Logan SteelBook

Poll: Do You Buy SteelBooks Even If You Don’t Like the Artwork?

This week’s poll is for the SteelBook collectors among those of you who still buy movies on physical media. How often, if at all, do you find yourself buying movies in metal case editions even if you don’t like the artwork?

SteelBook collecting can be a powerful compulsion. I’ve found myself buying movies I wouldn’t normally have much interest in watching just because they came packaged in nice-looking SteelBooks. Especially when it comes to movie franchises, I have also frequently been compelled to buy even the poorest installments just to ensure that I have a complete set. Honestly, I don’t foresee a day where I’ll ever want to sit and watch the first two ‘Harry Potter’ movies again, but I simply can’t own SteelBook copies of the other six without them.

However, the current Pop Art fad puts a wrinkle in my collecting habits. More and more, I’ve found myself passing on SteelBooks that I might otherwise be inclined to own, just because I think they’re ugly. That has happened a couple of times recently, with ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter‘ and ‘Logan‘. I already own all of the previous ‘Resident Evil’ movies and most of the ‘X-Men’ franchise in SteelBook form, and my SteelBook shelf feels like it has a couple of big holes without these two. (Quibble if you must about whether the ‘Logan’ case really qualifies as Pop Art or just comic book art, but it’s a cartoonish design that looks just as ugly in my eye.)

Fortunately, the latest ‘Resident Evil’ is scheduled to receive a better-looking SteelBook in the UK. I have a preorder in for that. Sadly, no such option exists for ‘Logan’. I can only hope that the movie gets reissued in a nicer SteelBook at some point in the future.

How strong is your SteelBook collecting urge?

Do You Buy SteelBook Blu-rays Even If You Think They're Ugly?

View Results

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  1. Guy

    I’m not a regular SteelBook buyer. It has to be a film I want to own and I only bite when the artwork is superb looking, follows an interesting design theme or (rarely) when a plain looking SteelBook is less objectionable than an ugly, Photoshop’d mess of a standard edition at a comparable price. Even in situations where I like the front, no/bad interior art or a plain back will dissuade me. A SteelBook is an art print with disc-holding duties. Its job is to be pretty for me.

    The idea of buying one I don’t like the looks of is foreign to my brain, but I definitely understand the urge for completion if that’s what’s driving folks that way. I’m not attached to a packaging format, but my music and movie/TV shelves are full of films, albums or seasons that I knew weren’t great going in, but a hole in a discography or movie/TV series would bug the hell out of me. Plus, even a bad album or TV season can have good songs and episodes within. I don’t know how to justify the buying a disappointing third movie in a series thing, though.

  2. Chris B

    If I really like the movie and I like the artwork I’ll buy the steel book. I try and keep it to a minimum because they are a lot more expensive than the regular Blu rays where I live. I won’t double-back and re-buy movies just for the case either. In total I probably only buy about 5-6 steel books in an entire year.

  3. photogdave

    I only have a few Steelbooks, simply because they were on sale and cheaper than the versions of the movies in the regular case. I really don’t understand the collector angle.
    When I was into comic books I bought them to read. I buy movies to watch and re-watch and re-watch…

    • Bolo

      Same here. I buy movies that I like and want to revisit. I wouldn’t buy a movie that I don’t like. If a series I generally like has a bad installment, the only way I will buy the bad one is if it’s bundled in with the ones I do like.

    • Fully agree. I only buy them if they are either cheaper or if the cost just a tiny bit more and have a great artbook. Some rare asian films are only sold as steelbooks, but they usually cost as regular blu rays. I certainly won’t re-buy or pay double for them. They will be standing on the shelf anyway, between all the other regular disks.

    • StingingVelvet

      Yeah I agree, I buy movies to have a library of films to watch whenever I want. I do like nice cover art though, especially the original movie poster, and a good booklet is fun to read.

  4. Csm101

    Out of about 1800 plus movies that I own, I only own about 13 steelbooks or metalpaks. I buy them only if I have no choice. I don’t have anything against them, I just like regular bluray cases better, preferably not the so called eco friendly ones with holes cut into them. The Synapse special editions usually come in steelbook form and there’s no way to own the special edition ones without them. I recently bought the Game of Thrones season 3 and 4 in steelbook fom just for the Atmos versions and they were on sale for about $40 a piece. To add insult to injury, Best Buy was selling season 3 and 4 together in plain packaging with Atmos for about 20 dollars cheaper just a few days later, but I had already opened the steelbooks. With Scarface, I had no choice. I think 13 Hours was the only steelbook I wanted just because I hated the cover for the plain bluray so much. Rogue One was also for 3D and a little more shelf friendly than Target’s version. I wish the Commando metalpak from Best Buy had better artwork. It is absolutely hideous, but it was the only way to own the extended cut and it was only 10 bucks. I would also buy a steelbook version if it is made cheaper than the regular version.

