You'd think this would be the normal edition after sixteen years.note Pictured: A comic book, a bust of the title character, a certificate of authenticity, a pair of dice, a miniature deck of cards, poker chips, postcards, "foldable paper craft", a sticker, a hardcover book of art, the box it all came in, and last, but definitely not the least, the game itself.
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.
Sometimes, CDs normally released separately, like image songs and the soundtracks, are packaged with the DVDs, giving more incentive to buy them.
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.
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.
Likewise with Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Aniplex released the series across three DVDs, which is quite normal. The vanilla editions cost your usual $30 or so, depending on where you buy it. Then there is the Limited Edition for all three DVDs which comes with artbooks, stickers, three soundtrack CDs.. all for the cost of $90. Each.
The Italian/German Limited Editions are similar to the US ones, except cheaper (50€ each, something like $55), and with slightly different extras (The boxes included both the DVD and Blu-Ray releases, and instead of the stickers thay had Nendoroid Petites of Madoka, Mami and Homura)
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.
Although it sometimes occurs with later DVDs, the first volume of most anime series gets released as a DVD-only and as a DVD in an artbox designed to hold the entire series.
.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).
Bandai's release of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex was handled quite beautifully. On top of the vanilla editions for all 14 DVDs (covering both seasons,) a special edition was released as well, and it only cost about $10 more. The 14 DVDs provided 2 figurines of Motoko, 1 of Batou, 1 of Togusa, 2 Jameson units, 3 Tachikomas, 2 Android Maids, a 2nd Gig mousepad, a Laughing Man t-shirt, the first three Original Sound Tracks, a Section 9 Employee badge, as well as Tin DVD cases to hold the DVDs in. Also, the 2nd Gig DVDs themselves came in metal cases, which themselves are stored in a rather fancy tin DVD case.
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 - which 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.
It was extremely common during the 1990s when comic collector sales were at their height for multiple editions of the same comic book. Often they wouldn't be anything more than an alternate cover art, a shiny cover, or just a label saying "collectors edition" on it. However, this mass saturation of the market helped lead to The Great Comics Crash of 1996.
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 2. Lionsgate is releasing a 25th Anniversary Blu Ray.
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, they stink. 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. Some editions are the original theatrical films from with nothing more then video and sound clean up, no actual changes. All six films were 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.
An Amazon-exclusive version of the Citizen Kane 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition added a DVD of Orson Welles' second movie, The Magnificent Ambersons, to the large array of extras. This marked the first time The Magnificent Ambersons became available to own on DVD.
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.
Disney is also fond of doing a variation on this before the movie is even out on video: They're the owners of Hollywood's El Capitan Theater, and screenings of their movies there usually feature a bevy of bonus stuff that you'd never see at any other venue. Beyond the sheer appeal of seeing the movie in a huge, ornate movie palace, they usually open several days early, have the El Capitan decked out in decorations themed to the film, feature a special live appearance by character(s) from the featured movie, and for an extra fee, you can eat breakfast with a character before your screening. Needless to say, tickets are rather high-end. This is probably the only instance of a Limited Edition that really is limited; once the movie exits theaters, you probably won't ever see that extra stuff again.
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 PieceThe 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 Alien³, 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.
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 Reeve 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 The Adventures of 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 was out on Earth Day, 2010, but unless you wanted all the normal features of a DVD, you had to wait until November, and then you could 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.
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 Toy Story 3 came to Blu-Ray and DVD, the Toy Story trilogy received a 10-disc setnote containing Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital Copy versions of each movie and the extra features disc of Toy Story 3 packaged in a replica of Andy's toy box.
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 first 22 movies in a case (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!
Then, years later, Warner re-released the Ultimate Cut and Motion Comics together with the theatrical version and a hardcover copy of the original comic.
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 Walmart"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 Walmart "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 a 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 in 2012.
The "Wizard Edition" mentioned above comes to 31 discs: DVD, Blu-Ray, digital copy, additional features, various collectibles, and a really nifty box. At CostCo, it was actually cheaper than buying the films individually.
A cheaper version called the Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection was released in 2014 that also contains 31 disks but without all the physical extras and in a slightly less nifty box.
