Catching the marathons on TV isn’t enough is it? You want every episode at your disposal. You want special features, behind the scenes featurettes and special collectible packaging. No worries! You’ll get all that and more with the Season 4 box set.
Yesterday (8/26/2014) was the release date for The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season. That’s right fellow Walking Dead fans. You can now own the entire fourth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead. You definitely want to buy a Season 4 Walking Dead box set on DVD or blu-ray. That decision is simple. The hard part is choosing which version of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season you’ll buy. The growing number of options for Walking Dead box season box sets will make your head swim. We’re here to help.
We’ve taken the time to assemble a complete guide for The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season. We’ll attempt to sort out all the madness because Walking Dead fans have never had so many options when it comes to buying a box set.
Please note this page currently only lists U.S. based box sets. Our friends abroad often get some very cool box sets of their own which are worth checking out, especially if you’re a serious collector. For now let’s wade through the horde of choices you have when buying Season 4 of The Walking Dead on Blu-Ray or DVD.
Here’s the good, or bad, news depending on your point of view. All of The Walking Dead Season 4 Sets (whether Blu-ray or DVD) include the same on disc bonus material. There are differences in packaging and extra bonuses thrown in with some store exclusives, but from what we can tell the video content is actually identical from set to set at this point. This eliminates the need to shop based on whether or not you’ll receive better or different bonus footage between sets. We don’t mind things like Best Buy exclusive bonus featurettes but we won’t complain here because the decision on which set or sets to purchase is tough enough already with season four.
Let’s take a look at what extra bonus content you’ll be receiving with any purchase of Season 4 of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead Season 4 Bonus Video Features:
As we mentioned above, each and every Walking Dead Blu-Ray and DVD box set appears to have identical bonus video feature content:
- Inside The Walking Dead
- Drawing Inspiration
- The Making of The Walking Dead
- The Governor is Back
- Inside KNB EFX
- Society, Science and Survival
- A Journey Back to Brutality
Each set also features audio commentaries on 5 Episodes: 1, 5, 9, 12. and 14.
Episode 1 (“30 Days Without An Accident”): This episode has an available audio commentary with Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager Tom Luse and Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor /Director Greg Nicotero
Episode 5 (“Internment”): This episode has available Audio Commentary with Executive Producer and Showrunner Scott M. Gimple and Actor Scott Wilson (Hershel)
Episode 12 (“Still”): Fans can listen to the Audio Commentary on this episode which comes from Director Julius Ramsay and Actor Emily Kinney (Beth). There’s also Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer Angela Kang and actor Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon)
Episode 14 (“The Grove”): Audio Commentary with Director Michael E. Satrazemis and Actors Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese) and Melissa McBride (Carol)
Deleted Scenes and Extended Episodes: In addition to the audio commentary and features listed above, each box set of The Walking Dead: The Complete 4th Season features extended episodes (9, 14 and 16) as well as deleted scenes.
Now that we know what bonus footage you’ll be receiving regardless of choice, let’s take a look at the different options that are available and why this is still a tough choice if you’re into collectible bonuses and limited edition packaging. We’ll start by taking a look at the different Blu-Ray versions of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season.
The Walking Dead Season 4 on Blu-Ray:
It’s important to point out all the good stuff typically goes to the Blu-ray sets. It’s just another reason to finally break down and buy a Blu-ray player if you don’t own one yet. The price on Blu-ray players has dropped so drastically in the past several years there really isn’t much of a reason to hold off if you haven’t made the jump to Blu-ray yet. The good news is pretty much all Blu-ray players will play DVDs in addition to Blu-ray discs. Enough advice, let’s get back on track and check out what sets are available for Blu-ray buyers.
1. The Basic Set:The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season on Blu-Ray:
If you don’t care about fancy collectible packaging this is the Season 4 Walking Dead Blu-ray box set for you. This 5 disc set features all season 4 episodes in beautiful 1080p resolution and comes in a standard no frills no thrills standard blu-ray case. You still receive all the bonus footage features and pretty much all the Blu-ray sets include a VUDU/Ultra Violet code to claim your digital HD copy so you can stream season 4 of The Walking Dead anywhere and anytime you choose!
