"Avidly materialistic and possessive," you say? Guilty as charged. I'm a sucker for a deal, particularly if the item in question is something I've had my eye on for some time. The most recent example of this is the DVD set of Star Trek: The Original Series. I balked at the price when the boxed set came out five years ago: it hovered around the $300 (Canadian) mark, and even though I'd passed on Paramount's earlier "Star Trek DVD subscription program" ($25 got you two episodes per DVD; multiply that by 40 DVDs and it looks like someone at Paramount bought themselves a new ivory backscratcher) I decided to hold onto my money until the day came when the set sold for less than 50% of that.
That day was Saturday. It's a groovy set, to be sure: great picture and sound (a huge improvement on my original B&W exposure to the show). But the packaging is ... well ... a little mystifying:
I'm guessing these primary-colored hard plastic boxes are supposed to remind me of a tricorder...
...but after watching my daughter spend a minute or two wrestling with it to get to the discs inside...
...I'd say they bear a closer resemblance to an enormous Kinder Egg. Then there's the compact accordion case for the discs, which makes me realize just how glaring and ungainly these large, bright, plastic boxes will look if I shelve them alongside my other DVDs, so ... off to the basement they go. Waste of money, waste of plastic, waste of space. That's future thinking!
Now contrast this with the Get Smart! boxed set. It's cardboard, it doesn't take up any extra space, and it works like this:
Now that's clever packaging! (If you're scratching your head, watch this.)