Sooner than expected, today I received the boxes designed for the Second Government version of the Mighty Mega Box. Before going on, let's take a look at this new incarnation of a DPF classic (ok, maybe it's too early to talk about classic, concerning our production!):
Made with sustainable (but badass!) extra-thicc paper, this apparently daily item made just to store things is one of the best parts of my job. Not only because I love packaging, so it's rewarding to see my products inside a nice box, but above all, because this pretty girl (translator's note: in Italian, "box" -scatola- is a feminine noun) shines like a star and I can spend my day looking at this reflection:
I know I know: it's not important the box, but the content. But I think that despite it's always better to polish what's inside us, instead of our "cover", my ancient Greek mentors taught me the wise principles of καλοκαγαθία, so whenever is possible I try to embellish both the inside and the outside of my products!
This is particularly important, concerning the king of our releases: the Mighty Mega Box.
I think it's time, younglings, to talk about this product, or better, this pledge for mightiness.
As many of you, I dare to say as the vast majority of you, I have a kind of morbid passion for those "special edition" boxes made by manufacturers for collectors.
The full collection of The Lord of The Rings dvds, in 8k, with director's cut, comment and 345 hours of making of, including 1:1 scale statues of the whole Fellowship of the Ring? Oh gosh, I need it.
The whole Tir-Na-Bor range put in a limited edition metal box, 36kg of pure awesomeness, for only 5.000€? It has to be mine.
The entire Terry Pratchett's bibliography in a single, titanic book with a finely detailed cover made of sapient pearwood? You son of a b***, I'm in!
As you may understand, creating my luxury/limited/all-in-one collector box has always been one of my life goals, as a creative and the Mighty Mega Box came directly from this ambition.
The first edition, made for our Dwarf range, like almost anything concerning that project, was both fulfilling and financially destroying: at that time I had no idea nor experience about box manufacturers, and I tragically paid my naivety with cold cash. The result was awesome, indeed:
but those luxury boxes really made me understand exactly the meaning of the word "luxury".
It was not totally my fault, I have to say: here in Italy, or in Europe/USA in general, it's difficult to find a manufacturer willing to make custom boxes with these specifics. Usually, they demand a minimum order that is far beyond with my needs and finances (1000/1500 units as minimum order, in general), or they just give you some standard packaging with no chance to customize it with your logo or other personalized stuff.
So I had to ask to the best friend of creators: China.
China, to my eyes, is like Mary Poppins, industrially speaking: no matter your needs, China has always something for you, in her (translator's note: again, China here in Italy is a feminine noun) bag.
I then found an incredibly cool manufacturer, that managed to fulfil my requests (low numbers, custom boxes) with professionality, speed and kindness (and, the icing on the cake, my contact person assigned - hi Cathy!- was also super-cute: what more could you want?!). Experimenting with the famous efficiency of Chinese professionalism has been indeed important for my growth as a manufacturer, but the price of this lesson was high: just consider that, calculating the manufacturer costs, shipping costs and customs fees, I paid those boxes almost 5€ each!
But I was young and naive and, let's be honest: the Dwarf campaign did great, so I had some extra budget in my pocket to spend and I felt like a rockstar (but instead of spending money on drugs and nights, I invested them into..boxes!)!
Not that anything concerning those first MMB was perfectly planned: for example, I chose a foldable design, to save some shipping cost and avoid the "put them into a cargo" delivery option (that means A LOT of fees, once they arrive at the harbour -as we learned here -), but once received them I realized that foldable means not only convenient shipping costs but also that the box would close by itself, once opened!
I know, it's obvious, but for some reason, I didn't realize in time.
The idea of you, opening your Mighty Mega Box and seeing it crunching like a paper clam, was not mighty at all, so we spend hours to glue them with hot glue (corner by corner) in order to make them able to stand proudly as a proper Mighty Mega Box should stand, once opened!
This is the kind of weird situation that you have to face when you are not properly expert in something!
The second incarnation of the Mighty Mega Box, designed for the Second Government range, fixes many issues of the previous version: the size is more appropriate (previous boxes were huge!!), they are already designed with double-sided adhesive paper in order to make them not-foldable (and avoid me hot glue burn marks...) and, above all, they have the logo printed with shiny foil!!
Despite this time the budget was lower than that of the previous campaign (so I felt more like an honest street artist), I really did all my best to afford these luxury boxes because the Mighty Mega Box is a tradition that I deeply want to maintain, and people really appreciated the extra efforts we put in the first packaging of this exclusive version.
We had to cut a bit some personal expenses and unfortunately the packaging designed for the bundles and regular orders won't be at the same luxury level than these girls, but I cared so much about making something special for those that pledged (or preorder) this expensive collection of miniatures!
Despite the content is, and obviously always should be, the king of the scene, I think that spending some extra money on a nice box would give you that extra-smile that it's important to us.
So, here we are with the Mighty Mega Box 2.0, and I'm really proud of those of you that managed to read a whole blog post about boxes: you have gained 15 DPF points (you will receive a special mug when you collect 100 DPF points!).
Of course, I'm still looking for perfection, concerning our packaging, and I will try to make something better with the next project. In fact, I have a real issue with resin kits themselves, because I think they are too "uncomfortable", concerning packaging: those little plastic bags, with the components put all together on random sprues, are not ideal to shine inside a box. They always seem a bit messy, in my opinion, and I haven't found a solution to this problem (or better, not a solution that wouldn't cost more than the miniatures themselves!).
One day, I'm sure I will overcome this packaging obstacle and indeed that day will be a crucial one, in my career!