Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition

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"Limited to the number they can sell."

Jerry Seinfeld

Films and video games are commonly being released in two versions: the Vanilla Edition, and a better, souped-up edition with exclusive Bonus Material. With movies, you can expect deleted scenes, filmmaker interviews, never-before-seen footage, commentary tracks and so forth. Video games tend to offer a shiny metal case, developer artwork, bonus characters or the Strategy Guide. Concept art, a "making-of" featurette, background story information, character biographies, alternate endings and trinkets are common with both media.

Of course, you usually have to pay US$5–$20.

Worth it? Depends on the individual work, as well as who you ask. In any case, this is a good marketing strategy, because it feeds into many people's compulsion to own the "best" version. It's particularly clever if you can get people to buy the "ordinary" version, discover how cool it is, and then go shell out again for the Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition.

Occasionally the souped-up edition is the only edition for the first few months of a new release (or may be received as a Preorder Bonus). Conversely, the special edition might not be released until a couple of months after the regular edition to squeeze more money out of die-hard fans.

Another practice is releasing films both separately and in box-sets with sequels. As more sequels come out, more editions with the entire series come out. The box sets traditionally come with extra features. This is also done with TV series—four episodes will be on one DVD. Then another four. Then another four. And finally the whole sixteen episodes of the season in a neat little box set.

In recent years one of the most insane marketing gimmicks is to call a digitally distributed version of a game with pre-order or other bonuses a limited edition. Despite being distributed online. Which has no limits. The least they could do is call it a special edition.

Note that, with regard to video games, this should not be confused with updated rereleases, because that's when a game is rereleased with brand new content and significant alterations to the gameplay. The Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition comes out alongside the regular edition and just adds bonus content separate from the core game.

Also known as Limited Augmented Deluxe Green Super Special Awesome Ultra Extended Premier Combat Commando Alien Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot Vin Diesel Widescreen Collector's Unrated Uncut Kane Ultimate Sean Connery Game of The Year Editor's Choice Edition: Director's Extended Cut: The Lost Scenes: Gold Platinum Diamond Chaotic Lawful Evil Good Saga Battle Chest Megapak Galactic Edition Orange Box Omega Limited With More Dakka: Final Cut Champion Edition Ultimate Match Heartburn International Final Mix Fucking Legendary Spoony Bard Dark Edition X... Do you get it because there are tons of these limited edition box sets for a single movie/game/book Edition

Examples of Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition include:


General trends:

  • Anime DVDs in general (at least in Japan) love doing this, with the Limited Edition having limited edition cards, bonus CDs, fancy artboxes, the works. They're also hideously expensive.
    • A recent trend is putting CDs normally released separately, such as image songs and the soundtracks, with the DVDs, giving more incentive to buy them.
  • Although it sometimes occured with later DVDs, the first volume of most anime series was often released as "DVD-only" and as "DVD in an artbox designed to hold the entire series", back in the days when translation companies could make money releasing a show in something other than a "complete series" edition.

Specific titles:

  • Hellsing Ultimate does this with multiple releases, there's the single disc version, with just the OVA, there's the Two-Disc Version with commentary and a special features disc, there's also the Two-Disc Steelbox which comes has the two discs in a nice steelbox case, and sometimes comes with an artbook. You can still find the Steelboxes for a decent price brand new, but all the other editions are just as expensive.
  • Each disc of the US release of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya came out in both a Vanilla Edition and a Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition, with the latter version including soundtrack CDs and bonus DVDs featuring the episodes presented in original broadcast order.
    • This was also done with the US release of Lucky Star (except for the last volume). Turned out it was almost a money black hole for the producer.
  • When Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin was released in certain European countries in the 80's, it went through several cuts due to censorship and attempts to fit the series on four VHS tapes. Eventually over 100 minutes of the original material was left out from this release, causing the dubbing to be least of the worries. Later, when Finland and Sweden received uncut DVD releases with original soundtrack and voice acting intact, it was marketed as Special Edition of the series.
    • Nagareboshi Gin's sequel, Ginga Densetsu Weed, got a Collector's Edition box set release in Finland and Sweden, too. In addition to including the entire series it also comes with a Weed phone strap and a leaflet with extra information on the characters.
  • With the US release of Code Geass, Bandai planned out three different releases, specifically targeting the different levels of anime fans. For casual fans, there's the Vanilla Edition single DVDs and "volume packs" (two DVDs packaged together). For the real fanatics, there's the Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition, which is a two-pack plus a Sound Episode CD, an official soundtrack CD and a volume of the spinoff manga.
  • .hack//sign did this when it came out on DVD in the US. They had the regular DVDs and then they had the special edition ones with a Soundtrack CD in each. Except the last two. Second to last had a box to put the previous CDs in, and the last had an extra disc with a few special features on it.
  • Each season set of Inuyasha came in two versions (at least in America): One was simply the discs of that season in one set. The collector's editions came with show related memorabilia such as the Beads of Subjugation (Season 1), hanko signature blocks (2), Kagome's jewel shards (3), Miroku's prayer beads (4), Sesshomaru's scroll (5), Collector's watch (6) and an Inuyasha figure with Adamant Tessaiga (7).
  • AnimEigo has been doing the "preorder" version of this with their Blu-Ray re-releases of their back catalog (so far, Bubblegum Crisis, Otaku no Video, and Riding Bean) having bonus items that will not be available with the regular Blu-Ray releases.

Comic Books

  • DC Comics with their "Absolute" line of comic releases, which gives the deluxe treatment to well-known classic series like Watchmen, Batman: The Long Halloween, Kingdom Come, The Sandman - who just might be the only comic-book series to be given this treatment for its entire range in four volumes, and many more. These releases are often housed in a hardcover case and include original scripts, alternate cover treatments, introductions and commentary by the creators of the various series and much more. They're also printed at a larger size than normal, giving the artwork more room to be appreciated. Of course, they come at a premium (most sets cost between $150 and $175).
  • Dark Horse Comics released Sin City in an "Archival Edition", putting all the various series in their own hardcover book (plus a special making-of book), and subsequently housing them in two dustproof hardcover cases. Ponying up the money for the two "Archival" releases will set you back to the tune of $400.
  • First, the Archie Comics stories of Archie marrying Veronica and Betty came over the course of seven issues. Then, the parts were compiled in a trade paperback. Seven months after the paperback compilation, the comics received a hardcover book with interviews with the writers and artists, annotations of pop culture references, and five bonus comics from the 1940s-60s. The price difference isn't that big, but it's still surprising that an Archie comic would get published in book form twice.


