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mygif

When I think of overpriced DVDs and box sets, the first thing I think of is anime, but there’s a very good reason for anime being that expensive – bootlegging runs rampant in that market. Take Neon Genesis Evangelion, for example. At Amazon, you can get the “Platinum Collection,” which is the whole series (one season) with some minor extra footage included – and just about every single other extra feature chopped out – for $45.99, but it usually retails for $89. The regular box set with all the extras is $130, but that’s marked down from $170. The thing is, you can get a Hong Kong-produced bootleg of nearly identical quality with all the extras and more for about $30. And that’s not even acknowledging the fact that many anime fans just download everything they want to watch for free, much moreso than most American-produced shows.

Star Trek doesn’t have that kind of excuse, so you got me on that one.

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mygif

It’s probably somewhat similar to something Trent Reznor was (allegedly) told when he inquired about the unreasonably high cost of his albums in… Australia, I believe: “Basically it’s because we know you’ve got a core audience that’s gonna buy whatever we put out, so we can charge more for that. It’s the pop stuff we have to discount to get people to buy it. True fans will pay whatever”. Sounds about right… it’s not as though 24 or even Lost have a fanbase as, uh, passionate as Trek fandom.

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mygif

There’s probably also added cost in anime associated with subtitles and dubbing that you wouldn’t have with an American produced show released in America. And in getting the rights, license, or whatever. Not to discount the bootlegging or downloading, of course.

Though, curiously, I was cruising Chapters for some Berserk DVDs, and buying a boxed was a better deal than buying the three DVDs I needed to collect ’em all.

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mygif

I was going to mention HBO shows. Then I started looking. Ok, Carnivale S1&2 for like 95. Consider that you get half the episodes, call it 190 even..Star Trek still costs more. Oh, and you can buy the seasons individually for 20 bucks each, which is pretty reasonable, especially for HBO shows.

I checked other HBO shows too, most of them clock in under 50 bucks on Amazon right now. Half of Star Trek, and we all know HBO shows are designed to gouge you on price.

I blame Gene Roddenberry’s zombie corpse.

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mygif

I remember that when they started coming out w/ the Star Trek DVDs, TV box sets were not common. There were a few, but it was mostly nerd niche stuff (Bab 5, X-Files, Highlander) and they were mostly sitting around that $100 price point too. Once DVD box sets really took off and the general price per season came down to $40-50, those dropped as well. Star Trek just never adjusted to the actual market price of TV on DVD.

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mygif

I think it’s the same reason that a comic book now retails for $3.99. When you’ve mismanaged your brand so badly that all you have left are a tiny minority of deep-pocketed hardcore fans, you’re going to shake them sons of bitches down until their fillings fall out.

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mygif

Because people will pay for it.

If they came down, I suppose I’d feel guilty for torrenting DS9 just to watch it…but I’m not going to shell out the money they want for a couple of seasons for a show I last liked when I was a little kid. I’m going to watch it first and then start looking for used sets on eBay/Amazon marketplace.

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mygif

Thank you for noticing and calling attention to this madness. I rarely ever find a used box set of any season for any show and I would harbor a guess that Paramount is so bipolar about their cash cow that they go through periods of not printing any many copies as they should so the price doesn’t head down.
All I know is I got hosed buying the first season of TOS tonight. Lame.

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mygif
Alex Jay Berman said on January 19th, 2008 at 4:08 am

Everyone seems to be missing one major point.

Yes, it’s Paramount’s cash cow.

But it is also, arguably, the largest syndication cash cow on the planet.

And that, I believe, is at the heart of the thing. The crappy shows like Voyager and Enterprise were even kept around amid dwindling ratings just to have enough episodes to make them viable for syndication. If the studio was prepared to lose money on the front end just so that they could HAVE a back end, then they’re not going to be willing to cut too deeply into their rerun money by selling it in the glut which the DVD market would demand.

So to say that there’s “no goddamned reason” to do this is incorrect, It may not be the BEST reason, but it’s a pretty big obvious reason.

