Thursday, 3 September 2015

Quick Crappy Review Extra: Fuck Monster High Packaging

Just a short one, something that came to mind for my Quick Crappy Review of Circ du Freak Clawdeen but that I had no appropriate place for in that post, here is the box after I finished cutting her out of it:

Mattel seems to have celebrated the continued success of Monster High by killing a fuck load of trees; the packaging is getting more complicated as time goes on and getting the poor ghouls out of their plastic prisons is taking longer and longer. It took 20 minutes of bum-clenching precision to get Clawdeen out without losing her a limb, some hair, or ripping her outfit – and given that this is Clawdeen Wolf I fear if I’d done the latter she would come to life and slap my bitch ass for such an apocalyptically horrendous transgression as ruining her beautiful clothes and all the hard work she put into designing and matching them.

Every time I go through that 20 minutes of bum-clenching required I think the same two things: “what it the fucking point of this Mattel?” and “How could a child, y’know, the intended audience of these dolls, get these out without breaking and/or scalping their new toy?”.
Both have very simple answers but none of those answers are good enough for me I’m afraid: The answer to “what is the fucking point of this Mattel?” is keeping them safe in transit and I’m guessing keep them posed in the packaging and thus looking good on the shelf – but I’d rather they looked boring in Toys R Us (especially as they’re currently so popular you could sell them no matter what handstands they were seemingly doing in their packets) if it meant I didn’t have to spend 20 minutes trying not to fuck up a £20 toy just to take it out it’s box; I’m sorry MOC collectors but these things are supposed to come out of their packaging, being packaged is not their intended state of being, it should be a nearly half-hour risk to have them attain that. 
Hmm… maybe it’s also to cut down on theft? You know when you slide a toy out of the packet and just leave the packet?  That’s total conjecture but there is no way you could do that here, you’d have to be an origami expert to swiftly remove a Monster High doll in a store and not get noticed.
The answer to “How could a child, y’know, the intended audience of these dolls, get these out without breaking and/or scalping their new toy?” is ‘they couldn’t, fuck ‘em’
Here are the two things that Mattel need to stop right fucking now:

The first are these weird plastic bracelet things they’re using to keep the hands in place, they have a allegedly have a slit in them but the plastic’s way to tough, you can try and pull them out but that is exceptionally worrying, the wrists are the smallest joint on the doll and the dolls are thin (“remember to treat everyone the same no matter what they look like, even though we all have the bodies of pop stars because Mattel’s too cheap to pay out for more than one tool”) so you pretty much have to cut them out, but the hands are soft plastic, softe than the piece of packaging, so any scissors that are sharp enough to cut such a thing (that’s so small) could easily chop off a digit or four or take a chunk out of the hand. What’s wrong with those stretchy see-thru plastic band things? They’re using them with Masters of the Universe Classics but they seem to have completely fazed them out for Monster High – where they’re more needed – except for holding accessories onto the characters, which is a further bone of contention re: those plastic bracelet things, Mattel keeps tying the accessories to them as well as the hands, a particular problem as those bands are the only way to keep the bloody accessories in the characters hands because the whole design team hadn’t cottoned on that open hands cannot hold a pencil and notepad until Freak du Chic. With this set up I’ve ever got to cut them (so they won’t be able to hold their stuff) or find a way to untangle them and then use wrap the larger band around the figure’s hand in a way that doesn’t look shite (or else it’ll be loose and they’ll ‘drop’ their stuff). With all these easily cut fabrics around you don’t want something that needs lots of scissor work – especially on things aimed at children – why do I, the know-nothing bloke from Essex – have to say this to Mattel, a company that has been making toys since the forties!?!

Which brings us nice to the other thing – attaching the ghouls to the back card by their fucking heads; I don’t know if you can see it that well in my picture but they have those little plastic tabs – the ones that look like dumbbells they use to keep the tags on soft toys (I don’t know their real name, or even if they have one) – through their actual head. You have to cut them, BUT because their very purpose is keep the head tight to the cardboard there is very little give and very little margin for error – do it wrong and you’re gonna lop a chunk of hair off. No child could get these things out; most dads couldn’t get these things out and it’s two tabs as well, not one long one, meaning you can’t cut it and then feed it through so there’s nothing left in the head instead you get two little thorn-like spikes of plastic sticking out the back of the head. You can push them into the head itself (which is hollow) most of the time but I just…why would you make something for kids that kids can’t open and that are then spikey? I don’t get it. Especially after you were in a very public recall scandal about toys that could accidentally hurt children!

This long rant may imply that this is more important to me that it actually is, or that it somehow ruins my experience with the toys – that isn’t true, Clawdeen’s been out of the box for a fortnight, I love her and hold no resentment towards her for how much of a pain in the arse it was to free her. It does ruin the experience of unboxing the toys though and that should be a good experience, there’s a temporary childlike excitement that returns when you’re taking a new thing out it’s box, it’s part of the recapturing the feeling of childhood that is one of the draws of toy collecting, and it isn’t there if you have if unboxing them is akin to the later stages of Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels. To end this on a happy note, here’s Frankie and a Pikachu:

Thank you for indulging me, talk about First World problems... 

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