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Boxing Clever
Editorial July 2007

Model collectors are by definition interested in the models that they buy.  However another part of the equation is the box which encloses the model.  For some this is just a means to deliver the model without damage.  For others the box is part of the 'collectible'.

Model manufacturers have been gradually improving their offerings in terms of packaging.  In part this is driven by the need to deliver models undamaged and thereby reduce damage returns.  However a good box also adds to the value of the purchase and high quality pictures and product information differentiate the better presented models.

In terms of box sleeve designs at one end of the scale is the model which has not been sponsored by an Original Equipment Manufacturer and a few Conrad models come in this category with the box sleeve being plain white.  At the opposite end of the scale are models produced for Liebherr which have a very consistent corporate style to the layout of the box design irrespective of the type of model.

Perhaps the ideal box design is one that shows pictures of the real machine and also has a panel of data describing the features, capabilities and dimensions of the machine as reference material.  Somewhere the box should have detail of the model maker and model number as an aid to collectors.

Internally the packaging of models is most often by the use of expanded polystyrene trays that hold each part securely.  The larger models come in multiple trays with up to three layers.  The design of these is consistently good particularly from the larger makers.  Again a preferred standard for this packaging is that the trays are labelled 'top' and 'bottom' to prevent the models being uunpacked upside down.  Also marking the trays with the model maker and model number would be helpful.  A few models come in high quality presentation style boxes with an opening flap revealing the model in cut out foam rubber and these are perhaps the most impressive of all.

Most collectors will display their models if they have enough space to do so and the question arises what to do with the empty boxes.  Here the advice is clear.  If in any way the model is considered an investment for potential resale at some point in the future, then it is important to keep the box in good condition.  Resale values will certainly be higher for models in the original box rather than as a loosely packaged item.  The truth in this is almost evident in that anyone buying a second hand model will pay more if it is in good condition and having the original box is part of this.  Occasionally the boxes on their own come up for auction on Ebay.  Some collectors with the model but without the box would be interested in acquiring the box for their model.  So the conclusion is if you value your models in the longer term keep the boxes in good condition including all parts of the original packaging.

Cranes Etc

A different form of packaging is the foam wrapper here enclosing Conrad's Faun three axle mobile crane. At the 'luxury' end of the scale is the foam rubber tray with inserts for the model pieces as shown here for the Case CX800 Demolition.
Liebherr models usually come in the same picture box style - a model of corporate consistency
Mammoet also have a distinctive corporate style for the box sleeves.
Ros's Raimondi tower crane comes in a very long and somewhat awkward box.  It is also unusual in having a window so the model can be seen in the box.
Typical internal packaging is the expanded polystyrene tray shaped to snugly contain the model and other parts.