For just over a year I've been after a complete Philips CDi US longbox set. That is, every single CDi that had a physical release in the original tall, hard plastic flip-open boxes with cardboard outer sleeve. Why did I decide to do this? Well, unless I completely missed it, there doesn't actually seem to be a complete list anywhere online about which titles were released in this specific format, a format that I happen to be quite taken with. These are surprisingly nice to look at and have a real quality feel to them. I wish Philips had stuck with this format instead of switching at some point to the later regular jewel cases with slipcovers.
With no ready list available, I had to make my own. In the end, there seems to be 97 distinct US Philips longbox format releases. Yet, I can't be entirely certain about that. Quite a few of these releases were VERY hard to obtain, and are much less common in this format than in the later CDI release style. It's entirely possible that I've missed a few, and I would like to ask the community to check their own CDI collections and see if I'm missing a few longbox releases. And to note, there is one thing that I still need: a slipcover for Berenstain Bears. I have a line on a copy but simply haven't heard back from the potential seller in a while.
As with any other collection, there are several titles that are vastly more difficult to find than others, rare due to low print runs, poor sales, or some other reasons. The following are the 10 rarest US Philips CDi longbox releases, in order of their rarity. If anyone reading this decides to go for the set, these are the ones that you should be willing to buy entire large lots just to obtain. You will be waiting a very long time for them to come up for sale by themselves, if they ever do.
Anne Willan Presents The Food of France. This the rarest CDi longbox title, and one of the rarest US CDi releases period. It did have an overseas release.
The ACT College Search '92. US exclusive CDi. This was also released only in longbox format. Easily the 2nd rarest longbox CDi.
CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1. This is different than the other, more common Classical Guitar title. Very rare, possibly a variant.
David and Goliath. The rarest of several rare religious CDi titles. Fairly expensive, too.
Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own. Not tough to find in regular jewel-case format, but rare in longbox format.
Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship. Still available on Amazon, but it never came up on Ebay in over a year of searching.
The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe. Possibly the most expensive longbox title. Cinemassacre has an amusing video of this CDi. While this CDi is possibly the tamest CDi in terms of content, be warned that Googling about the artist will result in some highly NSFW results. DO NOT look this title up on anything other than your personal device.
More Dark Fables from Aesop. Sequel to The Dark Fables of Aesop. I only saw two copies pop up in over a year.
Moses: The Exodus.
Moses: Bound for the Promised Land.
Now, those are just the rarest 10 CDi longbox format releases in comparison to all the rest of the longbox releases. About half of the other CDi longboxes only have one or two copies available for sale at any one time on Ebay or on Amazon. It does help to type in the name of the CDi, without adding "CDi" or "Philips" when searching for some of these titles on Ebay. There's a stunning amount of very poorly listed copies for otherwise very rare CDi longboxes, and CDis in general.
And at last, the complete alphabetical list of all confirmed 97 Philips CDi US longbox releases:
A National Parks Tour
A Revolution in Color
A Visit to Sesame Street: Letters
A Visit to Sesame Street: Numbers
A Visit to the Valley of the Pueblo and the Amparo Museum
Alice In Wonderland
Anne Willan Presents the Food of France
Beauty and the Beast
Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby
Caesar’s World of Gambling
CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1
Children’s Musical Theater
Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia
Cool Oldies Jukebox
David and Goliath
Defender of the Crown
Dutch Masters of the 17th Century
Escape From the Cyber City
Gardening By Choice: Flowers and Foliage
Gifts to Behold
Golden Oldies Jukebox
Harvest of the Sun
How the Camel Got His Hump
How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin
How to Photograph Nature
International Tennis Open
James Brown Nonstop Hit Machine
Lords of the Rising Sun
More Dark Fables from Aesop
Moses: Bound for the Promised Land
Moses: The Exodus
Mother Goose Hidden Pictures
Mother Goose Rhymes to Color
Mozart: A Musical Biography
Mystic Midway Rest in Pieces
NFL Football Trivia Challenge
Paint School I
Paint School II
Rand McNally’s America: U.S. Atlas
Rembrandt: His Art and the Music of His Era
Richard Scarry’s Best Neighborhood Disc
Richard Scarry’s Busiest Neighborhood Disc
Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship
Sandy’s Circus Adventure
Stamps: Windows on the World
Story Machine: Magic Tales
Story Machine: Star Dreams
Tell Me Why I
Tell Me Why II
The ACT College Search ‘92
The Art of the Czars
The Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own
The Best of Draw 50
The Dark Fables of Aesop
The Emperor’s New Clothes
The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe
The French Impressionists
The Palm Springs Open
The Renaissance Gallery
The Renaissance of Florence
The Riches of Coins
The Story of Jonah
The Story of Samson
The World of Impressionism
Time Life Photography
Treasures of the Smithsonian
You Sing Christmas Favorites
Zombie Dinos from the Planet Zeltoid
And of course, a clear image of the full set, which neatly fits on just two shelves, and which I've displayed in the order in which I obtained them: