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Complete Philips CDi US longbox release set and rarity guide


Chaos Control
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I shared this a while back on another Forum and with the CDi community, but also wanted to post it here given the mild CDi interest that the Nintendo connection can sometimes lead to. The earliest CDi releases in the US came in very nice hard plastic longboxes with outer cardboard sleeves. When I realized there wasn't any full list of them to be found, I decided to go for the full set and be the person who would verify them all. As far as I can tell, there's 97 different US longbox CDi releases. This was a surprisingly fun set to go for and to my knowledge I'm the only person to have accomplished this set. In addition to sharing this list and a short guide, I wanted to see if anyone here knows of any longbox releases that I missed. I hope you all enjoy this information!

As with any other collection, there are several titles that are vastly more difficult to find than others, rare due to low print runs, poor sales, or some other reasons. The following are the 10 rarest US Philips CDi longbox releases, in order of their rarity. If anyone reading this decides to go for the set, these are the ones that you should be willing to buy entire large lots just to obtain. You will be waiting a very long time for them to come up for sale by themselves, if they ever do.

  1. Anne Willan Presents The Food of France. This the rarest CDi longbox title, and one of the rarest US CDi releases period. It did have an overseas release.
  2. The ACT College Search '92. US exclusive CDi. This was also released only in longbox format. Easily the 2nd rarest longbox CDi.
  3. CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1. This is different than the other, more common Classical Guitar title. Very rare, possibly a variant.
  4. David and Goliath. The rarest of several rare religious CDi titles. Fairly expensive, too.
  5. Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own. Not tough to find in regular jewel-case format, but rare in longbox format.
  6. Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship. Still available on Amazon, but it never came up on Ebay in over a year of searching.
  7. The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe. Possibly the most expensive longbox title. Cinemassacre has an amusing video of this CDi. While this CDi is possibly the tamest CDi in terms of content, be warned that Googling about the artist will result in some highly NSFW results. DO NOT look this title up on anything other than your personal device.
  8. More Dark Fables from Aesop. Sequel to The Dark Fables of Aesop. I only saw two copies pop up in over a year.
  9. Moses: The Exodus.
  10. Moses: Bound for the Promised Land.

 

Now, those are just the rarest 10 CDi longbox format releases in comparison to all the rest of the longbox releases. About half of the other CDi longboxes only have one or two copies available for sale at any one time on Ebay or on Amazon. It does help to type in the name of the CDi, without adding "CDi" or "Philips" when searching for some of these titles on Ebay. There's a stunning amount of very poorly listed copies for otherwise very rare CDi longboxes, and CDis in general.

 

And at last, the complete alphabetical list of all confirmed 97 Philips CDi US longbox releases:

