Fred Rogers may have been an ordained Presbyterian minister, but considering the very real miracles that he performed for peoples’ lives during his own life, it goes without saying that he deserves some kind of special sainthood. Most of those miracles were performed daily on his beloved television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The series’ miracles came thanks to the invaluable life lessons that the show taught. From dealing with the wide range of emotions that we all go through, to handling interactions with family and friends in various situations, to even more simple topics such as how things are made and work, the series connected with – and continues to connect with – generations of audiences. That is especially thanks to the efforts of the people at PBS Distribution. The company has already released two multi-disc collections of episodes from the series and one single-disc collection since 2018. The company added to that already expansive collection of episodes Feb. 9 with the release of another impressive collection dubbed Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection. The collection impresses so much in part due to its featured episodes. They will be addressed shortly. The set’s packaging adds an aesthetic touch that audiences will appreciate, too. The set’s average price point rounds out its most important elements. It will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the collection. All things considered, they make the collection one of this year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.
PBS Distribution’s latest collection of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes is another presentation that any family will welcome into its home. Just as with the previous two box sets and single-disc collection already released, this collection stands out in part because of its featured episodes. The episodes in question pull from a span of more than 20 years (1979-2000) just as is the case with the series’ two other DVD sets. In the case of this collection, the episodes largely follow the overlying theme of meeting new friends, just in various ways. Those friends are both two-legged and four. The two-legged friends range from supermarket workers to musicians, to librarians. None of the episodes featured in this collection are repeats from its predecessor sets. However, there are some continuations for some. Case in point is episode #1498, “Mister Rogers Talks About Pets.” It compliments episode #1499, which is a continuation of the pet talk. Episode #1499 is featured in the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood collection, Would You Be Mine Collection. Episodes #1526, 1527, and 1529, all of which run under the title, “Mister Rogers Talks About Work” are all featured in the new set. They accompany episode #1530, also “Mister Rogers Talks About Work,” which is also in the aforementioned collection. These are just some of the episodes that continue in this new collection. There are many others that connect back to the set’s predecessors, so families who own those other sets now have even more reason to own this set. Between that and the fact that the collection’s episodes do, again, largely follow the central theme in the set’s title, there is all the more appeal. It forms a solid foundation for the new set, and is just one of the set’s most important elements. The set’s packaging adds to its appeal.
The packaging used for the Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection is important primarily for the episode listing therein. Every episode featured in this collection is outlined inside the case. It is printed on the inside of the box’s art in the form of a brief, but concise summary of each episode. What’s more, the episodes are listed within their respective discs. This inclusion means that families will have to spend less time trying to decide which episode(s) to watch and trying to find them. It may just be an aesthetic element, but in the bigger picture, the fact that it will help audiences navigate the set more easily means it will increase enjoyment of the set that much more, just in a different fashion than that which the content ensures. Adding to the discussion here is the fact that this is not the first time that PBS Distribution has gone this route. The company took the same route with the series’ first two DVD sets, so this is just a continuation of a positive track that PBS Distribution has already been riding so to speak. It still is not the last of the set’s most notable elements. The collection’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.
The average price point of PBS Distribution’s new Mister Rogers’ Neighorhood DVD collection is $15.88. That price is obtained by averaging listings at Walmart, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, and PBS. The set was not listed through Amazon, Target, and Books-A-Million at the time of this review’s posting. PBS’ listing of $19.99 is the most expensive of the available listings, while Walmart’s price point of $13.55 is the least expensive. Barnes & Noble Booksellers lists the set at $15.99 while Best Buy lists it at $13.99. Looking at these prices, two exceed the average, but not by much, while the other two listings are well below that number. The prices basically range between $14 and $20. So regardless of which retailer audiences choose, they will not break their budgets. What’s more paying any of the noted prices also means viewers will once again get their money’s worth, considering the amount of content spread across the collection. Adding even more, no matter which retailer consumers choose, PBS will once again benefit financially so that it can continue to provide such great content to audiences. When this is taken into account with the set’s content and packaging, all three elements combine to make the Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection one of the early candidates for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new family DVD/BD box sets.
PBS Distribution’s new Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episode collection, Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection is another presentation that audiences of all ages will appreciate and enjoy. That is due in part to its episodes, which connect to the series’ previous collections. They also are not just repeats of the episodes in those sets. What’s even more, they largely follow the central theme of the set’s title. The packaging adds to the set’s appeal for aesthetic reasons, while the average and separate prices will hardly break any viewer’s budget. Considering the amount of content in this collection, the set’s price becomes even more appealing. Each item noted is clearly important in its own way to the collection. All things considered, these elements make the Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection a must for any family that is also one of this year’s best new family DVD/BD box sets. The Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection is available now.
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