There are a few store exclusive options available for Walking Dead fans for Season 4. These “store exclusives” include special limited edition packaging and other perks that you won’t find in the basic set. As the word “exclusive” in their title implies, these sets are only available at specific retailers and/or their website. Let’s run down the list of Walking Dead Season 4 Blu-ray box set store exclusives, which includes offerings from Target, Best Buy and Walmart.
Target stores are offering a highly collectible Steelbook edition of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season. This Blu-ray box set comes with 5 discs packaged in a very cool Steelbook tin metal case with artwork on the front and back cover. The cover features Rick and Carl walking along railroad tracks. The back cover features Rick Grimes standing in front of an opening in The Prison’s fence.This set also includes Ultraviolet codes so you can watch your favorite Season 4 episodes pretty much anywhere thanks to Ultraviolet Digital HD. These collectible case versions are available only at Target stores and via Target.com. They’re often marked down on sale on release day so act quickly to ensure you snag a great deal on these Walking Dead collectibles.
The Target Exclusive Walking Dead Season 4 Blu-Ray set includes many bonus features in addition to digital HD. Bonuses include featurettes, deleted scenes, episode commentaries and extended episodes.
The Featurettes for The Walking Dead Season 4 Target Exclusive Steelbook are the same as all the other blu-ray and DVD sets.
Best Buy is offering another exclusive version of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season. The Best Buy Exclusive comes with 5 Blu-Ray discs and also a code copies of the episodes in Digital HD via Ultraviolet. The entire set is packaged in a cool Lenticular effect slip cover that gives the package a very cool Three Dimensional look. The Best Buy version features RickGrimes standing in front of the prison fence with walkers desperately trying to get to him. The entire image on the slip cover has a 3D look.
The bonus features and featurettes are identical to those found in any other Season 4 box set.
Walmart steps into the exclusive arena for this release with their quirky “Prison Key” edition of The Walking Dead Season 4 Blu-ray box set. This 5 disc set features the same bonus content seen with the other releases. The set also includes Ultraviolet Digital HD content codes and two other exclusive perks not found anywhere else. The Walmart Exclusive version includes an exclusive collectible: a limited edition West Georgia Correctional Facility Prison Key. The set also includes an exclusive bonus CD: The Walking Dead Songs of Survival Vol. 2
5. The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season Walmart Exclusive Comic Con Pre-order With Sheriff Badge
If you’re just now finding out about this one I regret to inform you, you’re too late. Walmart gave 2014 San Diego Comic Con attendees an additional incentive to preorder the Walmart exclusive Season 4 box set. Fans could pre-order the set at the Anchor Bay Entertainment Booth (booth #4037) to secure an added bonus. This version is basically just the Walmart Exclusive “Prison Key” blu-ray set with an extra bonus thrown in: A Rick Grimes King County Sheriff badge! Unfortunately, unless you pre-ordered at Comic Con, you’ll have to snag this one from an ebay seller or other third party.
As if a regular edition and three store exclusive versions to choose from weren’t enough there is one more option available on Blu-ray: the always popular Walking Dead”Limited Edition” Blu-ray set.
This is probably the be all end all of the different versions of The Walking Dead season 4 Blu-Ray box sets. The highlight here is definitely the limited edition collector’s case. This 5 disc set comes in a very cool “Tree Walker” display case. Pull down on the tree walker’s arm and it ejects the case to reveal access to the Blu-ray discs. Unfortunately the case is where the uniqueness ends. The content on the 5 discs is identical to the other offerings. You won’t find any unique content or exclusive bonus content with this version. You’ll still get the 5 discs and Ultraviolet HD Digital Content codes with all the same bonus features found in the other blu-ray box sets. The portion of the case where the discs are stored features the Walking Dead box art by Alex Ross.
If you only own a DVD player then you might not care about all the fancy Blu-ray offerings. Your choices are limited with the DVD version. As an obsessive Walking Dead collector myself, I almost envy the easier buying decision for DVD customers. Actually who am I kidding, I’ll probably end up buying the Walking Dead Season 4 on DVD too.
The Walking Dead Season 4 on DVD:
This is your basic DVD 5 disc set. It includes all the bonus footage and video features the other sets include. You should also receive a VUDU code for a digital copy.
At this time we’re only aware of one limited edition or exclusive copy of The Walking Dead on DVD here in the U.S.
