When you’re deciding whether or not to buy a product that you don’t really need, there are always a few basic things to consider.
Can I afford it?
Is the product worth the price it costs?
How much do I really want it?
Am I at least getting some type of value for my money?
Earlier this year, when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced that they were releasing a special limited edition Blu-ray box set containing the “Scooby-Doo Where Are You” Complete Series (it’s not really the complete series, but we’ll discuss that later), my first thought was, “YA — er, wait a minute, I don’t have a Blu-ray player.”
And that’s the truth. I don’t have a Blu-ray player, nor do I intend to purchase one in the near or distant future. But as regular readers are well aware, I collect all things Scooby Doo, and so it will come as no surprise that when I saw the fun way this 50th anniversary set was packaged… I wanted it regardless of my inability to play the discs.
The saving grace of this set — which, even if you have Blu-ray capabilities, is STILL a bit overpriced in my opinion — is the unique and quality packaging… and the extra goodies it comes with.
First let’s talk about this beautiful packaging, shall we? I’m not going to lie, if you collect Scooby Doo, you’re probably not going to even care what’s inside of this box, because the box itself is super cool. And perfect for this, the Halloween season!
When you remove the plastic sleeve, you’re left with a surprisingly high quality cardboard box in the shape of a spooky haunted house. The artwork is spook-tacular, featuring boarded up windows, silhouettes of the gang being menaced by ghosts, all rendered with Hammer-worthy eye-catching colour. There are four “open” windows on the front of the haunted house, one of which lets you see through to a fun item housed inside.
Now we’ll pop the top off the box and see what all is included in this 50,000 piece limited edition set. (My box is number 11,049.)
The first thing you’ll notice when you peer in is… that there really isn’t much in there. The box has a shelf inside which creates the illusion that there’s more contained in it than there really is. But what DO you get?
A fold-up sleeve with four discs, containing 41 episodes of Scooby Doo.
You get all 17 episodes from “Scooby-Doo Where Are You!” season 1:
What a Night for a Knight
A Clue for Scooby Doo
Hassle in the Castle
Mine Your Own Business
Decoy for a Dognapper
What the Hex Is Going On?
Never Ape an Ape Man
Foul Play in Funland
The Backstage Rage
Bedlam in the Big Top
A Gaggle of Galloping Ghosts
Scooby Doo and a Mummy, Too
Which Witch is Which?
Go Away Ghost Ship
Spooky Space Kook
A Night of Fright is No Delight
That’s Snow Ghost
All 8 episodes from season 2:
Nowhere to Hyde
Mystery Mask Mix-Up
Scooby’s Night with a Frozen Fright
Jeepers, It’s the Creeper
Haunted House Hang-Up
A Tiki Scare is No Fair
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Werewolf
Don’t Fool with a Phantom
And 16 episodes from “season 3”:
Watch Out! The Willawa!
To Switch a Witch
A Creepy Tangle in the Bermuda Triangle
The Creepy Case of Old Iron Face
A Highland Fling With a Monstrous Thing
A Scary Night with a Snow Beast Fright
The Tar Monster
Jeepers, It’s the Jaguaro!
Make a Beeline Away From That Feline
The Creepy Creature of Vulture’s Claw
The Diabolical Disc Demon
Scooby’s Chinese Fortune Kooky Caper
A Menace in Venice
Don’t Go Near the Fortress of Fear
The Beast is Awake In Bottomless Lake
The Warlock of Wimbledon
(note: This is the order in which the episodes appear on the Blu-ray set discs, but in the last group, they do not all match the broadcast date order.)
Now, in the future, I’d like to write a blog post discussing ALL the Scooby Doo series and seasons, because it can get a little confusing when you’re talking about “season 3”, which is technically the third season of a series called “The Scooby Doo Show” which premiered in 1976. This series has a total of 40 episodes on its own (some which still haven’t been released on DVD), but because different seasons were originally broadcast as parts of certain hour-long cartoon blocks, only the last “season” is considered part of the original “Scooby-Doo Where Are You” series. Even though it’s really not. At least in my opinion. See, it’s confusing!
