The Walking Dead Season 3 Blu-ray Limited Edition review
**This hub may contain spoilers**
The hit television show The Walking Dead has done wonders for television. The October 31, 2010 series premiere opened up to 5.4 million viewers, indicating that the show was something special from the beginning. Since its debut, the television show has continued to astound both critics and viewers, setting records with ratings as high as 12.4 million for the Season 3 finale.The widely popular show is based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, which also has managed to retain its readership and gain new fans since the release of the television show.
For those that are unfamiliar with the premise, the comic book series and show follow the adventures of Officer Rick Grimes. "Officer Friendly" (as he is known on the show) is shot on the job, and goes into a short-lived coma. When he wakes up, the hospital has turned post-apocalyptic. As he finds his way out of the hospital, he passes double doors that are chained together. Someone has spray painted, "Don't open, dead inside" on the outside of the door, and something is trying to get out - definitely a creepy way to wake up from a coma! Rick moves through the zombie-ridden world, locates his family and old partner, and meets many interesting characters along the way. The title, The Walking Dead, is not a reference to the zombies, but to the survivors. With rich storytelling and a cast of characters that viewers care about on a deep level, the show has been incredibly successful.
The television show, in some instances, follows along with the comic book series, but for the most part the television show has changed enough with varying storylines and added characters, that it is just as exciting for avid fans of the comic books as it is for newcomers to the storyline. In fact, the most popular character of the television show, Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus), is a character that was created just for the television series. Think of the television show as Robert Kirkman's parallel universe for the comic books.
The popularity of the show has fans seeing zombies everywhere. Merchandising for The Walking Dead has had phenomenal success, quite possibly better than any other television show or movie ever. What started out as a series of action figures has morphed into everything from lunchboxes to trading cards to drinking cups. The appeal of the merchandise is such that once items sell out, the prices skyrocket. For example, the Daryl Dixon figure from the Series 1 television show action figure line can fetch as much as $225 on eBay and Rick Grimes is going for upwards of $50-$75...not too shabby considering the figures originally sold for $17.95 each when they were released.
Given the incredible success of the television show, comic books, and merchandise, it is no wonder that The Walking Dead has opted to be a forerunner in creating interactive and fantastic Blu-ray collector's editions. It started with Season 2, where one of the zombies from the season came to life in a bust. When one lifts the chin of the zombie, it opens up to reveal the set of 4 Blu-ray discs.
The bust was brilliantly created based on the zombie Andrea kills with a screwdriver in Dale's RV. It has such incredible detail, down to blood in between the teeth and beautifully designed decay around the head and face. The bust itself is also interactive, with the screwdriver that killed it as a removable part...you know, for those who wish to recreate the dramatic scene in the RV. The overall limited edition creation was such a fantastic hit that it sold out very quickly at around $65 per edition. The same edition now sells for upwards of $200 per set on eBay, although on occasion one can get lucky and find it for slightly cheaper. The zombie head alone (sans Blu-ray discs) sells between $75 and $125 on eBay. Due to the popularity of The Walking Dead, there is only room for the value to go up in the years to come.
With such an amazing outcome for the second season limited edition Blu-ray, the makers of The Walking Dead knew they somehow had to outdo themselves for the third season limited edition. Created by McFarlane Toys and designed by Emmy Award Winning Executive Producer and SFX Make-up Supervisor/Designer Greg Nicotero, they managed to do just that.
The vessel for the 5-disc Blu-ray set is based off one of the most famous scenes in the television show. In the show, "The Governor" Philip Blake has a secret room in his house. In the secret room, there is a closet in which his zombie daughter Penny is held captive. The room itself contains a wall of fish tanks which holds the still moving heads of zombies; they are the heads of those persons (not zombies) that he has killed during the zombie apocalypse. The Governor sits in a chair across from the fish tanks, drinks and stares at the heads, presumably for his own entertainment. When Michonne later crashes into the fish tanks in a battle with The Governor, the glass from one of the broken tanks is what she uses to stab him in the eye. The result of that battle is the infamous eye patch The Governor wears.
The third season limited edition Blu-ray set comes with the Collector's Zombie Head Tank. There are five zombie heads (along with some loose flesh) that go into one of the two tanks. The zombie heads are so incredibly detailed that one can easily admire them for hours, much as The Governor admired the zombie heads in his own fish tanks. Both tanks in the set can be filled with water, covered, and slid back into place. Blue lights shine up from underneath each tank to light them up (the required 4 AAA batteries are not included with set). Behind the tank is an opening that fits the case of 5 Blu-ray discs. The overall effect is extremely cool and quite the centerpiece (not to mention, conversation piece) for any collection of The Walking Dead merchandise.
This is a piece that for any The Walking Dead fan is a must-have. If you are like me, and plan on using your collection one day to retire, this is one you will want to buy two of: one to keep for many years, and one that you intend to sell in the future. The initial price of $99.99 for the set will soon disappear as the limited edition sells out and the price skyrockets. Based on the inflation of the second season limited edition set plus the added cool factor of the light up fish tanks and extremely detailed zombie heads, the set should see increases of 3x or more in the next year (that's just a prediction based on previous price movement of The Walking Dead collectibles, and definitely is not a guarantee that any collectible will ever go up in value).
For those of you collectors who are not necessarily a fan of The Walking Dead, this is still a piece you would want to invest in for future sales and profit. With such an amazing reception and months of anticipation before the release date, you will want to take advantage of this deal very soon and purchase a set or two before this limited edition sells out. This amazing limited edition Blu-ray set is one you will not want to miss out on.