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Blazing Lazers

I completed the entire Philips CDi US longbox set. Or did I? Plus, general CDi collecting gems.

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. The ACT College Search '92. US exclusive CDi. This was also released only in longbox format. Easily the 2nd rarest longbox CDi.
  3. CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1. This is different than the other, more common Classical Guitar title. Very rare, possibly a variant.
  4. David and Goliath. The rarest of several rare religious CDi titles. Fairly expensive, too.
  5. Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own. Not tough to find in regular jewel-case format, but rare in longbox format.
  6. Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship. Still available on Amazon, but it never came up on Ebay in over a year of searching.
  7. 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.
  8. More Dark Fables from Aesop. Sequel to The Dark Fables of Aesop. I only saw two copies pop up in over a year.
  9. Moses: The Exodus.
  10. 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:

  1. A National Parks Tour

  2. A Revolution in Color

  3. A Visit to Sesame Street: Letters

  4. A Visit to Sesame Street: Numbers

  5. A Visit to the Valley of the Pueblo and the Amparo Museum

  6. Alice In Wonderland

  7. Anne Willan Presents the Food of France

  8. Backgammon

  9. Battleship

  10. Beauty and the Beast

  11. Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby

  12. Caesar’s World of Gambling

  13. Cartoon Jukebox

  14. CD Shoot

  15. CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1

  16. Children’s Musical Theater

  17. Classical Guitar

  18. Classical Jukebox

  19. Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia

  20. Connect Four

  21. Cool Oldies Jukebox

  22. Dark Castle

  23. David and Goliath

  24. Defender of the Crown

  25. Dutch Masters of the 17th Century

  26. Earth Rhythms

  27. Escape From the Cyber City

  28. Gardening By Choice: Flowers and Foliage

  29. Gifts to Behold

  30. Girl’s Club

  31. Golden Oldies Jukebox

  32. Harvest of the Sun

  33. How the Camel Got His Hump

  34. How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

  35. How to Photograph Nature

  36. International Tennis Open

  37. James Brown Nonstop Hit Machine

  38. Jazz Giants

  39. Jazz Guitar

  40. Jigsaw

  41. Laser Lords

  42. Lords of the Rising Sun

  43. Louis Armstrong

  44. More Dark Fables from Aesop

  45. Moses: Bound for the Promised Land

  46. Moses: The Exodus

  47. Mother Goose Hidden Pictures

  48. Mother Goose Rhymes to Color

  49. Mozart: A Musical Biography

  50. Mystic Midway Rest in Pieces

  51. NFL Football Trivia Challenge

  52. Noah’s Ark

  53. Paint School I

  54. Paint School II

  55. Pavarotti

  56. Pecos Bill

  57. Pegasus

  58. Pinball

  59. Power Hitter

  60. Prelude

  61. Rand McNally’s America: U.S. Atlas

  62. Rembrandt: His Art and the Music of His Era

  63. Rhythm Maker

  64. Richard Scarry’s Best Neighborhood Disc

  65. Richard Scarry’s Busiest Neighborhood Disc

  66. Rock Guitar

  67. Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship

  68. Sandy’s Circus Adventure

  69. Sargon Chess

  70. Stamps: Windows on the World

  71. Stickybear Reading

  72. Story Machine: Magic Tales

  73. Story Machine: Star Dreams

  74. Tell Me Why I

  75. Tell Me Why II

  76. Tetris

  77. Text Tiles

  78. The ACT College Search ‘92

  79. The Art of the Czars

  80. The Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own

  81. The Best of Draw 50

  82. The Dark Fables of Aesop

  83. The Emperor’s New Clothes

  84. The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe

  85. The French Impressionists

  86. The Palm Springs Open

  87. The Renaissance Gallery

  88. The Renaissance of Florence

  89. The Riches of Coins

  90. The Story of Jonah

  91. The Story of Samson

  92. The World of Impressionism

  93. Time Life Photography

  94. Treasures of the Smithsonian

  95. Video Speedway

  96. You Sing Christmas Favorites

  97. 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:

0202201516.jpg

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Nice work!

I know very little about cdi, but i know that must have been crazy work to accomplish!

I believe i just finished the first complete supervision set. Altough missing 2 boxes and 2 manuals still. But every cart and the rest cib.

Another system that has been hard to define and isnt very popular :)

 

congrats jack!!

