Created By: EponymousKidAugust 15, 2013 Last Edited By: EponymousKidSeptember 25, 2013
Troped

Packaged As Other Medium

The box/cover of a physical release of some work is made to look like something from another medium

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Trope

A physical release or copy of something is designed to look like it's from another medium; for instance, a DVD case that looks like a comic book cover. Comic book covers and movie posters are especially popular subjects for this trope.

Sometimes it's a specific homage to something or other, but it's this trope if the image has the trappings of a typical cover for that other medium, such as credits at the bottom of a 'movie poster' cover for a game.

Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • The English version of the manga STONe has covers that present it as a movie poster, "presented in Mangascope", with the writer/artist getting a production credit and the characters listed as actors at the bottom.
  • FU Nimation's release of Armitage III has a sci-fi pulp inspired case, including blurbs for stories inside
  • The covers of collected volumes of BTOOOM are based on X Box 360 game cases.
  • ADV's English release of the Kekko Kamen OVAs has a cover based on your typical EC Comics Vault of Horror cover

Comic Books

  • Gen13 vol. #1 shipped with 13 different covers; of these, five fit this trope. Two were based on magazine covers (one Rolling Stone, the other Heavy Metal), one on a movie poster (that of Pulp Fiction, complete with a real live model), one on an ad for a TV show (namely The Brady Bunch), and the last one on a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Whew!
  • Every issue of The Intimates (except #6 and #12) has a cover made to look like that of a magazine for teen superheroes, with headlines either to that effect, or about characters or events in the comic.
  • Similarly, the short-lived Thunderbolts revamp that ran from #76-#81 featured covers styled after men's magazines like Stuff, FHM, and Maxim. For instance.
  • The cover of X-Men Legacy #10 looks like a pharmaceutical print ad or pamphlet promoting a mutant cure, as you can see.
  • The covers of Fearless Defenders #2, Batman: Gotham Adventures #3, and Angel #26 are all designed after action figure cards.

Film

  • The packaging for Borat made it look like a cheap, foreign bootleg rather than a polished official DVD release. The disc itself looks like a blank disc that was recorded over, with the movie's title written on it in marker. It serves to highlight the films' Mockumentary status
  • The poster for Pulp Fiction, and by extension the cover for its DVD and VHS releases, is designed to look like a worn pulp fiction book (including the 10c price).
  • The packaging for the Criterion DVD edition of Videodrome is designed to look like (and be the exact same size as) a VHS tape, as a Mythology Gag.

Music
  • Some of Blackmores Night albums are made to look like books instead of CD cases.
  • Joy Electric's The White Songbook. Externally, it looks like a standard CD jewel case, but the liner notes were designed like an actual book—complete with a book-style page of copyright and printing information, and a table of contents.
  • Starflyer 59's album Gold (specifically the original edition). The pages of the liner notes had fake vinyl labels for every song on the album, as if they were all 45rpm singles released by a variety of fictitious record labels.
  • Mini LP CDs are CD reissues that exactly replicate the original vinyl LP packaging, shrunken down to CD size. A lot of them are made for the Japanese market.
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra's Pandora's Pinata was sold in a CD digipak which was meant to look like a vinyl album. Every panel of the package had fake ring wear, and the inner panels resembled paper sleeves with fake vinyl labels visible through center holes.
  • Some really esoteric examples can be seen here. Of particular note are the packages that look like a concertina and a full size boom box.
  • The cover art of The Bee Gees album Their Greatest Hits: The Record looks like an LP. The same theme continues on the actual CD discs themselves.
  • Spiritualized's Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space was designed to resemble medicine. The packaging has a minimalist design of blue text against a white background. The liner notes list the musicians under the heading "Active Ingredients" and includes information about the intended dosage and possible side effects. Some of the Special Editions go a step further: the album is divided into 12 mini-CDs (one for each song) and each is in a medicine-style blister pack.

Tabletop Games

  • Fantasy Games Unlimited's (FGU) game Daredevils. The covers of the game and its supplements were designed to look like old pulp adventure magazines. There were even fake price markers reading "NOT 10 Cents". Also, some supplements had wording like "Vol. 2 #3" as if they were magazines.