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mygif

sg-1 retails for $40 a season, list is $60. fred meyers has them on sale every few months for $20 a season.

at regular retail price of $40, i can get ten seasons of sg-1 for the price of four seasons of star trek. at the half-price sale price, i can get ten seasons of sg-1 for the price of two seasons of star trek.

even with an obvious bell curve between seasons one and ten where the ratio of good episodes to bad ones peaked right in the middle, there’s still more good episodes to be had for your money in ten seasons of sg-1 than any two seasons of any star trek.

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mygif
Cookie McCool said on January 19th, 2008 at 10:28 am

To Alex Jay Berman, I’m not sure if “just because Paramount” can is a very palatable reason at all, however obvious it may be. Especially considering that shit is in reruns like it’s the sci-fi Law & Order and we can still kind of get it for free. Why on earth anyone would want to watch Enterprise even for free is beyond me, though. Yeuch.

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mygif

I’ve actually been watching Enterprise on SciFi for the past few months (I barely watched it during its run) and I’m finding it to be…acceptable. I even watched the whole run of Voyager on Spike last year and found it wasn’t totally terrible.

I think this may be because my expectations are lower watching a rerun than those of a fan watching a first-run episode. I don’t watch Enterprise with the sense of “Oh god, this is what they decided to do instead of this or this,” because it’s a fait accompli. They made the show, it killed the franchise, and now the pressure is off for Enterprise to keep all of Star Trek afloat from week to week. Now all it has to do is inoffesnively kill an hour, or be background noise while I do my laundry, and it does that rather well. That’s as good as I can say about TNG Season 2 or 7, which in hindsight sucked ass but I’d watch ’em if a marathon was on.

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mygif

MGK–Barnes & Noble online (bn.com) have all the Star Trek season sets (yes, Voyager and Enterprise, too) for $55-$63 each, and several of them (but not all?!?) are eligible for their Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale…

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mygif

X-Files was the worst. Those sets were 150 bucks forever. Thank god someone at Fox came to their senses. I mean, I like that show, but most of the conspiracy stuff I’ll skip on the second go, and it’s just not worth 150 to me.

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mygif
Joe Gualtieri said on January 21st, 2008 at 12:19 am

If you look around (try DVD Price Search), you should be able to find a complete set of OG Trek for about $150 or less, which is reasonable. It’s the other Trek shows that are too high. The only other one I’d bother with is DS9, but noy at $700+.

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mygif

Maybe they’re still this expensive in Canada, but as Brian notes above, the Trek sets have been marked down to around $50-60. For quite some time now.

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mygif

Ever heard of the Star Trek fan collectives? Absolutely brilliant product line from paramount:

They pick a topic, say, Q or The Borg or Time Travel and then the fans vote on their favorite episodes featuring that topic across all the shows. So in time travel there’s City at the Edge of Tomorrow, there’s All Good Things, there’s the DS9 w/ the trouble for tribbles.

$110/season for trek is of course a ripoff, but lets say you have all 7 seasons. You watch every episode once as you burn through your latest impulse buy and then maybe watch time’s arrow and some of the funny q eipsodes a few more times. You never watch the episodes with Dr. Shelby or Wesley. The fan collectives cut out all the crap.

I wanted the last TNG episode, and I’d never seen the episode where Q introduces the borg. Both of which were on the Q dvd. I wanted the trouble with tribbles ds9 episode – it was on time travel, along with time’s arrow. I wanted the last ds9 episode, it was on the Captain’s Log series. Total trek expenses: $90. Desire to buy more: Nil.

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mygif

The lament of the anime fan.

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mygif

Whatever the reasons are, the price is just too high. I bought a Star Trek set once upon a time. It was one of my first dvd’s ever! But when I realized how outrageous the prices were, in comparison to most other shows, I made a decision then and there. I refuse to ever buy another Star Trek anything. I have been a fan of Star Trek for years, but nobody likes being ripped off. Even a fan. Perhaps some people will continue to buy into it, but not me πŸ˜‰ – Adios Star Trek.

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