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Indiana Jones Retail Round-up

14 Oct, 2008 By: John Latchem

The latest “Indiana Jones” movie makes its way to store shelves and looks to cruise to the top spot of the DVD and Blu-ray sales charts.

As I noted in my review of the film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull doesn’t quite capture the spirit of the original trilogy. I found it to be enjoyable enough, like comfort food on a rainy night, but I certainly wasn’t as harsh on the film as some fans in the blogosphere. I think the tone of their criticism reached its zenith with last week’s hilarious “South Park” spoof of the film, which was relentless in its attacks on George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

Anyway, collectors are still going to pick up this DVD in droves (even those who bashed it will probably pick it up anyway, if just to round out their collection). For its part, Paramount Home Entertainment is offering a variety of packaging options, with several retailer exclusives (although not as many as Iron Man a few weeks ago).

The DVD comes in single-DVD, two-DVD and Blu-ray Disc configurations. The two-DVD and Blu-ray sets include hours of extra behind-the-scenes tidbits for those who really need to see how the make-up for the primitive Ugha Warriors was designed.

For the rare few who managed to put off buying any of the movies before, all four are now available in a new boxed set of slim cases, collecting the two-DVD special edition of Crystal Skull and the recent special editions of the first three. So far, however, only Crystal Skull has made its way to Blu-ray Disc. Who knows when Lucasfilm will get around to putting the other films, and “Star Wars,” for that matter, out on high-def?

As far as retailer exclusives go, the best bet for most collectors will be the Best Buy gift set that includes the two-DVD special edition, a replica crystal skull and a $25 gift card to SideshowCollectibles.com. For those who don’t know, Sideshow Collectibles is a high-end maker and distributor of action figures, statuettes, replica props and other goodies based on various pop-culture franchises. Their stuff is usually pretty pricey, with the cheap side coming in at $60 to $100 for a 12-inch doll. So the $25 is a nice hook for them to draw consumers, and those who are interested in that sort of thing won’t be disappointed. The gift card is good on select merchandise that can be browsed at SideshowCollectibles.com/giftcard.

Target continues its trend of exclusive packaging variations for top films. This time the chain offers an 80-page photo album with the DVDs. The book looks like it would make a nice standalone collectible, but some collectors may not like the design. The designs of the basic cases for the single-DVD and two-DVD versions of Crystal Skull are consistent with the special editions of the earlier films, so collectors looking just to add this final film to their set may not think the booklet packaging is as clean a design as they were hoping.

Trans World, which operates FYE and Suncoast stores, offers the film in exclusive steelbook packaging, while Wal-Mart presented the film with an exclusive lenticular slipcase.

Avoiding the packaging pitfalls, Circuit City offers two lithographs of concept art with purchase of the two-DVD set or the Blu-ray Disc. Kmart and Sears offer four mini-posters featuring Lego re-creations of the original posters for the four films. This ties in with the Lego Indiana Jones video game, so gamers might enjoy this exclusive the most.

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