The Tolkien movies seem to lend themselves to collector editions, but the latest version goes to a whole new level – with a jaw-dropping price.
Released under the title “Middle Earth”, the standard Theatrical Versions Collection is simple enough: the three Hobbit and three Lord of the Rings movies on Blu-ray with no extras, with a list price of $62.99.
However, the Limited Collector’s Edition is a different proposition. It’s got 30 discs, including the extended editions of each movie (with optional filmmaker commentary), which makes the Hobbit trilogy an hour longer and The Lords of the Rings trilogy two hours longer. There’s also virtually all the extras and “appendices” from the numerous previous DVD and Blu-ray releases and some “premium” content included for the first time, though it’s not clear how much of the set this makes up.
The real collector element is the packaging however. Each movie’s discs come in a faux-leather box designed to resemble a book, with the six volumes housed in a wooden shelf. There’s also a 100-page sketchbook based on events in the series.
The set is getting some pretty terrible reviews however, based on a couple of factors. One is that there doesn’t seem to be any sign of the wealth of extra content Peter Jackson was said to be saving up for an ultimate edition. The other is that right now the set is listed at a truly epic price of $800.