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KryatDragon

Curb your Packaging FFG

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I have never thought about the "excess" plastic and such in the packaging.   Never felt bad about, still dont.  You talk unnecessary packaging.  I think the government should just put a beer tap in each house and supply it to the citizens.  I know, I am being sarcastic.  

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7 hours ago, Parakitor said:

Most companies do this. Consumers feel better spending a lot of money on a bigger box. Until more consumers start speaking up (or at least showing different preferences in pre-market studies) this is the way it's going to be.

This. 

5 hours ago, outerrimrebel said:

Having worked retail for.... oh sweet jebus... over 20 years I know why packages are shaped the way they are.  It's about shelf presence.  Go to the grocery store some time and really look at how things are displayed.  The name brand products have big, bright labeling and generally located at the beginning of an aisle, or mid-shelf level so you look right at it.  Where as store brand are bottom or top shelf and towards the middle of the aisle.  With game packaging you've got to compete with the other guy's package (more so than at a store), so it comes down to shelf presence, something with a bigger footprint will get noticed.

Plus I'm sure it helps having one supplier make all the cardboard/plastic for FFG.  Bulk discounts and all that.

And this. 

 

Possibly also, as others have mentioned, the costs saved when packaging is a uniform size, but they could just as easily make them uniformly small. The main reasons are the two listed above. The fact of the matter is that the larger packaging results in better shelf presence which leads to better sales, and the larger size helps customers feel better about the price.

They did the same thing with the Silencer when they released it- it’s was a $30 expansion so they put it in a bigger box, even though it would have fit neatly inside the same blisters that they sold their $20 ships in. But you can’t have $20 blisters and $30 blisters be the same size sitting right next to each other, because otherwise customers feel like the $30 blister is a rip off. 

Edited by Herowannabe

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1 hour ago, Herowannabe said:

But you can’t have $20 blisters and $30 blisters be the same size sitting right next to each other, because otherwise customers feel like the $30 blister is a rip off. 

Generally speaking it's a good point but they are actually about to do that with Wave 4. The Resistance Transport (with its two part model, extra dial and base and cardboard) is a small blister but priced at 30 dollars like a medium blister.

Edited by rawbean

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So to piggyback, there a lot of compelling reasons to standardize when possible in design.  using 1 blank for 1 size of carboard box or platic insert just requires replacing 1 part in 1 process or maybe 2-3 depending on the complexity across the line whereas making everything custom can require a complete changeover or a completely different machine.  This also means that all of your blank production is standardized, so it simplifies inputs.  Then there's also that you need new art for every new box, which may not seem like much, but it still has to be designed, then confirmed to work with the type of box you have.  All of these just add up to extra production time and money.

 

Then there is the retail side where obnoxious packaging makes theft harder i.e. they have to remove the item to steal it which is harder and more noticeable and having 2-3 standard sizes for shelf space also helps retailers a lot both for allocating shelf space and planning. 

 

At the end of the day, stuff like this doesn't really annoy me because most of what we're looking at is just air.  For Servants of Strife, it was pretty comical how much empty space was in that box, but at the end of the day, most of that space isn't being occupied by harmful plastic of even relatively neutral cardboard, but air.  It's a good compromise between cost and eco-friendly.  Could be better, could be worse, but people would riot if they had to pay too much money for toy space ships, so I guess do what you can ;)

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11 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

I'm also annoyed by how frustrating it is to open blisters in 2e.  Have to tear the dang things to shreds, instead of just being able to snip along the edge.

This.

13 hours ago, AceWing said:

I wholeheartedly agree with the OP.  For instance, why do they put bases in every ******* expansion?  Just put 8 small bases, 3 large bases, and 4 medium bases in the core set.  It's ******* stupid that I have a giant box of bases from all the expansions I've bought.  Do the same with pegs.  Do the same with focus, shield, evade, stress, charge, and force tokens.  I mildly get throw a fit in my head every time I see the excessive waste from each expansion. 

Yeah, the external packaging is nuts, and probably the one thing they could change (but not, as above).

Since FFG has no idea what people will collect ship-by-ship, I understand why a "complete token collection" is needed in each ship.  But yeah, "chit management" is a thing.

Lastly, I like having all the extra stands.  Sometimes the peg breaks, sometimes they are defective.  Also, I keep over a dozen favorite ships pre-pegged, for ease of setting up Epic.  And, I have need to mod a bunch of them to peg out 3-D printed ships.