  • Anchor Bay is infamous for this. The sheer amount of Limited Editions they've released for the Evil Dead and Halloween movies is mind-boggling.
    • The Evil Dead films are likely the best example of this trope. Excluding the VHS/DVD releases from Elite Entertainment (who owned the rights to the films before Anchor Bay), Evil Dead and its sequel were released four separate times for DVD, and will be released in 2010 as a deluxe Blu-Ray set. Every DVD release has had features that are unique, plus special packaging for each.
      • And now Anchor Bay no longer owns Evil Dead II. Lionsgate is releasing a new 25th Anniversary Blu Ray in November.
  • Each The Lord of the Rings movie was released as a vanilla DVD followed by a four-disc special edition a couple of months later. Advertised in the 2 disc set, no less, eloquently informing the buyer that, yes, You Suck. A couple years later, Limited Edition versions of the films were released, containing a brand-new documentary on each disc, which also featured the standard and extended editions. Yet, there's still more deleted footage that hasn't shown up on any edition yet.
    • As a knowing nod to the double-dip, the director's commentary on that four-disc special edition features joking comments by Peter Jackson that more features and footage will be in the (fictional?) 25th Anniversary Version.
    • The first Blu-Ray set contained nothing more than the theatrical version of each movie in HD, and the bonus features that accompanied those versions' initial DVD releases. A 15-disc box set of the extended versions came a little over a year later.
  • The special edition of Memento (released a year after the Vanilla Edition) added the ability to watch the movie in chronological order...despite the fact that this was already possible via an Easter Egg on the original DVD. In other words, a special edition counting entirely on the idea that Viewers are Morons.
  • The Star Wars movies have been released several times over the years in numerous editions (although, many of them have been double-dip releases). The various VHS releases of the films contained a boatload of extra material, including BTS documentaries, trailers, and (in the case of the laserdisc edition) a hardcover book chronicling Lucas' work. The most recent editions are the original theatrical films from with nothing more then video and sound clean up, no actual changes. All six films are set to be released on Blu-Ray in a massive collection, complete with even more BTS footage that hasn't seen the light of day until now.
  • Almost Famous was available in the regular edition (theatrical release only) and a 2-disc plus audio CD "Bootleg edition"- 3-hour director's cut with commentary, Cameron Crowe's original "Rolling Stone" articles, theatrical version, and half a dozen songs by the film's fictional band.
  • When the film Blade Runner turned 25, a new DVD set came with just about every conceivable version version of the film - the original, the director's cut, the final cut and a raw edition/workprint with no music and bluescreens everywhere. It also came with some nice Feelies like a holographic plate and a keyring. This was partly in response to debate in the fanbase over which of the many editions was better. Studio to the rescue!
  • The Ultimate Matrix Collection is perhaps the Holy Grail of the Ultimate Special Collector's Edition concept: not only do you get all three films, but the DVD commentaries on each film are provided by well-known members of the philosophical communities—along with seven extra discs providing a massive art gallery, almost sixteen hours of 'behind the scenes' documentaries, The Animatrix (an anthology of nine short films), and an extremely-detailed archive of production assets, music videos, TV spots, and concept artwork. When it says 'Ultimate Matrix Collection', that's exactly what you're getting.
    • If you can believe it, there were three different variations of the "Ultimate Collection: the regular version, a set that came with a collectible bust of Neo, and a Hot Toys exclusive version with a massive replica of the Nebuchanezzar.
  • Warner Home Video releases several films in "Ultimate Collector's Editions," which package the movie together with such memorabilia as books and soundtracks. In an irksome move, the initial Blu-Ray releases of some movies (such as The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and Casablanca) are released only as Ultimate Collector's Editions, which means consumers who want HD versions of certain films have to fork over about $70 or wait months until Warner releases the discs by themselves.
    • Additionally, Warner has started pulling movies out of print months before they receive Ultimate Collector's Editions, making the old, cheaper versions harder to find.
  • Disney does this as well, releasing films such as The Lion King and Aladdin as "Platinum Edition" DVDs, then later as "Diamond Edition" Blu-Ray Discs. That's not even counting the films released for a limited time, before they're "sealed in the Disney vault for the last time".
    • Disney is also fond of combining "Special Edition" and "Disney Vault" hype into the even more meaningless "Now available for the first time ever on two-disc DVD!" referring to a movie that has already been released as a one-disc DVD, often with decent special features.
    • Disney does play the trope straighter than most with the Disney Vault, keeping their movies rotating in and out of circulation constantly. So yeah, that movie heading into the Vault will be back... but not until enough kids have been born who've never gotten to see the movie and whose parents can be counted on to buy it for them. If you want to buy it in the mean time, better find someone who stocked up on copies and hasn't sold them all yet, because they're legitimately not making any more for now.
      • Keep in mind any movie that's in "the vault" can probably be bought at an online retailer any time you want. Gotta love a company that resorts to fearmongering (buy it now or you won't have a chance for years!) to sell DVDs.
    • Sometimes, Disney also releases pricey box sets of the Diamond Editions. Snow White had one containing a book and some drawings and pins, and The Lion King had 3-D, Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital Copy versions packaged with DVD and Blu-Ray copies of the sequels inside a drum.
  • Almost anything released by the Criterion Collection counts as a Limited Collector's Edition. Films ranging from Armageddon all the way to masterpieces like The Seven Samurai and The Last Emperor have received extravagant presentations, some sets even spanning three or four discs. This dates all the way back to the laserdisc era, when Criterion pioneered the "Special Edition" releases of classic films like Lawrence of Arabia and Citizen Kane. Some Criterion laserdisc releases (like The Fisher King and Pulp Fiction, for example) have contained extras that have never been ported to the DVD format. Another great example is the Criterion set for Terry Gilliam's Brazil, which has three different cuts of the movie just to drive home the suckness of Executive Meddling.
    • The Criterion releases of the classic Danielle Darrieux Period Piece The Earrings of Madame de... and the sci-fi film The Man Who Fell to Earth included hard copies (paperback) of the novels they were based on.
  • The Alien films may be one of the heavyweights of this trope, as they have been released in various collector's editions over the years. One of the earliest was the "Facehugger" boxset, a VHS release that contained the letterbox versions of the films, the Making Of Alien 3, pins, a certificate of authenticity and a pass to the Alien War attraction in England. This was all contained in a box that had a facehugger wrapped around the frame of the case it was stored in. The Alien Legacy boxset included rare collector cards, the Alien Quadrilogy boxset put all four films in a nine-disc set (complete with a Japanese variant that had an Alien head bust), and currently the Alien Anthology set, which basically takes every extra feature from all the past releases and puts it together in a case that is an alien crawling around a facehugger egg.
  • Similar to the above, Predator had a box with special editions of the then-two movies plus Alien vs. Predator... in a replica of the creature's head.
  • Showgirls was re-released as a "VIP Edition" which included, among other things: Shotglasses, playing cards, a "pin the pasties on the topless Elizabeth Berkeley" game, drinking game rules, a commentary track by a creepy superfan of the movie, and a short lapdancing tutorial from two girls of Scores. It's all part of the publisher's attempt to re-market the movie as a Rocky Horror-esque Camp classic.
  • The Ultimate Superman Collection is actually in a much similar close-to-perfection status as The Ultimate Matrix Collection, mentioned above, is (they are produced by the same company, so perhaps not so surprising). Contains the obvious files, namely the four Christopher Reeves films, Superman Returns, and expanded editions of Superman and Superman II, but also a boatload of extras including Superman and the Molemen, the psuedo-pilot to The Adventures of Superman, a formerly unreleased pilot to a rejected children's show known as Superpup, remastered Superman Theatrical Cartoons, and tons of other interviews and documentaries that only the most hard-core fans would actually bother watching. This set later came to Blu-Ray as The Superman Motion Picture Anthology, containing all of the above and a rare alternate opening to Superman Returns. They even managed to upgrade some of the bonus features to HD, along with the movies.
  • Kingdom of Heaven has two versions: The normal, two-disc one, and the 4-disc Director's Cut. Two of the four Director's Cut discs contain a massive documentary on the film, along with other special features. It's also Vindicated By Video.
  • Wanna buy Avatar on DVD? God help your patience. The Vanilla Edition will be out on Earth Day, 2010, but unless you want all the normal features of a DVD, you're going to have to wait until November, and then you can get the awesome 3-Disc DVD.
    • And the 3-Disc version has the first 2 discs both having ALL 3 MOVIES, with the only difference being a special feature on the second disc.
    • But wait, what if you want the 3-D version with glitzy glasses and awesome 3-D effects? Wait until next year, and then you can have your glasses.
      • And guess what? You can only experience it if you buy a Panasonic 3-D TV, because they bought the exclusive rights to release it on 3-D Blu-Ray. Or you can buy it much cheaper, that is if you call buying it for $400 and two pairs of 3-D glasses 'cheap',
  • Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, as expected for Square's most prolific cash cow, has seen no less than three releases (at least in the west). The basic version already included some interesting and typical special features, but the later collector's edition added the Last Order OAV, a short tie-in novel, and some artwork cards. Then at last came Advent Children Complete, a re-cut of the movie with a new soundtrack in places, reordered and additional scenes to add to character development (and fill plot holes), and extended fight scenes even more than they already were.
  • The first two American Pie films were released multiple times over the years, to the point that if you wanted all the extras (and a documentary), you had to buy the films multiple times. The original film was first released in a Collector's Edition (in rated and unrated formats), then in an "Ultimate Edition" (also rated/unrated, with a few extra features that weren't available on the previous release), and finally as a package with a (now out-of-print) documentary called "Beneath The Crust" (which had deleted scenes and extra footage you couldn't get anywhere else). That's not even taking into account the rare "Trilogy" boxset that came with a limited edition t-shirt!
  • Both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had several bonuses that could only be received from different retail stores. BB was released in vanilla, two-disc (which came with a limited edition comic book) and limited edition sets (which had a USB drive, sneak peek at The Dark Knight, postcards and a lenticular print). Going to Target or Best Buy would get you different sets of postcards (and with Best Buy, you would also get a extra lenticular print), and buying the set on Blu-Ray would get you an additional comic book as well.
    • TDK needs its own bullet point, because there are an ungodly amount of exclusive items that are only available in certain regions, and may make the film one of the largest examples of this trope in action (barring any additional releases in the future). Buying the film at any one of the various U.S. brick-and-mortar stores would either get you a special "Joker Journal" and Joker playing card (Circuit City), a special mini-Joker or mini-Batman collectible head (Best Buy), a special comic book and Two-Face replica coin (Wal-Mart), Batman head packaging (Target), or miniature Bat-Pod Blu-Ray set. Plus, there was a special "Screening Edition" that was only out to Academy Award voters (that came in a custom-made attache case), and a German Blu-Ray set that had a piece of lucite with the Batpod etched in it!
  • The Sound of Music Limited Edition Collector's Set includes two copies of the movie (one Blu-Ray and one DVD), a bonus Blu-Ray that contains over 12 hours of bonus features (ranging from special documentaries from the movie's 30th and 40th anniversaries, to features about Austria itself and the other Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals), a 17-song CD, a souvenir program, a production scrapbook, and a music box.
  • When Underworld first came out on DVD, it was labeled as the "Special Edition", despite not having much extras and, absurdly, being the ONLY edition available. Despite this, an "Unrated Extended Cut" was released six months later anyway.
  • Help!! was released in a special collectors' edition (costing £50 as opposed to £15 for the standard edition) which came in an A4 (210mm*297mm)*50mm box; for that extra £35 one got reproductions of the lobby cards, publicity posters and shooting script, plus a "Making Of" book.
  • Pixar get down to this a bunch:
    • WALL-E was sold by Amazon UK in a special exclusive edition with a matching slinky. At least they didn't charge any extra for it.
    • Some copies of Up came with a working replica of the Luxo Jr. lamp seen in Pixar's Vanity Plate, with a base that could display up to eight Blu-Ray Discs. (By the time of this set's release, six Pixar movies received Blu-Ray releases, and a compilation of HD shorts came out as well.)
    • After the third Toy Story movie came to Blu-Ray and DVD, the whole trilogy received a 10-disc set[1] packaged in a replica of Andy's toy box.
      • Despite the high disc count, the door still seems open for another Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition of the trilogy; the 3-D versions and some of the extras from 2000's "Ultimate Toy Box" DVD are not included.
    • Do you want 11 discs of the Cars movies?
  • Not only the James Bond series gets some rereleases (Casino Royale itself has the one, two, and three disk editions)... but a few decide to offer the whole collection (currently 22 movies) in a case [dead link] (a model known in some countries as a "007 case", to increase the pun) instead of a box.
  • The "Dream Machine Suitcase" edition of Inception is one of the rare cases that has variations between the different regional releases (making some versions more limited than others). The base set includes a Blu-Ray combo pack, spinning top replica, PASIV (the suitcases used in the film) manual and art cards. The German edition is the only one that includes steelbook packaging for the film itself (in addition to the standard briefcase). The Canadian version has different art cards, and it (along with the U.S. edition) include a physical copy of the prequel comic (The Cobol Job) that is not included on any other release.
  • In the US, Planet Terror and Death Proof were initially released separately on DVD, minus nearly all of the fake trailers. Fans who wanted the full Grindhouse experience they got in theaters had to wait for the Blu-ray version, despite it being available in Japan on DVD.
  • Did you avoid the Vanilla Edition of Watchmen in favor of the "Director's Cut?" Well, you can buy that one and find a flyer inside advertising an even bigger version of the film with the animated "Black Freighter" footage included! D'oh!
  • The Twilight films have gone a bit round and round on this one. The first film had the standard two-disc edition with decent features, a Wal-mart "exclusive" single-disc edition with pretty much no features, a Target three disc edition with fan-specific features on the bonus disc, and a Borders two disc collector's edition with exclusive features on the second disc, in addition to the normal ones. New Moon went a bit overboard, with the standard two-disc, the Wal-mart "Ultimate Fan" edition, the Borders two-disc, the Target two-disc, the Best Buy metal case. And there wasn't one edition with everything (unless they put it on the bluray) - for instance, the Target edition had deleted scenes, while the Borders edition had the extended scenes. Eclipse was pulled back a bit, with just a couple of collector's edition, with the Borders-style one being released by Target, for some reason, and a bit less of the features-dispersal.
  • Serenity had quite decent DVD release...if you didn't count the llamas on the cover and River looking nothing like herself at all. But the features were quite nice. When the Collector's Edition was released, Joss Whedon referred to "new key art" as one of the major draws...and he was absolutely right. Plus there were many nifty new features.
  • The last five entries in the Harry Potter film series are released in a vanilla edition and a two disc edition with more features. Then come the Ultimate Editions: three disks (two for the fifth and sixth movies) featuring an extended cut and more extras, a book, and trading cards in a neat packaging. Then, in December 2011, all versions of each Harry Potter movie went out of print, with a set containing all eight movies and even more bonus features coming in 2012.
  • The Last Airbender has three Blu-ray releases - a barebones edition with just the movie on a single Blu-ray Disc, a two-disc version with the movie and special features on the Blu-ray, plus a DVD version that also had a digital copy, and the Blu-ray 3D version, containing just the 2D and post-converted 3D versions of the movie on a single disc with no special features. The 3D version was only available at Best Buy for a time.
  • West Side Story has a Special Edition DVD containing an hourlong documentary, an option to watch the movie with intermission (left off of older VHS and laserdisc copies), some trailers and storyboards, and even a copy of the screenplay. The 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-Ray dropped the screenplay, but added a commentary with Stephen Sondheim, some more interviews, plus a CD of cover songs and a book with biographies of cast and crew members. Unfortunately, each of these sets presents the movie with a different kind of Digital Destruction, making them less desirable to fans.


