Blog News

1. Comments are still disabled though I am thinking of enabling them again.

2. There are now several extra pages - Poetry Index, Travel, Education, Childish Things - accessible at the top of the page. They index entires before October 2013.

3. I will, in the next few weeks, be adding new pages with other indexes.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Part(with your money)works

I've long been puzzled by the idea of Partworks: particularly by the question of who buys them. In the past I have bought a couple that didn't quite fit the normal mould. There was a monthly classic novels which was a reasonably cheap way to build up a hardback collection of famous literature. Similarly there was a CD set of blues recordings that started out well but included a lot of stuff that was too obscure and,frankly, not very good. It was again, nevertheless, reasonably cheap and didn't involve me in any research to find out what I wanted.
I wouldn't do it again, though.

The usual run of the mill stuff sold this way seems to be aimed squarely at the same mathematically challenged people who think the adverts for consolidation loans are a pretty neat idea. The one that has brought this to mind has just begun to be advertised - a combined set of Buffy and Angel DVDs with a magazine. The first issue is £1.99. Subsequent ones are, as it says on the ad, (£7.99 ).
Now given that there appear to be four episodes per disc and given that I know how many episodes there are in total, I make that a little over £500 overall. You can buy the whole lot in boxed sets from any number of on-line vendors for around £120.
I don't know how much value the magazines add but I'd bet it's a good deal less than £380.
So, a small word of advice for anyone contemplating any Partworks purchase: check the prices, do the maths.


john_am said...

I was wondering if you had been as mortally offended as I by the presumption of the lack of maths by the vendors of their target audience - still what's the saying "no one whet broke underestimating the public" or words to that effect...

arnie said...

That's assuming that the partworks continue as intended. I often see adverts for the first issue and sometimes see that issue and a couple of later ones in the newsagents' shop. Later ones never appear.

If the publisher gets less-than anticipated demand for them, quite likely he will discontinue them, with lots of people left with part-build models of Stonehenge or whatever.

Bob Hale said...

I wonder how the one from last year got on where you could build your own orrery over about ninety weeks, a screw and a bolt at a time.
I can't imagine many people bothered.