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.
The movie version of 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.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One: Avengers Assembled set consists of a silver briefcase containing Blu-Ray Discs of the movies that Marvel Studios released from 2008-2012, 3D copies of the movies released from 2011-2012, a disc of never-before-seen deleted scenes, previews of upcoming movies, files on some of the films' superheroes, and a replica of the tesseract.
Planet of the Apes: Twentieth Century Fox released 'The Ultimate Collection' a set of everything in the franchise up to that point:the original films, the two TV series,the Tim Burton remake,a couple documentaries and some bonus booklets packaged inside a bust of the character of Caesar. It remains to be seen if they'll do another after the reboot films are all out or not.
They've done several releases of the original films as well, both on video and later on DVD. The Legacy Collection, 5 movie collection (with Rise of the Planet of the Apes) or the 40th Anniversary collection are all good for those who can't afford the big set.
The Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection Blu-Ray set came in two flavors in the UK. Both include all 14 of the Hitchcock-directed movies in Universal's library (among others, Rear Window, Vertigo, and The Birds) and hours of bonus features. The more expensive one adds reproductions of storyboards, script pages, correspondance, concept art, and posters. Americans didn't get any of the reproductions, but did get an option to watch Vertigo with its original theatrical soundtrack, plus another disc, containing North By Northwest (which actually belongs to Warner Bros. ) and a handful of additional bonus features.
Forrest Gump got a 15th Anniversary box set that not only had the movie, on either DVD or Blu-Ray, but also a feather bookmark, a production booklet, and it came in a box that looked like a box of chocolates and had a sheet on the inside that was scented like chocolates.
The Ten Commandments has a gift set that comes in a box with a picture of the Red Sea. "Part" open the box, and find a reproduction of the eponymous tablets, which opens to reveal the movie on both Blu-Ray and DVD, a Blu-Ray of the 1923 silent film, and a 75-minute documentary on both Blu-Ray and DVD. The set also comes with a book about the making of the movie, costume sketches, and various mementos.
Lawrence of Arabia had a 50th anniversary gift set containing a Blu-Ray of the movie sourced from a 4K restoration, two discs' worth of extra bonus features, a coffee table book, a CD of the soundtrack, and one frame of a 70mm print.
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.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Numerous rereleases of The Bad Beginning, including one priced higher than the thirteen-book box set. Also, the box sets, which have exclusive artwork. The new paperbacks are aversions because they're much better for about half the price.
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":
"This paperback edition, and no other, has been published with my consent and co-operation. Those who approve of courtesy (at least) to living authors will purchase it, and no other." J. R. R. Tolkien
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.
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 bookcollectors and come in landmark series like The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written, Library of the Presidents and Great Books of the 20th Century
Subterranean Press's limited edition of Joe Hill's NOS4A2 comes with an exclusive alternate ending as well as an entire novella that was cut from the original manuscript.
Centipede Press's limited edition of Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot came with some then-exclusive deleted scenes that King removed from the text. A trade edition with them was later released.
The Stand has the original (already fairly huge) version, then a later release adding ~400 pages left out of the original, along with a few minor revisions.
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 Amazon.co.uk 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.
Almost all of the DVD releases from the first two years of the release schedule were later re-released with improved picture quality and new special features, along with a couple of other famous stories released later.
Spearhead From Space will end up with three different DVD editions: the original one, the expanded version released in the Mannequin Mania box, and a 2013 Blu-ray edition (as the only story made entirely on film other than the 1996 TV movie, it won't look rubbish in HD).
2013 saw the release of a humungous "Regeneration" box set containing every Doctor's final story from "The Tenth Planet" to "The End of Time" along with a coffee-table book. Exploitatively, it was released well in advance of the standalone "Tenth Planet" DVD.
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.
Several volumes of MST3K 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.
One of their most interesting MST3K-related release was a special edition DVD of "Manos" The Hands of Fate, which not only contained the actual episode, but also the uncut original movie, two documentaries (one an interview with the MST3K cast and another the Hotel Torgo documentary) and the short featured on the episode reconnected with its first half.
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 UNCLE 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.
