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Top 10 DVD Packaging in 2005
1. I, Robot "Sonny Head" (Region 2 Japan)
From the people who brought us last year's fantastic "Alien Head" package for the Alien Quadrilogy comes this work of art, produced in very limited numbers. Words can barely do it justice.

2. House of Flying Daggers Wooden Box Limited Edition (Region 3 China)
This elegant Limited Edition from mainland China is housed in a real wooden box. Among the contents inside is an actual dagger just like the ones in the movie. The blade is unsharpened for your protection, and you'll just have to trust me that it doesn't dodge and weave through the air when you throw it.

3. Office Space - Special Edition with Flair! (Best Buy Exclusive Box Set)
It seemed like the long-awaited SE of this Mike Judge cult classic would never come out. The eventual release finally gave us a decent anamorphic transfer, but the selection of bonus features was a bit disappointing. Not at all disappointing, however, is this exclusive Best Buy box set packaging. Shaped like a filing cabinet, inside you'll find all of your essential office supplies: coffee mug, mouse pad, photo frame, and of course a red stapler!

4. Invader Zim House Box
A unique box very much in the spirit of the show, the best part of this special package is that you can purchase it either with the entire series inside or (for those who had already bought the individual releases) just as the box itself plus the bonus disc of supplements.

5. Phantasm Sphere (Region 2 UK)
Phantasm fans in the US will probably never see a set as nice as this, since the various sequels are owned by different studios. In the UK, however, Anchor Bay distributes them all and has put together this terrific chromed plastic death sphere.

6. Peanuts Complete Collection Dog House (Region 2 Germany)
How great is this? What a wonderful tribute to the show.

7. The Simpsons Complete Sixth Season "Homer Head"
In a bold move, Fox changed up the packaging configuration for the show's sixth season to this intriguing "Homer Head" design. Not all fans were happy about it. Not to worry, for just the price of shipping you can mail away for a standard box in the same design as the last five seasons.

8. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chosen Collection
In the same amount of space taken up by just three of the previous season sets, you can now get all seven seasons of the greatest television series ever in one very nice box. As an added incentive to upgrade, the Chosen Collection includes a bonus disc of all new supplements and a booklet essay by Joss Whedon on his Top Ten (or so) favorite episodes that he didn't write or direct.

9. House of Flying Daggers Acrylic Case Limited Edition (Region 3 Korea)
Perhaps not as elaborate or fancy as the mainland China wooden box set, this simple but stylish acrylic case has a lovely design that suits the movie and just happens to compliment last year's Korean box set for Hero (which was released by another studio!).

10. Gone With The Wind Collector's Edition / The Wizard of Oz Collector's Edition / King Kong Collector's Edition
Warner Home Video really outdid themselves this year when it came to deluxe presentations of their biggest classic titles. I really can't decide which of these classy packages I like the best, so they all tie.

Honorable Mentions

Evil Dead 2 - Book of the Dead 2
The only reason this freaky rubber concoction is relegated to Honorable Mention status is because, frankly, it's basically a repeat of the first Book of the Dead. Nonetheless, it's a great design and deserves another mention.

Saw Uncut Edition
This marginal movie that already had a decent enough DVD edition goes the extra mile with a… well, just plain icky special package featuring a moving saw blade and floating gobules of blood. If you liked the movie, you'll love this sick treat.

Anime ThinPak Collections
One of the best trends to come out of "double-dip" re-releases has been the repackaging of complete anime series in ThinPak collections. Fans who just can't wait are free to gobble up the initial keepcase volumes, but those with a little patience will be rewarded with both monetary and space savings.

Steelbooks
An evolution of the Collector's Tin, the sleek Steelbook design made its first appearance in the US with the anime movie Appleseed. It has also appeared in foreign market releases for such titles as Dune (Region 4 Australia), Flash Gordon (Region 2 UK), and a host of Luc Besson movies (Region 2 France).

- Joshua Zyber

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