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1 hour ago, stupus said:

Nice work!

I know very little about cdi, but i know that must have been crazy work to accomplish!

I believe i just finished the first complete supervision set. Altough missing 2 boxes and 2 manuals still. But every cart and the rest cib.

Another system that has been hard to define and isnt very popular :)

 

congrats jack!!

Much appreciated! :)

 

I took over a year to accomplish, although I'm still waiting for the one last slipcover to arrive. From what I've seen of other CDi collections posted online, I'm likely not the first person to obtain every longbox, but I still can't be entirely sure. I can be reasonably confident that I haven't overlooked any releases.

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4 hours ago, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Uh were those meme-tastic Mario and Zelda games not longboxes? lol

Link Faces of Evil and Hotel Mario were standard jewel cases with slip covers, same with Link's analog with Zelda (Wand of Gamelon) and the borderline downright broken Zelda's Adventure too.

 

I had a CDi for quite a few years, and I'm kind of f'n tired of the internet troll force attacking the games, well not Zelda's Adventure, it deserves the hate all 4 get dumped on it alone.  I had Link and Hotel Mario and they're actually pretty good games, Nintendo 1st party excellent, hell no, but they're fun, playable, and pretty decent releases.  Yes the FMV are terribad, awful, I'm talking Japanese kaijuu movie so bad they're good level stuff to laugh at and soak up.  The 2 Zelda/Link games they're much like the NES Zelda 2 title, hard side scrolling combat titles.  Hotel Mario though, it's basically a re-skinned Elevator Action with 16bit mario sprite art going on there with SMB mechanics thrown up against classic Elevator Action.

 

 

Being on topic though, I used to be very up on this stuff, as I had concerned myself for a time on maybe getting one back.  But my cares popped too late, after people started making them go from the $50-100 trash bin into the hundreds for the basic model, which sucks, as you need the DV cart to run some of the better titles.  That and you need the gravis pc gamepad clone too as the thumb stick remote isn't so helpful either.

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Damn, very nice work Blazers!  The CDi is one of the very few US consoles I've never delved into, though I had a rich friend with one bitd and we played a lot of Hotel Mario and golf.  I agree that the longbox collection does look very nice all together!

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On 2/3/2020 at 7:18 PM, DragonGrafx-16 said:

Uh were those meme-tastic Mario and Zelda games not longboxes? lol

The Nintendo community is very, very thorough when it comes to documenting packaging variants. The Zelda and Mario titles definitely were not released in longbox format. That said, I have so many spare longboxes that I could probably have a case sticker, manual, and new outer sleeve created so as to have a custom longbox version of each.

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Interesting. From you list it seems that longboxes were more targeted toward educative software That kinda make sense.

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48 minutes ago, CatPix said:

Interesting. From you list it seems that longboxes were more targeted toward educative software That kinda make sense.

Much like how the CDi itself initially was. Games weren't the main focus at first. I think that might be the big reason why Philips shifted away from the longbox packaging. Several of the actual games were much tougher to find in longbox format than in the later style. 

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Yep; there are contradictory claims about that but games weren't the main focus of the CD-i. Even tho you can find people claiming they though about games, there's also testimonies of programmers showing games to Philips executives that were flabbergasted by the results; obviously even if they though about games being a selling point of the CD-i, they never understood what could be done with it.

That also might be a factor of the CD-i "unpreparedness" for being a proper console: again, Philips executives's lack of knowledge* about video gaming might have led them to believe they could do better than what they could realistically expect.

 

*it's made obvious by how they handled the Mario and Zelda franchises : why was Mario's Wacky Worlds never completed? Well because, from insider's words, the company never intented to make that game! Philips had offered a developement kit and money to anyone able to show them a working prototype.

But Philips forgot about adding that it should result in a working game at the end, so Wacky's World was programmed in 2 weeks and when the company got the money, that was the end of it. They ran with the development kit and money and Philips couldn't do anything about it.

Edited by CatPix
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17 hours ago, glazball said:

Damn, very nice work Blazers!  The CDi is one of the very few US consoles I've never delved into, though I had a rich friend with one bitd and we played a lot of Hotel Mario and golf.  I agree that the longbox collection does look very nice all together!

What golf game did you play?  Is there a good one on CDi? 

 

Love me some PGA 96' on 3DO

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