Not long ago, we shared changes to the Super Mario characters packs. At the time, we noted that Minifigure blind bags remained unchanged. That is no longer true. Minifigure packaging is changing, folks. Essentially, the days of feeling minifig packets are gone. The LEGO® Group is moving to cardboard boxes starting in September 2023. Therefore, the next couple Minifigure series are status quo. However, start mentally preparing yourself. Certainly, this comes as a major downer for collectors. But there are some good reasons behind the change. After doing the research, I still lament the loss. However, I am not whole-heartedly against the new package either.
Firstly, we know the LEGO® Group aims to make their products environmentally sustainable. We have already seen some elements transition to plant-based plastic. We also know they are experimenting with recycled plastic. Finally, the LEGO® Group started phasing out single use plastic packaging. This year, baseplates already appear in paper bags. Additionally, the 2021 employee Christmas Gift contained the first paper parts bags in a set. New sets all contain an insert describing the coming packaging change. It was only a matter of time before Minifigure packs took the next step.
Canada to ban single use plastics.
The LEGO® Group aims to replace all single use plastic packaging by 2025. While this is great for the environment, it is also a necessity in many countries. In fact, Canadian legislature may soon require it as well. The current Liberal government has a zero plastic waste goal by 2030. Just this year, they announced the first wave of bans and restrictions. These begin taking effect in December 2022. The laws do not target Minifigure packaging yet. However, single use plastic shopping bags, cutlery, takeout packaging, aluminum can ring carriers, and stir sticks are all going. Additionally, the law restricts the production and sale of plastic straws. Straws were not outright banned because they are important for some groups with disabilities. If all goes to plan, by 2030, minifig packs will require change in Canada too.
So, while environmentally responsible and ahead of the game, the LEGO® Group also has to make this change. Many countries will require recyclable packaging in the near future. This includes Canada. As a result, Minifigure packaging is changing. However, the change went through much research and consideration. The LEGO® Group tried several different packaging types. These included paper bags, packaging made from pulp, and a variety of different cardboard shapes. Ultimately, they settled on a factory sealed (not taped), cardboard box. This move provides recyclability and makes boxes harder to open in store. We all know what happened with the tape-sealed Vidiyo minifig boxes…
Feeling Minifigure packages is a thing of the past.
Sadly, feeling Minifigure packaging to determine contents is a casualty of this change. However, the LEGO® Group did not make the decision lightly. According to discussions on the LEGO® Ambassador Network, the feel-culture surrounding Minifigures weighed heavily. However, paper bags did not hold up. In this case, the path to meeting future laws and environmental sustainability is cardboard. Currently, the LEGO® Group does not have plans to make the characters identifiable by means of individual barcodes or anything of the sort. With that said, they also have not ruled it out.
Minifigure packaging is changing whether you like it or not. The transition comes out of a sense of environmental responsibility. However, the change is also becoming a necessity as laws shift around the world. I have always enjoyed feeling Minifigure packages. It is an integral part of the collecting experience for me. Consequently, I am saddened by this change. I am also upset. Collecting a full series just got a lot harder. Conversely, part of me applauds the environmental responsibility. I am thrilled that the LEGO® Group is preemptively taking action on an important issue. One of the reasons I love the LEGO® Group is their willingness to do good. I can live with cardboard minifig packs for the betterment of the planet. How do you feel about the change? Let us know in the comments below or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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