  • Unlike most other media, books are objects whose physical qualities are important to their appreciation. When something first hits the shelves, its earliest editions will be in the larger and more durable trade hardback format, which tends to inexplicably cost about two or three times as much as a pocket paperback. In the more rarified realms of the literary market, there also exists the leatherbound book, which can sell for well above U.S. $100 for a typical novel.
    • There are a few reasons why the trade hardbacks cost so much more: they obviously cost more to make, they take up more space than the paperbacks and therefore they can't store as many, and they know the day-one-purchase customers won't mind spending more.
  • If special editions released long after the original product count, then J.R.R. Tolkien's work is a really big offender here, at least five editions of The Lord of the Rings, three of The Hobbit, and two of The Silmarillion all have some sort of "bonus content", including (but most likely not limited to) introductions by noted authors, footnotes detailing the writing of the book in question, character indexes with extra backstory, and being really shiny.
    • One reason for so many editions is that unauthorized editions were printed up by unscrupulous publishers. J. R. R. Tolkien spent some time fixing copyright problems to stop this. Famous words on back of the Ballantine or "Hippie Edition":
    • And then of course you have the various "anniversary" collector's editions, each with their own artwork. The 35th anniversary edition was famous for being illustrated by then-unknown Alan Lee.
    • Tolkien also re-released The Hobbit with revised and extended description of Gollum's cave, since Bilbo "lied" about how he came to possess the ring; the original version actually contradicts the premise of LOTR, since Gollum simply gives the Ring to Bilbo and leads him out of the cave.
  • A new and improved version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone released recently[when?] advertised sparkly new content from Jo Rowling- which turned out to be a single sketch of Snape. Ouch.
    • The Deathly Hallows special edition seems to have had little more than some new art added. It's still pretty nice, though.
  • His Dark Materials was re-released for the film in a complete collection with new material detailing what Will and Lyra did, will do, or might do, depending on how canon you take it.
  • The Easton Press produces fine leather-bound collector editions of books. These are specially made for book collectors and come in landmark series like The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written, Library of the Presidents and Great Books of the 20th Century
  • The Last Hope, the Grand Finale of Warrior Cats, has an "Enhanced Edition" e-book available for purchase alongside the Vanilla Edition. The Enhanced Edition contains videos of the other talking, an excerpt of the fifth Super Edition, Yellowfang's Secret, notes that reveal things such as ideas that never made it into the book and an exclusive game.