  5. I use the following parameters when choosing which movies to buy physical media. Keep in mind, I prefer to watch a movie in my home theatre setup and I avoid the theatres.

    1. Is it a movie that is going to look amazing in 4k on my 110″ screen?
    2. Does it have Dolby Atmos?
    3. Is there some sort of limited run packaging like steel book or ventricular or something?
    4. Is it A. Sci-Fi or B. Dystopian Future or C. Post Apocalyptic or D. All of the Above

    Most movies need to past one or two of the tests above for me to buy. But, I will buy most first runs if they have steel book packaging. This past week, I did not buy FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY, the movie has to be of some quality and interest for me to purchase. I did get LOGAN recently and although I really enjoyed the art and design that was not the reason for purchase. There are certain films I have to own and LOGAN is one of them, any Alien movie or Mad Max film too. I have not been interested in purchasing all the old X-Men movies just to get steelbook versions, in fact some of the X-Men movies are very hard to watch a second time… i.e. Apocalypse… snooze.

  6. Darkmonk

    If your exposure to steelbooks are what is available in the U.S. market – you are missing 90% of what is available. S. Korea (Kimchi, Nova, Plain Archive), China (Blufans, HDzeta), Hong Kong (Manta Lab), Czechoslovakia (Film Arena) and others have been producing works of art on steel. Many of these are World Exclusive art (not just the steelbook but the slipcovers as well.
    Film Arena is releasing an exclusive LOGAN with five different slipcovers, and Exclusive steelbook art.
    Problem is – the rest of the world is into this – the U.S. is not. So you will need a region free player to join us! I already have over 800 and counting!
    The nice thing is – once the world steelbook market is open to you – you have more choices. Many films will have MULTIPLE releases with different art. You aren’t stuck with Best Buy and Walmart’s pop art.
    I would never buy a movie on steelbook with crappy art (especially the aforementioned Pop Art steelbooks…or the best forgotten “Reel Heroes” Steelbooks that Universal vomited up).
    But I HAVE bought movies I was indifferent to or didn’t like (Sucker Punch), or a movie I have never heard of (Mojin: The Lost Legend) because the steelbook was fantastic.

  7. StingingVelvet

    I didn’t vote in the poll because I don’t consider myself a steelbook collector. What I always do is pick the best cover art. I really like a nice cover, especially if it’s the original movie poster. A lot of times steelbooks have the original poster or much better art, so then I buy them. If I prefer the normal version art though I will get that. With Logan I definitely preferred the normal cover.

    I don’t care about slipcovers either, unless they have cool cover art not on the interior cover like some Arrow Video releases.

  8. Elizabeth

    I think there should be another option to indicate the situation that was actually mentioned in the article: that you’ve bought all the other movies in the series as steelbooks and so you buy the last in the series to have a complete collection regardless of its appearance.

  9. charles contreras

    Myself, I never had an attraction for steelbooks. To me it’s all about the movie. And this might sound like a radical idea, why not put a reproduction of the original movie poster on the cover? For me that would add an allure to collecting my favorite movies. Just a thought.

  10. I love steelbooks and have nice Wall. Hanging displays for them, but I go not buy ones that do not have nice art direction. Like the recent steelbook of Logan, looks hideous so it was a no buy. Only deviation to this has been the Rogue One steelbook which I only bought because I ordered it months before the artwork was finalized and forgot about it.

  11. Boston007

    I buy whatever is cheapest. I like having a physical copy of a blu ray, and I only see the spline on my shelves anyway. People who collect slipcovers aren’t much lower on the dork level.

  12. Ross

    I’m not so concerned about packaging as I am transfers. I have chosen a steelbook over a regular slip but the price was the same. I wouldn’t spend more than $2 more.

  13. Bill

    I currently have four steelbooks. Each one has some kind of defect like a bad hinge, misaligned lid, dents and scratches etc. I’m not buying any more.

  14. Al

    When I received the 4K SteelBook for ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’, I nearly threw it out of the window! I immediately took it back to Best Buy, and exchanged it for the standard 4K. The artwork published on Best Buy’s website was completely different.

  15. Brandon

    I’ve been tempted to buy steelbooks for movies I have no interest in specifically because the art is gorgeous (looking at you, “Mandy”), but I haven’t done it yet. As far as movies I love or even just really like quite a bit, the art has to be at least good. I far prefer no title, heavily prefer not having any of the credit text on the back, and I like having interior art. Anything that’s not just a photo plastered on steel usually has a good shot. Mondo is the best at acheiving solid steels, and I have bought a few movies I like with fairly generic art just because it’s not bad, but if I really can’t stand the cover, I don’t buy. It’s a big part of the reason I still haven’t gotten Wolf of Wall Street or A Beautiful Mind.

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