  1. A National Parks Tour

  2. A Revolution in Color

  3. A Visit to Sesame Street: Letters

  4. A Visit to Sesame Street: Numbers

  5. A Visit to the Valley of the Pueblo and the Amparo Museum

  6. Alice In Wonderland

  7. Anne Willan Presents the Food of France

  8. Backgammon

  9. Battleship

  10. Beauty and the Beast

  11. Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby

  12. Caesar’s World of Gambling

  13. Cartoon Jukebox

  14. CD Shoot

  15. CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1

  16. Children’s Musical Theater

  17. Classical Guitar

  18. Classical Jukebox

  19. Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia

  20. Connect Four

  21. Cool Oldies Jukebox

  22. Dark Castle

  23. David and Goliath

  24. Defender of the Crown

  25. Dutch Masters of the 17th Century

  26. Earth Rhythms

  27. Escape From the Cyber City

  28. Gardening By Choice: Flowers and Foliage

  29. Gifts to Behold

  30. Girl’s Club

  31. Golden Oldies Jukebox

  32. Harvest of the Sun

  33. How the Camel Got His Hump

  34. How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

  35. How to Photograph Nature

  36. International Tennis Open

  37. James Brown Nonstop Hit Machine

  38. Jazz Giants

  39. Jazz Guitar

  40. Jigsaw

  41. Laser Lords

  42. Lords of the Rising Sun

  43. Louis Armstrong

  44. More Dark Fables from Aesop

  45. Moses: Bound for the Promised Land

  46. Moses: The Exodus

  47. Mother Goose Hidden Pictures

  48. Mother Goose Rhymes to Color

  49. Mozart: A Musical Biography

  50. Mystic Midway Rest in Pieces

  51. NFL Football Trivia Challenge

  52. Noah’s Ark

  53. Paint School I

  54. Paint School II

  55. Pavarotti

  56. Pecos Bill

  57. Pegasus

  58. Pinball

  59. Power Hitter

  60. Prelude

  61. Rand McNally’s America: U.S. Atlas

  62. Rembrandt: His Art and the Music of His Era

  63. Rhythm Maker

  64. Richard Scarry’s Best Neighborhood Disc

  65. Richard Scarry’s Busiest Neighborhood Disc

  66. Rock Guitar

  67. Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship

  68. Sandy’s Circus Adventure

  69. Sargon Chess

  70. Stamps: Windows on the World

  71. Stickybear Reading

  72. Story Machine: Magic Tales

  73. Story Machine: Star Dreams

  74. Tell Me Why I

  75. Tell Me Why II

  76. Tetris

  77. Text Tiles

  78. The ACT College Search ‘92

  79. The Art of the Czars

  80. The Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own

  81. The Best of Draw 50

  82. The Dark Fables of Aesop

  83. The Emperor’s New Clothes

  84. The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe

  85. The French Impressionists

  86. The Palm Springs Open

  87. The Renaissance Gallery

  88. The Renaissance of Florence

  89. The Riches of Coins

  90. The Story of Jonah

  91. The Story of Samson

  92. The World of Impressionism

  93. Time Life Photography

  94. Treasures of the Smithsonian

  95. Video Speedway

  96. You Sing Christmas Favorites

  97. Zombie Dinos from the Planet Zeltoid

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https://atariage.com/forums/topic/301340-i-completed-the-entire-philips-cdi-us-longbox-set-or-did-i-plus-general-cdi-collecting-gems/?do=findComment&comment=5093809

 

 

Two Years later, it turns out that there are indeed a few US longbox CD-i releases that I had overlooked: the bi-lingual versions of How the Camel Got His Hump and How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin. They have different disc content, different titles, and most importantly different Catalog Numbers. Philips sold them as distinct titles back in the day, per every single Catalog and brochure/booklet included with most retail CDititles. They count as separate titles. They are a bit easy to overlook, as their covers are very similar, but look closely and you will see the differences. It should also be noted that while the bilingual version of Rhino Skin is not terribly difficult to find, it took me almost two years to find a complete with the outer slipcover copy of the bi-lingual Camel Hump. I just this week took delivery of a complete copy, the first one I had seen since putting together this longbox guide. It is a true rarity, and now that I've been able to finally get a copy to verify it and coupled with an additional year or so of data from Ebay and my fellow CDi collectors, an updated version of the longbox guide is in order.

 

 

 

In version 2.0, the big changes are the addition of the two US bi-lingual titles mentioned above, the addition to the end of the list of the European exclusive Lenting van Etten (which, mercifully for collectors, does NOT count towards the US longbox set), and an expanded listing of the rarest longbox titles. Pictures will follow soon, and the initial posts will be updated.

 

 

 

US CDi Longbox Collecting Guide and Checklist Version 2.0

 

A National Parks Tour

 

A Revolution in Color

 

A Visit to Sesame Street: Letters

 

A Visit to Sesame Street: Numbers

 

A Visit to the Valley of the Pueblo and the Amparo Museum

 

Alice In Wonderland

 

Anne Willan Presents the Food of France

 

Backgammon

 

Battleship

 

Beauty and the Beast

 

Brer Rabbit and the Wonderful Tar Baby

 

Caesar’s World of Gambling

 

Cartoon Jukebox

 

CD Shoot

 

CD-I Music Book: Classical Guitar Volume 1

 

Children’s Musical Theater

 

Classical Guitar

 

Classical Jukebox

 

Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia

 

Connect Four

 

Cool Oldies Jukebox

 

Dark Castle

 

David and Goliath

 

Defender of the Crown

 

Dutch Masters of the 17th Century

 

Earth Rhythms

 

Escape From the Cyber City

 

Gardening By Choice: Flowers and Foliage

 

Gifts to Behold

 

Girl’s Club

 

Golden Oldies Jukebox

 

Harvest of the Sun

 

How the Camel Got His Hump

 

How the Camel Got His Hump Bi-lingual

 

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin

 

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin Bi-lingual

 

How to Photograph Nature

 

International Tennis Open

 

James Brown Nonstop Hit Machine

 

Jazz Giants

 

Jazz Guitar

 

Jigsaw

 

Laser Lords

 