Shout! Factory also released a Power Rangers limited edition $650 DVD set called, "Power Rangers Legacy: The First 20 Years", which covers all the seasons of 1993-2013 from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers to Power Rangers Megaforce over 92 discs. It also comes with six discs of bonus features (five already appearing on the aforementioned box sets and the last one being an exclusive), a book, and a holder resembling the helmet worn by the red Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. It's limited to 2000 copies.
As an aside, since otherwise Shout's Power Rangers license only goes up to the end of the Disney era (IE: Power Rangers RPM) with duty for mass retail home videos of the Saban Brands era (Power Rangers Samurai onwards) passed off to Lionsgate, the Samurai and Megaforce discs included on the Legacy collection are exclusive to it, exclusively containing unique CGI DVD menus and the Samurai episode "Trickster Treat" which Lionsgate has yet to release on home video.
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.)
Certain record labels (an infamous example you might be familiar with being 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 sometimes seal off the new track as being an 'album-only purchase'.
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?
There's also been a trend of record labels releasing both a "standard" and a "deluxe" edition for popular music acts at the same time. The deluxe editions usually have different artwork and anywhere from 2-10 extra tracks. Sometimes there'll also be bonus videos of the making of the album, music videos, track-by-track commentary, interviews etc.
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.
Faith No More 's Album Of The Year had a weird variation. The original release of the album had the regular version and a 2CD version with a bonus remix disc. The Japanese version featured two non-album tracks added to the end. A German Limited edition called "Competition Edit" added the two Japanese bonus tracks plus four remixes to the end of the first disc. These remixes were different to those on the 2CD bonus disc. So, if you wanted to, you could round up all the tracks by combining the disc from that version with the second disc of the 2CD edition, and have no repetition, but you would have to buy both releases to do it.
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.
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 well 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.
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 Æternus & 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 re-release of The Rolling StonesExile 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.
Rhino also had a sub-imprint, Rhino Handmade, that focused on limited editions (of usually no more than 3000 copies) of rare works of certain artists, or compilations of long out-of-print material. Many of their releases have become collector's items and fetch high prices on eBay. Since 2013, it's been less of a label for rare work than more of a shingle for their collectible mainstream box sets.
Bauhaus albums have 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.
U2 has been a fan of this trope since 2004, and their dedication to it has been steadily increasing.
2004: The new album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is released in three CD formats: a standard single-CD edition; a Deluxe Edition featuring a bonus DVD with documentary and performance footage; and a Collector's Edition that had an exclusive version of the CD featuring a bonus track (ironically, the song from which the album title was derived) and the DVD from the Deluxe Edition, packaged with a hardcover book. (This does not include the vinyl edition.)
2007: The 20th anniversary remaster of their 1987 opus The Joshua Tree is released in three CD formats: a standard single-CD edition; a Deluxe Edition with a bonus CD of B-sides and rarities, and a box set featuring both CDs, a DVD with documentary and concert footage from the era, a hardcover book, and some photograph prints. There was also a double vinyl edition.
2008: The remasters of U2's first three albums, Boy, October, and War, are released, each in two CD formats: a standard single-CD edition with newly expanded liner notes and full lyrics (which were previously not available), and a Deluxe Edition featuring a bonus CD of B-sides and rarities. Again, there were also vinyl editions. Notably, there were no bonus DVDs or hardcover books released this time.
2009, February: The new album No Line on the Horizon is released in four CD formats: a standard single-CD edition in a jewel case; a single-CD edition in a digipak with a download link for The Film of the Album, Linear; a single CD packaged with a magazine that also included the movie download link; and a box set with the CD, movie download link, and a hardcover book. This is again in addition to a vinyl edition, bringing the total number of physical formats up to five.
2009, October: The Unforgettable Fire, their fourth album, is remastered as a 25th anniversary edition, and receives the grand treatment of The Joshua Tree before it: a standard single-CD edition; a Deluxe Edition with a bonus CD of B-sides and rarities; and a Limited Edition Box Set featuring the two CDs, a DVD with documentary and concert footage from the era, a hardcover book, and five photograph prints.
