by Eric Ravenscraft on
When a single Wi-Fi router won’t do, a mesh Wi-Fi system lets you get strong coverage everywhere in your house without tearing your walls apart. These are our favorites.
After the holidays are over and the snow starts falling, you’re going to need more indoor activities to keep yourself occupied. With these box sets, you or the film and TV buff in your family will have plenty to watch all winter long.
Note: All the prices listed below are accurate as of the time of publication, but they’re always subject to change. In fact, a couple of our chosen box sets dropped in price while we were researching the list. Not bad, Amazon—keep the discounts coming.
Game of Thrones Seasons 1-7 ($140)
If you wanted to give someone the gift of Game of Thrones, you could buy them a couple months of HBO Now, but then they’d have a binge-watching deadline and they’d get subpar streaming quality. Instead, this box set of all seven seasons gives you every glorious high-def pixel in a package you get to keep. This package is normally $230, so you’re getting a pretty steep discount on one of the most expensive and high production value shows on television.
When Peter Jackson made the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it had a massive impact on the world of film. Huge universes were seen as viable, and concurrent, streamlined productions meant you could see a series of movies without a major drop in quality or recasts between films. Plus, the trilogy adapts one of the most epic (in the true sense of the word) stories ever written.
The Hobbit trilogy, which serves as a prequel to Lord of the Rings, struggled to reach the same critical reception as its predecessor, but it was still a pleasant dip back into the Tolkien universe. Both trilogies received the extended edition treatment, which we’ve linked to above and highly recommend. On top of a few extra hours of additional completed footage, these two sets offer extensive behind the scenes footage and documentaries that show off how J.R.R. Tolkien’s world was brought to life. An excellent resource for any film or literature lover.
Harry Potter Complete Collection ($48)
The Harry Potter book series was a young adult sensation and the film collection that followed it became the second biggest film franchise in history. So, it’s a little crazy that you could own the whole thing for under $50. This box set includes all eight films, plus a collection of bonus discs with documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and extra features.
Before the next Star Wars episode comes out, you can score a sweet deal on the classic Star Wars movies that started everything. Or, you know, those other ones. Both Blu-ray box sets cost a measly $27 right now and come with all three movies in each trilogy on both DVD and Blu-ray.
The original trilogy is the special edition that George Lucas seems to think is the only version we remember. George Lucas is wrong, but if you can handle a few out of place CGI scenes, the movies in the OG trilogy are fantastic. Also the prequels exist.
Tim Burton has such a distinct visual style that most people forget Henry Selick directed some of the most Burton-esque classics. This first collection contains seven movies actually directed by Tim Burton: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns, Mars Attacks!, Corpse Bride, and Charlie and the Charlie Factory. For $27, that’s one of the best values on this list, and it has an eclectic enough collection of beloved movies that there’s a few in there for everyone.
While not technically connected to Tim Burton, the Laika Collection is a close enough cousin to be mentioned in the same breath. Even if you’ve never heard of the Laika animation company, you’ve probably seen their movies. The $33 collection includes Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings. Laika got its start by producing stop-motion for Nightmare Before Christmas and Bride, so they share a creative heredity with Burton’s films. In recent years, though, the company has taken on a life of its own, telling some of the most imaginative and visually distinct stories in the animation world, all while keeping the craft of stop motion alive.
Toy Story Trilogy ($26)
The Toy Story series marks a rare feat for the film industry: A trilogy of movies that are consistently highly rated, turn a profit, and are heartfelt stories for people of all ages. Maybe we’ve finally learned that Pixar can, in fact, do some wrong, but the Toy Story trilogy is not it. This box set includes all three movies for $28, which is a steal for the quality of films you’re getting. The only downside is that your collection won’t be complete come 2019 when Toy Story 4 drops, but for now you can enjoy a wholesome trilogy everyone can enjoy.
Fast & Furious 8-Movie Collection ($70)
The decidedly less-than-family-friendly Fast & Furious franchise spans eight movies of varying quality, but despite their positively average reception, it’s hard to deny that they’re a little fun. They may not be peak cinema, but just look at these action set pieces. You don’t need to be into cars to appreciate how insanely awesome these ridiculous stunts and scenes are. For an average price of almost $9 a movie, this box set is perfect popcorn fodder.
The Twilight Zone ($68)
In all the years since The Twilight Zone went off the air, few science fiction writers have been as skilled or as prolific as Rod Serling. Of the 156 episodes of the seminal show, Serling wrote an overwhelming 92 of them. The show was known for its clever twists and thoughtful social commentary, much of which still holds up to this day. $68 (normally $80) isn’t a bad price to pay to put a cornerstone of sci-fi history in your living room.
Firefly: The Complete Series ($17)
It’s been fifteen years since Firefly first went on the air, captured the hearts of sci-fi fans, and was untimely canceled shortly thereafter. Few shows have had such an impact with such a short run. If your gift recipient has never watched it, or if they just want to own the whole series to rewatch again, this package is perfect. At $17, it’s the cheapest box set on our list, so it’s perfect for a stocking stuffer for the sci-fi nerds in your family.
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