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#HPBHaul: 50%-Off Coupon March 18, 2018

Last week, Half-Price Books had a series of coupons–two days of 20% off your most expensive item, two days of 30%, two days of 40%…culminating in a Sunday coupon for 50% off your most expensive item.

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I held out for the 50%, having spotted the complete Homicide: Life on the Street series awhile back, and noticing it was still available. While I wasn’t willing to spend the money for it at "full price," with the 50% off, I essentially got each season and the movie for less than the cost of two Marvel comics apiece.

On checking out, even got the comment of it being one of those things that tends to only sell with these coupons.

This set joins several other "H" series for me; now giving me Homicide, House, Heroes, and Highlander as complete series in my collection (not counting the Heroes Reborn stunt from a year or two back).


Of course, this is a comics blog, so why am I showing off a DVD set? Well, for one thing, I got it at Half-Price Books, which has been a source of a number of volumes in my collection, despite the love/hate thing I have with them on pricing. For another thing, they didn’t have anything comic-related that was of sufficient interest to me for using the 50% coupon, and I wasn’t at liberty to drive out to the nearest further location, and I’ve had issues with that location having books I was "interested" in but even at 50% off still wayyyyyy outta my price range/what I’m willing to pay for whatever.

Though I went in "planning on" buying this set (on the caveat of "if it’s still there") I also looked at the comic stuff, and there just wasn’t anything of interest to me…and I didn’t even bother to flip through single issues–those are back up to being "$1 each unless priced higher." (well, that’s my reading of "$1 each unless priced otherwise").

Since HPB does not seem to curate its single issues (it barely has them in clumps by first letter of title or several subgroups), the issues seem to be $2-$4 or higher apiece, and they seem to typically be either big dumps of recent issues (so titles I’d be interested in, I already own the issues) or they’re big dumps of ’90s comics that I can get for 25-50 cents at several local comic shops (with better runs, better selection, and less instances of #1s being already cherry-picked OUT of the available runs) I tend to just not be interested in their single issues.

And I keep getting "burned" with any high-interest (to me) volumes being marked as "out of print" and priced at full price or double price or such (said volumes being mixed in with regular/common stock rather than being separated out as special ‘collectable’ volumes).

As I near the end-point of the third season of iZombie on Netflix, with only 2-3 episodes of season 4 having aired (I think the third episode as of tonight, March 19) it might be time for me to hook up a disc-player and dive into this for a 2018 run-through (last having watched the series in 2005 or so).

If nothing else…it’s another of my "all-time favorite/most-meaningful" tv series archived into my collection.

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Rant of Disgust on Animated Ghostbusters DVDs

I was pleasantly surprised (initially) and then highly disappointed with the discovery of the classic animated series The Real Ghostbusters on dvd.

I’ve never known of it being on dvd before this, but I have very fond memories of the show–I may never have watched EVERY episode or gone totally ga-ga for the toys and such, but it was definitely a show I enjoyed (more than the movies, even, at the time!).

But my pleasant surprise quickly turned to disgust, and despite being in the “I’m gonna buy SOMEthing to watch tonight!” mood that might’ve seen me spend $20-$30, even, on a box set of The Complete The Real Ghostbusters or such, or $15-$20 on a “box 1 of 2″…the publisher did what I hate as much as variant covers.

They have the entire series. There’s no current release (that I’m aware of) ahead of these, say, from 10+ years ago. All the episodes are available to them and ready to go, right now. ALL FOUR are put out at the same time, together. As FOUR INDIVIDUAL RELEASES, we have all these episodes.

There’s no box set that I’m aware of for the whole thing.

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And while I’ve nothing concrete to go on at the moment or anything for a “works cited” page–I’m quite confident that a large part of dvd PRICING relates to manufacturing–the discs, the dvd case liners, the cost of the cases, and then assembly (liner into the case, disc(s) in to the case, whatever shrink wrappage over everything). Then stuff like individual bar codes, soliciting to stores on four different SKUs or whatever, all that for FOUR things when they could easily just do 1.

