As if Blu-ray fans really needed yet another form of collectible packaging to add to their shelves full of box sets, SteelBooks, Digibooks, NEO Packs and what have you, the UK branch of Disney has now introduced “Big Sleeve Edition” Blu-rays with LP album-style 12″ jackets.
I have no doubt that these are primarily designed to appeal to the type of hipsters who fetishize vinyl records. However, as an old Laserdisc collector, I also think they’re kind of neat.
The concept is explained in a post on the Zavvi blog. Each movie comes in a gatefold-style jacket stuffed with art cards. I believe all of these Blu-rays are region-free, but the included DVDs are Region 2 PAL. Although not shown in any of the photos, I have to assume that the small discs are held in some sort of platter so that they don’t slide around inside the much larger sleeves.
The product listings make no mention of whether any of these include 3D copies of the movies when available, which makes me assume that they don’t.
I’m a little disappointed that most of these feature the standard home video art, just oversized. I’d have preferred something more unique. I think ‘Ant-Man’ looks to be the best of them, and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ the lamest.
I don’t know that I actually plan to buy any of these. I prefer to keep my Blu-rays all together and wouldn’t want to mix them on my Laserdisc shelves. Nonetheless, I think it’s an interesting development as the home video studios struggle to keep physical media relevant in the streaming age.