Tolkien Collector's Guide
Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun
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By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Odd that they still haven't put any proper pictures up on the website showing the book. I would have thought that the super-deluxes need a bit of power-selling with nice pictures, etc. They did that initially with CoH, but haven't done so at all with S&G. I can't see there being *that* many people willing to part with 250 pounds sight unseen. I think it will probably grow on me, but I liked the look of the CoH SD so much that this one had a lot to live up to and it just doesn't quite hit the spot (albeit a very nice book).


By Elwë

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Stu wrote:
I liked the look of the CoH SD so much that this one had a lot to live up to and it just doesn't quite hit the spot.


I completely agree, Stu. I had copies of the two books out for comparison last night. Unfortunately, some of the points that differentiate the standard Deluxe editions (since HC switched printers from LEGO Spa to Clays Ltd), have apparently been carried over into the Super Deluxe Editions as well. The construction of the new S&G just doesn't seem to be of the same quality as the CoH and I really dislike the flat spine. It is not as attractive, and just doesn't feel as nice in your hands. The CoH had nicer leather (morocco), the hinges functioned better, the sewn binding seemed tougher, the raised spine ribs were more pronounced, and the red and gold foil stamping gave the book a very striking appearance. While I don't mind the S&G clamshell color (it is a nice rich, rusty brown), the color scheme of the book itself is very drab and dull, and the single color gold stamping does little to highlight or contrast the creamy beige leather. The book design does little to invoke the feeling of an epic Norse legend, or any sort of Viking toughness. (I will point out that I actually like the ribbon and hinged panel system inside the new clamshell (for removing the book), and in my case, it functions well enough.)


Stu wrote:
Odd that they still haven't put any proper pictures up on the website showing the book.


Perhaps this lack of showcasing is intentional. Unless they employ some trick lighting (again), images of this book are unlikely to have collectors reaching for their credit cards (IMHO).


By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Alpingloin:
The construction of the new S&G just doesn't seem to be of the same quality as the CoH and I really dislike the flat spine. It is not as attractive, and just doesn't feel as nice in your hands. The CoH had nicer leather (morocco), the hinges functioned better, the sewn binding seemed tougher, the raised spine ribs were more pronounced, and the red and gold foil stamping gave the book a very striking appearance. While I don't mind the S&G clamshell color (it is a nice rich, rusty brown), the color scheme of the book itself is very drab and dull, and the single color gold stamping does little to highlight or contrast the creamy beige leather.


I agree with all of the above. I actually really like the colour and texture of the traycase, but the colour of the book itself is just bland. I guess little things make all the difference on the construction, and this book has many little differences, of which none seem to be improvements. On the CoH, the stamping of the JRRT on the back (and on the traycase) is very deep, but on S&G it almost looks painted on because there is no indentation whatsoever into the leather.

When I look at the CoH it feels solid, sharp, textured and well defined. The S&G just feels.... vague.

I don't want to be overly negative, I do think it is a nice book, but I think last time we got something really special (as we should have for 350 pounds!!) and this time we only got something ordinary (and even "just" 250 pounds should be a cut above ordinary).


By Elwë

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Just up on Ebay....

This is copy #10 of the Super Deluxe S&G, with an original drawing by Sanderson inside. The seller also claims that this is copy "10 of only 250". Is there something I have missed, or is this a typo?

http://cgi.ebay.com/JRR-Tolkien-Sigur ... %3A0%7C293%3A2%7C294%3A50


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Calligraphic_collectables comissioned 39 illustrated copies from Bill Sanderson: 25 standard copies; 10 slipcased copies; and 4 deluxe copies. (eBayer bigfootcomic bought 7 standard & 3 slipcased copies from Calligraphic_collectables.)

All the standard & slipcased copies have the same illustration in them, with '5th May' and Sanderson's signature. The deluxe editions are illustrated differently; not sure if all four are individually unique tho', since this is the first time I've seen one. The deluxe's (obviously) where not sketched on the 5th; however the rest probably were (or thereabouts).

Almost all were pre-sold. Calligraphic_collectables has only sold some standard copies to date on eBay I think (no slipcased copies). Presumably this is the only deluxe one likely to be sold, unless any of the owners move them on very quickly.

The seller (to my knowledge) was in pretty early with his order by phone. He was certainly talking about the deluxe on the Monday (the 18th), before I'd heard anything; so no surprise he has such a low number. '250' is just typo...

