Can We All Agree on the 28-Pack?


When I was writing this Epilogue I had a momentary hope that I discovered a previously undocumented 28-pack.

One of the features of the 28-Pack section of the website was documenting every known version of the 28-Pack boxes. The variants included some combination of having , or not having, the poster-offer and/or the logo on the forehead.

If I was a normal person, then hoping I had discovered a new 28-pack would be the end of the story. Unfortunately I am clearly not a normal person. I couldn’t stop thinking about the 28-pack. If a new version of the box hasn’t been discovered in years, then maybe all of the versions have been discovered.

And if all the versions have been discovered, then maybe a pattern could be detected. I may have found one.

Mirror Authentication

#1 - No Logo, Poster

Mirror Authentication

#2 - No Logo, Poster

Mirror Authentication

#3 - No Logo, Poster

Mirror Authentication

#4 - No Logo, Poster

This is the only version of the 28-pack box made for each version. I believe this is the original version of the box. This is likely the version of the box that contained the Flesh figures.

Believing this assumption might offer insight into the Poster Offer overall. If the poster offer was originally offered on the Flesh 28-packs, then they may have not had the poster completed. Mattel may have had hope of expanding the figure count past 233.

That didn’t happen. The Flesh Poster became the Color Poster and perhaps the poster offer was dropped from the final runs of figures.

What about the other versions of the 28-pack?

Thug Busters

#1 - Thug Busters

Good question.

Let’s start with the first 28-pack; the Thug Busters set.

There are three version of this box.

I should note that I am missing the mirror picture for the Logo, Poster box. I don’t know why. I will try and add this picture as soon as possible.

I have already addressed the No Logo, Poster box. I believe this is the original Flesh version. How are the other two boxes explained?

I took a look at the Parts and Trees that made up each box. Then I looked at classifications for both Soupie’s CIA and the UofM Figure Guide.

#1 Front - Logo, Poster

Logo, Poster

Mirror Authentication

Logo, No Poster

Mirror Authentication

No Logo, Poster

I believe the two boxes (Logo/Poster and Logo/No Poster) are the result of the two types of Class A figures found in the figures. There are more Red and Magenta Class A figures. Nine Red Class A figures and nine Magenta Class A figures. There are fewer Salmon Class A figures. There are only five Salmon figures.

I believe this may suggest that Red and Magenta were the Logo/Poster box. Then the Salmon Class A figures were the Logo/No Poster. Or vice-versa.

I think the key is that the figures fall into three groupings: (1) Flesh; (2) Red/Magenta; and (3) Salmon. I think this may explain the three version of the box.

Cosmic Crunchers

#2 - Cosmic Crunchers

The explanation of the second 28-pack is much easier.

Again, the No Logo/Poster version of the box is the original box that contained the Flesh figures.

There is only one variant of the Cosmic Crunchers box. The Logo/Poster version of the box.

Mirror Authentication

#2 - Logo, Poster

I believe this is explained by the Dark Blue Class A figures included in the Cosmic Crunchers. At some point there had to be a change in production, which resulted in the Dark Blue figures. Or maybe another facility producing the Dark Blue figures and producing a different box.

Does that make sense?

Another way to say it might be, the abnormality of the Dark Blue Class A figures may explain the abnormality of the extra version of the box.

The Mighty Maulers and Cosmic Showdown do not have any Class A figures. Initially I thought this could ruin the entire pattern that was emerging. I panicked as I went through the Mighty Maulers, but panic shifted to relief as numerous Class B figures appeared in the Cosmic Showdown.

Using Soupie’s CIA Common/Uncommon labels resulted in a much more clear pattern emerging.

Mighty Maulers

#3 - Mighty Maulers

The Mighty Maulers do not have any Class A nor any Class B figures.

Because all of the Mighty Maulers are Class C the production may have balanced out.

Yet again, the No Logo/Poster box is the Flesh version. Because all the figures are Class C it does not make sense that there two additional version of the box. However, there are Common and Uncommon based on Soupie’s CIA classifications. This made me look at the Parts and Trees.

28-pack #1 used five Parts and had three boxes. This uneven number may suggest why one color was produced less than the others. The colors could not be evenly divided.

Mirror Authentication

#3 - Logo, No Poster

Mirror Authentication

#3 - Logo, Poster

28-pack #3 used six parts and also had three boxes. This even number may suggest why the various colors largely balanced out. This set could be more evenly divided – but still not perfectly identical.

The additional Logo/Poster and Logo/No Poster variants of the #3 Mighty Maulers may be explained by the Common/Uncommon. Even if the labels weren’t perfect, they do suggest a pretty similar amount of production.

I hope this is still making sense.

Cosmic Showdown

#4 - Cosmic Showdown

Finally there is the Cosmic Showdown set.

This set has lots of Class B figures. Again, an even number of Parts and Trees were used. This, largely, even distribution of Color figures makes me think that’s why there is only two versions of the box. Mattel had the Flesh No Logo/Poster version, then had an easy time creating the other Color combinations which resulted in one box (Logo/No Poster).

I am also curious about the 28-pack SKU. When a retailer ordered a 28-pack SKU it included 12 boxes. I’ve never found anything that says the 28-packs are even divided in the SKU. Logic would suggest three of all four would be included, but nothing definitive can be found.

Mirror Authentication

Mirror Authentication

Is there a hint that #2 and #4 were “shortpacked” because these sets only have two versions of the box? Sets #1 and #3 had three versions. I don’t know.

I rambled about 28-packs, does this make sense to you?

Do you see something I missed?

Or can we agree the variants support the various waves of figures?

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