2011: Achtung Baby, widely considered to be U2's best album, is rereleased as a 20th anniversary edition (with "slightly cleaned up" audio as opposed to a full remastering, which the band thought unnecessary). This set the bar higher than any album before it, with five physical formats, including a single-CD edition; a Deluxe Edition with a second CD of B-sides, rarities, and remixes; a quadruple-vinyl edition with the same track listing as the CD Deluxe Edition. The last two examples embody this trope to a T. The Super Deluxe Edition includes six CDs (Achtung Baby, the follow-up album Zooropa, a CD of just B-sides and rarities, two CDs of remixes, and a "Kindergarten" version of the album featuring demo versions of each song in order) and four DVDs (the related feature documentary film From the Sky Down, the concert film Zoo TV: Live from Sydney, and two DVDs of music videos and other documentaries), all packaged in a very large hardcover book with 16 equally large prints (each one being one "panel" of the album art). The Über Deluxe Edition then outdid even that, with all the content of the Super Deluxe Edition, plus the vinyl edition of the album, five vinyl singles corresponding with the singles from the album, a series of badges, a special edition of "Propaganda" magazine (modelled on U2's old fan magazine), and a replica of Bono's "Fly" sunglasses, all packaged in a magnetic puzzle tile box.
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. And there was a third special edition reissue of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars in 2012 (previously, it had been reissued in 1990 and 2002).
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 Collector's 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.
King Crimson's 1973 album Larks' Tongues in Aspic was rereleased in 2012 in several versions, the grandest of which came with 14 CDs of bonus material, claiming to include "every known note" recorded by the relatively short-lived lineup at the time.
Crimson one-upped themselves the following year with the set The Road To Red, a box set of live shows from between 1972 to 1974, along with new stereo and 5.1 remixes of the 1974 album Red, which spans 24 discs - 21 CDs, 2 DVDs, and 1 Blu-Ray disc.
The Postal Service's only albumGive Up was re-released as a two CD "10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" in 2013. Disc one is a remastered version of the original album, while disc two collects B Sides, remixes and other previously released non-album material, as well as featuring two previously unheard songs. Making a pre-order of this version or buying a physical copy at certain record stores also got you feelies in the form of a postcard set featuring photos of the band.
Within the same year of its regular US release, Flume's Self-Titled Album was re-released in a "Deluxe Edition". It was a fairly generous four disc package, featuring the original album, two discs worth of bonus tracks (comprising a "mixtape" where rappers add vocals to previously instrumental songs from the album, remixes by and of Flume, and a Live Album), and a copy of Ableton Live 9 Lite including tutorials and interactive sessions for three of the album's songs.
Certain machines of the Star Wars Episode I pinball had a plaque declaring them "The Final Collector's Series of 100", though there's no other difference between them and the regular tables. Rumor is that they were simply used as a marketing gimmick to sell remaining machines during the closure of Williams Electronics.
Stern's TRON: Legacy was released in four different editions, each distinguished by different translite displays on the backbox. The first two releases also allowed operators to install an optional shaker motor in the game cabinet.
Stern's The Avengers came in four different variations, including a Premium Edition with laser-cut ramps and an all-green "Hulk" Edition with "ramp throwing" action.
Along with the regular release, Spider-Man (Stern) was released in a limited run of 500 "Black Spider-Man" tables, with a different mirrored backglass and chrome metalwork.
The 2003 machine The Lord of the Rings got a rerelease in 2009 as a Limited Edition, adding gold-plated and brass metalwork, a mirrored gold backglass, support for a shaker motor, and updated software.
Played with in the case of Doctor Who: every game comes with a Dalek topper, but the first 100 units had a version that moved when certain things happened. This proved too expensive to continue, though, so it was discontinued. It's played with because the feature was likely intended from the start, but was removed due to budget limitations.
In November 2001, Stern Pinball and Pinball Sales auctioned off 40 "Platinum Edition" Monopoly games for the nonprofit charity Boundless Playground. These tables had chrome trimmings signed by Pat Lawlor, John Youssi, and Gary Stern, along with a backbox translite autographed by Lawlor, Youssi, Stern, Pinball Sales president Jack Guarnieri, and Hasbro CEO Alan Hassenfeld. The production run of 40 was chosen as one for each space on the Monopoly board.
