Monday, 27 September 2010

Talking Point: novelty box-sets

Monday, 27 September 2010

What are your thoughts on novelty DVD and Blu-ray gift-sets? You know what I mean: that Hogwarts-shaped Harry Potter compilation, the Temple-themed Lost box-set, the upcoming Inception briefcase (itself inspired by Blade Runner's case), Terminator's imposing T-600 skull, the Lord Of The Rings twin statue set, the King Kong box-set, etc. They look very enticing for fans who want something extra for their money, but are they worth buying?

And what about their sometimes extortionate price tags? Considering discs are already overpriced from the manufacturing costs, studios make a mint when someone buys a gift set for upwards of £40. And are they even practical for customers? If you store your DVDs in neat rows on a shelf, there's no way the "Alien-head" box-set will fit into that arrangement. Is it purely the sense of exclusivity that people love about them? Do they mainly appealing to consumers who want a "free" toy as part of the deal? Are people buying them more as gifts for family/friends, because they look more attractive and memorable than standard discs?

It's also interesting that novelty disc releases aren't so prevalent in the US. Apparently the sales of novelty gift sets never took off in North America, so it's generally seen as a European love-affair. Why do you think that is? At the risk of stereotyping people, you'd think it would be Americans lapping this stuff up, with Europeans the ones sneering at the prospect of shelling out extra for a Lost box-set that resembles a wooden crate.

So, do you like these gift sets? Do you own any? If so, which ones? Are they worth the money? What makes a really good gift set: the unique packaging or bonus content inside (CD soundtrack, key-rings, comic-book, a film cell, etc.)? Do you buy them purely for other people's birthdays or Christmas?