Live-Action TV

  • For the DVD releases of the new Doctor Who series, three or four episodes at a time are released on 'vanilla' DVDs with no extras just a month or so after broadcast, with full series DVDs with lots of extras being saved for later.
    • There are also various limited special editions of the boxed sets themselves. Series three had a normal version, and two retailer exclusive sleeves for and Woolworths (the Cyberman head was a previous Amazon exclusive, the TARDIS box was used for all early S1 boxes).
    • The earlier stories "The Five Doctors" and "Remembrance of the Daleks" were both released twice on DVD in the UK. The original DVD of "The Five Doctors" was one of the very first DVD releases of BBC shows to test the market, had no special features at all, featured an new "extended cut" version of the story that is to say the least controversial among fans, and is not officially considered part of the Who DVD release programme. The original DVD version of "Remembrance of the Daleks" had a notorious blooper in which the first and most spectacular use of the "glowing skeleton" Dalek extermination effect was left out because of a remastering error, and also had relatively few special features by later standards. Both stories came out a second time in 2008 and 2009 respectively with much more special features. There are rumours that some of the other stories released in the first year or so of the DVD programme, with sparse special features by later standards, will be released in expanded versions as a boxed set.
    • The Talons of Weing Chang, The Caves of Androzani, Doctor Who: The Movie, The Seeds of Death, Carnival of Monsters, Resurrection of the Daleks and Spearhead from Space, all early releases in the Doctor Who DVD range, have recently been re-released with improved picture quality and new special features. The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Three Doctors, The Robots of Death, and Vengeance on Varos will all follow suit in 2012.
  • The re-release of the first season of 24 (with added commentaries, alternate endings, deleted scenes and short films). The set was first released as a barebones edition to bring in more viewers before the second season première in 2002.
  • Lost has the box set with all the seasons, in a fancy-looking box, with lots of Feelies and an extra disk of behind-the-scenes material.
  • Several volumes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 have mini-statues of the robots like Tom Servo and Gypsy. The 20th Anniversary Edition had the movies, retro-mini posters (standard) and a Crow mini-statue inside a tin case.
  • Firefly had a very good dvd release, with many commentaries, documentaries, a gag reel, etc. The bluray release, in addition to all the old features and remastered episodes, included a roundtable and extra commentary.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. somewhat subverts this, because the box set release, done up with a case resembling a metal briefcase and with over 10 hours' worth of extras on two extra DVD's including the movie version of the pilot episode, is the standard (and only) version of this release on DVD. In fact, the individual seasons have never been made officially available as such; fans wanting a particular season are compelled to search on sources such as eBay or Amazon for sellers who have an individual-season box set (probably removed from the overall collection) for sale.
  • Paramount has a habit of releasing seasons of TV shows with no bonus features, then releasing the complete series in a boxset with a bonus disc. (eg, The Brady Bunch has DVDs containing no extras other than the first season's three commentaries and 15-minute retrospective, while the complete series DVD adds A Very Brady Christmas, some Brady Kids cartoons, and the first episode of The Bradys.)


