Extended Tweets: Adventures in Making Informed Amazon Purchases Involving Old Nickelodeon Series

The Japanese version of this post would have been called “Crisis! The Missing 12 Episodes” which, oddly enough, is shorter than the actual title of this post.


Having recently acquired $10 in amazon credit, I figured I’d treat myself with something from my amazon wish list. Concluding that paying slightly less for a relatively expensive item rather than nothing for a cheap item made more sense, I figured I’d pick up one of amazon’s made-to-order DVD. For the uninitiated, Nickelodeon has (for reasons still unclear) made a majority of their earlier titles available solely through a made-to-order system on amazon. This means that the DVDs themselves are only made as people order them. Because of such, prices for these particular DVD sets remain at a constant $35 with no signs of a price drop.

Having fond memories, as well as a lack of any DVDs for this particular series, I settled on picking up a season set of Rugrats. The question now was which season.

Checking what past-Gabe put on his amazon wish list, it looked like the only seasons I was interested in picking up were for seasons 2 and 3. Checking with the series’ episode list on Wikipedia, I could understand past-Gabe’s reasoning. Season 1 of the show was like most season 1s for long-running shows in that it had some good concepts, but as a whole still failed to catch what fans would identify the series as. Meanwhile, seasons 2 and 3 were the stride of the series, with nearly every episode having a memorable quote or moment. In the series’ original airing, a hiatus followed season 3, with season 4 starting up a bit more than a year later, with the episodes showing a noticeable change not only in terms of animation quality, but writing as well. And while newer episodes had their occasional funny episode, most fans will agree that the series pre-1996 was where it was at.

Alright, so I was up to choosing either season 2 or 3 of Rugrats for my purchase. And then I noticed a minor difference in season 2’s DVD packaging.

Rather than being titled “Season 2,” the DVD packaging is listed as “Best of Season 2.” Eeyep, similar to amazon’s release of Doug Season 4, Rugrats Season 2 has been given the “best of” treatment, excluding some episodes for reasons unknown. However, unlike Doug’s release which only had two episodes removed (which were later made available for digital purchase through amazon’s instant video catalog), a whopping 13 episodes were missing from Rugrat’s season 2. And considering that each “episode” is really made of half-episodes, that’s actually 26 episodes missing. Looking up if amazon has digital versions of two episodes is one thing, but 26 episodes… that’s just ridiculous.

So with that out of the way, I’ve settled on picking up Rugrats Season 3 on amazon. Though the question still remains: Just why does amazon exclude episodes from some of their Nickelodeon releases? Perhaps Nick or some other side company has those particular episodes caught in a web of legalities? Whatever the case, season sets in general have become commonplace for TV-show collectors and make episode hunting that much easier for completionists and fair-weather fans alike. So to have a line of DVDs deliver at least in terms of completeness only to drop the ball on one random season is confusing to say the least.

And as a special note to Nickelodeon in particular: You’ve made complete season sets of Spongebob and Avatar—your recent cash cows—yet for some reason the older shows that defined your network continue to have budget releases either through amazon, Shout Factory, or other random third party distributors. It’s about time you jump on the nostalgia train and give your older titles the respect they deserve outside of a 4-hour block on a channel people would never tune to otherwise.

About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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