Holiday Blu-ray guide

Home Video for the Holidays

Our 2018 Blu-ray gift guide features pirates, space aliens, superheroes and more

Gift-giving season is upon us, and we here at Playboy once again scoured the internet to help find you some of the best collectible and limited edition Blu-ray sets available this year. Whether that special someone loves zombies, pirates, space aliens, cartoons, comic books, sharks, bowling or old black-and-white classics, there's something for everyone in this year's Blu-ray gift guide.

In September 1992, the award-winning Batman: The Animated Series premiered and changed after-school cartoons forever. It was dark, moody and had a film noir feel that appealed not only to kids, but to teen and adult fans as well. Next to Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Asylum video game franchise, it’s arguably one of the best iterations of the Batman universe, ever. Voice actor extraordinaire Kevin Conroy would become the definitive voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, as would Mark Hamill’s take on the Joker. Both would go on to voice the characters in countless episodes, spinoffs, animated movies and video games for years to come. The series also introduced us to Harley Quinn, who was created for the show, and she’d go on to become one of DC Comics' most popular female villains. Now you can own all 109 episodes in this swanky deluxe collector’s edition that comes with mini Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn Funko Pop figures, seven beautiful lenticular collector cards featuring original animated work and bonus discs containing the films Mask of the Phantasm and Batman & Mr. Freeze: Subzero. This is definitely a set to go batshit over.

Get swept up and teleported back to the high seas of the 18th century Caribbean as you relive the adventures of feared pirate Captain Flint (Toby Stephens) in all four seasons of Michael Bay’s swashbuckling series Black Sails. This new complete collection contains 12 discs, 38 episodes and over two hours of special features. If that’s not enough pirate plunder for you, or you want to give someone that extra special gift, Walmart’s exclusive version comes with alternate packaging, a pirate flag and a map of the West Indies. But don’t look for it online. The Walmart exclusive is an in-store purchase only, so set sail to your nearest store now.

After the success of 1984’s holiday horror-fest known as Gremlins ignited a mini-monster movie craze, New Line Cinema, the home of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, followed two years later with their pint-sized creature feature called Critters. The titular baddies, also known as “Crites,” are basically hungry, man-eating, space porcupines that devour anything in their path. The original starred 1980s movie mom Dee Wallace (E.T., Cujo) and a young Scott Grimes, who would go on to voice Steve in Seth MacFarlane’s American Dad. But it was Oscar winner Leonardo DiCaprio who got his film career rolling when he battled those pesky little monsters in Critters 3 (1991), his very first feature film. Thanks to Shout Factory, all four movies are making their Blu-ray debut. If you buy from Shout directly, you’ll get two, exclusive 28.5" X 16.5" lithograph art prints. Act fast, the prints are only available for a limited time.

It’s been about eight years since The Goonies’ big 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray hit shelves. But this year, some new standard editions with exclusive packaging have popped up, most notably this slick steel book edition available exclusively at FYE.com. It features the Key to One-Eyed Willy cover art and art of the treasure map inside. While this might be the least extravagant Blu-ray set on our list this year as far as bells and whistles go, the real treasure is the movie. The Goonies is often heralded as the best kids' movie of the 1980s and quite possibly one of the best family/adventure movies of all time, so it always makes the perfect gift. Without The Goonies, there probably would've never been a Stranger Things

 



Starz hurled a massive punch to the guts of all Evil Dead fans when they announced that they were pulling the plug on Ash vs Evil Dead earlier this year. But now you can own all 30 episodes of the painfully short-lived horror series in this all-new six-disc Blu-ray collection. That cliffhanger ending to season three will leave you salivating for more, though. It’s a shame we will never get a fourth season. Go for the standard edition, available now, or head over to Best Buy, where you can get their exclusive version that contains an adorable bobblehead figurine of the iconic Ash character played by B-movie legend Bruce Campbell.