As a comparison–12 episodes each for vols 1-2 and 11 each for 3-4…that’s 46 episodes. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles season 3 has 47 episodes, and sells (via Target at least, and much less at Walmart) for $15. So it’s far from impossible to do a bulk release in a single, small package.

What’s worse with the Ghostbusters release is that they commit another thing: these are marked as “vol. 1” and “vol. 2,” and NOT as SEASON 1 or SEASON 2.

I don’t know–and not interested for the principle of this rant–how many seasons the show ran, but “vol. 1” suggests “intentional series” to me while “season 1” suggests to me a grouping by season. (Over with Disney/Marvel–rather than restrict themselves to “just” season 1 that was 13 episodes for X-Men the Animated Series, the VOLUME 1 release was 13 episodes–the complete first season–and then several episodes of the 2nd season!)

I allow SOME difference, say, for Nickelodeon‘s TMNT releases being incomplete seasons each–but they’re often putting out a release of 6-10 or 12 episodes from the current season WHILE the current season is STILL GOING ON. I’d PREFER to have FULL SEASON SETS (they recently released complete seasons 1 and 2…but I already have all of the individual releases) so for present I’ve continued on.

So, despite fond memories, nostalgia, and definite INTEREST–I did not buy ANY of the Ghostbusters sets. Sure, they’re “only” $10, and buying “vol. 1” for $10 for immediate gratification would be CHEAPER THAN blowing $30 in one go…FOUR releases at $10 each mean an eventual $40. And I was not prepared to spend $40 (even $30 would have REALLY pushed boundaries). At the same time, this being OBVIOUSLY timed to coincide with the new movie about to hit…if I bought vol. 1 now, and even vol. 2 next week and then held for several weeks–would I even be ABLE TO complete the set, or would these be flash-in-the-pan, here-today-gone-tomorrow?

In an age where more and more is being condensed–Double-Feature packs, Triple-Feature/Trilogy packs, 4 Film Favorites packs, franchise box sets, anthology sets, even double-season and FULL SERIES box sets–here they are splitting stuff out into mini-releases.

An 11-Year Journey Complete: BTAS

Over the weekend while browsing a Walmart, I noticed they actually had a Batman volume that they haven’t seemed to have had before, and it caught my attention for NOT being volume one.

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I had bought volume one in August or September 2004, as a form of “protest” of the then-new The Batman series. I tried that new show and did not like it. And so rather than grouse about it, I used it as an excuse to go out and buy the DVD of the series that I actually DID like.

A couple years back I found volume three as part of some sale on super-hero stuff, and then a good price on volume four online…but I couldn’t find this one for a comparable price.

Finding it in-person for a VERY reasonable price, I picked it up this time.

Giving me all 4 volumes…the complete Batman: The Animated Series.

I still have a couple Justice League seasons and however many  Batman Beyond seasons…but the fact I now have this series to go with my complete Superman series is quite cool and makes me a happy fan.

Hooked on the Air Bender

I tend to be a hard sell on most things. I don’t like change once I’m used to something, and I don’t tend to embrace new stuff when the old still works just as well. But once I do give something a shot, if I like it, I tend to go all-in rather quickly.

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A couple years ago after a weekend visit with friends where we watched several “key” Dalek episodes of the current Doctor Who run, I went back and re-watched the Eccleston premiere series and then finally forged into Tennant‘s first series and far enough in to actually get hooked, and sped through the entire run before summer. A A year or so prior to that, my friends had had me watch a couple episodes, and I did watch the Eccleston series, but couldn’t get into Tennant‘s, so just let it go by the wayside.

In a similar fashion, last year the same friends had me watch a couple episodes of The Legend of Korra; and I do recall watching the final five-ish episodes of Avatar a number of years earlier. Then the weekend of the 14th they had me watch the first few episodes of Avatar…and this time it “took.”

It also helps that a couple other friends have also been “into” these and so had also had my interest up.

I don’t like Amazon Prime, and had seen the Avatar box sets at Target and already’d considered picking them up, so I did, and finished Book 1 and all of Book 2 in less than 9 days including that weekend visit with my friends.

And I’m hooked. I have every intention of getting the Complete Book 3 Collection, and then moving on to Legend of Korra…as well as likely checking out some of the comics.

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