As we’ve reported before, Madman Entertainment in Australia was able to secure the contract to produce the Region 4 MLP:FiM DVDs and have created a fine product compared to other companies. Understanding that there is a very large community with money behind it, and hearing people who wanted a collectors box set for season one have prompt them to do just that, and create a Season 1 Box Set. Unfortunately because its for Region 4 this means that people outside of that zone are unable to view the DVDs, unless you have a Region 4 or Region Free DVD player. There is a way to view it on a Windows OS computer but there is of course a major catch. An explanation on that plus the review after the break.
Side Note: Unfortunately as its been pointed out by SharkMachine in the comments it seems the Collectors Box has sold out, and if my memory (which isn’t too good) recalls it was a limited run, thus you can no longer get the collectors box. Guess I waited too long to write this review, but of course the collectors box may appear on eBay or Amazon. Ah the lazy days of summer.
It is possible to watch Region 4 DVDs on your computer, at least Windows OS. If I remember correctly when you place the DVD into the drive, you will be prompted to change your regional settings. But there is a major catch with doing this. Due to law you can only switch the regional setting of your DVD drive FOUR times. This is said in the prompt. Whatever you set your region to on the fourth time is what you will be stuck on, forever. This is not a setting within your operating system meaning that if you format your hard drive and reinstall windows, it will NOT fix it. This setting is within your DVD drive itself, so basically if you get stuck on the wrong region on the fourth switch, you are more or less screwed and will either have to buy a new DVD drive (20 bucks on NewEgg) or start purchasing Region 4 DVDs. By reading this you have been warned, so no throwing bricks through my window.
And now for the review. About a month ago the company was nice enough to give us a promotional offer of giving away three copies of the box set, and also included the offer of sending us a copy of the box set so we could have a hands on look at the product. So after a short wait a carrier pigeon from down under finally arrived with our copy and I went through the product. First I’d like to correct myself as I’ve been saying the box set would only hold the first three volumes of their Season 1 DVDs, and as someone pointed out the box set will hold all the Season 1 DVDs. For you guys that groaned over the term “Brony Box Set” when they first announced it, I will say that it isn’t called that, its just simply a Collectors Set.
It is possible to purchase Volume 1 without the box set, but I would imagine most are going to go for the full product. You not only get Volume 1 and the box, but you also get some pony swag stuffed inside. In short you get one of the general pony toys, the brushable ones with a pet. I do believe what pony you get is at random, but mine happen to be Twinkleshine (a recolored Rarity) who just also happens to have a kuala pet. You also get six postcard size cards, one for each of the Mane 6 that contains some detail on the pony.
To say that PINKIE PIE marches to the beat of her own drum is certainly an understatement! Giggly, playful and brimming over with energy, it’s not unusual to find this pink pony prancing and skipping joyfully through the streets looking for fun, doing cartwheels, singing a song in a silly voice and making up her own ridiculous lyrics. By far the silliest pony around, nothing makes her happier than evoking a giggle and a smile from her friends. She is the freest of free spirits, always acting on her whims, following her heart, talking your ear off and getting a laugh or two along the way.
Popping the DVD it goes straight to the point, no hidden ads or anything on the load up, just the Madman logo and the ever familiar Hasbro logo, then straight to the menu. The menu of course displays the five episodes on the DVDs, plus a setup and trailer menu. The setup menu is nothing more than just audio settings, you get to pick between Dolby Surround 5.0 or Dolby Stereo 2.0. The trailer section of course pimps other Madman Entertainment products.
I found nothing wrong with the DVD, the video and audio was excellent. I will note though that someone told me they had purchased the third volume in the series and that the audio track is somewhat screwed up, but I would assume the company has probably noticed this, or will at least correct the problem for you by replacing it much like Shout Factory had to do with their DVD.
I really hate to put down Shout Factory but as we’ve discussed on the site their hands are more or less tied by the retailers who are going to be purchasing the product, and unfortunately the retailers are too stupid to realize they could be making their companies more money with a good product, rather than something thrown together for the dollar bin near the registers. Some had hoped Shout Factory would at least put some effort into the product, but most found it to be sub-par at best. But there is always hope for the future, especially if this box set sells since Shout Factory could use the sale numbers on this product to show retailers that the community means business.
All in all the product produced by Madman Entertainment should be pleasing to the avid DVD or Ponyfan collector who is looking for something to add to their collection. We don’t really have a rating system but I’d be fine with giving this product 4 out of 5 muffins. Fans would enjoy some extra features such as possible commentary from the cast and crew but keep in mind we are talking about My Little Pony which has the stigma of being an inferior product compared to say, Transformers which has Blu-Ray DVDs with tons of extras on them. But again there is always hope for the future.
- MLP:FiM Volume 1: Friendship Changes Everything
- MLP:FiM Volume 2: That’s What Friends Are For
- MLP:FiM Volume 3: Four Seasons of Friendship
- MLP:FiM Volume 4: Fun, Games & Friendship*