Taken as far as possible with Stern Pinball's NFL, which was available only in one of nineteen team-specific variations,note The game was the same, only the backbox translite was different with no "generic" base game.
Stern's Transformers machine comes in no less than four different versions: The basic one (called "Pro"), followed by three limited-production versions — one for the Autobots, one for the Decepticons, and a "Combo" for both factions. The Limited Editions feature exclusive cabinet and translite art, color-coded metalwork, and additional playfield toys and elements. Then there's the In Name Only "The Pin" budget version, noted above.
Zigzagged in Jersey Jack Pinball's The Wizard of Oz, which is already seven grand on its own.
Played straight with the $9,000 "Emerald City" version, which includes green trim, a mirrored backglass, a shaker motor, flying Winged Monkey, non-reflective glass, motorized Castle gates, and an OLED crystal ball on the playfield that plays various videos during the game.
Somewhat subverted with the equally expensive "75th Anniversary" edition, which has red metal trim, a tinted mirrored backglass, a new backbox topper, more detailed table elements, and additional playfield toys, such as the Twister and Toto in his basket. However, everything but the metalwork and backglass are available separately, allowing owners to upgrade their existing games to match.
There are also rumors of a planned "Ruby Red" Edition with rubies and emeralds embedded into the machine. The price has yet to be announced for this version, but it would undoubtedly be astronomical.
Two years after its release, the NASCAR pinball was rethemed as Dale Jr., a limited-edition version commemorating racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., with only 600 tables made.
Avatar received a Premium Limited Edition game, with a shaker motor, marching AMP Suit, additional playfield toys, and a score-doubling ceramic Powerball.
Along with the basic game, ACDC was initially available in a Premium Edition, a "Back In Black" Limited Edition, and a "Let There Be Rock" LE. These added an "Underworld" mini-playfield below the main table, LED lights, a moving bell, animated band members in the backbox, and a premium sound system.
The Limited Editions also include a shaker motor, custom mirrored backglass art, and laser-cut metalwork. Only 200 "Let There Be Rock" and 300 "Back In Black" machines were produced.
And then in 2014, Stern Pinball released the 2014 "Luci" Preimum Edition, an updated version of the Premium table with new backglass and cabinet art centered around a Horny Devil girl.
Metallica came in a basic "Pro" edition, as well as two Premium Editions ("Monsters" and "Road Case"), and a "Master of Puppets" Limited Edition with a run of 500 units.
Stern Pinball's Mustang has the "Boss" Premium and "50 Years" Limited Editions, with a modified playfield, drop targets in front of the N2O targets, a turntable platform with a scale model car, and four additional songs. The Limited Edition also has a powder-coated blue frame.
Star Trek is available in a basic "Starfleet Pro" model, as well as "Vengeance Premium" and "Enterprise Limited Edition" tables. The more advanced models include different backbox translites, more elaborate metalwork and cabinet molding, metal trails instead of plastic ramps, more elaborate LED lighting, color-changing playfield inserts, a vertical up-kicker and a kickback, and a Starfield laser projector.
Along with the standard version of Full Throttle, a "Limited Edition" is available, with extras such as an autographed alternate translite, a shaker motor, an all-red or red/black cabinet (buyer's choice), and fiber optic lighting. Only 250 Limited Edition tables are made, though Heighway Pinball has plans to sell most of the components separately so "standard" owners can upgrade their tables.
In addition to the basic table, X-Men was available in Wolverine Blue and Magneto Red Limited Editions, featuring custom translite art, color-coordinated metalwork, a magnetic spinning disc and a swing-out Ice Slide. 250 tables of each version were made.
The Limited Edition of The Walking Dead adds a fold-out crossbow launcher, an illuminated fish tank with zombie heads, rust-colored metalwork, and a mirrored backglass translite to the basic package.
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.