What I don't get is why people buy extra colored plastic stands, when all they need is a can of spray paint.  I have several different colors of stands, that all started out as clear.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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11 hours ago, theBitterFig said:

I'm also annoyed by how frustrating it is to open blisters in 2e.  Have to tear the dang things to shreds, instead of just being able to snip along the edge.

You can still basically do this. I take a hobby knife and gently cut off the blister leaving the box intact for storage or whatever.

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I've ended up using quite a bit of the various plastic clamshells/trays for storage and organization. 

I use some Rubbermaid drawer stands for art supplies and tools, then use X-wing trays to subdivide the drawers into various sections for smaller bits, etc.

I still wish they wouldn't use as much plastic, but I get the business end of uniform packaging sizes. Remember when PC games used to come in every conceivable weird-a**ed box size and shape?

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It's about shelf presence, it's easier for someone to justify buying a larger box for the price. If it was small your brain equates that to being cheaper.

May not matter to hard core x-wing players, but say a friend or family member buying a present or someone casually getting into the game, the box size matters.

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Less wasteful, more environmentally friendly packaging wouldn't be a bad thing. I think that's an uphill battle in tabletop games though, since you need your wares to be big enough to catch the customer's eye. I'm sure a typical game shop wouldn't be averse to being able to fit more minis on a shelf.

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The larger packaging standard also gives them a bit more room for future-proofing, since it'll help when trying to fit larger ships into the box. That'll be important for things like Dr. Aphra's ship whenever it gets released for Scum.

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14 minutes ago, PhantomFO said:

The larger packaging standard also gives them a bit more room for future-proofing, since it'll help when trying to fit larger ships into the box. That'll be important for things like Dr. Aphra's ship the Ghost with both Phantoms whenever it gets released for Scum.

ftfy ;)

 

Dang, now I wish I'd checked the size of the Ghost compared to the new Large box before throwing them out.

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I will sound off in favor of less plastic (excess cardboard is still wasteful, but at least it will not be clogging up the ocean long after I am dead). Maybe this thread will come up at the next morning meeting if we make it ridiculously long.

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On 3/23/2019 at 1:51 PM, LagJanson said:

I know and understand it... I just hate that society has reached this point and also know that will be a long road to improvement.

The big box marketing theory been around since high street shopping became a thing. It's a 100 year old technique pioneered in department stores like Harrods and Selfridges that is still proven to work. Just like the odd pricing (.99 cent) strategy. Nothing has changed in that time. I don't like it either, but if it works, then of course companies are going to use it.

I'm a bit of a hippy when it comes to these things and I hate excessive packaging. That being said I understand that things like these are not oversights. The finest details are considered for a company such as FFG. 

The simple sizing of a box effects so many things; marketing aspects such as shelf presence and brand real estate; the cost of retooling printing lines etc. and creating robust enough packaging to keep the items safe in transit. It also affects things like shipping; such as having uniform outer dimensions to allow for their shipping cartons to be filled and organised by destination instead of size. Having this packing organisation done from the manufacturer alleviates packing costs (more things fit in one box) as well as repacking costs at each point of distribution. 

I'm not saying it makes it ok, but with cost savings being paramount to any business, I can appreciate the size of the packaging being a very calculated decision.

We also need to remember that the change to cardboard boxes on their smaller expacks for 2.0 made those packs 30% more recyclable. That was most likely cost saving rather than being eco-friendly, but its a small win anyway.

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The factory I work in also uses as standard a size as possible. For all the reasons already listed.It is what happens when suits make all of the decisions. They look at it from one direction but not all. It saves some money on production but costs them more in transportation, storage and lower sales (as retailers are not as able to buy as much due to space issues).

I think just going to a smaller standard size would save everyone involved more money and be better overall. But...... it would be a gamble and companies almost always run the safe bet.

 

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I went to a wave1 event a couple of months ago.

There were lots of little white cardboard boxes on the desk, with a ship and stand in each. I assume the cards and dials came in a separate box. I suppose these are the standard packs sent to retailers for events.

 

If I could request to get these sent when ordering online, I would. They fit through the letterbox, instead of being returned to the depot, or slung over the fence. I don't want or need a retail pile of display plastic when it goes straight in the bin.

Other manufacturers, like Games Workshop, often send out older or less-popular mail-order packs in generic cardboard boxes. I am fine with that.

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I always needed to cut first edition packaging with heavy duty scissors or even snips. And the plastic edges would be sharp AF. Maybe I just never learned to open it properly, but I much prefer the 2.0 blister packaging.

Edited by Ambigatos

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