The Power of Packaging: Silent Strike (2015)
It’s time for the last of our coverage of the 2015 50th Anniversary GI Joe product, and to start things off, we’re looking at the packaging for the Toys R Us exclusive Silent Strike set. I’ve not covered the packaging for the regular store releases, so I thought this final set might be a good chance to take a look at what’s become the de facto GI Joe package style for two years.
First off, the fact that painted art graces the front of GI Joe boxes is fantastic. Unique and bold package art was a hallmark of the brand in its most successful decades. The unified style on the vehicles and figures’ packaging for this series are streamlined yet bold enough to stand out. There are even elements of the old digital explosion in the background. The back of the box features the actual photos of the set, done up with Hasbro’s weird proprietary Photoshop filter that makes everything look like it’s sculpted from satin.
I have to wonder if Hasbro might get more interest from kids by going to a window box format for some vehicles. The main reason to avoid this is most likely a space issue. It seems like shelf space is a premium in the current toy aisle. Gone are the days of floor to ceiling stacks of vehicle and playset boxes. Recent vehicle boxes like the Eaglehawk and the first Skystriker re-issue are fine examples of the art of packing an item into the smallest box possible. Even Fisher-Price’s Imaginext line, while boxed and touchable, is engineered to occupy a fairly shallow shelf space. On the other hand, toy makers like Chap Mei and Lanard have managed to get their product to shelf while keeping it open (or at least visible) to young’uns. It’s a trade-off, to be sure, as us older folk like to put our toys together and sticker them up. Maybe there’s a compromise to be made.