Full Metal Jackets: I’ll Get You, My Pretty

In another recent post here, I lamented about the frustration that SteelBook and metal case collectors face when foreign retailers with exclusive product refuse to ship to the buyer’s country. Almost as annoying is when a retailer actually in the right country gets an exclusive and doesn’t bother to tell anyone or exert any effort making it known that the item exists.

Such is the case this week with the Best Buy exclusive MetalPak edition of ‘The Wizard of Oz – 3D‘, which arrived in stores yesterday with next to no fanfare or acknowledgment of its existence. Apparently, the only advanced word that this was coming appeared a couple days earlier in the weekly Best Buy circular. If you didn’t see that, you’d have basically no way of knowing about this. Even right now, Best Buy’s own web site has no listing for a metal case or exclusive edition of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ of any kind. You can’t order it online. You have to walk into a store to obtain it, and why would you do that if you didn’t know it was there? It’s as if Best Buy is solely counting on this to sell to readers of the circular or walk-in traffic that happens to spot a copy while in the store browsing for something else. Meanwhile, any other collectors who might be willing to purchase this from Best Buy are discouraged from spending money there. That’s typical Best Buy mismanagement for you.

The Best Buy edition is a 2-disc set that includes one Blu-ray 3D disc, one standard Blu-ray with the feature in 2D and supplements, and a redemption code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy.

This isn’t my favorite artwork for the movie, but it’s suitable and looks fairly nice in person.

As mentioned, this is not a SteelBook. It’s a MetalPak, which looks largely similar in design to a SteelBook except for the uglier spine.

Unfortunately, MetalPaks are also flimsier and more prone to dents and scratching than real SteelBooks. In fact, after I removed the shrinkwrap from the copy I bought last night, I discovered both a small dent and scratch in the upper right corner of the front cover.

Even though I had tried to inspect all the copies in the store to find one in the best condition, these flaws were hidden behind the cardboard backer that wrapped around to the top.

I can barely express my irritation at having driven all the way out to Best Buy last night, paying $30 for the exclusive, then driving all the way home, only to discover afterwards that the damned case was dented. Buyer beware.


  1. William Henley

    Well, my first Steelbook should be arriving in the mail this week from Zavi. As for Worst Buy, I would rather order from the UK than dealing with them. In fact, I did that a couple of months ago – BB exclusive in the US, widely available in the UK, so I ordered abroad. Even with the horrible Dollar / Pound exchange rate right now, the UK’s prices are so cheap that it was still cheaper than BB’s price, and I had it faster than anything I ever got from BB.

    Last time I preordered from the BB website, I got my item 2 and a half weeks after the release date. Last time I went into the store, I couldn’t find the display of the item (STTNG Season 1 on release day), I had the employee look it up, said “our system shows we have 3 in stock”, and then he spent 20 minutes looking for it. He eventually found it hidden in the cabinet that their information system was sat upon. All three copies – this is more than an employee just putting one back for themselves!

    I am done with BB. Those were not isolated incidents, this seems to be consistant with everytime I have shopped there over the past 10 years. Overpriced items, items not where they are supposed to be, sending me to 2 or 3 different stores, HORRIBLE shipping speeds (it is not unusual for the order to stay processing for a week or more before they even ship the item)….

    Their repair desk is even worse. I had them try to deny me a warrenty replacement on a PS3 a WEEK after I bought the item (a firmware update bricked it) saying that a firmware update was intentional damage. My first HDTV went out 2 days outside of warrenty, and I was even going to offer to pay for the repair, but they claimed they didn’t service that model. It was an Insignia – the Best Buy store brand!

    Sadly, from the stuff I have heard in the blogs and forums, I am not the only one with these issues. The only thing they are good for is to go look at A/V equipment, then you go out and buy it from Amazon.

    Nope, done with BB forever!

  2. Timcharger

    Josh, that crease on the cover paper flap over the top of the blu-ray looks like something you should have caught in your pre-purchase inspection. Didn’t mean to rub it in.

    I get those looks, but I do 360 degree exam and look it at various angles to see how light glares bounce off each surface. Sometimes I go to an empty aisle so I get some privacy to scrutinize the condition. Yes, I have a problem. Those looks are embarrassing. But I feel your pain about that dent and scratch.

    • Josh Zyber

      I didn’t think the crease was deep enough to have affected the metal underneath. Also, the other copies in the store had more obvious dents and dings. MetalPaks just aren’t as nice as SteelBooks.

  3. Drew

    I got lucky! WNB actually had some in, and the one that I purchased is positively pristine! With that said, I hated the fact that I even had to buy it from them, and everything that everyone else has already said is absolutely true.

  4. Best Buy will also likely tell you to “suck it” when you try to exchange it because the case is damaged. They do not understand the term “collectible” and thus you will be having to make a fuss.
    Much like Wizards of the Coast telling you to suck it because your foil/holo Magic or Pokemon cards are damaged due to piss poor handling at the printer or packager.

  5. My “local” Best Buy (about 30 miles away) has about 15 copies of this on the shelf, all of them look perfect. I notice the label of your picture above is slightly gouged so it certainly raises suspicion.

    Funny side not – It took THREE (3) associates to help before we could find these on the rack. So not only is it poorly advertised, but it is also not visible in the store! We easily found the large box-set but these metalpaks were not in the same area.

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