I pride myself for being a fairly straight thinking buyer, but every now and then I notice the words Limited Edition and somehow I can’t seem to think straight anymore.
Every collector has been there, or still is, and it seems to have turned into a force that is getting stronger and stronger.
Don’t mistake a limited edition for a giftset, even though they share a lot of similarities. What sets a limited edition apart from that is what the title implies: there’s a set number of copies and that’s it.
Back in 2002 when I was heavily infatuated with the rise of the DVD I distinctly remember my first time I witnessed a Limited Edition. It was the Extended Edition of the first Lord of the Rings movie, and it featured 2 bookends along with the dvd. The bookends were limited and there I was in the store, pondering if I should spent the money (back then a staggering 100 dollars) on the set.
I figured that I’d get it in a few months time (there’s the thinking part of my brain) and then naturally, when I got back it was gone.
And not just gone, I mean GONE. No store had it, no website in Holland carried it, it was sold out.
You could get it though, at ten times the initial price. That’s the point that transformed me into the fucked up collector I am now. When I see a limited edition I have ample time to decide, maybe 10 minutes before either my girlfriend wants to leave the store or before someone else takes it away from me.
Over the years you learn to gain considerable skill in getting them though. Pre-ordering or importing them is a way of sealing the deal early, but in most cases (because of the hefty sums of money they ask) you always get to the same conclusion ‘I’ll wait until I see it in person, I’ll decide then’.
Wrong! WRONG PEOPLE!
I’ve been there, which is why I’ve ended up with a numbered Amelie dvd or a Hellboy Director’s Cut with a limited run statue (featured here on the right).
There’s always this first sense of YEAH I’ve bought it, this is something that not many people will have. In fact, it’s a flat out lie to yourself. Many people have it, in the case of this edition above: 20.000 other people have it.
But it’s limited and it shows your friends that you have that little edge over them. They have the special edition, but YOU have the limited one.
What many people don’t know is that the limited edition is oftentimes equal (or only slightly lesser) in numbers as the normal editions. But since they wont reproduce the limited they are calling it what it is.
Most of the times there isn’t even a second batch of the normal dvd’s since they won’t sell out.
But every now and again, I get the feeling that I have something special.
For instance, when I was watching a show I love (The Big Bang Theory), I saw my Gollum statue standing on Sheldon’s desk. It brought forth a weird sense of achievement. I’ve been collecting movies for 10 years now (writing this now, I’m thinking I should celebrate) and I’ve gained a library full of titles.
Many are in a limited run, some are quite obscure (the Salo dvd for instance was worth 1200 dollars a few years back) and all are of great emotional value to me.
I know exactly which one was given to me as a gift and which ones I had trouble finding etc.
In the end, the limited edition is a clever gimmick from a corporate world. But the experience of owning one, finding one or simply seeing one can still be worth it.
Take pride in your collecting crazyness but don’t let it get the better of you.
Besides, Limited Editions have become far less interesting in the last couple of years due to a severe lack of creativity. But then again, having that 5-disc Blade Runner Blu-Ray that has the workprint version on it, is kinda cool isn’t it?