If you’re a movie buff or a physical media collector of any kind, you’ve probably heard of SteelBooks. But what are they, exactly? And why are they so popular among collectors? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about SteelBooks!
What is a SteelBook?
A SteelBook is a special release of a 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD, or video game in a collectible steel case as opposed to the standard plastic. A genuine SteelBook is a premium metal case manufactured by Scanavo™. This premium case places a special focus on the artwork that is displayed on the outside, whether it’s a version of the original artwork associated with the included work or something that has been commissioned specifically for the release. SteelBooks provide a better canvas for displaying fantastic art because it can incorporate the spine and back as one cohesive visual.
SteelBooks have been around since the early 2000s in stores and in people’s collections in one form or another. The SteelBook trend started with CDs before making its way into the world of movies. Nowadays, SteelBooks are highly sought after by collectors and often sell for a premium price. Some collectors will “double dip” – purchase a SteelBook of something that they already own in another form, just because they want the collectible SteelBook case in their library.
Why makes SteelBooks special?
Unlike other media releases, SteelBooks usually hold their value, and they often sell for a premium price in the aftermarket. Some fans have “holy grails” – SteelBook titles that they are looking for that they missed out on when they were first sold. There are many boutique retailers around the world that offer these creative and beautiful SteelBook options.
The unique artwork and premium feel of SteelBooks makes them a favorite for collectors who enjoy displaying their films, television shows, and games. They lend themselves to being curated on a shelf and to being grouped together as a point of pride in any collection. Dedicated fans will often buy all the SteelBooks of films in a particular series because they are meant to be displayed together. The GKIDS / Studio Ghibli collection of Blu-ray SteelBooks come in an array of fun colors that create a cohesive visual no matter how you choose to display them.
Where can I buy a SteelBook?
If you’re interested in collecting SteelBooks, there are a few things you should know to get the best deals and not miss out on your favorite films. First, SteelBooks can be found at most major retailers that sell DVDs and Blu-rays. However, the selection is often limited and SteelBooks tend to sell out quickly. As various in-person retailers cut back on what they stock in store, the selection of SteelBooks has grown even more limited. Many SteelBooks will sell out based on pre-orders alone, meaning that if you really want to add one to your collection, you should keep an eye out for SteelBook releases of your favorite films, shows, and video games, and then pre-order them whenever possible.
Because SteelBooks are usually released in limited quantities, the average consumer may not always know about their existence. That’s why ShoutFactory.com always highlights when we have a collectible release like a SteelBook or other limited edition offering. Sometimes retailers offer SteelBooks as part of bundle deals or special promotions, like our Battle Beyond the Stars package with a stunning SteelBook and a NECA action figure of one of the main characters.
Most of the SteelBooks available at Shout! Factory are both exclusive to ShoutFactory.com and limited edition, with gorgeous newly commissioned art meant to catch the eye and please fans of the film. They are oftentimes bundled with limited-edition posters, lithographs, and other extras to add to the premium release. Once the poster or lithograph sells out, we continue to offer the standalone SteelBook until that sells out as well, so if you’re looking ofr the whole package, it’s always a good idea to order early. You can’t get these SteelBooks or the included items anywhere else, and so once they are out of stock, they sell for high prices on secondary markets like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Shout! Factory Steelbooks contain either Blu-ray or 4K UHD discs for the included film, new bonus features, different cuts of the film, and so many more amazing extras. Some releases celebrate a big milestone, like the Streets of Fire [35th Anniversary Edition SteelBook], Rock ‘N’ Roll High School [40th Anniversary Edition SteelBook], The Transformers: The Movie [35th Anniversary Limited Edition SteelBook], and more.
Whether you’re a diehard collector or just looking for a way to showcase your favorite movie, SteelBooks are definitely worth checking out. With their striking artwork and durable construction, SteelBooks are a great way to show your passion for movies and collectibles. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you get the news of any exclusive SteelBooks before anyone else!