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A thing or two for publishers to consider about premium packaging and sci-fi fans
on 11 October 2010
Looks can be deceptive, especially if you've looked at the image that's been sitting at the top of this page for the past couple of months. I was surprised when I opened the parcel to see the size of this box set. My initial reaction was that I'd been sent the vanilla set by mistake. But no. The premium edition is much smaller than I was expecting and certainly a different shape (see my own photos in the images section). That will bother some of you but the surprise for me was a pleasant one. I wondered where I was going to find room for such a thing, now that problem is eased.
The Senet game comes in a compact and unspectacular box as well but the pieces are of a decent quality. I'll never play it, of course. Who will? So, yeah, the game could have done with more exciting packaging but, oh well, we're ultimately here for the Blu-rays. Even these are going to be a bone of contention for some to chew on - no slipcases, no digipaks, just boring old regular Blu-ray cases. The first three seasons also come in wider cases than the last three. This last point is understandable as the earlier seasons are longer, but I bet it annoys some of you that they don't all follow the exact same style. It annoys my inner nerd's OCD a little...
Five sides of the outer box are made from good, sturdy card with a nice spot varnish finish, but the rear side is a cheap piece of detachable card, which isn't all that impressive. Beyond that, you get a flimsy episode guide booklet and the bonus disc, which does in fact have some good stuff on it that I'm not here to spoil. I do have misgivings over the misleading images and the way in which consumers this side of the pond are treated but the truth is I'm satisfied with what I've got. I never wanted a cumbersome pyramid like they got in the US in the first place. It would, however, be foolish of me to expect all Lost fans to feel the same and happily settle for less. This should be something for the hardcore fanatics and collectors and it doesn't really feel like that at all.
I was well aware of the furore from fans over how this has been handled. From a design and contents point of view, it's inferior to the US release and we had to wait over a month for it while a different, lesser set was offered to us. And now the premium box has turned out to be little more than the vanilla edition with an added Senet game that you'll never play. So it's an odd proposition. This premium edition isn't particularly premium in terms of quality but, when compared to the alternative set, it's not being sold at the premium price either, it's actually the cheaper of the two at the time of writing. Bizarre. But you've watched Lost so you know it's not worth looking for the answers to some mysteries.