  • Just don't even go there... certain record labels (not looking at anyone, Roadrunner Records) have become infamous for releasing an album... then releasing it six months later with bonus tracks... then two years later with a bonus DVD... and it's even got to the point where they are releasing albums 10 years later with very little in the way of bonuses. There are currently at least five separate versions of Mercyful Fate's "Melissa" album available, not taking separate mediums into account (LPs, Cassettes) or the astonishing amount of compilations or especially live albums with songs from the album on them. This has become a running joke within the music community to the point where almost no one buys a Roadrunner album upon its release, because they can get it six months later with bonus tracks.
    • Dream Theater's newest album is a pretty good example. It hasn't been rereleased with extras (yet...), but on the initial release, three versions were available: The standard album in CD or LP form, a 3 CD version with a disk of cover songs and a disk of instrumental versions of the regular album's songs, and another edition with everything from before, a lithograph from the artist who designed the cover art, a mousepad, and a DVD with isolated tracks for all the audio on the regular album so people could do their own remixes of the songs.
    • The "6 months later with bonus tracks" scheme is especially done with R&B and pop music. Several labels will release an album by an artist and then re-release it 6 months later as a "special edition" and release one of the new songs a few months before to radio, basically forcing fans of an artist to buy the album again with the artists' new big hit on it. Sometimes a record company will pull this a second time by releasing the album with the original tracklist, the 6 tracks from the "special edition" and 2-4 more new tracks just so fans have to buy an artists' album again.
      • And don't try to round it by just buying the new tracks from iTunes or Amazon Music; the record companies will seal off the new track as being an 'album-only purchase'.
      • Recently, British rock bands have gotten in on the "re-release with the new single on it" game. Want "Flux" by Bloc Party, "Kiss of Life" by Friendly Fires or "Heavy in Your Arms" by Florence + the Machine and don't want to buy the single? Guess what albums you're going to have to buy again?
  • 13 Tales from Urban Bohemia by The Dandy Warhols had a 4 song 2nd disc included in the first pressing.
  • Renegades from Rage Against the Machine also had a second disc included in the first pressing.
  • There's a super-limited expensive version of Paramore's third album, Brand New Eyes. Acoustic B-Sides, vinyl record, DVD, the works.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins (well, the newest version of the group) did the same with their latest album, Zeitgeist, to a ridiculous extent: there are six versions of the album, the bonuses of which are all exclusive. (Ironically, you can't get the song Zeitgeist unless you buy it at Target.)
    • In a similar case of irony, you can't get the song "The Colour and the Shape" on the album The Colour and the Shape (both by Foo Fighters, by the way) unless you get the 10th anniversary edition of the album. Like the Pumpkins' Zeitgeist, it includes six bonus tracks; unlike Zeitgeist, they're all on the same version of the album.
    • Similarly (although not as extreme), the title to U2's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb comes from a line in the song "Fast Cars", a bonus track that you can't get by buying just the regular edition of the album, but the deluxe one (there were three editions of the album, of which only the most expensive features the song).
  • A few Def Leppard albums were like this. For instance, the greatest hits compilation Vault had different tracks on the US, European, and Japanese releases; granted, the lineups were altered to reflect which songs had been hits in which region, so it made a bit more sense that regional albums be tailored, given that some songs that had been top tens in one country barely scratched airplay in others. And the Japanese releases also get bonus tracks not available on the other editions in order to encourage Japanese fans to purchase the domestic edition rather than import other copies. But then the YEAH! album got even worse than all this, mirroring examples above by having bonus tracks that were different depending on if you purchased it via iTunes, Target, Best Buy, or Wal* Mart.
  • Sony Records started re-releasing famous albums on major anniversaries of their original release (10th or 25th mostly) with the original album, a bonus CD (usually demos and/or outtakes) and a DVD with a documentary, music videos and some rare/live footage. Examples include London Calling by The Clash, The Holy Bible by the Manic Street Preachers and Weezer (The Blue Album) by Weezer.
  • Independant label Inside Out (known in some territories as Inside Out Music) is rather fond of this, regularly releasing enhanced editions of albums simultaneously with the regular editions, as well as far more lavish special editions of older albums by their more notable bands.
  • A great example of a collector's edition done good is John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. It contains both the 1966 Mono version and the 1969 stereo remix, it features early recordings of the band, done at the BBC and also early singles and promotional material. You also find alternate takes on songs and even earlier versions of them. Last but not least you get multiple live tracks with the band. You also get a great booklet, detailing the band and also a copy of the original CD booklet. Plus the CDs themselves are modeled to look like old LPs.
  • Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas collection got the deluxe box-set treatment: 5 discs, 40 pages of liner notes (including guitar tabs for most of the songs and short stories), an animated music video, a poster with a full-page comic strip on the back, and stickers. There was no Vanilla Edition of Songs for Christmas—most of the songs had leaked to the internet a year beforehand, and one suspects that this deluxe treatment was done to give fans some incentive to pay for songs they had already downloaded.
    • Similarly, his soundtrack for The B.Q.E. can either be purchased as a CD / DVD combo pack (including the soundtrack album, the complete film... and a Viewmaster reel) or as a vinyl album (with an accompanying comic book).
  • Concept-album Prog Rock band Coheed and Cambria does this, sort of:
    • The Second Stage Turbine Blade has three extra songs; the epic "Elf Tower New Mexico", an acoustic demo version of "Junesong Provision", the demo version of "Everything Evil" and the bonus song "IRO-Bot" moved to it, from the original final song "Godsend Conspirator".
    • The band's latest album, Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Volume 2: No World For Tomorrow, has two versions, both with the same artwork on the front and back: the cheap one, with a thin cardboard CD case; and the expensive one, with a large cardboard box featuring a wide, amazing piece of artwork depicting various portions of a Sci-Fi battle that takes place sometime during the album's storyline, as well as a DVD showing a "Making-Of" video, a collection of photographs, and a bunch of AMAZING acoustic demos, all but one of them featuring semi-animated artwork video (i.e. drawings by the The Amory Wars/Coheed and Cambria artist, with flame effects added in, and pulsing lights, and panning over images)
  • Boris and Sunn O)))'s collaboration album Altar was released six different times in less than a year, including a single CD release, a double CD release in the US and Japan where both versions include different extra tracks, US and Japan triple LP releases which included DIFFERENT VERSIONS of the same bonus tracks from the CD release, and another 3 LP picture disc release that was sold only at one show in London.
  • Live At Leeds anyone?
  • Nine Inch Nails released the LP set "Ghosts" in 6 different editions, including a vinyl release and a deluxe edition containing 2 CD's, a data-DVD with audio streams broken down for mixing and sampling, a Blu-Ray disc of the four albums and an accompanying slideshow, and a 48-page hardcover book. However, the Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition was the king, housing everything from the deluxe edition, plus a 4-LP 180 gram vinyl set in a fabric slipcase and two exclusive limited edition Giclée prints, numbered and signed by Trent Reznor.
  • Darkwave project Sopor Aeternus And The Ensemble Of Shadows released three different versions of their ninth album, Les Fleur du Mal: the CD of the album (~$20), a double-vinyl limited edition (900 copies, ~$60), and a limited edition CD boxset (2000 copies, ~$100) with the album, a 40-page book of lyrics and illustrations, and a 112-page manga about the album.
  • The soundtrack for Metalocalypse, "The Dethalbum", had a special edition that included a few extra songs and some audio skits. This edition was produced in such limited quantities that people were gouging the price at a minimum of $100.
  • A few fans were really ticked at how Starflyer 59's Ghosts of the Future and Ghosts of the Past were handled. Basically, the super deluxe edition (a vinyl box set featuring cool artwork) was released first, and fans who shelled out $60 or more for it under the impression that these tracks were exclusive to this set were less than pleased when the entire shebang was released as a much less expensive vanilla edition CD a year later.
  • The reissue of Pearl Jam's Ten came in a bunch of versions. A two-CD "Legacy Edition" which came with a remastered version of the original album, a new remixed version of the album and half a dozen bonus tracks. The "Deluxe Edition" added in a DVD of their MTV Unplugged show, and a final "Super Deluxe Edition" had all the other stuff, a vinyl LP copy of the album and remixes, also sold on its own, a recording of a live show on vinyl, a replica of the early PJ demo cassettes, and a replica of Eddie Vedder's lyrics notebook. Admittedly, there were a lot of complaints about the mixing/production of the original album, but still. Keep in mind that they're planning to do something similar for all of their albums, leading up to their 20th anniversary as a band.
  • Weezer started doing this with new albums in 2008: their 2008 Self-Titled Album ("The Red Album") had a vanilla version, a deluxe edition with 4 bonus tracks, and a pair of additional bonus tracks for the itunes version, along with different bonus tracks for international versions, and a Japan-exclusive dvd. Raditude had a similar array of different versions, as well as an iTunes Pass version with remixes, alternate versions and outtakes. To be fair, the physical versions of the regular and deluxe versions for both came out simultaneously, with the deluxe version typically costing only slightly more, but getting absolutely everything including international bonus tracks could still be pricey.
    • They also rereleased their debut album (commonly known as "Blue Album") and Pinkerton in deluxe editions with bonus tracks and an extra disc with b-sides and rarities.
  • On September 9, 2009, EMI re-issued every album by The Beatles; the stereo mixes being released standalone and as a box set. A monoaural set (the mono mixes preferred by the band and producer, plus mono mixes of the albums which were originally in stereo... with the albums being "mini-LPs") was planned as a very limited edition with only 10,000 copies planned for release. Massive pre-orders forced EMI to reconsider. When it finally came out, it had sold 12,000 copies in the United States in its first week. In Japan, it sold 20,000. New copies can still be found at online retailers such as Amazon.
  • The 2010 re-release of The Rolling Stones Exile on Main St. got put out in four different formats. The regular Single-CD version, a Double-Vinyl edition, A Double-CD version featuring 10 bonus tracks to go along with the regular album, or, if you really wanted to splurge it, an Limited-Edition Autographed Version of the album signed by all the band members, which would have set you back around $2000 had you got it when that version was available. A fifth version called "Exile on Main St. Rarities Edition" which contained just the 10 bonus tracks, is also available at Target.
  • Though trumped by the above in cost, the current title-holder for music may be American metal band Lamb of God. Their 2010 anthology Hourglass comes in 5 versions: a 3-CD set, a US$100 set with all 6 studio albums on USB drives, a US$120 set with all 6 albums on vinyl, a US$260 set with the vinyl albums, USB drives, the 3-CD set, and an art book. And for the truly devoted, there's a US$1000 set with the vinyl albums, USB drives, 3-CD set, the art book, an autographed 8x10 picture, an "Hourglass" sticker, a 4-foot by 6-foot cloth flag...and a Jackson Signature Series Mark Morton guitar.
  • The first soundtrack for Glee came in three flavors - one basic 17-track CD, one with one additional song, and one with three different additional songs. They did it again for the Showstoppers album, this time having an additional six songs, as well as different packaging between the two.
  • Rhino Records releases boxed-sets containing (usually) all or a selection of a group's studio albums with alternate versions, b-sides and the like. They've done it with Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, The Doors, and Black Sabbath, among others. The fact that these sets usually cost upwards of $50 AND are sometimes only part of a band's output is a bit grating, although when some of them include extensive liner notes and surround-sound, it's worth it
  • Bauhaus albums have recently been re-released as Collector's Editions with multiple discs of outtakes, alternate versions of songs and the like. They're all a few cents shy of $30.
  • The Special Limited Edition of Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster included both The Fame Monster and The Fame as well as an artbook, posters, 3-D glasses, a paper doll, and a lock of Gaga's hair. A second limited edition was a Gaga-shaped USB drive that contained the album, artwork, music videos, and remixes.
  • The remasters of U2's albums Boy, October, War, The Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree all have several versions to choose from. The basic version contains the remastered album with full lyrics (something previously not available), as well as a foreward for the first three albums; a Deluxe Edition that contains the above plus a bonus disc with b-sides (in the case of Boy, October and War, never available on CD until then) and unreleased material PLUS a 32-page book (once again, first 3 only). There is also a vinyl edition for all of them. The Unforgettable Fire remaster contains the basic, deluxe and vinyl versions, but also has a Limited Edition Box Set that contains a DVD featuring music videos from that era and live performances from Live Aid as well as a 1986 Conspiracy of Hope concert. The Joshua Tree remaster has much of the same, except with the bonus DVD containing a nearly-full concert from Paris (only cover songs are missing). One has to wonder whether the upcoming Achtung Baby remaster will continue the trend...
  • Daniel Amos. When their out-of-print early albums get reissued on CD, it's almost always as a two-disc deluxe edition, with demos and outtakes and the works. And in these cases, there is no vanilla edition. But for Terry Scott Taylor's 2010 solo album Swine Before Pearl, you could buy the vanilla edition, or you could pay an extra $30 to also get a personalized greeting from Dr Edward Daniel Taylor (Terry's crazy radio preacher alter ego). Or you could pay an extra $100 on top of that, to also get a personalized original song.
  • Autechre's Quaristice had a special edition limited to 1000 copies, with a metal case and a bonus CD, Quaristice Versions, which featured extended and alternate versions of the songs. The Japanese version had the bonus track "Nu-Nr6d".
  • The 2006 rerelease of Klaus Schulze's Timewind had a second disc with the previously unreleased outtakes "Echoes of Time" and "Solar Wind", and the 2000 self-tribute piece "Windy Times". The CD's had a vinyl record-like texture.
  • Covenant's Modern Ruin has a limited edition with a bonus EP titled "Wir Sind die Nacht"(We are the Night), which uses samples from the 2010 German horror film of the same name.
  • Hoo boy, David Bowie reissues. Not only have there been quite a few reissues that count as these, some albums have had more than one, and gathering all the bonus material a particular album's had over the years may well neccessitate much searching and a deep wallet...
    • It started in The Nineties. Most of the Rykodisc rereleases of his 1969-80 back catalog over 1990-92 had bonus tracks (alternate takes, demos, unreleased songs, B-sides, etc.), and EMI/Virgin followed that up by giving his 1983-1989 output the same treatment in 1995.
    • At the Turn of the Millennium his newest albums had special editions available alongside the standard versions, and most of his solo output from The Nineties had bonus track-heavy and/or 2-disc versions (Black Tie White Noise made it to three discs, but the last was a DVD). 2-disc reissues of three of his Glam Rock albums turned up as well. His first two live albums were given additional tracks and reordered to match the original setlists, and Young Americans included a bonus DVD of a 1974 TV interview and performance.
    • In The New Tens, there's been two-disc versions of his first two albums from The Sixties and a Station to Station reissue that, in Special Edition form, includes two extra discs for his much-bootlegged Nassau Coliseum concert from 1976...and in Deluxe Edition form includes an additional two CDs (one with the mix the 1985 CD version had, one with the single versions of the songs), a DVD with a new surround sound mix of the album, three LPs for the original album and the concert, and from there such items as replicas of the tour's press kit, the official fan club folder, etc. from this period.
  • Epica did this in 2007 with "The Divine Conspiracy" featuring a high-quality hardbound digibook, and again with their 2012 release, "Requiem for the Indifferent." There are a few editions but the super-high-end "Mailorder Edition" includes the album, an instrumental version of the album, postcards featuring album art, and a certificate of authenticity indicating which copy out of a limited run of 500 the customer has received, all wrapped up in a pine box with the Epica logo and album title woodburned into the cover. Interestingly, these may wind up proving valuable in the future, as some early releases went out with an unfinished version of the album's closing track, "Serenade of Self-Destruction", that was missing most of its vocals and so may be considered collectible sometime in the future. Ebay jockeys, start your auctions.
  • Fans of The Hunger Games film have at least three soundtrack albums releases to choose from: the "Original Score" CD (which contains Exactly What It Says on the Tin - the actual scores for the film), as well as two different versions of the The Hunger Games: Songs From District Twelve and Beyond, which was a collection of songs with vocals all of which either appeared in the film (if only in the closing credits), or were "inspired by" the film. The latter includes some lovely indie rock, folk, etc., by people ranging from The Decemberists to Taylor Swift (with many critics noting the latter's tracks were more interesting and "mature" than some of her previous releases), and was overall critically well-received. However, its Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition was little more than shameless marketing: the only new content you get is a download code (!) for a single bonus song, "Lullaby"; everything else is Feelies, but they consist only of "nine collector's cards" (which are really just little more than a nine-piece double-sided puzzle of two of the movie poster designs), and a not-so-exclusive poster, which though nice, is both a common promo poster design andprinted on the back of the song guide. Which does not have lyrics included, and which by default means it is not a standard poster size, either. Luckily, said "special edition" is only a few bucks more.

