Maybe those are the fucked up copies that they sent back to Namco? It's easy for Namco to order another batch of the tin case and re-package them again.
Btw, how did Amazon suddenly have pallets of MW3 Hardened in stock? Did Activision reprint another batch to capitalize on the bundle that was in high demand and sold out before release.
I don't think it is a reprint. I have never seen a steelbook or any CE with a steelbook case in it get a reprint. I think they just held back some stock most likely.