Batteries (not) included

I love, yes love, collector’s editions of games. I have belt buckles, masks, statues and stickers. I think I even have a Kingdom Hearts keychain batting around somewhere. For a very long time, I would pre-order and hunt for basically every special edition that I could get my hands on. The few I regret not getting: Splatterhouses’ mask, the Alduin statue from Skyrim, the bobblehead/lunchbox from the Fallout 3 set and most of all: the Borderlands 2 loot chest. I came pretty close to shelling out the cost on the set when I found one on kijiji. But I didn’t.

With that in mind – I find myself getting pickier and pickier about which sets I’m going to pick up. Part of it: It’s getting way too expensive to just pick it all up. I mean, when I was doing it in the hay day of collecting, the prices of collector’s editions were somewhere in the area of 90-120$. Now, they barely add anything worth picking up (in most cases) and the prices are sky-rocketing. And frankly, I think that they’d have a pretty hard time justifying the price tags.

Compare this:

To this:

Now, granted, the Borderlands set ran somewhere around the 200$ mark (at least in Canada), but something that was 1.5 or 2x the cost of the WoW set – you’re getting a lot more bang for your buck. I like Blizzard, and the packaging and digital stuff is cool. The only thing is: Aside from the digital, and the box, all you’re getting for your extra money is a mousepad and a soundtrack.

Another great example of something worth the money is the new Fallout Pip Boy edition. Look at this thing:

So, it’s a Pip Boy and box I can display. Check.
Amazing videogame collectable. Check.
It actually functions with a smartphone and app. Seriously?

At 160$ – this is a license to print money. It’s no wonder that it sold out within the hour of being posts on Bestbuy and Amazon.

Todd Howard put it best when he said: “As far as stupid gimmicks go, this is the best fucking one I’ve ever seen,”. I don’t envy the people on the buying end of the secondary market.

If this is going to be an on-going trend, other companies need to step up their game. Mousepads, stickers and dinky bobbles are the collector’s prizes of yesteryear. They are going to have to be economical, they are going to have to be something that doesn’t take up an obscene amount of space and they are going to have to be next-level fun. If they can manage that, and I definitely think it’s in the realm of possibility (Bethesda is proof in the pudding). I get that not every edition will come with something that actually functions. Statues aren’t bad. Alduin would look awesome on my shelf – as awesome as anything made of plastic can be. It has to be fantastic. I’ve always liked about half of the pack-ins for the Assassin’s Creed sets. But there are only so many statues of their protagonists that I can reasonably handle. Especially since they’ve all kind of been duds since Ezio…

I hope, going forward, that companies take what Bethesda is doing and step their game up. Assuming they’re going to continue the trend. And why not? People will buy them and the manufacturing of a plastic statue, mousepad, some digital content or a steelbook is a low cost with high margins.

I know this is just a fan mock-up, but look at this:

I dare you to tell me that sucks. I’m not even a huge Star Wars mark, and I would happily display a cool stormtrooper helmet on my shelf.

I’ve already gone way over my image budget, but this:

Yup. If this was an Xbone exclusive set, I’d buy the console for it.

Both helmets, and the rest of the plastic that I have, and will continue to buy, will all look great next to my portal gun. Whooosh.

– The Ego

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4 thoughts on “Batteries (not) included

  1. I regret not shelling out for the Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty collector’s edition – but that’s mostly because it came with a Raynor dog-tag USB drive that contained Starcraft/Brood War installation files. I love Blizzard as well, but you’re right – their collector’s editions tend to be on the lean side, and not being a big skin guy, digital perks don’t do much for me.

    • For WoW, at least the digital bonuses are somewhat appealing. I love mounts. Most of what I did during WOTLK was farm rare mounts. I have a fair few. I love the mount they gave away with WoD, but come on Blizz. I’m not dropping another 30$ to get a mount.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Follow my blog as I intend to keep stride and posting as close to one per day that I can. If you have anything you want to see covered, let me know.

      – The Ego

      • In a similar vein, I’d like to see your perspective on modern game manuals – I remember opening new games that had full-on manuals included with the base edition, or at the very least a little booklet with information about the world or the gamelore. Nowadays when I open a game, I usually only get inserted advertisements for other games…

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