Marvel fans: are you concerned about about recent spate of high profile removals of original content on Disney+, and that those feelings of nothing being safe from being erased from legal accessibility for a tax cut aren’t going away soon? Well, why not buy... an empty WandaVision case that comes with no copy of WandaVision?
The Direct reports this September sees the release of not one, but three special edition releases for WandaVision from third-party collectors media company Manta Labs. It marks the first time an MCU streaming project has received a physical release in such a capacity—even sans the involvement of Disney’s own home release team, as confirmed by the Digital Bits—except it doesn’t, because all three versions are literally just empty cases that do not come with discs or even digital copies of WandaVision at all.
For as low as $37 and as high as almost $90 thanks to Manta Lab, you too could own various states of extravagant boxes for thin air. Each edition comes with a steelbook with a different design inspired by the show, and a slipcase to go over that steelbook, as well as extra accoutrements like postcards inspired by artwork from the show’s retro-styled opening credits, and character cards featuring poster art. Have we mentioned that none of these come with a copy of WandaVision yet? We probably should. None of these come with a copy of WandaVision!
Fancily packaged collectors’ editions of media are nothing new, and they will continue to persist for the forseeable future. But there is something truly, outstandingly absurd in the making here. People would gladly pay for a physical copy of WandaVision, or Andor, or a good chunk of Disney+’s streaming exclusives either directly from Disney itself or from third party licensors—especially in the wake of an ongoing string of cuts to the platform’s originals library as the House of Mouse decides legally accessing the content you subscribed to its services for is less valuable that a tax cut for removing that access. At a time where physical media is becoming more valuable than ever and the streaming era enters this phase of archival consolidation, buying an empty box is just a bizarre choice.
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