If you’re anything like me, chances are you are an absolute sucker for replicas, nic-nacs and other pieces of merchandise that look like they’ve fallen straight out of your favourite game worlds. Some of the very rarest and coolest physical goodies can only be found in the plethora of collectors editions that release alongside the base game. Here are a few of my personal favourite collectors editions, along with a few others, all of which contain some of the best pieces of merchandise not sold separately.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood – Limited Codex Edition
Rolling off the wild success of Assassin’s Creed II, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is heralded as possibly one of the best games in the series. For me, it’s also had one of the best collectors editions money can buy. Among less meaningful items like a bunch of cards detailing the “backstories” of the Templar identities players could adopt in the multiplayer modes, and a map of Rome, the Codex Edition contains a beautifully-crafted “replica” of Altaïr’s Codex, a series of writings from the great Assassin himself that players assemble as Ezio in AC II. Bound in a leather-effect cover with an intricate Assassin crest on the front, each page has an exact copy of the in-game equivalent, printed on pages made to look weathered and rugged. It also doubles as an artbook, with stunning pieces of concept art making up an additional segment at the end of the Codex.
To top it all off, this edition is contained within an very beautiful “Assassin Chest” made out of plastic with a fabric interior, which on paper doesn’t sound all too impressive but I can personally say that in the flesh it’s a fantastic display piece due to the way it’s been formed, detailed and finished, and a piece still I have out on display to this day.
Destiny – Ghost Edition
It’s safe to say that this one should pretty-well speak for itself – in fact, it can speak. The primary draw for Destiny‘s Ghost Edition is of course the Ghost replica it contains, charged by USB and featuring motion-activated light & sound effects from the game. Of course now it holds a further special value to hardcore Destiny fans, as the Ghost’s speech is provided by the original Ghost voice actor Peter Dinklage prior to his complete replacement later on.
Also of interest to fans should be the well-presented Guardian Folio, containing an annotated handbook on weapons within the Destiny universe and a collection of postcards, patches, and images straight from the game.
The Division – Sleeper Agent Edition
If you’ve played The Division, it’s likely crossed your mind just how badass it must be to be a hyper-lethal Division agent. Now you can quietly live out those fantasies, or just own an extremely cool piece of geek gear, with the Sleeper Agent Edition. Containing an SHD agent armband and more importantly, The Division‘s signature watch, you can “activate” yourself on a daily basis with a unique timepiece designed to look just like the one that calls your agent to action. Featuring all the functions of a standard digital watch housed in a both visually-accurate and genuinely stylish body, this watch is a truly special piece of merchandise that fans of The Division simply need in their lives.
I should add that this isn’t the first time Ubisoft has included an attractive timepiece in a collectors edition – prior to The Division there has been a pocket watch in the style of Arno’s included with Assassin’s Creed Unity, and my personal favourite, a snazzy wristwatch included with Splinter Cell Blacklist designed to look like it belongs to Mr Fisher himself.
Halo: Reach – Limited Edition
Whaaaaaaat? But Ty, you know there’s a Legendary Edition of Halo: Reach, right?
Yes, I’m well aware that there’s a Legendary Edition of the game which includes a statue of NOBLE Team, which may be all well and good, but I’m not featuring Reach for that.
The true gem included with Halo: Reach across its various edition (in my opinion) is the journal of Dr Catherine Elizabeth Halsey, lovingly created to tell her personal story as she rises from ONI spook to one of the key figures in the Halo Universe. It’s a truly marvellous piece of Halo merch not only telling some of the best known stories from an all-new perspective, but contained within a work of art in its own right. The drawings add a lot of realism to the journal whilst the extra pamphlets, news cuttings and letters give it more of a 3D feel. To top it all off, the journal is presented in an ONI storage unit, within packaging labelled all over with classified warnings and documentation, truly giving the owner the feeling that they have something extremely important in their hands.
Call of Duty – Prestige Editions
Everybody loves awesome high-tech gadgets, right? Right. That’s exactly why I’m featuring some of the Call of Duty Prestige Editions. Whilst they carry a hefty price tag, some of the most high-tech pieces of merchandise to ever appear alongside a videogame release are available in these special editions. MW2‘s fully-functioning night vision goggles kicked things off, soon to be followed by a working replica of Black Ops‘s RC-XD, a remote controlled vehicle that delivered an explosive device to your unlucky enemies in multiplayer.
Of course, this version doesn’t feature a bomb, however it did have a camera attached allowing you to see through the eyes of your new toy, or perhaps a large mouse. Among other gadgets and big-kid toys in later editions, Black Ops II‘s “Care Package” edition featured a quad-rotor drone, a remote-control replica of the Dragonfire drone from the game. What’s not to love? (Be quiet, wallet, I don’t need to hear your complaints.)
Dead Space 2 – Collectors Edition
Now, this one may be a cool concept, and no doubt a great collector’s piece for Dead Space fans, but it comes with a catch. Dead Space 2‘s collector’s edition featured a replica of Isaac Clarke’s signature limb-removal weapon, the Plasma Cutter. This replica did feature some moving parts and working LEDs, however, it was very much a to-scale model. The in-game Plasma Cutter has a handle not dissimilar to that of a standard handgun in terms of size and shape, whereas this Plasma Cutter by comparison has a handle which can be held by around just 2-3 fingers. To some fans, this was a disappointment, however as a collectible, there’s no doubt it would look awesome on any hardcore Necromorph hunter’s mantlepiece or shelf.
Halo 3 – Legendary Edition
No doubt several of you may have the above item in your possession, perhaps even in the same room as you, Halo 3‘s Legendary Edition really needs no introduction. Alongside a plethora of additional content contained on two extra discs, the display “case” for the bundle’s content was in-fact the signature piece. Contained in the Halo 3 Legendary Edition was a scale model of Master Chief’s MJOLNIR Mark-VI helmet, displayed on a Halo-stylised base which contained the game and additional content. The helmet itself was not wearable as standard, due to the size & shape of the slot in the bottom, however that doesn’t stop it from being one of the coolest things a Halo fan can have on display.
Fallout 4 – Pip-Boy Edition
Highly popular from the date pre-orders became available, the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition is a very self-explanatory collector’s edition. Housed in a beautiful collector’s case, a wearable Pip-Boy was included with this bundle that was able to accommodate a variety of smartphones within its casing, and effectively acted as your in-game Pip-Boy thanks to a companion app that replicated the experience. To a die-hard fan of the series, merchandise doesn’t get much more exciting than this, as the Pip-Boy plays such a central role in the games, and can be displayed on the included stand when not in use. (Provided you have a spare smartphone lying around to maintain the look!)
Those were just a few of the coolest pieces of merchandise included in a game’s collector’s edition over the years. In an increasingly digital age, it’s great to see the stunning works of art and imagination that still appear in physical releases, and I personally hope there are many more to come.
Do you own any of these? What other amazing items have we missed?
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