|Where I get my MST3K Tapes and DVDs|
Here are my sources for MST tapes, and I recently sampled DVD as well. Something to remember when purchasing DVD. Most are created from VHS copies. That means any defects such as drop-offs (those lines that sometimes cut through your tapes) will be seen on the DVD. One positive, no new lines will suddenly appear. A video tape will wear down with repeated play (and who doesn't repeatedly play their MST collection!) with DVD you get a lot more durability.
Of Note: All info is accurate to Feb. 2005. Dealers upgade their collections all the time so the condition of the reviewed copies can improve.
One of my favorite tape trader/sellers. Gary's discs are consistantly good. The picture quality is sharp and clean and the sound was very crisp. He recently upgraded a bunch from Season 6 and the results are stunning. "Yucca Flats" and "Samson" are some of the best looking copies I've seen for those eps and his "Last of the Wild Horses" disc is beautiful. "Horses" is a very dark movie (picture-wise) but you can see everything in the theater (Meaning the shadowrama is well defined). One way to gauge quality is to check out the host segments, especially Franks black uniform. When done poorly, his clothing can look flat, matted. But here you can see every shadow and fold.
In addition to his season 6's, he also offers the best looking editions of "Time of the Apes", "Mighty Jack" & "Untamed Youth" (to name just three). His "Giant Gila Monsters" was an upgrade from the one I received from Hayce and Gary's "Gamera Vs. Guiron" is the only one I've found without that annoying sound warble (Note: I did not sample The Surfer's copy, so I can't speak to the condition of his disc)
The only knock I can find is the lack of a menu with pictured chapters. As a reviewer I like the convenience of zeroing in on a scene quickly. Still, the ability to clearly see the action and hear the riffs are what counts and mst3kvideos delivers on both of those aspects. Highly recommended!
Another favorite is a bit on the pricey side (he has lowered his prices since this was originally written), but you get quality across the board for your buck. Bob Bukoski, once known as the Surfer is now offering discs and he does a brilliant job on them. The box art will fit right in with your Rhino singles and the menus are beautiful and professional looking. They include extras, my favorite being the commercials... Season 4's were very funny.
The quality of the discs are very sharp too. Bob explained to me that he uses something called a time-base corrector (TBC). To quote.... "TBC will take the analog image from one source and digitize each frame before sending to a recorder. This really helps to stabilize the picture eliminate some of the waviness."
Bobs KTMA and Sci-Fi copies are some of the best you can find. I also loved the quality of shows #108, #109, #213, #201, #401, #520 and #615. I also tried out "Dead Talk Back" and "Brute Man" - both are very dark, poorly lit movies which could cause problems. But Bob's copies for these were perfect in both picture and sound. Of those DVDs I sampled, only his "Mighty Jack" was below par - the picture is fine, except for the white speckle that dots the screen and mars the qualtiy - until he upgrades it I'd purchase that one from another dealer.
Michael's got a neat little storefront, very easy to navigate which makes shopping quick and painless. His product and prices are pretty good too. Of those I sampled, I was very happy with the KTMA "Superdome", #302 Gamera and especially "Terror From the Year 5000" which was big improvement over my old VHS copy. Unfortunately his "Untamed Youth" disc wasn't up to snuff. The picture was very dark and has a kind of greenish tint to it, definition was muddy and hard to see. As opposed to the one offered by Bob Bukoski or MST3Kvideos, which are bright and clear as a bell.
For his VHS, Hayce offers wallet friendly prices and with the free video offers you get a great deal. The DVDs are little more pricey but have concise, beautiful menus with music which I loved. I've seen the DVD for shows #312, #508, #509 & #522 and they were very clear. For the tapes, the early season 8 episodes (801 & 802) were a bit too grainy for my tastes. (Tho I did buy season nines "Gorgo" and was happy with sound and picture). I was also pleased with the picture on show #211 and my copy of "Mighty Jack" was great looking for its B+ grade.
Outstanding slip cover design, these fit nicely with my Rhino DVDs in the bookcase. I sampled show #421 and have seen #612 and was impressed with the top notch picture quality on both. Excellent menu lists 10 chapters. Forrester also offers up a few digital versions of the sci-fi episodes.
Consistent quality, I've always been happy with the video tapes I've received from Bill. For the DVD I sampled #524 and while there was some minor pixilation I was pretty pleased for the most part. Simple menu offers chapters set at each host segment.
Deep Discount DVD
This is where I get my Rhino copies. Great prices and they offer free shipping. If your on a tight budget you can't go wrong with Deep Discount. NOTE: Since publishing this Amazon has matched or bettered DDD prices the past few releases. I guess the times they are a changing.