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Hero Factory Packaging Earns Award


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19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Hapori Tohu

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 01:19 PM

Sonoco, the company responsible for designing and manufacturing the resealable bags Hero Factory sets now come in, recently received a Flexible Packaging Association Gold Award for Sustainability and Environmental Achievement for their work with LEGO. Greener Package has additional details, but the short story is that the bags are much more environmentally friendly than both cardboard boxes and plastic canisters. For example, the pouch uses 76% less water than a cardboard box and 95% less than a canister during production. It's great to see LEGO and their partners making the effort to reduce waste and be greener.

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#2 Offline Kopekemaster

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 02:22 PM

Hmm. It almost negates the negative impact the LEGOs themselves have on the environment!  :P

 

Nah, I'm just jokin'. It's pretty cool to see LEGO taking recent steps towards more environment-friendly production (this, and the new plastic that was announced a little while back).


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#3 Offline JAG18

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 02:24 PM

Wow, a toy company earning an award for their packaging--now that's something you don't see everyday.  

 

Still, this is really great for LEGO.


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#4 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 02:54 PM

I remember that the Hero Factory packaging won a similar award a year and a half ago. It's clear that it's made an impression on other toy companies, too I saw a very similar Playmobil package earlier this year. It's interesting to realize what a big impact it has on environmental and economic factors as well as functional factors that affect the end user.

I love the HF packages. They're fantastic for storage since they can be collapsed either completely or partway depending on their contents. They helped me to realize just why so many MOCists use Ziploc-style containers rather than hard plastic bins for transporting MOCs. They're also reasonably flashy.

Uniquely designed canisters definitely had their charm (and in some cases, fun play features), but with as many bulky canisters as I have taking up space in my room, I'm more than happy for these more storage-friendly foil packages to be the wave of the future). They definitely put the awkward blister packaging of the Toa Mahri to shame.

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#5 Offline LQ1998

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 03:07 PM

Well for me atleast, they generate more waste. As I wouldn't throw away any of the good quality hard plastic containers. But the new HF bags I toss several minutes after getting back from the store. 


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#6 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 03:14 PM

I wonder if we'll see these bags ending up in more sets than just constraction.

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#7 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 03:42 PM

Well for me atleast, they generate more waste. As I wouldn't throw away any of the good quality hard plastic containers. But the new HF bags I toss several minutes after getting back from the store. 


Well that's your fault, not the LEGO Group's. I keep all my HF foil packages. Why not? They're reusable by design, stylish, and unlike canisters, take up next to no space when empty or near-empty.

And they're not low-quality for certain I have not had a problem with them getting punctured, their zippers failing, or their graphics fading even after two years of use in some cases. The new Invasion from Below packages are especially marvelous, with high-quality art printed on the bottom of the package.

They're softer, but that's not really a quality concern, is it? By that kind of argument you could say that LEGO textile parts like capes and sails are lower quality than hard plastic or plastic film equivalents, but many LEGO fans would happily tell you that isn't the case. LEGO Pirates fans in particular tend to love cloth sails, and many are unhappy with recent sets that have used plastic film sails or brick-built sails instead.

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#8 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 04:07 PM

I don't mind them - but I throw them out because they have a metallic smell to them that I dislike.

 

TBH I prefer boxes. (Tree-killer, I know, but they fit with my storage structure the best.)


Edited by fishers64, Mar 21 2014 - 04:07 PM.

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#9 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 21 2014 - 04:42 PM

I don't mind them - but I throw them out because they have a metallic smell to them that I dislike.
 
TBH I prefer boxes. (Tree-killer, I know, but they fit with my storage structure the best.)

I like boxes, but for storage reasons I like the foil canisters more. BIONICLE got me into the habit of keeping my sets in their original boxes, and this resulted in many of my LEGO boxes getting horribly beat up, not to mention the sets getting damaged during transport, resulting in a frequent need to pour out the entire contents of a box just to reassemble one set or find one piece. Collapsing boxes for storage generally makes them unusable as containers, and I often have to cut out whatever images I want to keep since I don't always have the space for them even when pressed flat.

I can see how for some sets, especially larger ones, boxes are more practical, or even completely necessary. Can you imagine the size of foil package you would need to fit large parts like 32x32 baseplates, or LEGO City boat hulls? And even in a foil package, you certainly couldn't hang a $60, 600-piece set from a hanging display rack the way you can with a $15 or $25 set. Also, the LEGO Group has done some amazingly creative things with cardboard packages lately, such as the new geometric Speedorz packages from Legends of Chima or the rounded corners on the packages for LEGO Friends. I wouldn't want to see them stop innovating like that just because they've found one storage solution that works like a charm.