Starting in late 2012, Wizards of the Coast has been releasing special new premium reprint versions of several 3.5e sourcebook - yet another copy of the core rules, plus books like the Spell Compendium and Magic Item Compendium. This about 5 years after they had discontinued 3.5 in favor of 4th Edition... and with 5th Edition ("D&D Next") already visible on the horizon. Yes, the new versions have updated rules errata, but there's a certain... blatant cash-grabby feel about the whole thing (especially given there was a significant chunk of hold-outs who refused to move forward to 4th Edition, or stepped sideways to Pathfinder), especially with that "premium" setting the price point at no less than $50 a pop.
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.
Donkey Kong 64 has a "Collector's Edition Yellow Game Pak". You get a yellow cartridge rather than a regular gray cartridge. (This game has no regular edition; every cartridge of Donkey Kong 64 is yellow!)
Extreme-G has a "Special Edition" in Germany that came with a music CD.
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.
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 Spinoff 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 PlayStation 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; one example 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 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 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.
BioShock 2 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.
All of the Metal Gear Solid games in Japan (not counting the Updated Re-releases) 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 weren't released outside of Japan...at least, not until HD remasters started coming out. America and Europe is getting both Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX which contains the Final Mix content for the first Kingdom Hearts, and Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster, which contains the International content for Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2.
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 PS2 remake of Kingdom Hearts 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: 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 Worldof Warcraft, a WoW feelie in the form of a creature, a dogtag-shaped USB/keychain that contains the original game and the expansion, and 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: Majora's 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.
The Legend of Zelda: 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.
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 ofUltimate 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.
Gran Turismo 5 is a great impersonation to this trope: there is the Collector's Edition, which includes the game, a GT keychain, a die-cast model of a tuned Nissan GT-R, a book which acts like a mini strategy guide, and a voucher for 5 supercars, which can be a Disc One Nuke if used right at the beginning of the 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.
Modern Warfare 3 dialed it back, 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".
The second tier edition returned for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Called the Care Package Edition, it included a remote-controlled drone and came in packaging resembling, well, the care package in multiplayer.
The BlazBlue series has done this twice (currently) with the first two installments of the series.
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger 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.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift EXTEND has a Limited Edition that comes with a 2012 calendar with artworks of the characters on each month, a small artbook with story illustrations and character artworks, and a soundtrack CD featuring some of the music of Continuum Shift.
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), and there's also usually wallpapers, a soundtrack or concept art, and additional gameplay. The CE's also come out a few weeks earlier than the vanilla version.
Later 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, and 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!
Uncharted 3 had a Collector's Edition, available to everyone. It came in special packaging that looked like a traveling chest, and contained a steelbook case, wearable replicas of Drake's buckle and ring necklace, and a Drake statue.
The BeatlesRock 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!
Star Trek Online's initial release had 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.
Even bigger was the High Stakes edition which was exclusive to Capcom's Online store which comes with the game ,a Fortune City map, a deluxe Dead Rising themed Poker set, a redeemable ticket for in game content and one lucky set would include a special golden version of the ticket to redeem for a life size Zombie statue.
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.
All Mass Effect games as of the third have had special editions, but special note must go to the second game'sCollectors' Edition and Digital Deluxe Edition, which come with special armor and weapons based off the main enemies, an art book, comic, soundtrack, and bonus featurettes. Note the apostrophe.note For those who haven't played the game, the main Mooks are a species known as the Collectors.
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 VI Ps 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.
X Rebirth has two Collectors Editions - a physical collectors edition which contains a full-color, print version of the X-Encyclopedia, an art book, the two soundtrack volumes, a "Making Of" video, playing cards, a poster, etc. The cheaper Digital Collectors Edition has most of the content of the physical, albeit in digital form, and without the posters and such
The Wii U installment of Super Smash Bros. came in two versions; a US$50 version with the game only, and a US$99 version that came packaged with an adapter for Nintendo Gamecube controllers, a favorite in Tournament Play, along with a special Smash-themed controller to go with it.
Borderlands 2 has two deluxe editions above the standard preorder, that include the usual trove of goodies. The cheaper one includes a Marcus bobblehead, and the pricier version also includes a scale replica of the red chests from the first game.
Strategy guides aren't immune from this either. Pokemon Black And White has a regular version of its guide and then a hardcover one with a fancier cover with images of the legendary dragons of the games on it.
