable style that categorizes the film as a rather big budget project and quite large audience. You only need to see one of his posters to associate it forever with the film in question and trigger a rebound phenomenon that could look like this: "Oh the Goonies poster looks like that of Indiana Jones, nice I love it. adventure films ”.

If today the technical means put in place mean that the photomontages are legion, for the better sometimes but also for the worse and that the trailers have replaced the posters to make the spectator envy, one realizes very quickly that the durability of the poster may not be insured.

Let us remain optimistic, however, with the music industry and the return to favor of vinyl. If we do not count the cult sleeves, from the banana of the Velvet Underground, to the baby of Nirvana through the pedestrian crossing of the Beatles or the wall of Pink Floyd, with the dematerialized, the artistic object in itself often remained indented. With vinyl having surpassed the CD in terms of sales since last year, the cover has once again become an object of worship and decoration.

We could deliberate for long lines on each industry to analyze changes in representation, but we are not on a toy site and it is therefore this last industry that we will be looking at. Strictly speaking, no posters or sleeves in the toys but boxes. Of all sizes, all shapes and especially more alluring than the others.

One of the first considerations that comes with the democratization of plastic for packaging and digital photography is whether or not to show the object. If you take boxes of old toys, they are staged in the form of drawings so that the potential buyer can imagine them or at least see the value of them.

Nowadays it is common to see the object in its box and one of the most telling examples of the last few years are the funko pops and their window boxes that allow them to be admired without having to unpack them. Counter examples like the Blind box, namely surprise boxes in which you do not know which figure you are going to get, or the existence of figures in blister packs exist of course.
But the biggest change observed in the toy industry is the shift from the box as advertising and cardboard to the rank of bed for the family cat, to that of a collector's item and of value. To unpack or not to unpack a collectible toy? Here is all the question. There are the pro unboxers who think that looking at a locked object is sad as a day without cheese, the anti who think that collectible toys are made to be collected in perfect condition. If we will not take a position here, for the good reason that we have differing opinions within the team, the question does and will inevitably influence future productions. The future of Toy-design packaging is therefore in the hands of the consumer. Maybe in the end the happy medium is to make the box a collector's item like the Reaction figures that only make sense with their retro packaging. The box is the object unless it is the other way around ...

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