Hasbro has applied and has successfully secured a brand new patent for an anti-theft, anti-tamper packaging for their toy figures.
Published on November 25th, this new patent may very well be a step in the right direction to prevent rampant toy tampering due to Hasbro’s new eco-friendly packaging with plastic-less open windows. What’s interesting is the fact that the locking mechanism is a part of the toy itself.
Official description at World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):
A package can include a product display panel to which a product is to be secured, the product display panel comprising an opening for receiving a product locking assembly. The product locking assembly can include a locking element having a peg and an extended portion extending from the peg, and the extended portion comprising first and second spaced apart projections, and a receiving element disposed in or attached to the product, the receiving element comprising an aperture having a first end and an inwardly disposed second end. The locking element is adapted to fit through the opening and be inserted into the receiving element to a first position such that product display panel is secured to the product and the first projection extends past the second end of the aperture of the receiving element to prevent the locking element from being removed from the aperture, and the locking element being further adapted to be further inserted into the aperture after removal of the product display panel from the product to a second position such that the second projection extends past the second end of the aperture of the receiving element.
The above sounds like a lot of words, but we’ve attached some images from the patent application to help you understand the solution better.
In addition to the anti-theft and anti-tamper features of the new packaging design, the patent also highlights a feature to prevent returning a different toy in place of the original that was in the packaging. Once taken out of the package, the locking mechanism (known as ‘The Key Lock’) is permanently pushed into the toy to make it less obvious. This will prevent the toy from being reattached back into the packaging. If the toy is not reattached, the store can identify if the toy is used or a different toy is in place of the original. The seller can also examine if the locking mechanism is removed.
The only downside of this mechanism is having a visible mark of the lock on the toy itself. However, Hasbro may design the toys to have the lock, less obvious.
It is likely that we will see this new application on future Hasbro toys including Transformers and G.I. Joe.