UPDATE: Check out Andy Greenwood’s contribution to the comments section on the original post. Apparently the Laurel and Hardy collection exists in two forms, and Amazon withdrew the set from sale for a while due to a customer complaint about the goods as described.
As far as I can see it’s a packaging issue and not a disc quality issue; the first boxed set had better cases and booklet inserts, while the second set (which this is) has the same material with bare-bones packaging and no booklets.
If that’s a problem for you, apologies if I’ve steered you wrong. Personally I still think it’s a great buy.
Amazon has now revised the sales info and the set’s available again, still bouncing around under the £30 mark. For my part, I feel that packaging rarely adds value to a DVD; I’d say never, but there will always be the glaring exception of my beloved King Kong in a tin. Which I note can currently be picked up in the US from Amazon sellers for around five dollars plus shipping.
Which low price suggests that the added value is personal to me, and hardly a market enhancement. The difference between, say, a vinyl LP in a well-designed sleeve, and a CD in an all-purpose jewel case with a disposable insert, mirrors a change in our perceptions. In making the packaging more generic and more convenient to themselves, distributors have hastened our changing attitude along. LPs were kinda lovely. But now when I buy movies or music, I don’t particularly want them taking up space in my house.