For whatever reason, my first attempt to publish a review on this site failed (I entered it almost 2 weeks ago!). I'm hoping it was just a glitch as I did not use any profanity, or anything beyond constructive criticism in my review! Below is the exact wording of my subsequent review (minus the last line of it, which isn't relevant here) that was published on amazon.com seconds after I entered it. I hope for it to be helpful:
Aside from the no-brainer five star rating, I don't really have much to add to what has already been stated regarding the set's contents. My only issue is that I have seldom (if ever) heard so much carping about packaging as I have for this set! Yes, there were two discs in mine that required a bit of wiping. Apart from that, they play just fine, thank you! I actually rather like the packaging, as it doesn't take up a lot of space, and is environmentally friendly compared to other, ridiculously bulky packaging designs. As far as I am concerned, the real bane as far as DVDs and/or packaging go are the dreaded double-sided discs. Whoever thought that this relic from the golden age of vinyl belonged in the digital age ought to have their head examined! Dual layer makes that totally unnecessary! As far as conventional packaging is concerned, I have occasionally had DVDs arrive in the mail, only to find the disc shaking inside the case because the centerpiece holding the disc in place busted. At least with the packaging for the Laurel & Hardy set, that is definitely not a concern!
I regret taking up so much space discussing the packaging rather than the contents. It's just that there have been far more negative comments about it than it actually deserves, in my opinion!
I am very thankful that amazon.com has restocked Laurel & Hardy: The Essential Collection (though I ordered mine through amazon.ca). It had allegedly been pulled due to "too many returns." It seemed to me that based on comments by the loudest critics of the packaging that some returned their sets without even playing any of the discs! For Region 1 based Laurel & Hardy fans who have been waiting so long for a marvelous set like this, that don't want it to disappear, I implore you to at least try playing the discs first (at the very least, fast forward through all the titles!) before deciding whether a return shipment is warranted!