Both Tolkien trilogies arrive on a fancy shared 31-Disc 4K and Blu-ray box set
The “Middle-Earth 31-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition” box set releases today, November 16!
For the first time, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies are hitting 4K UHD together in a shared box chronicling the entire six-film saga.
I’ll be writing up a formal review of this package and in particular its new all-new special features disc, but we know that most of our readers already know and love these films, and you’re really here to put your eyeballs on the new set.
This is a huge and beautifully put-together edition, and we’re delighted to be able to share this unboxing with you, courtesy of Warner Bros.
Multiple Display Configurations
The uniquely designed box features four housings or compartments with hinged joints and magnetic clasps, which can be arranged in different configurations. Three of the compartments hold the films; the fourth houses a box which contains the extras package of bonus disc, art cards, and keepsake book.
Oversized “big box” sets are loved by some and reviled by others, so this transforming packaging is a very elegant way of handily appeasing both crowds.
Here are the possible configurations…
The default position is a double-width closed gatefold. It’s almost identical in size to the Columbia Classics 4K Collection, as an example.
By folding the box down the center, a standard-sized configuration can be achieved; much more in line with common shelving practices. This is certainly my personal preference of the various arrangements.
Here’s how this configuration compares against some other popular box sets including the prior Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Extended Blu-rays. Additional titles pictured for comparative purposes only.
While not particularly practical, the compartments can be horizontally aligned in an elongated fashion which offers up some nice mural-like designs.
Each of the six films has its own individual case which includes both the Theatrical and Extended versions of the film, in both 4K and Blu-ray formats. The artwork is new to this edition.
Shockingly, these 31 discs do not include the franchise’s celebrated special features packages known as The Appendices, which would’ve been a much better use of the space than a bunch of redundant Blu-ray discs. It’s the one major disappointment of an otherwise beautiful set.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Bonus Disc — Special Features
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Excepting the obvious promo images, all package photography was taken by the reviewer.