This is not a review of the show (for which deserves 10 stars IMO) but on the packaging and blu-ray set itself. This is one of the few times I have not regretted splurging on the deluxe complete series set. (1) The barrel that the blu-rays come in looks exactly like in the AMC release picture (which is usually not the case). It is taller than I expected - 9 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter. The door that opens to reveal the discs is held shut by a magnet, and inside the door is the book with the UV code insert behind the book. (2) Each season is in its own plastic-stack, with blu-ray is housed individually in their own plastic round case and held together by a magnet (very clever). This is much better than other sets because the discs are secure in their own plastic cast and do not become dislodge during shipping to prevent scratches. (3) The apron is vacuum sealed into a round shape and is housed in the "secret" compartment in the top of the barrel, along with the challenge coin and special features disc. Based on the first episode so far, the quality of the video is sharper than I remember it on AMC HD (based on an older Samsung 32" LCD). As for shipping, it was shipped on Tues (release date) and received on Friday (today). The barrel has its own typical manufacturing plastic packaging around it, and it was nicely packed with a cushion foam around the barrel package itself to prevent it from being crushed during shipping. It arrived in one piece with all discs present with no scratches or damage. Very impressed!
I am very pleased with the product itself & found it to be a good value. However, the packaging & shipping time left much to be desired. Order was placed on 11/29/13, was emailed it shipped with tracking # on 11/30/13 with estimated delivery date of 12/6/13. Tracking info did not update until 12/3/13 when marked as processed by UPS MI in CA. It did not actually leave CA until 12/6/13 via Post Office. Finally reached Cincinnati, OH on 12/11/13 & delivered to me next day in neighboring state, 13 days after order placed. There was no update provided for revised delivery date. Package was left on open doorstep instead of covered porch. The box was more than twice as long as the contents & there was not enough crumpled paper inside to keep it immobile. It is a heavy thing, about 6 lbs. & the outer clear plastic case containing the black barrel was somewhat cracked on one end, so that part of it was damaged & I would have been upset if it were to have been a gift for someone else or I was planning the whole thing to be a pristine collector's item. The tape on the box was inferior non-reinforced plastic that had partially failed. The black barrel & all the contents arrived in perfect condition & everything that is supposed to be there is. This is a wonderful series, I would recommend it to anyone, especially if you appreciate details & some dark humor. I notice something new almost every time I watch an episode again, so it is well worth having the set to really appreciate the genius that went into the series. The extras that come with the set are fun & very much in keeping with the feeling of the show. I probably would have bought this for the apron alone.