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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

does fancy packaging make you more likely to buy a DVD/blu-ray set?

Reader PJK pointed this out to me:

gots3blu

This is a rendering of packaging for an Amazon-exclusive blu-ray set of Season 3 of Game of Thrones, to be released in February 2014. [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon Canada] [not yet on Amazon U.K.]

PJK says:

I must say that whoever can fit this on their bookshelf must have more space than me.

And why would anyone buy this if not to display it prominently?

This is one of the more elaborate box sets I’ve seen, and while it’s sort of, um, interesting, I don’t see the point of paying almost twice as much as the regular blu-ray set — $104.99 versus $55.99 — just for a fancy box.

What about you? Does fancy packaging make you more likely to buy a DVD/blu-ray set? (Not just this set, but any set.) If so, what sort of special packaging do you like, and do you display it more prominently than other box sets?

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)


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  • Danielm80

    After you’ve spent all your money on the boxed set, you can live inside the box.

  • I only collect Mill Creek Entertainment box sets, but yes, the packaging does make me want to buy them. Being able to fit hundreds of movies into the space of three or four regular DVDs is great! http://i.imgur.com/g6zJVaN.jpg

  • RogerBW

    I did once — the Akira special edition that came in a tin. Otherwise, no; I don’t even know about it, since I just search HugeSouthAmericanRiver for the film title and buy whichever version is cheapest. I’m going to digitise the things anyway; packaging and physical discs just add to shipping weight and space.

  • Beowulf

    I’ve bought a few in the past, but then I found they take up too much space. I spend enough money on BR discs, I don’t need to pay for elaborate packaging on top of the basic cost. My wife and I justify buying $20 BR movies by arguing that we would spend as much seeing a movie in a theater and buying one small popcorn (now $5.75 here in Dead Center, PA!).

  • David N-T

    Doesn’t really make a difference to me: my decision to buy or not to buy something on blu-ray is made up before I even see what the cover looks like. As far as buying the fancy vs. vanilla version, I usually stick with the regular version. I’d rather be able to afford more BRs or DVDs that interest me for the same dollar amount than getting fancier packaging.

  • Tangeu

    Not a chance, everything I buy goes straight on to my home media server then gets packed away in a box in the closet. It’s not even an issue of space but rather one of convenience.

  • If it has the most special features, I’ll get the fancy-package version, otherwise why bother?

  • Jonathan Roth

    Ghost in the Shell:Stand Along Complex had a “BYOBS”. The first DVD of the series included a box for all the other DVDs (sold seperately) and a T-shirt. First, only, and last set I ever bought like that.

    I do occasionally buy collector’s edition versions of Blizzard’s games, since they include gorgeous artbooks, soundtracks, and in-game rewards. A lot of the toys and plasticky junk are just taking up space reserved for other toys and plasticky junk. ;)

  • Tyler Foster

    It used to. Then I realized all of that additional packaging was kinda crappy.

  • singlestick

    I bought a fancy box set of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and I wasn’t even a huge fan of the novels, go figure). This was the first and last time for this.

    I have bought more stuff like Criterion Collection DVDs. The audio essays and historical material interest me more than some of the stuff offered with studio collector’s editions.

    That said, the dragon on the Games of Thrones collection is kinda cool.

  • No. Since I only watch most movies or shows once, I rarely have any reason to buy them. It just seems like yet another waste of money. Game of Thrones I actually DO buy, but only because HBO sucks, and they don’t make it available for me otherwise. I sure as heck am not buying the more expensive version.

  • PJK

    I actually do own two limited editions:

    – Hellboy The Director’s Cut, which came with a bust of Hellboy
    – HellBoy 2, which came with a statue of one of the robot army guys

    I didn’t really need the bust of Hellboy, but that was the only way to get the DC version of the movie at the time. If it had been available without the bust I’d have gone for that version.

  • teenygozer

    I’ve purchased fancy-packaged DVDs in the past, but probably won’t in the future as I have no room: Invader Zim DVDs were literally housed in his alien haunted-looking house, Monk DVDs came with hand-wipes, Northern Exposure DVDs came in a little orange vest/jacket for the warmth, I guess. My husband’s revamped Star Trek DVDs (where they stepped up the special effects to look like the best you could have bought in the late 60s) came in these odd plastic box-things that looked like primary-colored tri-corders.

    My sister has the entire Dark Shadows oeuvre in a coffin and I believe the entirety of M*A*S*H came in a foot-locker.

  • Hank Graham

    Definitely not. I have done only a few editions of movies with fancy packaging, because that was the only way to get them, at the time.

    My exceptions are the Disney tin of “Dr Syn: the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh,” the Disney tin of “Silly Symphonies,” and the wooden box of the original “Wicker Man.”

    I’ve since figured out that if they aren’t releasing what you want the way you want it, just wait until they do.

    I’m still waiting for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in blu-ray in a stand-alone edition, without those other, crappy movies, I’ll grant you. But I figure I can outwait them.

  • feelinglistless

    I bought the original tardis boxed season one of Doctor Who which was very exciting at the time, but the glue on the plastic dvd holders was notoriously rubbish and they’ve fallen off and it takes up the same space as three of the other ones. Never doing that again.

  • Patrick

    The fancy, attractive packaging was one of the *many* draws to collecting DVDs back in the day. Blu ray package is so…blah. Blu may have a better picture but a case of hundreds of them neatly side by side will get a “meh” out of most people.

  • bronxbee

    i love The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh! i didn’t know it was available in dvd.

  • I don’t care about the packaging, I care about the content of the DVDs

  • lescarr

    Also, the “door” of the TARDIS warped and it became impossible to store it with all my other Dr Who DVDs.

    Also, the Internet.

  • feelinglistless

    Gosh yes, that too. I’ve got my other boxsets buttressed up against it.

  • lescarr

    It’s noteworthy that today “Star Trek: Into Darkness” was released for download and rental on iTunes and Amazon Streaming three weeks before its DVD release date. Unfortunately this is only applicable in the US, but still, it’s the first time that a major motion picture has ignored the standard DVD retail window. (or is it? as a Brit I’m a little behind on the media offerings.)

  • Nope. This is happening constantly now. In fact, Iron Man 3 is now available digitally in the UK, before it’s on DVD.

  • David_Conner

    That’s not really “fancy” packaging though, just nicely utilitarian. (Is anyone else old enough to remember the opposite of this, from the Home Video Stone Age of the early ’80s, when some companies would put one VHS tape in a box that was basically the size of the Webster’s Dictionary Home Edition? (And the only “extra” was the extra air and cardboard surrounding the cassette!)

  • David_Conner

    Looking over my DVDs, I think almost all the elaborate box sets I have were either the only edition available or the only edition available that also had all the *content* I wanted. The only exception I note is the Steve Carell Get Smart movie, where I bought the edition with packaging that resembles a shoe phone. Albeit a shoe phone worn by Richard Kiel or Shaquille O’Neal or someone. Gotta be at least a size 16 or so….

  • It’s fancy enough for me. :)

  • PJK

    And now there is the even more impractical Breaking Bad series limitied edition “box” (or barrel to be more accurate) :

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EEDNA4M?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00EEDNA4M

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