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What is a promo box? E-mail

The term "promo box" is used generically to describe custom made boxes that are used to store Japanese mini LPs.

Disk Union

The majority of these boxes are created by a Japanese company "Disk Union" and they are truly promotional. They are "given away" as an incentive to people who purchase the entire set of a particular release. Each release is usually for one artist and also is usually on or around a specific date.

For example, Toshiba may release 10 mini LPs for a single artist over a period of a month or so (if not all on the same day). Disk Union purchase a set number of these and hold them in stock until the last is released. Meanwhile Disk Union create a special box using artwork usually based on, or directly derived from, one of the artist's releases.

Disk Union offer the box as an incentive to those who purchase all 10 titles in one lot from Disk Union.

These releases from Disk Union are often also accompanied by "promo obis" and, more rarely a replica of another 33rpm or 45rpm cover (such as Zappa's Uncle Meat Box).

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Other Boxes

Manufacturer Boxes

Occasionally the record companies produce boxes for housing sets. In most cases these are sold at a markup (therefore they cannot be considered strictly "promotional"). Often the CDs contained within the box cannot be purchased separately (other than on ebay of course). The Rolling Stones "Bigger Bang 2006" box is a good example.

Home made one offs

These are "labours of love" and usually are not sold. There are exceptions but anyone selling these usually makes it pretty clear. Also, the quality ranges significantly.

Copies

In recent years a number of highly popular boxes have been illegally manufactured and sold on eBay and elsewhere (Amazon second hand dealers). These included the black Led Zeppelin Box and both Mono and Stereo Beatles Remasters. Thousands have been made and, arguably, there are as many fakes as there are originals.

Fakes

There are also some unofficial releases (not Disk Union and not Manufacturer releases - fakes in effect). An example is the "Exciting the Who" box (the 2005 release, not the 2006 version which is official).

Are these legal?

The official releases are obviously legal.

The Disk Union boxes are also legit. There are occasions when Disk Union has announced a box and then has not produced it. It is believed that this happens because they have not been able to finalise the usage of the artwork (any artwork) on the box (Pete Townshend for example).

The others are (theoretically) illegal and would normally also contain fake mini-lps, but not necessarily. If the collector has filled the box from a number of different sources then the box will likely contain a mix of genuine and fake mini LPs.

Buying these boxes

Disk Union does not ship these boxes outside Japan. The only way to buy them is from someone in Japan or on eBay.

 
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Featured Releases (A selection of...)

See all Featured Releases

Front cover (main) image of SF-303 : Flower Travellin' Band : Make Up
SF-303 : 2004-12-20
Highly unusual packaging - a fake leather attache breifcase / portfolio.
Front cover (main) image of VICP-5442,3,4 : Emerson, Lake + Palmer : First True Japanese Mini LP Rock Release
VICP-5442,3,4 : 1994-09-21

The first three Emerson Lake and Palmer albums (self titled, Tarkus and Pictures at an Exhibition) are arguably the first true Rock Mini LPs. They were released on 21st September 1994.

These had been preceded by a much earlier Lotus and a US release of some Rolling Stones albums repackaged for Japan a few short months before these. Neither of these earlier releases was true to the original vinyl although the Stones came close.

The earliest true Minis were two series of MCA Jazz releases from March 1994 (MVCZ-26 to MVCZ-45) including this example: Death and The Flower.

 
Front cover (main) image of DU-BOX226L : Schulze, Klaus : Timewind Box
DU-BOX226L : 2008-02-22
Big box to enclose the previous 3 slipcase promoboxes released by Disk Union to hold a total of 16 albums.
Front cover (main) image of TOCP-71041 : Beatles (The) : The Beatles in Mono
TOCP-71041 : 2009-09-09

Published by EMI Music Japan. This box is a little larger than the non-Japanese version as it contains additional printed material.

 
Front cover (main) image of TOCP-65740 : Pink Floyd : The Dark Side Of The Moon
TOCP-65740 : 2001-06-16
The landmark 1973 album from Pink Floyd. This issue contains all the original inserts plus more.
Front cover (main) image of DU-SP146.2 : Bowie, David : Space Oddity Box
DU-SP146.2 : 2007-03-07

This box was issued by Disk Union as part of the 3rd of their 3 box releases in the early 2007. You did not need to buy boxes one (Ziggy Stardust Box and Promo Obis) or two (Low Box and Promo Obis) in order to receive the Space Oddity Box. It came with Let's Dance Box and Promo Obis.

 

See all Featured Releases

News...

ArtistRelease IDFormatTitleRelease DateNews...

(Most of the following is based on info found online in the Papersleeve sections of CDJapan).

The Hollies

WPCR-15545

SHM-CD (2)

Greatest + Singles Vol.1

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

The Hollies

WPCR-15547

SHM-CD (2)

Greatest Vol.2 + Singles Vol.2

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

Gerry & The Pacemakers

WPCR-15549

SHM-CD

I'll Be There

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

Gerry & The Pacemakers

WPCR-15550

SHM-CD

Girl On A Swing

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

Terry Reid

WPCR-15551

SHM-CD

Bang. Bang You're Terry Reid +7

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

Terry Reid

WPCR-15552

SHM-CD

Terry Reid +11

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

Tomorrow

WPCR-15553

SHM-CD

Tomorrow +13

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

McGough & McGear

WPCR-15556

SHM-CD

McGough & McGear

2014-04-09

Release date changed to 2014-04-09

2014-02-14 : Release date changed to 2014-03-26

2014-02-12 : New release (due on 2014/03/12)

Oasis

SICP 4110-2

CD x 3

Definitely Maybe

2014-05-14

New release (due on 2014/05/14)

Deluxe edition of "Definitely Maybe" from Oasis includes two bonus discs with rare tracks, live tracks, and more. Features hard-cover cardboard sleeve artwork and the latest remastering. Comes with a description, lyrics, and a 24-page booklet.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

VICP-78001

SHM-CD

Emerson, Lake & Palmer Platinum

2014-04-23

New release (due on 2014/04/23)

Cardboard sleeve reissue from Emerson, Lake & Palmer features Platinum SHM-CD format and the K2HD mastering. HR cutting. The cardboard faithfully replicates the original LP artwork (18cm square). This series features the following three albums: "Emerson, Lake & Palmer," "Tarkus," and "Pictures At An Exhibition." *Platinum SHM-CD is fully compatible with standard CD players. However, it will not play on CD players that are not compatible with CD-R (Compact Disc-Recordable) discs.

Most recent update...

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