There typically aren’t many options when it comes to buying the DVD version of The Walking Dead. Most of the limited and exclusive packaging love gets thrown at the Blu-ray versions. Fortunately for Walking Dead fans, Walmart is offering a Walmart Exclusive “Prison Key” version of the DVD box set.
The 5 DVD set comes with the same old video content found in all the other offerings. The difference here is this set comes with two unique bonuses: a limited edition West Georgia Correctional Facility Prison key and a bonus music CD, The Walking Dead Songs of Survival Volume 2.
Conclusion and Buying Recommendations:
So there you have it: a complete rundown of the Walking Dead Season 4 DVD and Blu-ray sets. If you can’t have them all it can be a little frustrating choosing which one you’ll buy. We’ll end our post with some advice on how to choose which version is right for you and your budget.
If money isn’t an issue then we say get them all. Without a doubt, that option won’t be available to many collectors. So let’s take a look at a more realistic scenario of a Walking Dead collector with a budget around $100. If all you have is around a $100 we say jump on the Limited Edition Blu-ray edition. The manufacturer suggested retail price on this set is around $129.99 but if you’re smart you won’t pay anywhere near that. RIght now you’ll find this set priced around $80.00 which makes it a little easier to swallow. Why do we recommend this version if you can afford it? The collector’s case of course! The case is pretty awesome and it will just look cooler on your shelf than any of the other season 4 sets.
If you can’t quite afford the Limited Edition set and you want a Blu-ray version, we recommend snagging one of the store exclusive versions. There are three reasons for this. Reason one is because these versions offer limited edition packaging and bonuses you won’t find in the other versions.
Another major reason for this recommendation is cost. The store exclusives are typically sale priced the week of the release date and shortly thereafter. You’ll typically see pricing of $29.99 which is a pretty great deal for a Blu-ray box set. Last year we even spotted the Walking Dead Target exclusive on sale for just $19.99 one week! We don’t recommend waiting for pricing cheaper than $29.99 because the store exclusives do tend to sell out quickly. Be sure to check store price policies. Often if you make a purchase and the item goes on sale for less than you paid within a specified period of time you can bring in your receipt and receive a price adjustment for the difference.
Throw in the fact that you’re receiving bonuses like limited edition collectibles or packaging at the same price or even a lower price than the standard blu-ray set and choosing a store exclusive is a no brainer!
The final reason we recommend a store exclusive set really speaks mainly to collectors. These store exclusives sell out quickly. They’re often gone from store shelves on day one or two and they disappear from the store websites just as fast. If you’re really into collecting the different versions of The Walking Dead Blu-ray box sets we recommending grabbing the store exclusives first. They’re often more more difficult to obtain than the Limited Edition Blu-ray set. In our experience once a store sells out on their store exclusive sets they typically don’t get more in. You’ll then be forced to buy from a third party seller on sites like ebay.
Grab the store exclusives first and you can always pick up the regular edition and even the Limited Edition Blu-ray set at a later date. Many collectors panic over availability of the Limited Edition set. This probably comes from the name and also from the wild “after the fact” popularity of The Season 2 Limited Edition Blu-ray set.
The “RV Walker” zombie head case featured a zombie head with a screwdriver in the eye and many Walking Dead fans missed out on that set. Those cases truly were limited availability and they continue to command hundreds of dollars on ebay years later. Rest assured Anchor Bay learned their lesson and are now churning out plenty of the limited edition Blu-ray sets. In fact you can still pick up the Season 3 Limited Edition Blu-ray set on many retailer’s websites. It’s a year later and they’re still widely available with sale pricing. That tells me they aren’t all that “limited” any more when it comes to availability. Is the season 4 Limited Edition Blu-ray over produced to the same degree? We can’t say for sure but if the Season 3 set is any example, sleep well. If you’re brave enough to wait longer you may even catch it marked down and save some hard earned cash. Do not jump on ebay and over pay for this set right away!
So you decided you’ll buy a store exclusive. . . but which one? Personally I’d just snag all three. You can buy all three store exclusive Walking Dead Season 4 Blu-ray sets for not much more than the price of the Limited Edition set. That being said, buying all three might not be an option so let’s narrow down our recommendations even more.
Can’t buy all three store exclusives? Can you afford two? Based on current pricing I’d leave out the Walmart exclusive. At the time of this post (The day after the Season 4 release date) the Target and Best Buy Walking Dead Season 4 Store Exclusives are on sale and priced at just $29.99. The Walmart version is priced at $46.00. I’m not convinced a prison key and a bonus CD are worth the extra $16.00. That’s just my opinion. If those extras are worth it in your eyes I’d grab the Walmart version before it’s gone.