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition had their 3 core rulebooks released in an expensive, black leather bound edition. The books included an official foreword, a red ribbon booklayer and the sides of the pages were colored golden.

Video Games

  • The Nintendo 64 had its fair share of games that did this.
    • Choro Q 64 came with an assemblable toy car.
    • Disney's Tarzan came with a Tarzan figurine.
    • Extreme-G has a "Special Edition" in Germany that came with a music CD.
    • Gauntlet (1985 video game) Legends came with a Warrior miniature.
    • The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
      • It has a "Collector's Edition" in America and Australia that came with a Gold Cartridge.
      • It has a "Limited Edition" in Germany that came with a Strategy Guide and a shirt (possibly unlicensed).
    • The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask
      • It has a "Collector’s Edition" in America that came with a cartridge that had a holographic label.
      • It has a "Limited Edition Adventure Set" in Europe limited to 1000 pieces that came with a shirt, a watch, a 2 CD soundtrack, a poster, a sticker and 2 pin badges.
    • The New Superman Aventures has a "Collector's Edition" that came with a tie-in comic book.
    • Rampage 2: Universal Tour
      • It came with a Rampage Baby, one of three possible plush keychains of George, Lizzie, and Ralph.
      • It came with a shirt.
    • World Driver Championship came with a shirt.
  • In general, popular inclusions for a video game's Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition now in this era include some combination of a "making of" disc, a soundtrack or soundtrack sampler, a metal disc case, an art collection (either a book or stand-alone files), content that is otherwise available via download, and a figurine of a character from the game.
  • Proving they've had a Heel Face Turn, EA brings us the Dead Space 2 Collectors' Edition. It comes with a replica plasma cutter, a special code, the soundtrack and the game (and one other thing). The Replica Plasma Cutter is awesome and actually holdable (and the trigger can be pulled). It's only $80.
  • The console version of Street Fighter IV has a Collector's Edition that comes with the game, an art book, an OVA and the box itself was a diorama featuring C. Viper and Ryu.
  • Painkiller actually inverts this with their "Special" Edition, a budget pack version featuring only 12 of the original game's 20 or so levels, some missing music files and lack of multiplayer. All for $5. They also play it straight, though, with their "Black" Edition, which contains the usual extras (a poster and some behind-the-scenes featurettes).
  • Halo 3 came in three editions: the normal edition for $60, the limited edition for $70, and the "legendary" edition for $130, complete with a Master Chief helmet.
    • Halo Reach also has limited and legendary editions. The Legendary Edition features a statue of the protagonists and in-game swag.To prevent another Halo 3, they're preorder exclusives.
  • The Limited Edition for Jade Empire came with an extra character model, a different staff model and a making-of video. It cost the same as the regular edition, however. The PC port also came in a "Special Edition" tin, having roughly the same extras as the Limited Edition, but with an art book.
  • Gears of War. The second game had a Limited Edition that included an art book, an extra DVD with "making of" designs and such, a code to download a golden Lancer for use in multiplayer, and a physical picture that plays an emotional role to the character Dom in the game.
    • Aside from the usual limited edition extras, Gears 2 could also be ordered with a FULL-SIZED PLASTIC LANCER RIFLE. Subverted in that you could buy the rifle separately.
  • While "Ultimate" in Ultimate Spider-Man refers to a comic book series (which the game is a Spin-Off of and Canon in the comic book continuity, being plotted by the same writer as a part of the series), there was still a Limited Edition released, with, among other things, a mini-sized Limited Special Collectors' Ultimate Edition reprint of the comic introducing Venom.
  • Sony and Microsoft liked this strategy so much that they applied it to their systems themselves: both the Xbox 360 and Play Station 3 come in a "basic" version and a more expensive "premium" version.
    • To be perfectly honest, this practice dates back to the very earliest of game consoles: it was called a bundle (games, controllers, carrying cases, robots...). The only difference is that now it covers more important features like hard drives.
    • Microsoft have applied it to Windows as well in the form of Windows Vista "Ultimate", which isn't a game in any normal sense of the word, but certainly fits the description of costing rather more for very few extras, including every feature from every other version, even the Enterprise edition, which is the high-end version for business users and that version is generally only available to businesses. Windows 7 Ultimate contains a similar range of features to what its predecessor had.
  • City of Heroes and City of Villains have one of these every so often; the most recent is the "Good vs. Evil Edition", which comes with both games, the comic books and Strategy Guides in digital form, exclusive costumes, and the Jump Jet and Pocket D VIP powers for all your characters. For most of these, you can buy the extra game content as a separate thing on the website.
  • Working Designs used to make a living doing this. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete for instance, was not strictly a special edition since there was no Vanilla Edition, but it came with a soundtrack, little character stands, a cloth map of the game's world, and even a wearable replica of the game's endgame MacGuffin. Those who pre-ordered the game also got a Ghaleon punching puppet.
    • Another deluxe game set from Working Designs, Growlanser Generations, came with a keychain, a wearable replica of the two game's jewelry-based weapon system, and a steel men's watch. They never skimped on quality.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 2 was released in this way. One of the extras is a palette swap of a regular unit.
  • The Baldur's Gate 2 Collector's Edition was released with an extra, bonus merchant available in game, with a second bonus merchant available to those who pre-ordered from the Interplay store or certain retailers. Files enabling both merchants for all players soon became available on the internet, and were eventually included in a patch.
  • BioShock (series) has a special "Collector's Edition" which includes a special case, a "making of" DVD and a Big Daddy figurine. Interestingly both the decision of having a Collector's Edition in the first place as well as what it contained, was decided by fan feedback.
    • The Sequel got this treatment too. With a Vanilla (Game only), "Rapture" (Game with 90-page Art Book, though was only released in Europe, Australia and New Zealand) and Special (Game, 164-page hardcover artbook, Soundtrack CD, Vinyl LP of the first games soundtrack and 3 mini-posters) flavors. The Rapture and Special editions where limited to a single production run too.
  • The special three-disc edition of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence came with a disc with the game on, a disc with an online game and revised versions of the first two MSX2 games on it, and a standard DVD with all the cutscenes and gameplay segments laced together into a ridiculously long spy movie.
    • All of the Metal Gear Solid games in Japan (not counting the Updated Rereleases) were sold in a standard barebones edition containing only the game itself, and a "Premium Packaged" filled with additional content such as art books and bonus discs.
  • Square loves this. Starting with Final Fantasy VII, every major game (AKA: The Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts series) has had an "International Version", with new content and, in the games with voice acting, the English voices. Now, this wasn't so bad with FF7, it was merely the added content that was in the U.S release. But by Final Fantasy X it was several new bosses, a new version of the Sphere Grid, and improved gameplay all around. However, as bad as the Final Fantasy add-ons are, they're not nearly as bad as the Kingdom Hearts ones, called Final Mix. These games not only add a few new bosses, they also add new abilities and a higher, better difficulty level. As if that's not enough, they then put new cutscenes in the games. Important cutscenes that set up the later games in the series. Oh, and despite being called "International Versions", they'll never get released outside of Japan. Square hates you.
    • Squaresoft (pre-Enix merger) also released Millennium Collection versions of several of their games. These typically included packins that almost seem inspired by (Nippon Ichi's merchandising company) Rosenqueen, ranging from figurines to t-shirts to postcards to teacups to radios and many other oddities.
    • Final Fantasy XII had a Special Edition in a metal case for Gamestop/EB Games which included a special DVD with extra artwork and a "History of Final Fantasy", among others. Quite amusingly, for a period of time, the special edition went for less than the standard edition in the same store.
      • Not to mention XII had a special edition, only in japan, which included the "Zodiac Job System". Basically, each sign of the zodiac was its own job class, which could be assigned to characters- effectively eliminating the biggest problem with the game, the fact that each character is nearly identical to each other character, and they all have access to all the same skills and stat boosts.
    • Additionally, with Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+ came with an entirely new game that was a console port of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories including improved graphics and several new cards. It was later ported to the US, but this took years of complaining by overseas fans and even then it was never given to anyone but North America, forcing all other countries to still import it. Fans in the US who bought Final Mix+ were also disappointed because they expected that it would never come to the US and didn't feel like buying the exact same game again.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2's Limited Edition scored you the "Blessed of Waukeen" feat, granting a + 1 on all saves and the ability to buy special weapons and armor from certain merchants (the feat's name is a Lampshade Hanging: Waukeen is the god of merchants and wealth in the game world). Oh, and a "cloth" map of the Sword Coast, along with a pair of pewter rings, one reading "Lawful Good" the other "Chaotic Evil".
    • Then there was the Gold Edition, which bundled the Limited Edition (sans Feelies, but including "Blessed of Waukeen" and the special shops) with Mask of the Betrayer. After Storm of Zehir came out, they added it to the Gold box and created the Platinum Edition; it is this version that is available on Steam.
  • Blizzard has expansion packs for all their games (except possibly Warcraft, the first one) and is fond of releasing them in "Battle Chests", bundles which include the original game, the expansion, (usually) a strategy guide, and (in the case of their RTS games) teching charts. Some the later ones even include the entire series; one Diablo Battle Chest included Diablo, Diablo II, Lord of Destruction, the strategy guide...
    • World of Warcraft and its expansions have the collector editions. They include artbooks, mousepads, sound tracks, trading cards and ingame collector pets.
    • The $100 Collector's Edition for StarCraft II comes with the game, a behind-the-scenes-and-cinematic DVD, a 100-page hardcover artbook, a comic book, a soundtrack CD, guest passes for StarCraft II and World of Warcraft, a WoW Feelie in the form of a creature, and a dogtag-shaped USB / keychain that contains the original game and the expansion. Oh, and there's a Hardcover Collector's Edition Strategy Guide too that comes with a MP map clipboard. Needless to say, Blizzard's Collector's Editions tend to be quite generous.
  • The Tom Clancy franchise games (Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell) have been all released in collector's editions. They contain the original games and their expansions, clothing (a hat, shirt and belt), a messenger bag, and an "exclusive" extra (SC mousepad, RS book, GR making-of DVD), housed in a metal case.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask was released in a "Limited Edition Adventure Set" that contained the game, the soundtrack, a special watch, a t-shirt, two pins mimicking badges from the game, wallpaper and a certificate of authenticity. The set itself only had a print run of 1000 units!
    • There is also the Zelda: Collector's edition, which had the two NES Zeldas and the N64 Zeldas. There were three ways to get it: buy a GameCube which it came with, register a GameCube you already have along with two games, or subscribe to Nintendo Power, the last of which also got you the Player's Guide.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is like this now. The origianl Gold cartridge is the cool one to have, since the gray cart and any other versions (Master Quest, Collector's Edition, Virtual Concsole) have the removals of the Fire Temple Chanting and the moon and star emblem.
    • Although content was not removed from them, the original releases of the first two Zelda games in the U.S. are similarly treated as such, as Nintendo used gold plastic for the cartridge in those releases, as opposed to the grey plastic that was standard and used in rereleases.
    • Skyward Sword had a box version which contains a gold and Hylian-themed Wii Remote Plus, with first releases of both the vanilla and boxed version containing a 25th Anniversary audio CD.
