GETTING MORE TALE #447: Fist Fudge
What’s the biggest musical rip off you’ve ever seen?
The Nine Inch Nails unofficial Fisted box set comes to mind.
This set, supposedly limited to just 1000 pieces, retailed for about $200 in the mid-90’s. It included five CDs:
- Fixed (EP)
- March of the Pigs parts I and II
- Closer to God parts I and II
Those singles are available on their own, for much less. The box also included an unauthorized T-shirt that said “FIST” on the front, and “F%@#” on the back. No Nine Inch Nails logos anywhere to be found on that. It came in a cheap black plastic box with the Nine Inch Nails “n” logo and the word “Fisted” on top…except it’s not really the Nine Inch Nails “n” logo. The official one is backwards. This is just a normal “n”. They were hoping you wouldn’t notice that. This package was assembled by Phantom Imports, who must have been laughing their asses off at the ridiculous amount of markup.
This is a great example of a collectible that is not. The artist labels had no involvement and certainly did not set the pricing. The shirt and box have no logos on them. Anybody can go and print a T-shirt that says “FIST” and “FUCK” on it. All this for $200. Even if you were missing those five singles (which any real Nails fan was not) there is no reason to buy this.
We had an incomplete copy of this come into one of our stores, but it was missing the shirt and the other goodies. Looking to make a few extra bucks, we stuffed the box full of other albums and singles and jacked the price up. That was a decision made by a franchise owner. I don’t think he had an easy time selling this box, which was really just a plastic box with a random selection of CDs in it by the time we put it up for sale. A rip off box set made even more so.
I’ve seen others just as irritating as this. One was a “deluxe” version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall. This was the 2 CD set, packed into a wooden carving of a wall. It looked cool, but it also looked like something a skilled woodworker could make in his or her shop at home. It was painted white with the Wall logo scrawled across it. Around $200 for that too, somewhere at a store in Hamilton ironically called Cheapies.
Probably made by the same company was a commemorative Beatles single for “Real Love”. It came in a red box with a heart on it, with a button “Real Love” inside that looked like a cross between a heart and an apple. We ordered this one in, new, and our cost was about $40. It sat and sat and sat there for months. It wasn’t authorized any more than the Nine Inch Nails box was. We didn’t realize we’d brought in a lemon until it was too late. We had to be told by a customer who was a Beatles collector. “These things aren’t worth anything,” he said. “They’re not issued by the Beatles. It’s a made-up collectible.” We should have known, but it’s hard when you’re ordering this shit from a distributor’s catalogue.
Have you ever run across a rip off like these in your travels? Or worse, have you ever bought one?