 
Say what you will about how the Wachowskis' Matrix Trilogy ended and how “the first one is the best,” but there’s no denying that it was a stylish, innovative and thought-provoking sci-fi/action saga that featured cinematography and camera work that would influence action films for years to come. All three films are packed together in this glorious 4K set, making their UltraHD debut. This is the first remastering of the films in nearly 15 years, supervised by cinematographer Bill Pope (The Matrix Trilogy, Baby Driver, The Jungle Book), so they’re sure to looking more dazzling than ever. Red pill or the blue pill? We say, take the UltraHD Blu-pill.

 
Based on the best-selling novels, The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure are all here in this three-movie trilogy set that comes with a collectible 24-page origins comic book and a limited edition bandana, great for those long, sweaty maze runs. All three films are loaded with bonus features including deleted and extended scenes, making-of featurettes, commentaries and more.

 
For the action-movie lover out there, there’s no better Blu-ray gift this season than the Mission: Impossible 6-Film Collection, and it’s even available in 4K Ultra HD. The Tom Cruise-led franchise has gotten progressively better with each installment since the 1996 original. Five of the six films are all certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes (sorry, Mission: Impossible 2) and the most recent, this year’s high-octane blockbuster Mission: Impossible Fallout, is one of the best to date. Don’t own any of them yet but want them all? Great! Just pick up this set, and nab them all at once, and you'll also get an exclusive IMF dossier.

 
Last year, we lost the great George A. Romero, the director who single-handedly created the zombie genre with his debut 1968 film, Night of the Living Dead. And now, the mother of all zombie movies turns 50 years old, and it’s celebrating with a massive anniversary edition that features an all-new 4K restoration of the movie that was supervised by Romero himself before his passing. It doesn’t stop there. You also get an exclusive movie poster, special-edition lobby cards, a commemorative movie ticket and a beautiful, limited-edition graphic novel. George would be proud of this set. This loaded collector’s edition can only be purchased online at FYE.com.

 
Night of the Living Dead isn't the only movie franchise turning 50 this year. Any fan of the iconic Planet of the Apes franchise will go ape over this gargantuan 50th anniversary box set. Every movie—from the 1968 original starring Charlton Heston, to Tim Burton’s 2001 remake, to the recent War for the Planet of the Apes—are all present and accounted for, along with some nice and colorful, collectible poster cards. Even better is that the most recent trilogy (Rise, Dawn and War) are all featured in 4K Ultra HD.

 
Who needs Shark Week when you can have not just sharks, but CGI tornadoes full of them, all year round with this all-new Sharknado Collection. Yup, all six films of a crazy, “it’s so bad, it’s good” franchise are here: Sharknado, the one that started it all (which, believe it or not, has an 82 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), Sharknado 2: The Second One, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming and, finally, The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. Gotta love those subtitles.

 
The Coen Brothers’ 1998 star-studded, critically acclaimed comedy, The Big Lebowskicelebrates its 20th anniversary this year and went all out with this limited edition that contains a collectible polishing cloth and bowling ball bag—and no, not large enough to contain a real bowling ball, but big enough to house the cute, little red bowling ball pencil holder which also comes with the set. You also get a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray that comes with a special sweater sleeve, designed much like the one worn by Jeff Bridges’ “The Dude” character. Sadly, no White Russian with cream included.

 
In 1987, it crashed-landed on Earth and duked it out with Arnold Schwarzenegger in John McTiernan’s macho-fueled, sci-fi/action classic Predator. The titular space hunter, also known as “One Ugly Motherfucker,” has gone on to star in six movies since then, most recently Shane Black’s 2018 summer outing, The Predator. Now, all four films come in this awesome new 4K set, complete with four collector cards featuring art from the original movie posters. I know we initially said that the Predator has starred in six movies, but these are the four films from the primary canon, and untainted by the two lame Alien vs Predator movies, which fortunately, don’t contaminate this set.

 
If you're ready to splurge and know someone who loves classic horror cinema, then look no further because Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection is here, and it’s a monstrous set. All of the classic icons of horror that shaped and defined the genre are here: Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolf Man and more. And not just a few of their movies, all of their movies and sequels. Legends such as Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi also appear in their own bonus featurettes. Hours and hours of other bonus features including documentaries, archival footage and expert feature commentaries. Inside the classy, beautiful silvery slipcase that houses all of the discs, you also get a 48-page collectible book that takes a look at these timeless movies.

 

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