[ed: Clay C. sent us this piece on a subject I’m sure we’ve all thought about and have varying opinions on — the importance of keeping toy boxes. Give it a read and please let us know what you think.
not to keep those boxes is purely a matter of enjoyment. Some
people seem to prefer the look of displays in boxes (or if not prefer
it, tolerate it in order to preserve the boxes), and we can see from diorama
interiors and the like becoming more common that manufacturers are
aware of this trend.
it will never matter whether there’s a box or its condition, because they’ll
never be sold. But the rest, the other 90% of these toys, will
eventually be sold — to someone, sometime. I’m not referring to flippers
here – people’s tastes change, they focus or specialize their collections, they
need cash – there are lots of good reasons things get sold. And, we’d all
rather make a little than lose a little, when we sell.
the reason for that is primarily scarcity. When toys were only for
children to play with, very few toys survived in even good condition and vastly
fewer survived with their box likewise. If there are 500 surviving
extant 1900 Tin Fezzelwippits, and only a dozen of those are mint with mint
boxes, then the box is often worth far more than the toy itself.
extant Black KAWS Dissecteds, and 478 of them still have their boxes, and 211 of
those are still mint/mint. 10 years from now, assuming that any of these
toys will then be worth even their original retail price (a massive assumption,
but bear with me), is the presence or condition of a box going to matter
much? At all? When the ‘standard’ condition is MIMB, a toy with no
box might take a relatively small hit in the future, but it seems unlikely that
we’ll ever see a situation remotely like the current antique toy market,
where a box can geometrically increase value. There is another possibility
of course, that art toys and boxes could go the route of baseball cards, with
elaborate grading systems for nearly invisible flaws.
a box, and that trend seems likely to continue. If the absence of a box,
in a market where the vast majority have boxes, means that the price only takes
a 10 or 15% hit, I could see deciding that the hassle of keeping and storing and
moving all of the empty boxes indefinitely is just … not worth it. It
may be that a lot of our labor in maintaining all of the boxes is now
nothing more than a hangover, a misplaced vestige of an act that once made
financial sense in other circumstances.
their original boxes safely stowed away. (Excepting small platforms and
other toys where the boxes are fungible – though even there it’s probably
60%.) If that number is even approaching right, boxes may not matter very
much at all to prices down the road. This logic could also apply to
toys sold with a bag and header card, although storage of those is rarely a
problem. Even there, I’d bet that a quarter or more of bagged toys are
still living and even displayed in their original sealed bag, so not even those
will ever be truly scarce.
much of it is great. But, most package design out in the rest of the
commercial world is intended to create shelf appeal, to inspire someone to buy
the product in the first place. I believe that most art toys are sold to
buyers who are already aware of what’s inside the box – they have seen it on the
Web or at a friend’s house, and the package design plays little or no part in
their buying decision. If indeed we were all to collectively decide that
boxes do not matter for the most part, that boxes were intended solely to
generate shelf interest and to safely transport the products, it could be that
the toy world would divide. These are artists, so it is hard to imagine
them selling in ‘plain brown wrappers,’ but that is certainly how one buys a
limited edition print or fine-art sculpture. If boxes were acknowledged as
not contributing substantially to the long-term value of the toy, likely some
manufacturers would make simpler packaging. We do see more ‘kaiju’
packaging with bags and headers, which is nice for both the use of resources and
storage at home. In Japan, packaging is revered in many circumstances
(some bento boxes are ten times more beautifully wrapped than any Christmas
present from Saks) It may be that some manufacturers and artists would
feel that beautiful packaging is an important part of the experience of buying
and opening the item, and continue to make elaborate packaging even if it were
not considered the norm to retain it.