But for constraction sets, I love the foil bags. I wouldn't mind if a fourth size were introduced to package the large $30–$35 Hero Factory sets that tend to be released once per year (Furno Bike, Witch Doctor, Speeda Demon, Jet Rocka, Queen Beast). If a larger $50 set like Drop Ship were released in Hero Factory, though, I can imagine putting it in a foil bag would be a bit ridiculous.

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#10 Online Shadow Destroyer

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Posted Mar 23 2014 - 02:40 AM

 

Well for me atleast, they generate more waste. As I wouldn't throw away any of the good quality hard plastic containers. But the new HF bags I toss several minutes after getting back from the store. 


Well that's your fault, not the LEGO Group's. I keep all my HF foil packages. Why not? They're reusable by design, stylish, and unlike canisters, take up next to no space when empty or near-empty.

 

I think a large appeal the Bionicle canisters had for me was their playability. Remember when the Bohrok sets had the function to be suspended inside their canisters? Now THAT was a cool function. (Something that the HF bags seem to be missing at the moment.) However, you are right in that they definitely do have their advantages.


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#11 Offline J46 Nui

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Posted Mar 23 2014 - 01:36 PM

I do like the new packaging. Canisters started having no story significance as the years went by. Plus they took up a lot of space. I have a large constraction collection, and I have at least three completely filled giant boxes that contain nothing but canisters.


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#12 Offline LQ1998

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Posted Mar 24 2014 - 04:19 PM

 

 

Well for me atleast, they generate more waste. As I wouldn't throw away any of the good quality hard plastic containers. But the new HF bags I toss several minutes after getting back from the store. 


Well that's your fault, not the LEGO Group's. I keep all my HF foil packages. Why not? They're reusable by design, stylish, and unlike canisters, take up next to no space when empty or near-empty.

 

I think a large appeal the Bionicle canisters had for me was their playability. Remember when the Bohrok sets had the function to be suspended inside their canisters? Now THAT was a cool function. (Something that the HF bags seem to be missing at the moment.) However, you are right in that they definitely do have their advantages.

 

Yes, that is using packaging to it's fullest extent. Having the Bohrok hanging upside down in their clear canister looks pretty awesome. I have one displayed on my desk.


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#13 Online ~Shockwave~

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Posted Mar 24 2014 - 05:13 PM

I only prefer the canisters because they can be used in displays and can house the set if I choose to store it. But the bags don't take up any space really. So they probably end up being better.


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#14 Offline Paleo

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 05:02 PM

I'm all for less plastic used in production, and I applaud LEGO for doing it, but it would be nice to see them move to biodegradable materials.
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#15 Online Gatanui

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 05:04 PM

I'm all for less plastic used in production, and I applaud LEGO for doing it, but it would be nice to see them move to biodegradable materials.

I think LEGO is already experimenting with such materials for the actual bricks. I may be mistaking it for something else, though...

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#16 Offline fishers64

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 05:05 PM

I'm all for less plastic used in production, and I applaud LEGO for doing it, but it would be nice to see them move to biodegradable materials.

*pictures Lego selling sets in paper bags*


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#17 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 07:47 PM

I'm all for less plastic used in production, and I applaud LEGO for doing it, but it would be nice to see them move to biodegradable materials.

Well, for products or packaging that are intended to be reused by the buyer, biodegradable packaging is not necessarily a good idea. If you spill water on a box made from thin cardboard it can ruin its graphics and structural integrity. That's not true of a plastic canister, a foil pouch, or a tin.

With that said, as I mentioned above, the LEGO Group is still doing creative things with cardboard, like the LEGO Friends boxes or this year's Speedorz boxes (which replace the previous wasteful blister packages). But I feel like there will always be a place for packages like canisters, buckets, and zippered pouches that are reusable in some capacity.

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#18 Offline Paleo

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Posted Mar 27 2014 - 09:04 AM

Biodegradable doesn't necessarily mean paper. Scientists recently developed a material called shrilk that uses chitin from discarded shrimp shells and spider silk to create a biodegradable material that works like a plastic bag.
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#19 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Mar 27 2014 - 09:53 AM

Biodegradable doesn't necessarily mean paper. Scientists recently developed a material called shrilk that uses chitin from discarded shrimp shells and spider silk to create a biodegradable material that works like a plastic bag.

No, but biodegradable usually means there's the potential for the product to biodegrade when you don't want it to (i.e. when you're still using it as storage). For plastic bags that are meant to be used for only a short period of time (such as the kind you bring groceries home in), a biodegradable alternative is quite appropriate. But for a zippered bag that is meant to be reusable for the life of the product it contains, biodegradable materials might not be the best choice.


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#20 Offline Octodad

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Posted Mar 27 2014 - 10:23 AM

Biodegradable doesn't necessarily mean paper. Scientists recently developed a material called shrilk that uses chitin from discarded shrimp shells and spider silk to create a biodegradable material that works like a plastic bag.

This is the first I've heard of this. That sounds like a great stride in biodegradable materials :o


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