Have Your Say: Which Size Matters Most?

Associate Editor, Features; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
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Have Your Say: Which Size Matters Most?
While a great many people these days download films, legally or illegally, I'm one of the stalwart few who prefers his media on discs and/or books. People have reacted scornful, called me stupid for buying stuff which can be stolen for free, have asked me if I've really seen and read everything I own... Some even tried to explain the "Internet" to me, which is nice of them.
Call me old-fashioned, but I want to have something which I can hold in my hands. Something that, for as long as time and natural deterioration allows it, I can watch, or read, or show, or lend, as I please. In the version which I want, and not the one which just happens to be available at that time.

Last week was a crazy one for me as a Blu-ray collector, when three different specialty sets I ordered throughout the year all arrived within a timespan of 48 hours. Each of them was great in its own right (check them out here, here and here) but differed in size, approach and price. Which made me wonder: what attracted me to each of them? Would I want all my owned favorite films looking like the biggest one? Probably not, as that would be too bulky and pricy. But when is smaller sometimes better?

So that is going to be the question of the week. Think of your favorite films or series of all times. Then look at the picture above, with the four different formats: a regular pretty steelbook (around 25 USD), a novelty case (around 50 USD), an oversized ultimate box (around 100 USD), and the Monster of Disc-enstein (around... ehm... more).

For your most favorite films, where is the sweet spot where pimping and pricing meet? Chime in, in the comments below, and HAVE YOUR SAY!

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ZetobeltNovember 22, 2016 10:28 AM

Evangelion in monnsssster size!!!

ManateeAdvocateNovember 22, 2016 12:30 PM

"I want to have something which I can hold in my hands. Something that, for as long as time and natural deterioration allows it, I can watch, or read, or show, or lend, as I please. In the version which I want, and not the one which just happens to be available at that time."

Correct. Fuck downloads and digital. I couldn't be more serious. I have Amazon Prime for the shipping, but I've indulged in some of the streaming service. I can't fathom a subscription service being my only source for viewing. I'm too much of a film fiend to be told what to watch and when if you get me.

$100.00 USD is my breaking point typically. I've spent more here and there, but I try to be pragmatic-ish when it comes to my hobbies. No matter how much I loved something I could never bring myself to shell out what you did on that Monster of Disc-enstein set.

Favorite film of all time = The Thing (1982) I've bought that film a few too many times and I don't care.

Favorite series of all time = a tie between Deadwood & The Prisoner. Double dipped on both. The Prisoner on blu is glorious.

Favorite anime of all time = R.O.D. The TV (and yet I flipped the bird to the assholes at Aniplex for their evil overpriced blu ray set. I'd love to have had it, but the price point was insulting to say the least.)

Ard VijnNovember 22, 2016 2:34 PM

Amen on that Blu-ray of THE PRISONER.

Also, I have to admit that I would never pay the Monster of Disc-enstein's current price (in initial pre-order half a year ago, it cost less than half). Unless someone does a similar release for GHOST IN THE SHELL: STANDALONE COMPLEX or something.

Ard VijnNovember 22, 2016 2:38 PM

That... would weaken my resolve as well.

PatNovember 22, 2016 3:19 PM

Jin roh. Honneamise made one way back but the company went out of business when the anime bubble burst in the 2000's and the American anime industry calapsed. I managed to get their two Oshii Patlabor film sets, and holy shit are they nice!

BtoFuNovember 22, 2016 4:05 PM

When it comes to favourites, I just tend to go for the editions I like the most.

I too (like the majority of collectors apart from the oddballs who don't actually open their swag) like the physicality of knowing I actually own the thing. That I can take it and watch it whenever I like and I'll never have to worry about the internet crapping out That it'll never be de-listed and vanish from my shelf. Equally if it's a collector's set it can be nice to look through the supplemental materials. Reading the stories, looking at the artwork and the like... it's all part of the appeal to me.

I don't go out of my way to buy the biggest, chunkiest and fanciest sets anymore I suppose - I used to be real hot for Korean and Japanese DVD sets (I think we traded sets a couple of times actually, Ard!) so I'm still to this day fond of some of them like the Oldboy Ultimate Edition, My Sassy Girl tin and Time Capsule edition from Taiwan. The Classic wooden box edition etc. These days Korea still produces some gorgeous editions albeit nothing as unique as they used to - it's more label focused now with the likes of Plain Archive, Novamdeia, The Blu Collection etc.

Of course now and again (often with Anime Ltd amusingly enough) I regret not grabbing some releases such as the Gurren Lagann ultimate edition or the Baccano 1st Press box. The reason I don't get too upset though is that I usually don't love the shows enough to care - I just get drawn in by some of the sleeker versions. In the old days the pimped edition was usually enough to get me to bite but today, my approach is more measured and I have to love the content as much as the fancy packaging.

Premium statues/figures on the other hand can get a hold of me. If I find it visually appealing enough I won't even care what the character is from or often how much it costs I'll just buy the thing without thinking! So I guess I'm still a real collector at heart... the focus of it has simply shifted a bit to pure decoration!

Gopal NatarajanNovember 22, 2016 6:16 PM

I've bought a few of these 'Super Duper Special zOMG SRSLY Ultra Mega Director's Final Cut' versions of DVD releases for stupidly high prices and my verdict is 'Meh!' I don't really care for all the extras and I never look at them once I've got them anyway. Just give me the disc(s) with an attractive, basic box. I don't want the 5 extra discs of behind the scenes outtakes and the concept art book (unless it's the concept art book for Jodorowsky's "Dune." I really want that.).

Ard VijnNovember 22, 2016 9:16 PM

Those two American PATLABOR releases, which included two books with each film, are still among the best releases ever produced.