(I was amused by the people who equated sending a blogger a box with the '50s payola scandals, which seems rather to miss the point: there's no quid pro quo here, and, as far as I can tell, nothing you can do in order to get a box, apart from have a cool blog, nor anything you are obliged to do if you get a box, not even write about it.)
I think my favourite of the boxes is http://www.knitty.com/blog/2008/12/my-coraline-box.htmlbut it's a close thing.
For those keeping track of the fifty boxes: I did not get one of those fifty boxes-for-bloggers. There are still 28 in the wild.
I got a one-off box-for-an-author.
It looks like this:
Like this in close-up.
It opens to reveal red-velvet padding...
Incidentally, photographed because they were also on the kitchen table* -- the US edition of the Steve Jones CORALINE: A Visual Companion arrived here a few days ago. It's lovely. Steve tells the history of the book, the history of the film, shows how it came to be, tells about the various other versions of Coraline -- the puppet ones, plays, the upcoming Stephin Merritt musical** and so on.
I also got the new UK edition of Coraline the book with the film tie-in cover, and I discovered that they seem to be seriously using the "Coraline looking at us poster" as the cover, with "An Adventure too Weird For Words" as the tagline.
Truth to tell, I don't like the "Too Weird For Words" line -- it's like someone went "Uhh... I have no idea what this is or how to describe it," and, combined with the poster picture, makes me suspect that the UK film people are worried about telling people that it's a beautiful, funny, sometimes scary little movie. Personally, I think you should sell things for what they are, because that way the people who do like them will find them. If you try to give the impression that it's a ... well, something else (from the poster and tag line, a cute silent movie about a little girl who lives in a house?) you'll miss the people out there who would have liked it, and the people who go wanting the thing they think you're selling will be puzzled and disappointed.
But the film doesn't come out until May in the UK, so there's still plenty of time to hope they change it, I guess.
I'm hearing wonderful things from people about the imaginative ways Laika/Focus are promoting it in the US right now, including trains that go past posters that appear to move -- real life animation, which turns the subway walls into a giant flip-book. (And look! A storefront in New York that seems to have become a Coraline world.)
I'm digressing. Below, you will see the Coraline that wasn't in the box. She was a gift a couple of years ago from Henry and his team -- a painted model.
This is the one that was in the box. See the lines on her face? That's where you can replace eyes, mouths and so on. At the beginning of the film-making process Henry wanted to keep the lines, but was outvoted, so they were digitally erased.
She has the cat in her satchel and they are both fully articulated.
*Also on the kitchen table in this shot, the edge of a few copies of the George Walker Writer's Prayer print I found while looking for something else, artist's proofs which I'm going to send over to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund to auction.
And while I think of it, this is a small reminder that, for late presents, or for What To Do With Holiday Gift Money things, the CBLDF shop at http://www.cbldf.com/ is filled with wonderful signed goodies, including books and posters and suchlike, along with memberships, and fragrances, and even t-shirts.
Like this one from Frank Miller: