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Unboxing the SDCC Jurassic Park Barbasol can: The package is the toy

Ah-ah-ah! No magic word needed to twist apart Mattel's best SDCC 2020 collectable. The fun of this Dennis Nedry figure is in how it's displayed.

Mattel's Jurassic Park Dennis Nedry hides inside a Barbasol can with his bag of cash, "shaving cream," and a ruined slice of pie.
Bridget Carey / CNET

Comic-Con is a time for toymakers to show off the way they can package a collectable. And Mattel spared no expense coming up with its best gem this year: A talking can of Barbasol shaving cream. But instead of hiding frozen dino embryos, it hides a figure of Jurassic Park villain Dennis Nedry -- along with a few easter eggs from the movie. 

Now playing: Watch this: Unboxing Mattel's Dennis Nedry Barbasol can for SDCC...

I got a chance to see what's possible when Mattel goes all-out to design something for your display shelf... or bathroom shelf? Twist the can to reveal Nedry inside. Pressing down doesn't dispense shaving cream, but it will get you a selection of Nedry's phrases from the movie. Check out the video for the full unboxing.


A rotating window in the Barbasol can reveals a surprise for anyone who may actually try to buy a can of shaving cream this large.

Bridget Carey / CNET

It wasn't just the packaging that gave me pause. Mattel sent over a motherload of geekery to showcase the exclusive collectables destined for San Diego's now-virtual Comic-Con. The real highlight for many of these toys was the box -- and I'm not one to keep my boxes.

A Hot Wheels X-Wing lifts up from the swamp of Dagobah, the lever on the side of the package raising it from the muck. A Toy Story alien dressed as a pizza delivery driver isn't packaged in plastic --  it's sitting inside a cardboard Pizza Planet truck, which comes in a cardboard pizza box. A six-pack of Master Chief's iconic armors from Halo require you to insert a key to light up the display they're tucked inside. And a tiny Hulk and Rocket sit in the back of a detailed Land Rover Hot Wheels truck, surrounded by a scene pulled from Avengers: Endgame. 

I hope we can see more toys -- both adult collectables and kids toys -- embrace this kind of creative, waste-reducing packaging beyond the spotlight of Comic-Con. It's a great way to make every element of the package part of the play. 

Mattel has begun selling its collectables, all which sold out in minutes, direct to consumers through its new portal, Mattel Creations. The lucky few who snagged these toys followed Mattel Creations' Instagram page for purchasing instructions. 

Now playing: Watch this: Baby Yoda Hot Wheels car revealed at Comic-Con panel