Video Games

  • The Halo Reach Legendary Edition box is designed to emulate a metal UNSC crate.
  • House Of The Dead: Overkill has a cover meant to look like a movie poster. The whole game is presented as a movie, with each level having its own poster (complete with credits) and a "missing reel" in the final boss fight.
  • Freedom Force is an homage game to the golden age of superhero comics. This is plainly apparent from the comicbookesque cover, storytelling (complete with comic book boxes and narrative style) as well as the loading screens which portray the 'issue' of the next level, often in the misleading way of comic book cover gimmicks to boost sales.

Western Animation

  • The DVD case of Titan Maximum is based on a comic book cover, including top left corner inlet. It seems specifically inspired by 1980s Marvel toy/TV cartoon tie-in comics.
  • The second Sealab 2021 DVD's case is also styled after a comic cover, in this case one in particular, Uncanny X-Men #100
  • The Venture Bros third season DVD is presented like an Atari 2600 game box, including Atari graphics in the menus.
  • The Robot Chicken DC Comics special DVD has a cover in the style of a 1960s DC comic, complete with the checkered bar on top.
  • What is it with Adult Swim and this trope? The DVD cases for Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law are all made to look like legal texts.
  • Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 doesn't do the "credits at the bottom" thing, but its DVD cover is non-specifically a movie poster. See?
  • Yet again with Adult Swim is Minoriteam's (Australia-exclusive) DVD release. It's only natural that a show with such a comic-inspired art style would get a comic style DVD case, complete with a parody of the Comics Code approval stamp.
Community Feedback Replies: 39
  • August 15, 2013
    Koveras
    Kind of meta but in the opening video of Brutal Legend, shot IRL, Jack Black presents the game as if it was on an old-school LP rather than DVD.
  • August 15, 2013
    randomsurfer
    I know I've seen a CD or two with a label that makes it look like an LP. but I don't recall specifically which one(s).
  • August 15, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Video Games

    • Freedom Force is an homage game to the golden age of superhero comics. This is plainly apparent from the comicbookesque cover, storytelling (complete with comic book boxes and narrative style) as well as the loading screens which portray the 'issue' of the next level, often in the misleading way of comic book cover gimmicks to boost sales.
  • August 15, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    The packaging for Borat made it look like a cheap, foreign bootleg rather than a polished official DVD release. It serves to highlight the films' Mockumentary status.
  • August 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Music
  • August 15, 2013
    arbiter099
    Common in Limited Special Collectors Ultimate Edition packaging, for example the Halo Reach Legendary Edition box is designed to emulate a metal UNSC crate.
  • August 15, 2013
    DAN004
  • August 16, 2013
    EponymousKid
    I'm trying to hunt down images to link; would I have to upload them here first, out of curiosity? Been a while since I've done anything like that.

    Added the Sealab DVD mentioned under examples as the image; the discs, the "DVD" logo on the box are both visible, (as is the huge SEASON TWO thing up top), but it also clearly looks like a comic cover.
  • August 17, 2013
    AgProv
    Music

    Back in the old twelve-inch vinyl days, the LP sleeve for the Horslips release Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part was designed to look like a bellows accordion in side-on view: this led to an unusual but visually interesting octagonal record sleeve. Nobody bothered to tell the record manufacturing factory, as the LP was put into the usual 12" square inner sleeve. With the result that the corners of the inner sleeve poked out through four sides of the octagon and rather spoiled the illusion...

    a real shame the inner sleeve wasn't octagonal as well

    A list of other interesting repackagings of recorded music, here
  • August 17, 2013
    IAmATropist
    • The MOTHER Surefire Strategy Guide is made to look like a comic book.
  • August 18, 2013
    MetaFour
    • Mini LP CDs are CD reissues that exactly replicate the original vinyl LP packaging, shrunken down to CD size. A lot of them are made for the Japanese market.
    • Diablo Swing Orchestra's Pandora's Pinata was sold in a CD digipak which was meant to look like a vinyl album. Every panel of the package had fake ring wear, and the inner panels resembled paper sleeves with fake vinyl labels visible through center holes.

