Poll: Will You Buy the $800 ‘Middle-Earth Collection’ Blu-ray Box Set?

Late last week, Warner Bros. announced what may be the most ridiculously ostentatious Blu-ray collector’s edition ever conceived: a 30-disc box set called the ‘Middle-Earth 6-Film Collection’ containing all three ‘Lord of the Rings’ and all three ‘Hobbit’ movies housed on an elaborate bookshelf contraption. It can be yours for the low low price of just $799.99. Have you already gotten your order in?

The ‘Middle-Earth Collection‘ consists of all the Extended Edition Blu-rays previously released for every ‘Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ movie, including a combined bajillion hours of behind-the-scenes bonus material. [Update: The set apparently only includes the Extended versions, not the original theatrical cuts, and also omits the 3D editions of the ‘Hobbit’ films.]

From what I can tell (though I’m no expert on the franchise), it does not have any new on-disc content that wasn’t previously released. However, it has a lot of physical paraphernalia such as a big sketchbook, some artwork reproductions, and a shelf to store the whole thing on.

The Middle-Earth Collection

For what it is, it’s a handsome package. If you’re into these sorts of oversized collector’s editions, I can see this one being very appealing. The $800 price tag, however, seems gallingly outrageous, especially since most fans already own the individual releases of most (if not all) of these Blu-rays, and the set leaves out the theatrical cuts and 3D versions.

As my grandma loves to say, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Will You Buy the $800 'Middle-Earth Collection' Blu-ray Box Set?

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    • Josh Zyber

      Remember it? I bought that stupid thing!

      In my defense, it was an impulse buy when I saw it at Costco at a vastly reduced price, and my prime reason for wanting it was the inclusion of the 1932 film on DVD, which at the time was exclusive to that box. I eventually sold the whole thing off.

  1. Eric Ratzlaff

    This set doesn’t include both extended and theatrical versions of the films — just the extended versions. It does include all of the bonus features from both versions, though. Meanwhile, there’s a separate box set for the theatrical releases.

    And if anybody was waiting for this one to hit that $100/movie sweet spot (like in the good ol’ laserdisc days), now’s your chance! Currently listed for a mere $599.99 on Amazon!!

    • Al

      So, essentially, this is the worst “COMPLETE COLLECTORS SET” in history, and yet, the most expensive?

      Could it be any worse?!?!?!?!!!!!!

    • NJScorpio

      “I love the LOTR movies, and the Hobbit movies, but never bought any of them. I want the multi-disc set, with all the bonus content I can get, but I don’t want any of the content that would be included in the Extended Cuts. I feel that the story told once the movie was cut down to accommodate movie theater screenings is perfect, and that any additional scenes filmed (and then cut) is not needed…but, again, I still want the bonus content on the additional discs. Did I mention I never bought any of these up to this point?”….said NOBODY EVER.

      • ScoobySnack

        The extended cuts of LOTR were ALWAYS meant to be the definitive cuts.
        Think of the theatrical cuts as the TRUNCATED EDITIONS rather that the “Extended” Editions being an elongation. PJ has always said the long cuts were the versions he would have put in theaters had he been able to. He shot and edited them for that. The versions in theaters were the unnatural cuts,not the other way around.

  2. Bolo

    I saw the first one that was released in cinemas, it feels like that was a lifetime ago. It wasn’t my thing so I never saw any of the sequels, prequels, or extended cuts in this series. It feels like it’s been going so long that it’s never going to end. I would walk by some promotional poster in a multiplex and wonder if those midgets are ever going to make it to that volcano so they can chuck that ring in.

  3. Timcharger

    Josh: “In my defense, it was an impulse buy when I saw it at Costco at a vastly reduced price.”

    What was that price that pushed you over the fence
    for the Scarface cigar box set?


    And that would be a better poll for this blog.
    At what price would you seriously consider buying it?

    As much as I hate double-dipping and don’t have
    shelf space to spare, if I see $49.99, it would make me
    hem and haw. I would pick it up from the store shelf,
    and put it back. Then pick it up again, and think how
    mad has my wife been at me lately…

    • Josh Zyber

      I bought it something like a year after the original release because the set had been a flop and Universal was dumping unsold stock at Costco. I want to say I paid $15, which was a huge drop from the MSRP of $59.98.

      • Csm101

        Are you talking about the Scarface cigar box thingy? I looked it up on bluray.com and it’s a humidor and it is $700.

          • Josh Zyber

            Yikes. I definitely never bought (or ever would buy) that. Totally ridiculous. You could buy a real humidor and shove the Blu-ray inside of it for about 1/10th the price. Even then, I wouldn’t want it.

