Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Novacom Boxed Set Review!

After knowing about this product for over six months, I finally received my copy of the Novacom boxed set in the mail last week. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the box (to which I will refer henceforth as the Novabox) was significantly smaller than I had expected it to be. Compared to a typical CD album, the Novabox is not that much bigger - which is a definite plus in my mind. Since it's so compact, it makes for a great traveling package. It's a lot more convenient, for instance, to bring something like this on a road trip than four CD albums.

Another thing I liked about this set is the whole look of the Novabox. Not only is the cover art fantastic, but the gloss finish is also a nice touch. The packaging is rather durable as well - none of this cheap, flimsy cardboard. As for the actual contents inside the box, you've got the "Top Secret" document as well as the ten discs. You can check out the high-res photos of the Novacom set here.

Obviously, you must be wondering what's contained in the Top Secret document. It basically offers a quick introduction to the saga, a casting listing for the main characters, and an episode guide listing the episodes and a short synopsis for each.

Then you have the only information that's truly new - Novacom's "evil" master plan. Essentially, it's the entire story arc summarized through various plot points as written in a letter from the Chairman to Bennett Charles. It lists the ultimate goal of Operation Think Tank, its purposes, and initiatives required in order to accomplish the master plan. It's quite an interesting read, as it explains various plot points not explained in the actual radio series - for instance, it reveals the person responsible for convincing Mary Hopkins to install security cameras in Whit's End Connellsville.

I've only listened to the first few minutes of the bonus disc because I'm trying to save some of the behind-the-scenes material for later. I'm sure I'll have more to say on that in a few weeks. It's pretty hard for me to find any fault with the Novabox, although I'm a little concerned with the binding right at the hinge, which, over time, could definitely wear out. But overall, I'm very impressed.

If you don't own all the Novacom episodes, this is a must have product. And even if you do, you won't want to miss the one hour bonus disc. Listening to Jess Harnell create the voice for Bennett Charles is absolutely priceless.