BH
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BH

You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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This is copy #10 of the Super Deluxe S&G, with an original drawing by Sanderson inside. The seller also claims that this is copy "10 of only 250". Is there something I have missed, or is this a typo?


I quite like the picture. I wouldn't pay that much money, but I do think it really adds to the book.

With regards to the 250, I guess it is either a typo or the seller knows something we don't. Probably the former, although I wouldn't actually be surprised if they have only bound 250 copies up so far and bind more depending on sales. Purely speculation, of course.

I think this edition might be growing on me a bit. It definitely seems to look a bit more vibrant in natural light.


Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Our copy of the super de luxe edition arrived here in Massachusetts yesterday, 5 June. We had reserved a copy as soon as it was possible to do so, though it's not clear if that affected the copy number received (48). After there was no contact from HarperCollins' customer services as promised by their e-mail of 19 May, we put an order through their website on the 24th. Despite having paid by credit card, and the amount had cleared the bank, on 3 June we received an invoice from HarperCollins for the full amount of the book, plus GBP4.99 postage as expected, as well as a surprise GBP7.44 "DHL Post Charge". On querying this, we were told that the extra charge was in error, and that we would receive the book within 14-21 days. Happily, it didn't take that long, and the book was well wrapped and in a sturdy box. It came by DHL to the U.S., then by regular post.

Wayne & Christina
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By Elwë

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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Thanks for the tip Findegil. I too live in Massachusetts (in Holden, probably not too far from you guys). I hadn't noticed it before your post here, but I was also assessed the 'DHL charge.' My credit card shows a single transaction for $410.13. I hadn't yet checked the exchange rate that was used, but it sure looks like the DHL charge is in there. If this was indeed a mistake, HC should be notifying customers who were assessed this charge and issuing refunds. However, I am very skeptical and would be surprised if this wasn't intentional, knowing that only a few customers will go through the hassle of refuting the charge.

Understand that I am not complaining about the cost of shipping, because even with the 7.44 DHL charge, the cost to post to the U.S. is not unreasonable. However, the backdoor tactic being employed here is disturbing. It is very difficult to tell whether this is just due to HC retail being disorganized and running a loose operation, or if it was deliberate. Unfortunately, past experiences (from many TCG members) have been less than stellar with HC retail, and this is not helping to improve their reputation.

I will inquire with HC about this, although I have had a lot of difficulty receiving responses from them in the past, so I do not have high hopes. Thanks for the info, Wayne and Christina.


By Stu

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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However, I am very skeptical and would be surprised if this wasn't intentional, knowing that only a few customers will go through the hassle of refuting the charge.


I have had more problems with HC than most, but I don't think they are in the game of *intentionally* scamming anyone (other than perhaps with the inflated prices of some of their books! :)). I honestly think the Tolkien website side of their business is something they don't have the time or interest in to deal with properly, so they make lots and lots of mistakes (which they do not appear to learn from).

For instance, my copy turned up at work without my name on it (just the address and company name) and apparently with no paperwork to identify me inside, either. So instead of getting a nice shrink-wrapped copy, I got a copy opened and thumbed over by our receptionist (who fortunately had clean fingers)! I only found out it had arrived a couple of days later because it was on reception awaiting someone identifying it (our receptionist had sent an email request to the office, but had ironically used the wrong address for the mailing list) ! Now in this case, no harm was done, but if I had been planning on keeping it shrink-wrapped as an investment copy, I would probably have been a bit miffed.

The number of cock-ups I have witnessed definitely imply incompetence, not anything more sinister.

Stu


By Elwë

Re: Super-Deluxe Sigurd & Gudrun

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I didn't mean to say that HC was up to anything 'sinister.' However, I am certain that HC is having to pay more than 5 GBP to ship these books to the U.S. I would not be surprised if they realized how big a hit they were taking, and decided to pass (at least some of) this on to the U.S. customers, without posting it amongst the payment information.

So, what I really meant to say, is that I believe HC 'intentionally' passed this cost on to international buyers, but forgot to add anything about it in the payment information on the website. I don't think it is a scam, just more disorganization and poor communication. I don't blame them for wanting more money for shipping, as it can be quite expensive to ship overseas, especially in the size box they use.

Like I said, I will follow up with them and see how it goes.



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