Also in the set is a mini-version of the 2018 Scooby Doo Encyclopedia by Benjamin Bird. That’s important — it’s a MINI-version, not just in scale, but in content too.
The Amazon listing (and subsequent listings I saw for the box set from other retailers) states that you’re getting the “Scooby Doo Encyclopedia”, and you’re not. Not really. This is an extremely condensed version of the full-size book, so please, if you were considering buying the Encyclopedia on its own, but then figured why bother if you’re also buying the Blu-ray set? You’ll be disappointed. They are not the same.
Next up is something we caught a glimpse of through the box window — a pint-size Scooby Doo Funko Pop! keychain.
This is the same figure — only mini-sized — that Funko released earlier in 2019. I have the full-size figure as well, so we can see the size comparison.
It’s a cute addition, but these little guys retail for less than $10, I think, so it’s not adding a WHOLE lot of value to this collector box. Still fun to have though!
Before I get to the final item in the box, let me tell you what I paid for this set. I pre-ordered on Amazon.ca back in July and it arrived the beginning of September. I paid $106.07, which totaled $119.86 after taxes (CAD).
The point? Not cheap.
Especially not cheap when you can’t even play the discs that you’re buying. But that brings me to the final component of this set — and the one that made it worth buying for me.
A digital copy of the series.
The truth is, I already have ALL of these episodes on DVD from previous collections that I’ve purchased. But there IS something really nice about being able to head over to YouTube and pull them all up digitally, and watch them on whatever device I want.
For the month of October, I’ve been posting a daily tweet with the hashtag #31DaysOfScoobyDoo, both for Halloween and to celebrate 2019 as Scooby’s milestone 50th anniversary. And being able to pull up the digital version of the episodes to get a quick screen cap for the tweet is much easier than getting out my discs.
Now, it’s not ALL good though. When the listings said “digital copy – watch anywhere”, I was assuming I’d get to DOWNLOAD a digital copy of the episodes and then be able to watch them OFF-line whenever and wherever I wanted to. I mean, that’s the whole point with discs, so why not for digital too? But do be aware that when you redeem your digital copy code, it’s not going to let you download anything. What you will have is access to the episodes under “Purchases” in YouTube, or in the library of your Google account. Redemption is very simple, just follow the instructions that come in the box and you’ll be good to go! Also, it looks like you have about one year (September 2020) to redeem your code, but be aware that it will expire.
Another complaint is that my digital copy is missing access to one of the episodes, S1’s “Which Witch is Which?”. When I look up this episode in either YouTube or Google Play, it’s there and available for purchase, yet it isn’t included with the other 40 episodes from this promotion — even though it IS one of the 41 episodes on the discs. Which is annoying when you pay more than $100, you know?
I guess the ultimate question is, “Is the 50th Anniversary Complete Series Blu-ray Set worth buying?” My short answer is “yes”, IF you’re a serious Scooby Doo collector. But it IS overpriced for what you’re getting. If you’re just a casual fan who wants access to some of the episodes, you can get plain sets that are much more affordable.
In 2006, I paid $63.92 for a DVD box set of Seasons 1 & 2. And then in 2007, paid $30.79 for Season 3. And that was a LOT. When deciding whether or not this anniversary set was worth picking up, I basically considered what I had already been willing to pay for the same episodes, and asked myself if the digital copy and the extra goodies were worth the $25 difference — and yes, they, in addition to the neat 50th anniversary packaging, was worth it to me.
So if you want something collectible, something cool to display on your shelf, something to commemorate half a century of mystery solving with Scooby and the gang, then yeah, you won’t regret paying upwards of $120 (CAD) for this. The digital copy is awesome to have, I like the little Pop! keychain, and the haunted house display box is high quality and looks great.
I give this set 8.5 Scooby Snacks out of 10, Jinkies!
And yes, I’ve been bingeing Scooby episodes all month long… jeepers.
Until next time, unpleasant dreams . . .