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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...)

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Front cover (main) image of WPCR-13142 (fake) : Led Zeppelin : Fake Led Zeppelin - 40th Anniversary Definitive Collection (Zoso Box)
WPCR-13142 (fake) : 2009-01-01

This fake Led Zeppelin 40th Anniversary appears to be made in China. You would find it hard to pick a sealed copy of this as being anything other than than the real deal.

Inside it is also remarkably similar but has some significant, obvious differences in packaging including: (a) the CD comes in a flimsy loose fitting bag (b) Physical Graffiti has no cut out windows and (c) III (3) has no turning wheel.

The CDs also have the tell tale extra ring in the middle but this is much better disguised than usual.

Unusually for fakes these have the catalogue number and an IFPI code (CC 303) on the silver side of the disc.

Front cover (main) image of hudson-pf01 : Pink Floyd : Hudson Dark Side of the Moon Box
hudson-pf01 : 2008-01-01

A unique creation from Kerry Hudson design. Lavishly sculptured and finished, this felt lined wooden box stand holds all regular sized Pink Floyd Mini vinyl LP replica covers along with a selection of DVDs.

The ultimate gift for the Pink Floyd fan who has everything. (The box is currently for sale from the sculptor. Contact details can be found here.)

This was Kerry's second homage to an artist's releases on Mini LP, the first being Hudson Genesis Box Mach I.

 
Front cover (main) image of TOCP-65883 : Jethro Tull : Thick As A Brick +2
TOCP-65883 : 2001-10-31
The undisputed classic Jethro Tull album. The first full length concept album from Ian Anderson and, according the official web site, "a rock first: one continuous song on both sides"
Front cover (main) image of anon-queen-opera : Queen : A Night At The Opera Box
anon-queen-opera :
Home made box featuring art work from Queen's "A Night At The Opera". Images for this box were anonymously donated to the MiniLPs site along with the assurance that only a few of these were made for close friends.
 
Front cover (main) image of BVCM-37083 : Presley, Elvis : Elvis Presley
BVCM-37083 : 2000-01-08
This is the eponymous first album from Elvis Presley. It is the first rock & roll album to reach number one on the national charts (holding at number 1 for 20 weeks) and the first million dollar selling pop album.
Front cover (main) image of MVCZ-40 : Jarrett, Keith : Death and The Flower
MVCZ-40 : 1994-03-24
One of the earliest Japanese Mini LPs coming from the second batch of K2 20bit Jazz replicas released in March 1994.
 

See all Featured Releases