1099 Hours.

While waiting to lunch with a friend I happened upon an AOL free trial package. I was thinking about how the EPA should declare these things a plague on the environment when I noticed something very familiar about the packaging.

It wasn’t the promise of a 5x faster Internet downloads or ten-thousand free hours of service in the first trial month. No, it was the plastic case that caught my eye — I’ve seen these drink coasters come wrapped on a card, attached to a newspaper sleeve, on movie seats, and in DVD size cases. Someday we might even have AOL toilet paper – a little rough, sure but it will be free! No it was something completely new.

Upon further inspection of the clear case I looked at the lower left and confirmed that in my hands was a Super Jewel Box, the debut product of the fantastic Jewelboxing System.

Somewhere, somehow, America Online decided to drop their usual cheap packaging crap and went for the olympic gold of CD/DVD packaging.

It would seem that with this gift of cool free packaging AOL has decided to give something back to the community, something we can use long after the original contents are ripped out and used to protect wood against cold drink condensation.

So the next time you rummage through your neighbor’s mail, be on the lookout for these babies because they are awesome cases and — and not everyone knows this — can be used to block laser beams from outer space which is something, I dare say, a “collectors tin” cannot do.

Congratulations to Jim and company, I can only assume this was a big home run for their upstart packaging company.