By Rick Bentley
CHRISTMAS IS just around the corner. With the tough economy and reports of people watching their spending, many people are looking to buy gifts that are practical and have long-lasting value.
And no, neckties or socks aren’t the answer.
The world of DVD sets is loaded with potential gifts for young, old and everyone in between. Prices can range considerably. And because the sets include hours of programming, this is the kind of gift that could last until next year.
And with DVD sets, you don’t have to worry about someone’s size as you would with clothes. You don’t need to be concerned about whether someone is on a diet as you would with a gift of gourmet chocolates. All you need to know is whether the person is a history buff, fan of old television or a lover of movies. Here are a few DVD sets that might just be that perfect gift. The running times and suggested retail prices are listed where it is available.
“Barbie Princess Collection”: Barbie in “The 12 Dancing Princesses,” “Barbie as The Island Princess” and “Barbie & The Diamond Castle” are in the set. Running time: 4 hours, 4 minutes. Suggested retail price: $39.98.
“Hannah Montana: The Complete First Season”: Miley Cyrus stars in the Disney Channel series. RT: 9 hours, 54 minutes. SRP: $39.99.
“Alvin and the Chipmunks Limited Edition Gift Set”: The recent feature film starring Jason Lee comes with an Alvin TY Beanie Baby Plush. RT: Not available. SRP: $34.98.
“Jesus and Mary in Art”: The two-disc set features “The Face: Jesus in Art” with narrators Mel Gibson and Edward Herrmann plus “Picturing Mary” that includes dramatic readings by James Keach. RT: 2 hours, 47 minutes. SRP: $24.99.
“Jurassic Fight Club: The Complete Season One”: The cable series features 12 computer-generated dinosaur confrontations. RT: 9 hours 24 minutes. SRP: $34.95.
“Ice Road Truckers: The Complete Season Two”: Drivers brave freak blizzards, polar bears and freezing temperatures to deliver supplies in this four-disc set. RT: 10 hours, 11 minutes. SRP: $39.95.
“The Presidents Collection”: A collection of biographies of 10 of the most influential leaders in modern history. RT: 35 hours. SRP: $129.99.
“The Victor Borge Classic Collection”: The six-disc box set includes such efforts as “The Best of Victor Borge Act One & Two” and “The Legendary Victor Borge.” RT: 6 hours 52 minutes. SRP: $39.99.
“Abbott and Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection”: Among the 28 films produced by the comedians in this 15-disc set are “Buck Privates” and “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.” RT: Not available. SRP: $119.99.
“The High School Flashback Collection”: “The Breakfast Club,” “Sixteen Candles” and “Weird Science” are included. RT: 4 hours, 44 minutes. SRP: $39.98.
“Alfred Hitchcock Premiere Collection”: Eight classic films by the noted director are in the set. Included is “Rebecca,” the 1940 Oscar winner as best picture. RT: 9 hours, 54 minutes. SRP: $129.98.
“The Pink Panther Ultimate Collection”: The 16-disc set includes every film and more than 180 “Pink Panther and Friends” cartoons. RT: 35 hours, 46 minutes. SRP: $199.98
“Hollywood Musicals”: Fifty of the top musicals of all time are on 65 discs. A few of the films included are “Oklahoma,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and “A Chorus Line.” RT: 93 hours, 4 minutes. SRP: $499.98.
“The Marco Ferreri Collection”: Eight films make up this set. Titles include “El Cochecito,” “La Grande Bouffe,” “Seeking Asylum” and “The House of Smiles.” A 16-page booklet about the director is included. RT: 14 hours, 41 minutes. SRP: $99.98.
“Murnau, Borzage & Fox”: The set highlights the work of Fox Studios directors F.W. Murnau and Frank Borzage. Films are on 12 discs. RT: Not available. SRP: $239.98.
“Planet of the Apes: 40 Year Evolution”: This Blu-ray collection includes all five of the films about a world where apes rule. RT: 7 hours, 59 minutes. SRP: $159.98.
“The Ron Howard Spotlight Collection”: Included are the director’s films “Backdraft,” “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Cinderella Man.” RT: Not available. SRP: $39.98.
“Mr. Bean: The Ultimate Collection”: All 14 episodes of the television series starring Rowan Atkinson plus the feature films “Bean: The Movie” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” make up this collection. RT: 12 hours, 9 minutes. SRP: $79.95.
“Knight Rider: The Complete Series”: David Hasselhoff and his super car K.I.T.T. star in this 24-disc set. The box comes with K.I.T.T.’s trademark swirling red light and a sound chip that plays the show’s theme song. RT: 66 hours. SRP: $139.98.
“Brotherhood: The Complete Second Season”: Showtime series about brothers who live on the opposite side of the law. RT: 9 hours, 6 minutes. SRP: $42.99.
“The Complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus Collector’s Edition”: Along with every episode of the British series are two documentaries: “Before Flying Circus” and “Monty Python Conquers America.” RT: 36 hours. SRP: $159.95.
“The Outer Limits Complete Series”: All 49 episodes of the scary TV series broadcast from 1963-65 are in this package. Guest appearances include Martin Landau and William Shatner. RT: 41 hours, 55 minutes. SRP: $59.98.
“That ’70s Show: The Complete Series Stashbox”: Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Danny Masterson star in this comedy about the 1970s. RT: Not available. SRP: $199.98.
“Wild Wild West: The Complete Series Box Set”: Robert Conrad stars in this TV spy/western series that originally aired 1965-69. RT: Not available. SRP: $144.49.
Beauty & The Beast Complete Series”: The 55 episodes of the television series looked at the romance between a noble man-beast and a New York assistant district attorney. RT: 44 hours, 14 minutes. SRP: $90.99
“Charmed: The Complete Series”: Three sisters with magical powers fight demons in this television series on 49 discs. RT: Not available. SRP: $271.99.
“The L Word: The Complete Fifth Season”: Story lines in this Showtime cable series include unresolved romances and a film project. RT: 10 hours. SRP: $62.99.
“4400 Complete Series”: A group of 4400 missing people return all at once exactly as they were on the day they vanished. RT: 32 hours, 18 minutes. SRP: $108.99.
“Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series”: The set has all 96 episodes about the characters created by the same people behind the Muppets. RT: 47 hours. SRP: $139.98.
“Daniel Boone: The Final Season”: The TV series about the famous frontiersman. RT: 22 hours. SRP: $49.95.
“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”: This package has all 105 episodes of the network spy series starring Robert Vaughn. RT: 93 hours, 40 minutes. SRP: $199.92.
“The Lone Ranger 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition”: This 12-disc DVD box set includes the complete first and second seasons of the series starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. RT: 31 hours, 40 minutes. SRP: $119.93.
“Mystery Science Theater 3000: 20th Anniversary Edition”: Includes four films that get verbal beatings by the stars. RT: 7 hours. SRP: $69.99.
“Home Movies 10th Anniversary DVD Box Set”: This box set features all four seasons of the Adult Swim animated show. RT: 26 hours. SRP: $129.99.
“Spin City: The Complete First Season”: Michael J. Fox stars in this comedy series about what happens in the office of the mayor of New York. RT: 10 hours, 30 minutes. SRP: $39.99.
“Freaks & Geeks Yearbook Edition”: Linda Cardellini and James Franco star in this look at teens in the ’80s. Comes with an 80-page yearbook with essays, photos and memorabilia. RT: 18 hours. SRP: $69.99.