Lords of the Rising Sun

 

Louis Armstrong

 

More Dark Fables from Aesop

 

Moses: Bound for the Promised Land

 

Moses: The Exodus

 

Mother Goose Hidden Pictures

 

Mother Goose Rhymes to Color

 

Mozart: A Musical Biography

 

Mystic Midway Rest in Pieces

 

NFL Football Trivia Challenge

 

Noah’s Ark

 

Paint School I

 

Paint School II

 

Pavarotti

 

Pecos Bill

 

Pegasus

 

Pinball

 

Power Hitter

 

Prelude

 

Rand McNally’s America: U.S. Atlas

 

Rembrandt: His Art and the Music of His Era

 

Rhythm Maker

 

Richard Scarry’s Best Neighborhood Disc

 

Richard Scarry’s Busiest Neighborhood Disc

 

Rock Guitar

 

Sailing: A Guide to Sailing and Seamanship

 

Sandy’s Circus Adventure

 

Sargon Chess

 

Stamps: Windows on the World

 

Stickybear Reading

 

Story Machine: Magic Tales

 

Story Machine: Star Dreams

 

Tell Me Why I

 

Tell Me Why II

 

Tetris

 

Text Tiles

 

The ACT College Search ‘92

 

The Art of the Czars

 

The Berenstain Bears: On Their Own and You On Your Own

 

The Best of Draw 50

 

The Dark Fables of Aesop

 

The Emperor’s New Clothes

 

The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe

 

The French Impressionists

 

The Palm Springs Open

 

The Renaissance Gallery

 

The Renaissance of Florence

 

The Riches of Coins

 

The Story of Jonah

 

The Story of Samson

 

The World of Impressionism

 

Time Life Photography

 

Treasures of the Smithsonian

 

Video Speedway

 

You Sing Christmas Favorites

 

Zombie Dinos from the Planet Zeltoid

 

European exclusive: Lenting van Etten

 

 

 

 

 

Notes, and the 25 Rarest longbox releases:

 

1)Anne Willan Presents the Food of France and

 

 2) ACT College Search ’92 were among a few titles that were “de-emphasized” in later Catalogs by Philips. A former Philips VP that helped me with my collection even mentioned that ACT was soon considered outdated. Anne Willan Food of France did receive a release in the UK and Europe in the original “eurocase” format and is slightly easier to find in that overseas version. ACT is a US longbox exclusive.

 

3)It took me almost two years to find a complete copy of the bi-lingual version of How the Camel Got His Hump once I realized that it existed. It, and the more common Rhino Skin bi-lingual version, is a US longbox exclusive. They have unique content, different titles, different Catalog Numbers, and were advertised as separate titles.

 

4)CD-i Music Book Volume 1 (there were no other Volumes) is another US longbox exclusive. It’s a real stealth rarity, and many collectors had been unaware that it existed for a long time.

 

5)Sailing is another US longbox exclusive. Amazon had unsold stock until recently, but that is now all gone. It should not be confused with the similar sailing Cdi title Sail to Win by XDRA, which was also available in the US. The generic name doesn’t help when searching for a copy, so get ready for a lot of motor parts results. You can probably guess how much there was in the way of overlap between sailing enthusiasts and Cdi owners back in the day, which with the passage of time has made it very difficult to locate all these Decades later.

 

6)More Dark Fables from Aesop was actually sold at the same time as the first Dark Fables from Aesop, and both also received overseas releases. The first Dark Fables title is quite common, and will throw off your search results. Somehow the US version of More Dark Fables just never seems to show up.

 

7)Earth Rhythms is not actually a US longbox exclusive, as it also had a release as part of the Japanese Cdi set. Unlike most of the music related Cdi titles, it is not believed to have had a UK or European release, though I’d love to be proven wrong on that. It also isn’t just anybody’s cup of tea, but is a very relaxing and pleasant title to just sit back and watch on a proper CRT set with good speakers. I just happened to get my copy in a large lot, and have only seen it about 3 times in the past few Years.

 

8)David and Goliath is the rarest of several biblically-themed storybook titles aimed at children. All of them are fairly tough to find, but David and Goliath is the toughest. It is possibly a US longbox exclusive, though some of its companion titles did get overseas releases. This particular bit of information is subject to change pending additional research.

 

9)James Brown Non-Stop Hit Machine. This had releases outside the US, but is still very tough to find. There are many more James Brown fans than there are Cdi collectors, and most of the copies that come up draw their attention. Due to Copyright issues, this is one collection that will never, ever see any sort of re-release.

