Monday, June 08, 2009

Designer Trash Vinyl Toy Packaging
My MUNNY trash, collected over two years. on Twitpic

Packaging designer vinyl toys leaves a whole lot of trash.

I seemed to have amassed quite the collection of boxes for the DIY toys that I've purchased over the last few years, many of them Kidrobot MUNNY.

On the outside, the packaging seems like nothing special. They have a nice sturdy box, and are all nicely presented, and packaged, the accessories individually wrapped. Though I didn't realize the extent of the packaging until I started actually disposing of the boxes.

MUNNY = excess packaging on Twitpic

The amount of trash from one MUNNY is pretty bad, to say the least. Contained within the box, you have the bag that holds all the accessories, and each accessory has it's own wrapping, a soft or hard clear plastic. Leaving you with a toy, but a whole lot of crap to go with it.

Other toys I've purchased include Large Smorkin' Labbit, small Smorkin' Labbit, Toy2r Qee, Mutan, Pusher, and Touma, and with the exception of the small Smorkin' Labbit, and Mutan, those other toys don't have accessories. At least, they don't have them wrapped individually. Rather they're contained within the clear plastic mold, that holds the toy together when shipped.

MUNNY seems to be excessive in the packaging, but other toys have their own plastic waste issues too. And typically there's no SPI code on the plastic packaging to indicate if it's recyclable or not.

I've always felt like it's great to have designer toys, and the packaging is cool, but it's a waste to even have all that wrapping in the first place. Sort of like videogame packaging, and all you really care for is that small disc, or cartridge of the game which is tiny compared to the package it was sold in. All the wrapping just gets in the way. More waste for the environment.

Shiny wrapping cool... But a bit much. More MUNNY trash. on Twitpic

Plastic trash just makes me think of all the particles floating in the ocean, as shown in Garbage Island by VBS.TV

Sure vinyl toy packaging is the extension of the artist, and the toy they've created, but I think the future of designer toys, should embrace new ways of packaging, new materials, and presentations of the toys, to make them truly unique, and conscious of waste. I have no space in my tiny place for boxes, so I toss all the packaging out, and leave the toys on the shelf.

As for vinyl toys themselves, I've heard that the majority of Polyvinyl chloride products can be recycled, but for the toys, I'm not too sure. I've never had to throw away a vinyl toy.

If Toy designers think they're all hip, trendy, and cool, then "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" should be a philosophy that artists should be pimping!!!

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