If you really twist our arm and make us recommend only one store exclusive Blu-ray version of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season we’d have to choose the Target Exclusive Steelbook. Right now our favorite is the Target exclusive Steelbook. Our decision is based mainly on pricing, availability and because we like Steelbook cases. The Best Buy and Target exclusive are priced the same at the tipme of this post. Since the price and video content are equal with these two box sets, we’d recommend the Target version over the Best Buy version due to the case. The Best Buy version includes lenticular artwork on the slipcover only. The outer cardboard slip cover is where the limited edition artwork is and that is a little disappointing. The inner Blu-ray case is the same case as the standard Blu-ray case. Even though we like the lenticular art, we’re disappointed it is on the slip cover only. We’re not too sure how long the outercarboard will last. The Target version features some pretty boring Season 4 poster artwork on a cool and durable steelbook case.
If a hinged steel case just doesn’t impress you then we say flip a coin. We still lean a little more to the Target version because their Steelbook versions tend to permanently sell out much more quickly.
If you feel the limited edition prison key collectible and soundtrack bonus disc are worth the extra $16.00 then we’d recommend the Walmart version. If those collectibles are worth the extra money to you we’d suggest snagging that set before they’re sold out.
Want even more advice? If all you want are the collectible prison key and soundtrack from the Walmart exclusive edition you can snag the key and soundtack for less by buying the DVD version of the Walmart Exclusive. The DVD version includes the same prison key and soundtrack as found in the Blu-ray Walmart exclusive at a $9 savings. The DVD version of The Walmart Exclusive Walking Dead Season 4 set is currently priced at $37.00. Paying $37.00 to obtain a key and cd doesn’t make much sense on paper, but it makes a little more sense than spending $46.00. Then again when you’re a Walking Dead collector a lot of things you do don’t make much sense! You might even wait and see if someone posts the key and soundtrack separately on ebay and save some more cash.
What about the DVD version? This recommendation is a little easier. Get both if you’re a serious collector that has to have it all. If you’re a collector with a budget trying to choose which DVD version to buy then we suggest grabbing the Prison Key Walmart exclusive version. If you’ve got around $37.00 to spare you might as well get yourself a unique version instead of the regular DVD box set. The regular DVD version is priced at around $25 at many retailers. As I’ve already stated, the Walmart Exclusive edition with the prison key and CD is priced at $37.00. That’s a difference of $12.00 but $37.00 still isn’t that bad for a DVD box set with exclusive bonuses and collectibles.
If you aren’t a serious collector or aren’t impressed with a prison key and cd then obviously you should save yourself some cash and grab the affordable basic DVD set.
- Buy them ALL if you’re a serious OCD collector with no financial worries.
- If money IS a concern and you want the coolest option for around $80 then we recommend the Limited Edition Tree Walker Case Set.
- Serious Collector with a $100 Budget and Concerned About Availability? Buy the store exclusive versions first. They’ll sell out long before the “Limited Edition” Tree Walker Case . We’d recommend buying all three while they’re available if you can afford it. Otherwise pick up your two favorites or the two most affordable options now and snag the remaining one later.
- Can Only Afford One Store Exclusive? This one boils down to personal preference and price. If money is a concern choose between Target and Best Buy. They’re significantly less ($29.99) than the Walmart version at the time of this post. We like the Target steelbook case over the Best Buy lenticular slip cover but that’s just us. If you absolutely must have the Walmart Prison Key and CD then obviously we’d recommend you grab that one before they’re gone.
- Don’t collect and don’t give a Hoot about Limited Edition Cases? This one’s easy. Just save yourself some money and buy the standard edition Blu-ray set which is priced at $24.99.
DVD Buying Recommendations:
Either you’re a collector or you’re not!
- Walking Dead collectors will want to pony up the extra cash for the Walmart Exclusive Prison Key version. Buy or order now while they’re still available at retail prices.
- If you just want the DVD set buy the regular version which is priced around $25 at the time of this post.
What are YOUR thoughts? Which version, or versions of The Walking Dead The Complete Fourth Season did you buy? Which one will you be buying later? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
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