 

10)The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe is not NSFW in the slightest bit, and is possibly the very tamest Cdi of them all in terms of the on-disc content. It’s just a slideshow of pictures of flowers. “Oh, what a nice man the artist must be! I should look up his other works…” Don’t. Just don’t. Absolutely do not ever look up anything about this title or Robert Mapplethorpe in general on anything other than your personal device with safe search settings enabled. You have been warned. Flowers of R.M. is another US longbox exclusive, and one that sold very poorly. Like a lot of other expensive Cdi titles, it draws attention from non-Cdi interest groups, in this case the gay art community. I had two extra copies that I put up for sale once and got some very generous offers from some very unusual sources that had been looking long and hard for copies of this particular title. You can expect the next copies that pop up on Ebay to go for large amounts. This is also one of the hybrid Cdi/PhotoCD longbox titles, all three of which are very rare nowadays.

 

11)A Revolution in Color had releases outside the US, but the US longbox version is still difficult to find anywhere. It doesn’t help that the title will lead to a lot of results that have nothing to do with the Philips Cdi at all.

 

12)How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin bi-lingual version seems to be much more common than the equivalent Camel Hump, but is still a very rare title. I’ve seen it less than ten times ever. As with the bi-lingual Camel Hump, check your copy of the normal version, as you might already have this one and not realize it.

 

13)Berenstain Bears had a re-release in the later jewel-case with slipcover format, and is fairly common to find that way. It is the earlier longbox version that you will rarely ever see. It was one of the last longbox releases before Philips switched case formats, and few copies of the longbox version were ever printed.

 

14)Moses: The Exodus and

 

15)Moses: Bound for The Promised Land are about equally rare, though both also had releases outside the US. They are often also found together in the same lot, so unless you find a lone copy for a really good price you can probably wait for a lot with both of them in it.

 

16)How to Photograph Nature is another hybrid PhotoCD/Cdi longbox title, and also a US longbox exclusive as far as anyone knows. There’s absolutely no demand for it besides from fullset collectors, most of whom already have it.

 

17)Gifts to Behold had releases outside the US (even in Japan!) but the US longbox version is tough to find and does not show up very often outside of random lots. If you see a copy in decent shape buy it!

 

18)Amparo Museum (full name: A Visit to the Valley of Peubla and the Amparo Museum) was one of the early titles to be developed for the Cdi, and did get a release outside the US. While much more common than a lot of the other titles on this list, it is still very rare compared to other Cdi titles and games in general. There was only one early print run that did not sell well, and nowadays only shows up in a random lot or so. The low numbers that were made make it rare by default, and you won’t have a convenient time finding a copy.  

 

19)You Sing Christmas Favorites- ever hook up a mic to your Cdi? Me neither, but that was the intent behind this title. It was re-named for the equally limited overseas Euro release, and nowadays hardly ever shows up for sale.

 

20)Girl’s Club did have a fairly large print run and had overseas releases, but a lot of the copies of the US longbox version went to Blockbuster Video stores for rental (see above post) and now complete copies are tough to find, though there’s usally an overpriced BIN on Ebay. There aren’t many other girls dating “games” in general, and it has very much become an unintentional time capsule all these years later.

 

21)A National Parks Tour is the third and most common of the longbox PhotoCD/Cdi hybrid titles, and while a US exclusive it did get a later jewel-case re-release. Neither version is particularly common, nor will it be an easy challenge to try and find a nice complete longbox copy.

 

22)Rhythm Maker is an obscure title that seems to have been a US longbox exclusive and which only had a small print run. It tends to only show up in lots and almost never as a lone BIN or open auction. Numbers alone make it rare, but this one is particularly difficult to get by itself.

 

23)Prelude is a title that had releases in all regions, but the US longbox version is a stealth rarity compared to most of the rest of the set. The complete lack of demand for it apart from dedicated Cdi collectors makes it look deceptively common when it really is not.

 

24)Gardening: Flowers and Foliage is not a common title to begin with, and is even tougher to find outside of a large lot. The longbox version only had the one print run, though there was an overseas release in the “eurocase” format. While it remains quite a useful and easy to use program to use in planning your garden, nowadays only the most die-hard Cdi collector would want a copy.

 

25)Rock Guitar is one of several guitar titles for the Cdi, and is by far the toughest of them to find. Part of this is due to the generic title.

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