Hello friends! So I have MST3K forever but don’t really have much of a collection. I got the #MadeMoreMST3K DELUXE COLLECTION as part of this kickstarter as well as the 18 episodes that was offered during the Kickstarter campaign in 2015. But that’s it!! What would you recommend in terms of getting a bigger collection (or dare I say it…ALL of the old episodes) Thank you for any tips!
Hello there, @Cambow!
Hmmm… if you’re not going with all the old episodes, I guess that all depends.
Do you have a leaning towards a particular host or a particular kind of featured movie? Maybe your favorite MST3K episodes would push you towards similar installments, or perhaps you’d like to branch out with different kinds of episodes?
Is there anything in those episode collections that you already own that would push you towards other comparable episodes?
If you want the full collection ultimately, then possibly once the Gizmoplex is live you’ll be able to buy a “smart” package that is essentially every episode in existence, with a credit applied for the ones you already have. Otherwise, it’s as @optiMSTie says, the best way to continue is to zero in on what appeals to you the most. Be aware there will be some gaps where Alternaversal no longer has the rights to the film.
If your hunting physical copies you have quite the challenge ahead of you, friend. I’ve been collecting officially licensed MST3K releases since they first started putting them out on DVD way back in 2001.
It took nearly 20 years of four episode DVD releases and 30+ sets but they released nearly every episode of the original run.
The biggest challenge is the movie rights. Which means some episodes have gone out of print or never got an official release in all those years. Since Shout! Factory took over they have tried re-releasing older sets (or individual movies from those older sets) but even that can be difficult in and of itself.
The resale market for the older sets can be pretty pricey. The best example is Volume 10, which originally included an episode with a Godzilla (Godzilla vs. Megalon) movie that Rhino (the company that distributed episodes before Shout!) Failed to secure the proper rights for
The set got pulled pretty soon and had to be re-released with a different movie, The Giant Gilamonster. Fans who snatched up the set before it got pulled also wanted Giant Gilamonster so Rhino put out a limited run of a single release so people could have that in their collection as well.
Another episode, The Colossal Man was only ever put out on VHS and never got a DVD release because the rights holder was very protective of her ownership of the movie.
The unreleased episodes were usually because they were too expensive to secure the rights for, or the rights owners refused to license them out again. Most of these are owned by big name studios. Mostly Godzilla and Universal Monster movies.
Then there is an entire year of the show from way back when they where on UHF that’ll never see the light of day for various mostly rights related reasons.
The only episode that has broken through since the last DVD set was Quest of the Delta Knights which was a backer reward and digital only.
There are still a good many episodes you can still by at retail price from Shout! Factory.
If you’re not too concerned about physical copies, digital would be your best bet. A lot of episodes can be bought online or even watched for free. Shout! Has full episodes you can watch for free on their app, YouTube and Tubi. I’d recommend Shouts! App since you don’t have to deal with ads.
As for those never-be-officially-released episodes, you can find them online if you know where to look. A lot of them are on YouTube but these are captures of people’s old VHS copies recorded off TV from back in the day, so the quality may vary especially with older episodes.
Best of luck either way!
You might also want to check out both Cinematic Titanic and the Film Crew two other projects from MST3K projects that happened between the end of the show, the rise of Rifftrax and the current MST3K revival. Those shows can also be had through Shout!
And remember, once your collection is complete, it must be buried with you, as with the pharaohs of old.
I’ve mentioned this before, I think, but Rifftrax is selling individual old eps on their website, plus you can buy bundles of the two new seasons for a pretty good price. Those are nice because you can get high quality downloads and they also frequently have sales where you can get some good deals. In addition, the cast gets a portion of the profits which, from what I understand, was not happening previously.
As for the ones that aren’t officially available, most as mentioned, are on YT in varying levels of quality. I bought all the unavailable episodes from Cheesy Flix a couple of years ago, and good thing I did since they’re now out of business.
I bought the CT full set of released riffs for not too much on Amazon, but I don’t ever buy digital movies from Amazon because they don’t let you download the file. You can only watch it through their site (or app) and I don’t like that idea. That means I haven’t really bought it. I’ve rented it until they decided to get rid of it.
Thanks for confirming the Amazon download bit - I’ve been thinking to pick up two of my favorite episodes, both from S7, “Night of the Blood Beast” and “The Brute Man” from Amazon digital, but have avoided doing so because I didn’t think I would be able to download them and drop them on my own server with the rest of my MST3K collection.
Unfortunately, I learned this through experience. I bought Ring of Terror and then discovered that there was no way to download it.
Thanks to your tip, I just purchased - and downloaded - both from Rifftrax.
And I even took advantage of their ‘buy more/save more’ sale that runs until midnight tonight to pick up three others as well
My recommendation is to try and collect episodes you really like. I don’t have a huge collection but it is beloved and gets a lot of playtime.
Of course if you are a completionist there’s always “circulated tapes” but the quality suffers greatly…
Yeah, that’s one thing I hate. I’ve bought one digital movie from Amazon (A Dog’s Breakfast) because I simply could not find it any other way. It bugs me no end that I don’t really own it, merely lease.
You can still download mp3’s from Amazon, but they make it hard to figure out how.
I have no trouble downloading music. It’s only the videos.
Up until a couple months ago you could buy an mp3, then click a button to download it. Now you have to buy it, go into your music library, sort by “most recent”, then click on the three dots for the drop-down menu that has “Download” on it, then click the button confirming the download.
They really want you to listen to your music from the cloud, and they really don’t want you to own it. The content providers want you to pay continually for access to your media, not just pay them once and have it forever. I suspect we will soon see the end of legal downloading. Which, of course, would make piracy almost a moral imperative…
Interesting. I haven’t bought anything from them for a few months so I guess that’s a really recent change.
Edit: I just decided to buy some music to check it out and when I purchased it, there was a button I could click to download. It asked me to download the Amazon music app to my devices (which I already have on my Kindle and computer…but not on my phone) and I didn’t do that. But there was a button to still download directly from Amazon. So maybe they got some pushback on that and changed it.
You’ve always been able to download without the app, AFAIK. But they suddenly changed that process from 1-click to like 5 clicks. There is a “download” button when you buy a track, but it doesn’t work. (At least not for me.)
I am a luddite. I do everything on a desktop computer and I use programs, not “apps.” So if they force me to use one, I’m going to find a different way to get my music.
I am a bit of a completist, in that I intend to own every available episode of MST3K in one form or another eventually. I recently compiled a spreadsheet of all episodes, to track whether I own them, and in what format if I do. I currently own 101 episodes (not counting KTMA), which is just over half of all episodes (again, not counting KTMA). I also own the 2 KTMA episodes that have ben released on VHX. While I have been collecting them mostly through the Shout! Factory sets, I have a few older Rhino sets (unfortunately, not the coveted first run of Vol. 10), and I have the deluxe VHX collections from the Kickstarters.
Although I still may pick up the odd Shout! Factory volume from time to time, my current plan is to fill in most of what I do not have with purchases from the Gizmoplex once it is up and running. How quickly I can get to a mostly complete collection will depend on pricing there, but I hope to be well on my way by years end.
Then, there will finally be those episode that are not available, and for which there is little hope that they ever will be available. At some point I may have to enter the seedy underbelly of MST3K fandom, and find someone who is still “circulating the tapes”.
AFAIK there is only one episode (one of the early KTMA ones) that is not known to exist at all. (But may, on an old VHS tape in somebody’s attic.)
How many people own every single episode that exists?
That would be the mythical episode 3
If you use the PlayOn program, you can download from Amazon as well as other streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Paramount, etc.