  • When Mother 3 was first released, it came in both the standard game-only edition, as well as a Deluxe Box: it contained the game, a limited edition red Game Boy Micro with MOTHER 3-related decals, and a replica of the Franklin Badge. Unfortunately, since this is MOTHER 3 we're talking about, guess who doesn't get to release it!
  • The Limited Collectors' Edition of Doom 3 on the Xbox came in a metal DVD case with developer interviews, a making-of documentary, concept art and the full versions of Ultimate Doom and Doom II.
  • Fallout 3 has the special edition with a lunchbox and a Vault Tech Bobblehead.
    • Taken to new heights with pre-orders for Fallout: New Vegas. Along with the standard Collectors' Edition - which contains poker chips from Fallout: New Vegas casinos, a deck of cards, a graphic novel, and a making-of documentary DVD - Bethesda is offering a total of four different Equipment Packs, each of which contain unique items that are otherwise unavailable in the game world. The catch? Each pack is offered at a different retail outlet, which means if you want them all you'd need to pre-order the same game at four different stores.
      • New Vegas followed the similar-Mass Effect 2 store-exclusive DLCs and these equipment packs are available on Xbox Live/PSN for a few dollars (Courier's Stash).
  • SimCity 4 had both the Rush Hour expansion and the original game packaged in the Sim City 4 Deluxe Edition, which was cheaper to get than each one individually. it was re-released a few years later in the SimCity Box, which is also the only way to get the Destinations expansion to SimCity Societies (aside from digital download).
  • The Neverwinter Nights: Diamond release contained the first NWN game, its expansions and three premium modules (think mini-campaigns), all in a single DVD. Prior to that was the Platinum edition, which was the same minus the premium modules, and before that was the Gold edition, which had only the original game and the first expansion.
  • The Sims had a Deluxe Edition of their game that featured one of their top-selling expansion packs along with many extra features that would allow you to create more unique sims and even more stuff to put in your homes.
  • The Premium Box of Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus includes limited edition Nendoroids (pint-sized, pseudo-bobbleheaded figurines) of Shana, Kino, Index and Taiga. And they are toradorable. Due to those, it also happens to be the single biggest box for a Nintendo DS game.
  • Modern Warfare 2 has the Hardened Edition, which has an art book and a redemption code for a downloadable Xbox 360/Playstation 3 version of the first Call of Duty game, and the Prestige Edition, which retails for 150$ and includes functional Night Vision Goggles and a head stand along with the above.
    • Treyarch has gone one further. Those who bought the Prestige Edition of Call of Duty Black Ops got a fully functional RC car with a camera mounted on it, modeled after the RC-XD killstreak reward.
    • And then Modern Warfare 3 went a step backwards, having only a Hardened edition which included bonuses such as a free one-year membership to Call of Duty ELITE and the in-universe "Soap's Journal".
  • BlazBlue had its deluxe edition released a month before its regular edition, and came with a DVD of tips and a two-disc soundtrack. It also cost the same as a standard new release, taking much of the sting out of the "pay extra for feelies" issue.
  • Big Fish Games has released several downloadable games as "Collector's Editions". One constant seems to be an integrated strategy guide (which sold several people on the Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove CE all by itself), amd there's also usually wallpapers, a soundtrack or concept art. The CE's also come out a few weeks earlier than the vanilla version.
  • More recent home version releases of Beatmania IIDX have been released with multiple editions. There is always the option to buy just the game, but there is usually at least a Special Edition with some extras such as posters, stickers, calendars, etc. and a Complete Set with all the Special Edition extras plus others such as music CDs, DVDs containing music videos and material related to the series, etc. The Complete Set-only extras are often also available for purchase separately, but the Complete Set is usually cheaper than buying the Special Edition plus the additional extras separately.
  • Subverted with DJMAX Trilogy; the only edition of it available comes with soundtrack CDs and postcards with official art on them. However, a blog post by former Pentavision sound producer Forte Escape shows that the game was originally going to play this trope straight with a "Pulsar" edition, and at the same time invert it with a "Lite" edition.
  • Uncharted 2 had the Fortune Hunters Edition, which came in a huge box, had all the Naughty Dog signatures, a replica of the Phurba dagger from the game, an art book, a strategy guide, the game itself of course, and I think some extra skins and golden guns for the multiplayer. The catch? Only two hundred were made, and you could only get them through contests. Good luck buying it normally, someone tried to sell one on ebay for 3000 dollars!
  • The Beatles Rock Band initially had a $250 "Limited Edition Premium Bundle," which in addition to the game, had playable replicas of Paul McCartney's Hofner bass and Ringo Starr's Ludwig drums, a microphone with a stand, and eight postcards.
  • Record of Agarest War had, for the North American 360 release, the standard version, and the "Really Naughty Limited Edition", which added in the OST, a pillowcase, and (this is likely the 'Really Naughty' part) a oppai mousepad (it's only 'naughty' instead of 'perverted' due to the fact that the character on the pad is wearing clothes).
  • The first two God of War games both had several documentary features; the second had an extra disc devoted to it. Further, whereas most video game covers are thin paper blank on one side, these were slightly thicker and had poster images on the back, so you could slip them out of the case and tack 'em on your wall.
    • God Of War 3, on the other hand, could be one of the crowning examples of this trope for video games. Aside from the barebones release, there was a U.S. "Ultimate Edition" release, which consisted of the game and a glossy art book packaged in a replica of Pandora's Box. Somehow, that release was topped immediately by a very special edition that was only released to journalists in Region 2, which housed the game, art cards, a poster, a behind-the-scenes DVD, a metal Kratos coin and a brochure in a box that looked bloodied and partially destroyed!
  • Played hard, and then subverted, by Star Trek Online. The initial release had (like many games) special in-game items specific to the particular vendor you purchased the game from, in addition to the Digital Deluxe Edition and the Collector's Edition. Then, five months after release, a good chunk of these special items have been made available for purchase by anyone. A fair chunk of the playerbase was... annoyed. It has also fueled speculation that other items—such as the in-game ship that is the reward for recruiting five friends to play the game for two months—may be added to the game's store as well.
    • And as it turns out... the speculation was right. The Galaxy-X from "All Good Things..." was added to the game's store not long after the above entry was added.
  • Epic Mickey, now with bonus "Behind the Scenes" disk, five inch vinyl Mickey figurine, Oswald-themed Wii Remote shell, and Mickey and Oswald Wii skins.
  • Dead Rising 2: Zombrex Edition. Packaged in a classy metal case and includes a 'making of' DVD and a Zombrex syringe pen along wtih the game itself.
  • World in Conflict's Collectors' Edition came with, among other things, an authentic piece of the Berlin Wall.
  • Limited edition copies of "Michael Jackson The Experience" for the Wii came with a replica of Michael's trademark sparkly glove.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle got the Hopper Edition in Japan. It had the game, a DVD with a short called No More Heroes 1.5, a soundtrack, and a fan book. Also, preordering would net you some erotica.
    • The first game came with a roll of NMH toilet paper with a preorder. One instance where No Export for You did not result in many complaints.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, I present The Duke Nukem Forever Balls of Steel Edition!
  • Both Mass Effect games thus far have had special editions, but special note must go to the second game's Collectors' Edition, which comes with special armor and weapons based off the main enemies, an art book, comic and bonus features disc. Note the apostrophe.[2]
    • The Collectors' Edition of the third game comes with a tin case, a hardcover art book, a soundtrack, a comic, an N7 fabric patch and a lithograph of the Normandy. The game itself includes alternate outfits, an exclusive weapons pack, a Robot Dog for your off-mission time, and a secret character with their own mission.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: Two different ones: First, The Collector's Edition includes in-game items (plus a pet exclusive to this version), a Statuette of Darth Malgus, and other items, costs $150 (was sold-out, but sales have resumed). Second, the Digital Deluxe Edition costs a more reasonable $80, and has just a couple of in game items.
  • At least the European version of Shadow of the Colossus had an full-art cardboard case and included couple of postcards.
  • Subverted with The Witcher 2. The Premium Edition includes a Making Of DVD, soundtrack CD, a game guide, a map of the game world, two pieces of papercraft and a physical version of an in-game pamphlet and a coin. The catch? That's the base version for your standard 50 bucks, and there's no plans for a Vanilla Edition. The digitally distributed version also has a digital version of all the above minus the coin (and there's no digital vanilla edition yet). Played straight with the Collector's Edition, which throws in a 200 page art book, a set of five dice with a bag, a guide to cheating in dice and card games, a special set of playing cards, another coin, another bit of papercraft, a set of stickers and marble imitation sculpture of Geralt's head on top of the Premium Edition.
    • The Enhanced Edition carries on the tradition of giving you free stuff for the base price: all copies of the game, regardless of whether it's for PC or 360, includes a soundtrack CD, game guide and a world map, on top of a bunch of gameplay improvements (with is a free patch for all non-Enhanced PC copies of the game). The Dark Edition, the limited edition this time round, throws in the making-of DVD, three stickers, an art book, and a medallion of the wolf logo on top of the standard Enhanced Edition contents.
  • The "Love is Over" Deluxe Edition of Catherine comes with your standard art book and soundtrack (the same preorder bonus as the Vanilla Edition), but also includes a t-shirt, a pillowcase, and a pair of boxers, all packaged in a pizza box. They are all story-relevant.
  • The boxart for Bit.Trip COMPLETE claims that it "includes limited edition soundtrack CD with 18 full songs".
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum had a special edition which came with a "Making of" DVD, special digipak packaging for the game, Crime Alley DLC, and a replica of the game's Batarang.
  • The Collector's Edition of Sonic Generations packaged the game with a fancy slipcase, the Casino Night Pinball DLC, the "20 Years of Sonic Art" book, the "20th Anniversary Sonic Soundtrack", the "History of Sonic: Birth of an Icon" documentary, a commerorative Gold Ring, & a statue with Sonic in both his classic & modern incarnations. This was for the Xbox 360 & Playstation 3 release of the game, limited to 12,000 copies, and only released in Europe & Austrailia.
    • The Special Edition comes with a crystal cube featuring Modern Sonic with the Classic Sonic TV as the indentation, but was only released in Japan.
  • The Limited Collector's Edition for Forza Motorsport 4 gives you 5 exclusive cars, the 10 car "Muscle Pack" (normally 560 MS points, or about $7) for free, a metal case (with an impossible to release disc holder), and a art book with some of the cars from the game's Autovista mode. In-game, you get a crown next to your name (you're a "VIP"), and auctions started by VIPs are listed before non-VIP players. VIP players also get some exclusive events to win rare "Unicorn" cars, which are exclusive performance versions of some cars (i.e. the stock Mazda RX-7 is in-game, but the RX-7 Spirit-R is an exclusive unicorn car) that cannot be acquired normally. VIP players occasionally receive "gift cars" from the developers, usually Unicorn Cars or existing cars with exclusive vinyl paintjobs - though players are often quick to replicate the paintjob on a separate car to sell on the storefront.
  • The X-Superbox, which came out about a year after X3 Terran Conflict. The Superbox contains every single X-Universe game made up until that point (and when Terran Conflict's expansion pack came out a few months after the Superbox came out, Superbox owners got the normally $9.99 expansion pack for free), has a CD full of ship and space station concept art, the X-Encyclopedia which explains some of the technology and the history of the X-Universe, very high-quality versions of the game's soundtrack, and three fan made soundtracks. Free content that anyone can get is also put in the package as well, for convenience - script packages to make your life easier in the game, and PDF versions of fan fiction from the game's forums.
  • Resident Evil 6 reportedly has a $1300 Premium Edition, with the main draw being Leon's leather jacket.
  • Despite its lack of a proper English translation, Battle Golfer Yui has a reproduction collector set, complete with CD soundtrack, trading cards, magnet, pins, and a mini comic.