Prince of Persia (the PS3 reboot) has a hardcover guide that even came with some (abet smallish) high quality concept art prints tucked away in a envelope on inside of the front cover.
And you can add the Zelda series to that, as almost all of the series' recent games, starting with Twilight Princess have had both regular guides and special hardcover ones with very nice gold-embossed covers and Feelies such as cloth maps, lithographs and so on. And Prima Games is also putting together a treasure chest box set with a collectible bookmark, a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Eiji Aonuma, and an exclusive guide for Ocarina of Time 3D exclusive to the set. The MSRP? $180, naturally.
Virtual-ON: FORCE for Xbox 360 received a special MEMORIAL BOX 15 limited edition to commemorate the series' 15th Anniversary, and needless to say Sega went all out with this one. This package includes a artbook that also chronicles the series, a 6-CD soundtrack of the entire series spanning from Operation Moongate all the way to MARZ, and two bouncy rubber balls resembling the eyes of Tangram. It was also believed to include a special DLC code that gives you the ability to enhance the breast size of Fei-Yen and Angelan. No, we're not making this up. This premium package however will cost a small fortune, especially since it's an import-only game but it is region-free.
Otomedius Excellent has a special edition that comes with a CD soundtrack for the game (despite what it says, it mainly has music from the first game), an artbook featuring various artworks of the characters by Mine Yoshizaki (the series' artist and the creator of Sgt. Frog), and a fairly large double-sided pillow case that features Anoa on one side and many of the girls of St. Gradius from the game on the other.
Dead Space 3 has the "Dev Team Edition," pitched as the dev team's love-letter to the fansnote With the series' publisher declaring the franchise would end without a completely unreasonable number of sales, this may have been a genuinely personal 'last hurrah' on the dev team's part with 5000 produced. It included a 14oz water bottle in the form of the series' health pack, a 6" tall Red Marker, an art book, a second art book made as a mock electronic datapad showing off various high-profile characters and Necromorphs, several SCAF recruitment posters, a notepad belonging to an important character, and several 'Peng' postcards. The box it comes in is modeled as a SCAF supply container and is labeled with its production number. Hilariously, this box did not include the game, though this was because it was only possible to order from one online vender, so players who had already pre-ordered the game from somewhere else could order the box alone, minus the game's price. Others could have the game included in the form of a standard boxed copy mailed separately.
Ni no Kuni's PS3 release had the Wizard's Edition, which came with a physical copy of the spellbook used in-game, a plush of Drippy, the sidekick, a soundtrack CD, and some bonus familiars. A promotion led to some art cards and a special coin being added too.
Parodied by the Doom mod titled NUTS2 - 2nd and/or 1st Anniversary Gold Plated Plutonic Aloy Coated Eight volume Nuclear Donkey Edition of Nuts.wad (or, as the subtitle on the title screen says, "basically the same old shit".)
The "Commander in Chief Edition", available to everyone who pre-ordered the game, gives you a few in-game items themed to the USA.
The "Super Dangerous Wub Wub Edition" includes the bonus items, and also includes a replica dubstep gun, dubstep doomsday button, and a Johnny Gat memorial statue.
The "Emperor Zinyak's Game of the Generation Edition" comes with all that, and a light-up rotating display case for the game and a velvet pouch.
The most absurd, ridiculous, and exorbitant out of all of them, the Wad Wad edition. It includes the Commander-In-Chief edition of the game, a full-scale replica of the dubstep gun (even larger than the one included in the Wub Wub edition!), a Lamborghini, a Prius (with a year's worth of insurance), a year's Super Car membership, a personal shopper, a day of spy training, a "hostage rescue experience", a capsule wardrobe, first-class flights to Dubai and Washington, DC (with week long stays at the Burj-Al-Arab and the Jefferson Hotel, respectively), and a flight in space from Virgin Galactic. There is exactly one copy of this edition, and it costs one million dollars.
Infamous2 had the Hero Edition. It came with a replica sling pack that Cole uses in the game, a Cole statue, a mini-comic by DC Comics, the soundtrack, and a voucher for various in-game perks.