          • Hey Josh, I’m sure you remember the ‘dumber Blu-ray’, because you wrote about it on this very blog! I distinctly remember chuckling with a joke you made about rappers wanting to own it. In fact, I liked the joke so much I did a search for it, and I found it. Here’s what you said:

            “On the catalog front, Brian De Palma’s gangster cult classic ‘Scarface‘ blazes its way onto Blu-ray in two separate “Limited Edition” packages: a Steelbook case or a ridiculously overpriced box set with cigar humidor. I’m sure that every hip-hop artist in America has already placed a preorder for the latter.” (http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog/bluray-highlights-sept-6-2011/)

            Surely one of your best zingers, along with “Is it explained in the movie in some way how anyone could think that K-Stew is “fairer” than Charlize Theron? Like, has a plague of blindness fallen upon the land? Otherwise, this is a suspension of disbelief that I’m having trouble making.” (about ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’).

          • Josh Zyber

            A complete blank. I didn’t remember that at all. Funny. Must have drunk too much Cristal that day.

            I do remember the K-Stew line, though.

          • Timcharger

            Julian: “Hey Josh, I’m sure you remember the ‘dumber Blu-ray’, because you wrote about it on this very blog!”

            Writing it here and Josh remembering it aren’t
            a sure thing. But we’ll do our best to keep him
            on his toes.

  4. Already bought the LotR -movies 4 times (DVD (theatrical), DVD (Extended), BR (Theatrical), BR (Extended). Still need to buy the last Hobbit movie as well as the Extended version.

    Had the collection been priced decently i may have bought it, but 799.99 (apparently now 599.99 is ridiculous!

  5. Dan Stanley

    Even at Amazon’s $600….you can get both extended edition trilogies for $125. That leaves $475 for some artwork, a wooden shelf, and a leather notebook? Where is the value in that?

  6. Timcharger

    I seriously think there was a typo.
    Somewhere along the way, $199 got accidentally
    read as $799. And it never got corrected. Even at
    $199, there will questions about how reasonable
    the purchase is.

  7. Eric

    As many others have stated I think the pricing is absolutely ridiculous. I would be willing to buy at around $150 maybe but $600 is way to much for an art book, some art work and a wooden display. I as many others have have spent a lot of money buying many editions of the LOTR and luckily I had learned the ways of the movie studios by the time the Hobbit came out and I just waited for the extended versions and bought the collectors extended versions of the Hobbit movies. I just hope for all of us Middle Earth fans that this is some early mistake in pricing and it will drop in price closer to release date.

  8. William Henley

    LOL, I love how the two cheaper options are either $500, or $12.95. I am in for about $150 (so pretty much what I paid for Bond 50).

    Just thinking, knowing how these things go, just wait a couple of months then it will be 60 pounds at Amazon.co.uk! They always get ridicoulously cheap prices for Blu-Ray sets (I actually got Bond 50 for 60 pounds and Back to the Future for 15 pounds from them)

    Of course, I am joking a bit, this will probably be a NA exclusive (just checked amazon.co.uk and Zavvi, neither have a listing for the Middle Earth Collection)

    • William Henley

      Just realized I gave two prices for Bond 50. It was like $150 here, but I imported form the UK for 60 pounds, so ended up paying around $90.

  9. Lord Bowler

    I have to say I was tempted, until I saw the price of $800. When I saw Amazon dropped it to $500, I took a second look but that is still too much for a double-dip for me.

    I may be willing to double dip around $200.

    But, If they’re going to do this, why would they exclude 3D and not even give us a 4K upgrade? If it also included the 3D releases of The Hobbit in 4K and The Lord of the Rings in 4K for around $250, I might be on board.

    I have all of the Limited Blu-Ray Boxed Sets for both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. So I have the 2D and 3D versions of The Hobbit 1 & 2 (the third release was canceled in 3D) and The Lord of the Rings (2D).

    • Al

      Why in the world did you not complete your Hobbit 3D set by getting ‘Five Armies’ in 3D, from the UK? It’s region-free. It was selling for around $20 USD, at the time it was released (including shipping). It’s probably less, now.

      • Lord Bowler

        I wanted the statue more than the 3D. The sets have both the 2D and 3D versions.

        Maybe someday, I’ll pick up a 3D copy of the third Hobbit.

  10. david

    I think a complete South park or Simpsons UHD set would be the only thing id be willing to pay that much for; but definitely not for 6 movies!

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