Web Comics

  • Shadowgirls Season 1 has two hardcover versions available: Regular and Artist Edition. The latter comes with a sketch card and a page of original artwork.
  • Sinfest: widescreen edition ("Catch all the crucial details that were cut out--which is why so many episodes made no sense!"). And Sinfest DVD ("parental ADVISORY: explicit shit").

Western Animation

  • Within a span of several years, Warner Bros. released the Looney Tunes Golden Collection series, spread across six volumes and covering over 400 classic cartoons, hours upon hours upon hours worth of commentaries, documentaries, interviews and historical bonus content in general. However, for the kiddies, a Vanilla Edition series of these DVDs were released called Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection, which were essentially bare bone collections featuring the more well known, family friendly Looney Tunes shorts.
  • While initially getting a couple Vanilla Edition DVDs, the Powerpuff Girls got a massive boxset covering the entire series as well as loads of extras and even gathering all of the commercial bumpers in 2008!
  • Both of Shout! Factory's releases of the Sunbow series of both G.I. Joe and Transformers Generation 1 have this. There's the season sets which come with the episodes and some extras. Then, there's the complete series collection which comes with all the episodes, the extras included in the season sets, and extra extras that are exclusive only to the complete series collection.
    • Transformers: The Movie has a particularly annoying take on this, with the menu of the single-disc edition constantly advertising the two-disc special edition.
  • What can Snoopy fans expect to find in the long-and-consciously-titled "'Peanuts Deluxe Holiday Collection:' Ultimate Collector's Edition"? A Charlie Brown Christmas, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in HD Blu-Ray, three "bonus" cartoons, three short documentaries, standard DVDs of the specials, window clings, and a snowglobe-shaped lenticular lucite of the gang ice-skating.
  • There's an Invader Zim set that's shaped like Zim's house, has a GIR figure in the roof, and comes with a disc of special features. There were two versions of the set: one containing the whole series, and one with just the box, figure, and extras disc, for those who had already purchased the individual DVDs.
  1. containing Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital Copy versions of each movie and the extra features disc of Toy Story 3
  2. For those who haven't played the game, the main Mooks are a species known as the Collectors.