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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 UICY-93980 : Stewart, Rod : Sing It Again Rod +5
UICY-93980 : 2009-02-25
Rod's first 'greatest hits' album with a fantastic, die-cut sleeve.
Front cover (main) image of LIST-007 : Quintessence Editions : 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
LIST-007 : 2006-02-07

This is a work in progress project and due to its size it will take some time to finish.

Book cover images from different countries are welcome (or the ones included but with better image resolution).

 
Front cover (main) image of VICP-63335 : Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) : The World Became The World
VICP-63335 : 2006-02-22
English language version of the earlier native Italian "L'Isola di niente" on ELP's Manticore label. As with the earlier English rehash of PFM's "Per un amico" the lyrics were for the most part re-written (not translated) by Pete Sinfield of King Crimson.
Front cover (main) image of SONY-AERO : Aerosmith : Aerosmith Box (1973 - 2001)
SONY-AERO : 2004-07-07
This rare promo box was given in exchange for coupons which were issued with nineteen Aerosmith and related mini lp cds. The mini lp cds were released by Sony on 2004-07-07.
 
Front cover (main) image of YES-BOX1 : Yes : Roger Dean Box
YES-BOX1 : 1998-05-29
This ULTRA RARE promo box has the distinction of being the FIRST EVER Disk Union mini LP Promo Box!! The full title of the box is:YES ORIGINAL JACKET COLLECTION selected from ROGER DEAN WORKS. This box contained five YES mini LP CDs.
Front cover (main) image of TOCP 71010-1 : Beatles (The) : The Beatles (aka The White Album)
TOCP 71010-1 : 2009-09-09
Double album named the beatles. Kaldes også det hvide album. Gatefold. Navnet the beatles præget i frontcover. Nummer skrevet i sort No 0000001. Ellers er mini lp'en som den originale vinylplade.
 

See all Featured Releases