Images courtesy of Future Shop.
The Canadian retailer has issued its own metal variant of this Warner Brothers title as an alternative to the standard plastic-packaged edition. The artwork is similar to that on the regular release but the steel substrate gives it a superior sheen.
The front cover features the same image of Smaug that is within the decorative border on the standard edition’s slipcase but it has been expanded to fit the entire length and width of the box. Because the art is printed directly on the surface, though, there is no 3D effect.
The back cover, by contrast, is different from its plastic equivalent. It bears only an image of Bilbo wielding the magical sword, Sting, along with the film’s credits and a few logos across the bottom. The image has the same brown tinting as the picture on the front cover.
Another unique feature of this SteelBook is its width: it is about twice the thickness of the standard release. This affords the opportunity for a stylish spine that has the title printed vertically in matte gold on one line along with the standard logos for Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Disc, MGM and Warner Brothers. These are nicely set off by a black background surrounded by a shiny chrome border.
Future Shop has priced its Exclusive SteelBook version of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug "Extended Edition" on Blu-ray 3D at CA$6 more than it sells Warner Brothers’ standard plastic-cased edition. Nonetheless, collectors (or relatives thereof) should consider paying the extra given the product’s higher quality and appealing design.
As with the standard edition, the SteelBook includes five disks. These appear to have the same content as those in the regular version but we had not received the disks at press time and therefore were unable to confirm if they include the 2D Blu-ray and an UltraViolet digital copy.