Love video games? Have lots of extra shelf space? Then you probably already know about video game collector’s editions. These deluxe release-day video game packages are marketed toward players who won’t bat an eye at dropping an extra 80 bucks for a game – as long as they can get some unique game-related items. Each year, collector’s editions are getting more and more extreme as each company tries to top their competitors with the coolest pack-in products. Here are 12 of the best.
Item: Mark VI Helmet
Since you can’t wear this helmet, it’s one of the most famously absurd collector’s edition pack-ins. But for hardcore Halo fans, having Master Chief staring at them from a bookshelf is well worth the $140 Legendary Edition price tag.
Item: Vinyl Soundtrack
The minds behind Bioshock realized that they could tap into the gamers-who-still-have-record players market and released a limited edition vinyl version of their orchestral score. While the three chap hop DJs of the world rejoiced, the rest of the gaming populous were somewhat nonplussed by owning the vinyl. It can still easily be obtained for deep discounts at most online retailers.
Item: Reach Team Statue
This gigantic statue of Noble Team comes in a huge UNSC crate that makes this collection the least-liked by non-gaming significant others. For gamers with some secret storage space for their game swag, this is one of the coolest pack-in toys. The figures were modeled by McFarlane Toys and depict all five of the heroes of Reach.
Item: One-Size-Fits-All Boxer Shorts
Catherine wins the award for strangest pack-in. While there’s plenty of standard swag packed in the collector’s edition for last year’s weirdest platformer, the boxer shorts are definitely a creative choice. Identical to the pair worn by the game’s protagonist, these classic pattern boxer shorts have generally positive reviews from those brave enough to buy them.
Lord of the Rings: War in the North
Item: Giant Arrow Quiver
While technically advertised as a “game case,” this quiver comes with two metal Legolas-blessed arrows wrapped in a very cool version of a map of Middle Earth. If the idea of having a two-foot leather arrow quiver hanging on your wall appeals to you, it’s not too late. You can still get this collector’s edition for much cheaper than it’s original $140 asking price at most online retailers.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2
Item: Night Vision Goggles
Most collector’s edition items are not known for their functionality. Most are designed to sit on your shelf, awe guests and gather dust. Modern Warfare 2 changed that for the better when its Prestige edition featured fully-functional night vision goggles.
The idea struck a chord with gamers and the special edition of the much-anticipated game sold out well before release.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Item: RC Car Surveillance Vehicle
Not to be outdone by the previous year’s offerings, the seventh installment of Call of Duty served up another fully functional ad-in: a radio controlled spy vehicle.
The RC car includes full color video and audio surveillance and a 200-foot range. Just don’t take it to the airport; it looks a little too close to its video-game counterpart and might be mistaken for a bomb device.
Gears of War 2
Item: Full-Size Lancer
This Amazon-exclusive item is one of the most popular standalone collector’s items; it still fetches over $200 on eBay (it originally cost $150 with the game). The items were popular enough for prop-makers Project Triforce to begin production on a whole new series of 1:1 replica weapons for Gears of War 3 including the Retro Lancer, the Snub Pistol, and the Hammerburst II.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood
Item: Creepy doc-in-the-box
The creepy doctors from the renaissance era of Assassin’s Creed got the unusual jack-in-the-box treatment in the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood collector’s edition. This fully functional jack-in-the-box doesn’t play any music, but it does have a pretty cool key that hides the jack in case you aren’t in the mood for a creepy masked figure staring at you from your collectibles shelf.
World of Warcraft
Items: Artbook, Behind-the-Scenes DVD, In-Game Pet, Soundtrack, Cloth Map
While the items included are standard fare for collector’s editions these days, World of Warcraft went on to become one of the most popular games of all time. Blizzard so severely underestimated the demand on these special editions, there is now a major secondary market. An unopened version can fetch $1,000 on eBay or Amazon Marketplace.
Items: USB Soulstone & Diablo Skull
Diablo III isn’t out yet, but the collector’s edition is already completely sold out online and fetching upwards of $200 on eBay and Amazon.
The main draw in this $100 package is a USB drive shaped like one of the Soulstones from the game series. The Soulstone stick even comes loaded with the game’s predecessor, Diablo II and its expansion.