Who has been so read by reading our section dedicated to Team and its brief descriptions of each of us, will have been able to see my passion for the Collector's Edition. In this article I will try to share tips, tricks and considerations with you in my years of collecting to help you buy more effectively.
We start from the features that each Collector's Edition owns (or at least should) and should influence the final purchase decision.
1) The rarity, which I decide to put first because in my opinion the most important feature.
2) Beauty: the content and particularities offered are the key motives in choosing a Collector's rather than another.
3) Cost: As you know, collecting issues cost more, if not much more, the normal editions of the same game. Even among Collector's, however, there are the most expensive and the most affordable ones.
4) Personal Interest: Of course you will be more enthusiastic to spend one hundred or more euros for a chapter of your favorite saga than for a game you do not like.
It is on these four points, now, that I will argue my consequent considerations and my (hopeful) advice.
Let's start from the first point: the rarity. Even though the qualitative quality of each Collector's Edition is to be defined, it is too often missing out to become these editions only a money trap for fans who would like to have something unique, but in the end, so unique is not.
How to recognize so a potentially rare product from one that is not? The very high price (over one hundred and thirty euros) is often a guarantee also for the impossibility of many to have it. Exclusive videogames for a single platform usually have a proper collection edition (see inFamous 2, the various Halo). It must be EXPRESSLY called "Collector's Edition": synonyms like Special (Limited can still represent something really limited) are often misleading and do not guarantee an effective uniqueness. In fact, some games have both "Special" and "Collector's" editions. In general, when gadgets are reproductions of game objects and not just statues, we are dealing with a good Collector's. Considered these variables, the only certainty is given by the manufacturers: some ALWAYS produce collection material, others only worthless junk.
I take the opportunity to finally move one criticism due and sacrosanct to a well-defined company: Ubisoft. Their CEs, before the advent of those available online only from the UBISHOP, were (and still are) a mockery, referring specifically to those of Assassin's Creed that I myself bought up to Black Flag, Watch Dogs and also the various Farcry. This "scam" will be the subject of my next article, meanwhile you just have to know that everything is exceptionally rare. Unable months after their release and maybe at half price, they always provoked deep disappointment. Blizzard, however, is a great applause: always fantastic content and low prices compared to the average, they are, in fact, unique, and if you want to have a copy you have to book them in advance. Rarity, moreover, is evident from the price they are marketed, by private individuals, months or years after their release. The higher the rarity the higher will be the price: go to see on eBay how much the CE currently costs Skyrim. Conversely, the others will find you with little price and little ambition.
In addition to the rarity, another fundamental feature is the beauty of the content. Fortunately, one usually implies the other, so if you find something epic in your hands (a Pip-Boy, for example) is probably rare too.
Let's go now to the cost. Starting from the assumption that there is no price to keep up to something really fantastic (CE of The Witcher 3, EC of GTA V, for example) it would be difficult for many to buy one or more CE, especially for collectors ( including me), I'll give you some tricks learned from experience. According to the rarity parameters described above, avoid buying a product that may remain on the market and at a lower price (unless you like it and do not want to risk it). Some things are unpredictable, (Hitman Absolution or God of War 3 found months later at half price) but basically just buy those Collector's items that are unmissable or heartfelt. Another noteworthy method is to try to go from time to time to the outstretched Gamestop of your city: either because you may not have sold what you are booking, or because many do not know that every now and then the warehouses find some lost time who then randomly split between the various stores, becoming real occasions (a Metal Gear Solid CE: 4 at just fifteen euros found a few months ago, unexpected output). As a last chance, e-commerce can also be good: especially eBay often offers unbeatable prices at affordable prices.
Finally, the last point is the most personal and least questionable of all, but for a collector like me (I bought the Gran Turismo 5 CE but not just interested in it for a great price) and for those who are going to earn something by doing buying / selling advice is this: if you come across a sought after title at an affordable price, Buy it. If you do not like it or maybe you have two, you can resell it for a few tens of euros more.
Concluding, if you miss a definite (and unrecognizable) title for your collection, as well as attempting luck at Gamestop once in a while, I recommend independent shops, that we should a priori attend more but that in these cases can also contain a real treasure for collectors.