Subverted again with Shin Megami Tensei IV.All first print copies were limited editions, and nice ones at that, with a soundtrack, deluxe slipcase and a 176-page strategy guide/artbook, making the $50 asking price ($10 more than the usual 3DS game) well worth it for series.
Every first edition copy of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle come with a notepad designed to look like Hayato Kawajiri under the effects of Heaven's Door and a code to download Yoshikage Kira as a playable character. There's also the Gold Experience Box, which comes with a gold placard of Giorno/Gold Experience, a statue of Jotaro/Star Platinum, and a soundtrack CD that resembles the Star Platinum Stand disc created by Whitesnake.
Watch_Dogs is taking this to an extreme by offering the following: the usual standard version, the Special Edition, the Vigilante Edition, The Uplay Edition (normal and Deluxe flavors), the Limited Edition, the Desdec Edition, and the Gold Edition. And the game still allows for a purchase of a season pass.
The Humble Bundles sometimes have a high-price tier that gives a physical version.
Humble Indie Bundle 12 has the "Humble Indie Bundle 12 Entertainment System". It's a box that comes with a special magazine, T-shirt, HIB and Papers, Please themed pins, vinyl record, and floppy disk.
Humble InDIE Bundle 13 has the "Humble Indie Bundle 13 Box O' Treats". It comes with a special hoodie, collectible cards based on the bundle's games, a cassette tape with music, and Humble Bundle themed patches.
Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call's limited edition comes with a special 3DS pouch, 2 CDs with best of and remixed songs, and physical CollectaCards. First-run copies of the game came with a smaller version that had just the remix CD.
Destiny has two special editions. The Limited Edition comes with a steelbook case, Field Guide, postcards, antique star chart, some in-game goodies, and an expansion pass. The Ghost Edition comes with all that, a replica Ghost, and even more physical goodies like stickers and photos.
Persona Q: Shadow Of The Labyrinth has the "The Wild Cards Premium Edition". It comes with a special 3DS XL case, art book, soundtrack CD, and physical representations of the tarot cards used in-game.
Hatoful Boyfriend has the "Summer of Dove Collector's Edition", which includes the original game, the digital soundtrack, a exclusive comic from the original developer, wallpapers of Oko-san and the St. Pigeonations yearbook.
ShadowgirlsSeason 1 has two hardcover versions available: Regular and Artist Edition. The latter comes with a sketch card and a page of original artwork.
Oglaf: There are two editions of "Book One". The regular edition, and a signed edition with a hand-drawn bookplate inside the front cover featuring the character of your choice. The signed edition costs $10 extra and actually is so popular that extra character options have been added over time and often end up sold out.
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 eventually a massive boxset covering the entire series as well as loads of extras and even gathering all of the commercial bumpers.
Both of Shout! Factory's releases of the Sunbow series of both G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and The Transformers 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 will you 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.
Three words: The Real Ghostbusters. All five seasons, each in their own steelbook case, but the Time-Life edition had the firehouse box with lenticular ghosts in the windows...and the rare "promo pilot," an Animated Music Video set to a cover of the Ray Parker, Jr. theme tune, and which looked a little more like the movie than the finished series.
Very common on Kickstarter projects. For the unfamiliar, it's a site that crowdsources venture capital for various projects - in other words, anyone can donate to a project they'd like to see happen. You can pledge a token amount of money just to have contributed, while certain minimum pledges are effectively a pre-order for the product to be developed (provided the project is for a product, anyway). Higher pledge tiers work out like various levels of limited edition for the project in question, so while you might pledge $20 to get, say, a digital copy of a video game to be made once funded, you could drop $50 for a physical copy of the game with some extra feelies like buttons or decals. Or $100 for the physical copy in a very nice case with buttons, decals, and limited game art. Or... well, you get the picture. High-tier pledges (usually hundreds if not thousands of dollars) are often very limited in quantity, and have infamously included things like "the game designer for a tabletop RPG comes to your home, cooks dinner, and runs the game for you and your friends."
alternative title(s): Ultimate Edition; Special Edition; Limited Special Directors Ultimate Edition; Collectors Edition; Limited Special Ultimate Collectors Edition; Limited Augmented Deluxe Green Super Special Awesome Ultra Extended Premi