Go Packaging, Boxes & Cartons

Boxes - Now here's a tricky dicky topic. In years gone by what box your pre cert turned up in held little interest, it was all about the sleeve, all about getting the most uncut variant you could  find, all about the playback or landing an unusual film.

Then when the collectors circles really kicked off in crept condition and the best examples commanded the highest prices. Unusual releases became more valuable even if it were the same film. The content no longer the primary reason for picking up these films as DVD had invaded.

The 'trophy' tape began to get a name for itself and collectors with big wallets and a keyboard began to take forefront over the back pack armed street tape seeker, armed with years of experience and a nose for mylar.

Soon afterwards the trophies needed the right boxes and the OCD of some collectors kicked in and embossed boxes were being touted for up to £50 each, yup 50 quid for a box.

Before the second phase kicked in this sites owners were picking up Go embossed boxes for a quid a time from donor tapes, now you'll pay at least £20 for a Go title with original box.

So what are we looking for?

Well Go fortunately, perhaps due to the short life span of the company, were pretty consistent on the boxes they used. They went through four 'face lifts' of a similar box through their time.

Always a 'puffy clam' not a hard box the earliest variants sported a bobbled pattern on the inside with a plain section about 8 - 10cm tall and the width of the inner lay of the box. No lugs were present in this style as the 'cut out' was sufficient to hold the tape in place. Some boxes of the era were multi format compatible,  the style adopted by Go were not and separate 'Beta' sized variants were produced.

Another 'tell' of the Go box is the etching to the top and bottom at the openings, these identified whether the content was Beta or VHS, in fact this is the only external identification  placed by the company on the exterior regarding format and followed through to the end.

The only, company wise, identifiable characteristics of this box were that some came with a security foil on the side, some have survived. The gold foil was roughly 6 cm in length and merely printed 'Go Video' three times. This would have been a later addition to the box as it used the newer logo and as Des Dolan became more and more irritated by the pirate gangs diluting his business this was clearly an effort to thwart their abilities to counterfeit his product.

Its likely the first 16 titles were released in these MK I boxes, from Celestine through to the re-release of Demons, though many of these early titles may be found with later embossed boxes they are likely to have been donors and added by collectors over the years.

At the beginning of 1982 Go re-branded and moved from the rounded logo to the square font variant. Erotic Rites of Frankenstein was the first title to receive the new moniker but did not benefit from the new label, thus suggesting a cross over period at this release. Therefore its not know if the new embossed Go Video box came with Franky or SS first. What is certain is that SS did receive the new packaging.

This is the most common and plentiful of the Go boxes and will often be seen in various conditions across a number of titles used from SS Experiment camp through to  Appointment in Beirut, some three titles after the last logo change.

Using the same box as before the Go Video logo was 'embossed' as it is often referred to but its more of a heat-seal stamp on  the inner left wall/inlay. Again showing his marketing prowess DD had realised the importance of brand and brand awareness and his own boxes gave an illusion of size in an over crowded pool of independent competitors as well as firing another shot at those pesky pirates.

Once again both Beta and VHS variants were produced for the MK II and the side foil still employed on some. These boxes really do come in all sorts of conditions so if paying for the box make sure you check out the inner creases for cracks and tears.

The third installment is the most fascinating, perhaps almost driven wild by the consistent attacks from the counterfeiters DD employed the technology of the 'Securit International system' for one release only, Arminius the Terrible. At this later stage of the companies lifeline perhaps it was a final throw of the dice to deter their perseverance.

Arminius had no sleeve and as such the artwork and box became one, (More in the pirates section) with the artwork split over two levels. The box effectively was manufactured to the same template as earlier examples with the bobbly effect inside to the same manufactured standard but this time the new and final logo was added in a fully embossed fashion.

Whilst almost impossible to forge it meant the boxes were very brittle and no doubt not popular with rental stores as a damaged box could not simply be changed and the sleeve rehoused, for this title a dropped and chipped or damaged box meant the end, or a serious amount of sellotape. Therfore really good examples of this title are hard to find and a premium must be expected to be paid for undamaged specimens.

The final variant from the Go/Piccadilly/Citycenta camp was effectively the Arminius box without the Securit cover technology and returned to a regular sleeve. Both Beta and VHS were evident once again but its speculative as to which titles were housed in this one. It is very very rare to find one of these suggesting perhaps only the final Go title 'Miracle Man' received it.

KidiVids also were released in this MK IV but in quite low numbers and the odd Piccadilly has been known to be housed in one as well as the more common gold box. These boxes don't tend to command as much as the more common Gold style bizarrely, due to the fact they are less known about and collectors who like uniformity realise the unlikeliness of completing the set. Though it would be nice, if not specifically correct to get the Graffiti designed sleeves housed in these.

Any which one you choose, Go's are always happier in a true Go Box.

Cartons - The forerunnner of Go, 'Video 7' used the popular 'at the time' carton packaging to promote and protect the cassettes.

Like many early video distributors a cardboard carton was cheap and easy to produce. The downside being they were not hardy and especially in rental environments got damaged easily. But despite the later, most early offerings from distributors abound came in this format, funnily the US market would be more attached to this style long after its demise in the UK.

As video rental stores became more apparent the carton was even more unwelcome as they did not sit on the shelves easily and were untidy due to lack of uniformity next to other releases as the majority of companies eventually opted for large clams.

This wasn't such an issue for Video 7 as so few actually made it to market, or at least surviving numbers would suggest this is the case.

Video 7 used a black carton with a top entry slot but many were cut up so even surviving examples are butchered for the reasons laid out above as they were often sliced to fit regular small boxes.

Simple in design, they were generic and a photograph styled postcard of the film (usually the poster art) was glued to the front. With the cassette label slapped on the rear and the cassette side label donning the carton side, voila!

These are really special and if you can find one or have any please share as they are so hard to come by some scans are still not evident due to no one having the title.