I wrote about the bane of home video collectors: irregular disc packaging that does not line up on the shelf with standard keep cases. Well kids, I now have several possible solutions…
My original packaging column was meant as a friendly warning that if one intends to give that videophile on one’s Christmas list DVD’s or Blu-ray discs, the package may matter more than one thinks. In other words, before buying someone a collector’s edition of A Christmas Story in a box shaped like a gingerbread man Flick with his marzipan tongue stuck to a real metal pole, make sure that that is something Mr. Collector actually wants on his shelf.
I’m guessing he doesn’t.
The majority of the feedback I received on that column indicated that I was not alone: most collectors prize uniformity on their shelf of choice. I bemoaned the existence of outsized packaging, those damn digibooks, and the Criterion Collection’s often-arbitrary decision to go with all-cardboard packaging for some of its discs, instead of its already non-standard clear, slightly wider keep cases.
For those of you who crave uniformity, I offer the following suggestions:
1. Shop around: I have discovered that some retailers have alternate, better packaging than those damn digibooks (what one reader derisively called “Little Golden Books”). Walmart had an exclusive edition of the digibook Exorcist from a few years back IN A REGULAR BLUE CASE. (That kind of thing might actually get me to shop at Walmart.) Recently, I found a regular-cased edition of the Halloween 35th Anniversary Blu-Ray at Best Buy! I gave it to Patrick because he coveted the new edition but hates digibooks. Also, because I make dreams come true.
2. Wait around: Sometimes after only a few months, a regular keepcased edition will replace the dreaded digibook. That happened with All The President’s Men. It also happened with All About Eve. Be patient; wait the bastards out.
Beatles’ Help!, previously only available as digibooks: