Complete series packaging can be amazing (The West Wing, Six Feet Under
) and dreadful, but I think we've hit a new low in packaging design. Sony is using a new "hub" design for two of their sets out today, What's Happening
, and it'll likely take the award of "Worst DVD Packaging Ever." Sony's goal was to create a package that takes up less space on the shelf, and is cheap to produce. Those sound like great goals, but the most important part of any package should be keeping the discs safe, and that's where this could become a disaster.
Both sets contain two parts, the cardboard outer case, and the inside plastic part. The cardboard opens up like a book, with the plastic part sliding out of the spine part (see photo 1). The cardboard on the plastic is there to hold the discs in place, except they still slide around due to the huge gap between the discs and the cardboard. The discs themselves, all 9 of them, are on one plastic spindle (see photo 2). The plastic feels extremely cheap, like some packaging that you discard after you remove what it held, except in this case it's not supposed to be discarded.
I can't tell you how many complaints I've received over packaging that has overlapping discs. Consumers hate having to remove one disc to get to another, and this is far worse. Want to get at disc 8? You'll have to remove discs 1-7 first. The packaging also causes the discs to touch each other - 100% of the disc touches the disc below it. Get a piece of dust, dirt or sand in there and you can expect to find a nice circular scratch on your disc if they start spinning. It's also a bit laughable that Sony was trumpeting the smaller packaging when the spindle is only half full (that's right, the set could have been half the size).
So, while the set will save space on your shelf, and it's cheap for Sony to produce, is it the best choice for consumers picky about their packaging? No way.
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