  • August 18, 2013
    MetaFour
    Does this only apply to examples where the medium emulation is clearly visible on the cover? Or would examples where the interior of the packaging imitated a different medium also count? I can think of a few offhand:

    • Joy Electric's The White Songbook. Externally, it looks like a standard CD jewel case, but the liner notes were designed like an actual book--complete with a book-style page of copyright and printing information, and a table of contents.
    • Starflyer 59's album Gold (specifically the original edition). The pages of the liner notes had fake vinyl labels for every song on the album, as if they were all 45rpm singles released by a variety of fictitious record labels.
  • August 18, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Meta: I'd say what you're talking about in that second post is fine, too -- it's certainly in the same spirit.
  • August 18, 2013
    GKaiser
    Some of Blackmores Night albums are made to look like books instead of CD cases.
  • August 19, 2013
    randomsurfer
    The poster for Pulp Fiction, and by extension its DVD and VHS releases, is designed to look like a worn pulp fiction book (including the 10c price).
  • August 20, 2013
    Arivne
    Tabletop Games
    • Fantasy Games Unlimited's (FGU) game Daredevils. The covers of the game and its supplements were designed to look like old pulp adventure magazines. There was a circle with "not 10 cents" (with the "not" very small): the old magazines cost very small amounts like 10 cents. Also, some supplements had wording like "Vol. 2 #3" as if they were magazines.
  • August 22, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed the links in my The Bee Gees example added by the OP.
  • August 23, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Seems to me like there's a ton of examples; I know the description is pretty weak, I welcome anyone to doll it up if they'd like, but other than that I'd say this is ready for launch, yeah?
  • August 27, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Really not okay with this being stuck indefinitely in YKTTW limbo, what with all these EXAMPLES.
  • August 30, 2013
    EponymousKid
    one more bump, come on guys. I don't really see what this is lacking besides a good description; I thought of fifteen examples by myself. I've seen tropes launch with way less -- even others that I suggested.
  • August 31, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Relax, this has only been here for little over two weeks. Sometimes it takes that much time just to decide the title via a crowner. If you know the draft lacks something (like a proper description, as you stated yourself), you can rest assured it wont be launched until that problem has been solved.
  • August 31, 2013
    DAN004
    Often a Film Of The Book will have a cover resembling said book.
  • September 9, 2013
    EponymousKid
    nother bump
  • September 9, 2013
    paycheckgurl
    Throwing in a hat, but please try relacing "the laconic says it all" with the actual laconic or a rephrasing of the latonic instead (that is the only thing that kept me from giving it a hat in the first place).
  • September 9, 2013
    Alucard
  • September 9, 2013
    EponymousKid
    I was sort of hoping someone else would write up a real description. I'll see what I can do, descriptions are really not my forte.
  • September 13, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Alright, ready now? Besides the 'one more hat' thing.
  • September 14, 2013
    DAN004
    launch plz.
  • September 14, 2013
    EponymousKid
    I don't see a launch button, I was hoping one would show up when it got five hats. Jeez, what did you guys do to this place since I stopped frequenting it?
  • September 14, 2013
    Himbeergeist
    • This is very commom among 'The Complete Series' boxed sets:
      • Series/ER comes in a little medicine cabinet.
      • Sex And The City is packed into a shoebox.
      • Charmed comes embedded in the 'Book of Shadows'

    • The Album Jazz ist anders from the German band Die Arzte is designed like a pizza box.
  • September 14, 2013
    DAN004
    Launch button is in the very bottom. :P
  • September 15, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Don't see anything; is this because of my forum ban? Anybody else wants to launch it, please do.
  • September 15, 2013
    spacemarine50
    Is the launch Up For Grabs?
  • September 15, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Absolutely
  • September 15, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Oh don't tell me I'm getting stonewalled at this stage. Five hats, around thirty examples, and nobody wants to launch it for me?
  • September 17, 2013
    EponymousKid
    really silly that this isn't happening
  • September 18, 2013
    DAN004
    Gonna launch later... ;)
  • September 25, 2013
    EponymousKid
    Incidentally, I don't know what sort of indices this trope might belong to; is that taken into consideration a lot in ykttws these days? Also, still waiting on that launch — there's no 'tropeworthy?' tag or anything and the description's as good as I can get it.
  • September 25, 2013
    I-Block
    I'M GONNA LAUNCH IT!

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable