Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Old School Citadel Blister Packaging

A short and sweet celebration post today, inspired by Andreas Massonne over on the Oldhammer Community Facebook Page and I subject that I have not really spoken about before here. Packaging. Or more precisely, the mid '80s early '90s packaging that I remember dangling en mass from the walls of gaming shops in the heyday of my youth. 

One thing that I loved about all of the backings to the blisters I would gaze at with longing every other week were the pices of colourful artwork that adorned the cards. A small selection of my collection of blisters can be seen above this text and the variety of colours and designs is most obvious, even to the laymen. All were different and yet some how appropriate to the type of miniatures that they advertised. My favourites were the anti-social green of the goblinoids range and the sinister red, white and green of the Realm of Chaos range. 


Yet the packaging was not always as exciting. Originally, many Citadel models were sold loose in draws and you just asked for what you required. The freindly chap (or chapess) behind the counter would dutifully slide the draw open and unearth the 'skeleton warrior with severed head' that you were after/ Then came the tickets with a vague symbol and a hand written code telling you was contained within the plastic bag that dangled below. Miniatures had been packaged like for years and were a common sight in the 1970s. By the mid '80s the more familiar card packs appeared, as illustrated above, in navy blue and yellow. But it was the later '80s that saw an explosion in bright and exciting packaging. 

Have a gander at these!

By late 1991 I had moved on from regular miniatures buying. My parents had bought me a Commodore Amiga and my interests moved elsewhere. The years ticked by and by 1995 I had returned to the hobby and started collecting Bloodbowl miniatures again with a friend. Sadly, the glorious blister packs that I had fond memories of were long gone, replaced by much, much inferior products. 

See what I mean.

And they have been bland ever since.



  1. I loved the old packages! I wonder why they stopped doing them.

    And I've nominated you for a Liebster award!

  2. The first picture of the blister packs has brought me back to standing in Antics Model Shop in Gloucester staring in wonder at the miniatures! Great post

  3. I was at a game store recently where they had moved the blister packs back behind the counter because the high sticker cast was making theft more prevalent. We appear to be going full circle.

  4. I have always loved the old packaging. After the buyout, marketing people said they had to appear to have more depth and to actively brand them as a whole.....and when they redid them with lead free pewter here in the states, it was all green for warhammer, which later went to red with logos or stripes. Ive always wanted to have one of all the old types, and it is amazing how many different ones there were! I still remember a sudden trip to Toronto to hit the lead sell-off! Got a few from that trip still.

  5. Hi

    The pictures from this thread are supposed to show EVERY blister produced by GW.... enjoy!! :

  6. And I also had a break when I had my Commodore Amiga ;)

  7. Please help me. I don't recognize the big one in the first pic. Is a 52mm plastic model from Citadel?

    1. 60mm plastic model to be accurate! It is from the "Fighting Fantasy Heroes"-Series and you can see the whole blister here:
      But I was never a fan of plastic!

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  9. Wow, these pics and then Jean-Bernard's link, like a time machine, how I took all of those racks for granted back in the past. This post made me feel quite emotional, not kidding one bit.

  10. I feel the exact same and it was in the late 80s I first saw these very stand out packaging blisters that were unique to GW, not only did they have as much character as the minis inside, but they in fact made finding those specific armies on the walls easy, as you knew what section they were under just by the logo and package, I was totally gutted when they switched to those ugly bland lead free packs in the mid 90s, GW did KINDA go back to the original packaging with their specialist games range ( the mordheim blisters looked straight out of an 80s gw rack wall ), but they went to this generic white background with citadel logo for whatever few metal stock remains. It's a shame as it really did stand out as something unique and special.