Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas -- DVDs for History Channel Fans (Review)

Who would have thought that shows like American Pickers, Storage Wars and Pawn Stars would be hits?  If you haven't seen these popular series on the History Channel, then you have been missing out. My husband stumbled upon these shows in particular a few years ago, and turned me onto them, and we have been hooked since.  Then, when I told my parents about them, they started to watch and talk about with friends.  And, so goes the ever growing chain of fans who watch these shows week in and week out.  We also enjoy watching repeats -- they are that good! 

Buy now for only $19.95.

"The top rated series from HISTORY returns to DVD! 

There is no better example of today’s pawnbrokers than the Harrison family’s Gold and Silver Pawn shop on the outskirts of Las Vegas — the modern day Mecca for people in need of quick cash. Three generations of Harrison men clash with friendly camaraderie over items from classic cars to samurai swords. Here, everything has a history, and everything has a price. And you never know what’s going to walk through the door. PAWN STARS: VOLUME 5 features 16 episodes never-before-released on DVD including the usual assortment of oddities for the Harrisons to consider like a 31-ton car-crushing Robosaurus, a mandolin that could be worth over $100,000 and an authentic Batmobile."

DISC 1: Darth Pawn / Put Up Your Dukes / Pawn Illustrated / Striking a Chord / Harrison For President / Wise Guys / Robosaurus / Ah, Shoot!

DISC 2: Going Postal / Chummobile / Evel Genius / Pablo Pawncasso / Sub for Sale / Missile Attack / Not on My Watch / Take A Seat

Buy now for only $19.95.

"HISTORY’s ratings record-breaker is back for another installment!

In small towns, and along America’s back roads, treasures are waiting to be uncovered — valuable relics from our history that are hidden in junk piles, buried in barns and stacked in garages. It takes experts to find them — and turn rust to riches. American Pickers follows two of the most skilled “pickers” — Mike Wolfe, owner of Antique Archaeology, and his business partner, Frank Fritz— as they hunt down objects with historical, collectible and pop culture value. Along the way, they meet people whose own stories open a window into American lives and history. AMERICAN PICKERS: VOLUME 4 proves there’s no place Mike and Frank won’t go in search of hidden treasure as they pick through the hills of Malibu, California, go to a backcountry Alabama auction, and go on assignment for William Shatner."

DISC 1: Fairlane Fever / Too Hot To Handle / Trading Up / The Emu Chase

DISC 2: Keep Out! / They Boldly Go / The Possum Trot / California Dreamin’

Buy now for only $19.95.

"Fast-talking auctioneers Dan and Laura Dotson and the loyal bidders that frequent their storage unit sales are back for more STORAGE WARS. Aided only by the beam of a flashlight, the bidders get a quick peek inside the units, then have mere minutes to decide if they’re going to take the gamble, make a bid and see if the resulting buy is full of mostly trash… or true treasure. “Storage addict” and 32-year bidding veteran Darrell and his son Brandon Sheets, secondhand store owner Jarrod Schultz, entrepreneur Dave Hester and antique collector Barry Weiss return for more high-stakes fun as they try to outbid one another in the pursuit of storage treasure. Part gamblers and part detectives, these seasoned veterans negotiate the fascinating and obscure world of storage auction and consignment, with personalities as colorful and varied as the treasures they uncover. In STORAGE WARS: VOLUME 3, the buyers are introduced to the world of vault auctions, Dave goes all in for a unit that hasn’t been opened in 20 years and Barry has a brush with his own mortality."

DISC 1: I’m the New Mogul / Driving Miss Barry / Winner Winner Chicken Dinner / Auction Sesame / Stairway to Hemet / Scoot-A-Toot, Toot / The Empire Strikes Out / Make It Rain, Girl

DISC 2: Smoke ‘Em If You Find ‘Em / The Drone Wars / Brandi’s First Time / Hooray for Holly-Weird / Don’t Bid So Close to Me / Not Your Average Bear / Hook, Line, and Sucker / Operation Hobo

If you haven't seen these shows and love The Antique Roadshow, then you will love these series.  I have learned so much about finds, and are always amazed at how much they end up going for.  Each time my husband and I watch American Pickers and Storage Wars in particular, we also talk about how great it would be to go on a pick, or buy a storage locker at auction and see what treasures we find.  Have you thought the same, after watching these shows?  We haven't acted on it yet, but if we do, we are learning pointers from these shows. :-)

And, when we are not watching these shows, my family enjoys tuning in to watch specials about historical landmarks, people and events.  So, I was excited when I received two of History Channel's acclaimed documentaries to review.

Buy now for only $19.95.

"Ferocious in combat and driven by an unforgiving code of ethics, the samurai were mysterious masters of the sword and bow. They beat back foreign invaders and fought each other for land, status, honor and glory. Following in the footsteps of the most famous samurai of all time, Miyamoto Musashi, Samurai uses vivid animation to bring the fierce beauty of samurai culture to life. Warriors: Samurai Showdown explores the weaponry, tactics, training and secrets of Japan’s fearless warriors with host and Green Beret Terry Schappert. Ancient Mysteries: Samurai! explores the enigmatic realm of beauty, adventure and sacrifice, where honor means more than life itself. In Human Weapon: Judo: Samurai Legacy hosts and seasoned fighters Jason Chambers and Bill Duff go to Japan to understand the techniques and history of Judo, the country’s national martial art. In Masamune – Samurai Sword Master, today’s martial-arts experts wield razor-sharp swords as they reveal the life of one of the greatest swordsmen of all time, the 13th-century samurai Masamune. And Samurai and the Swastika tells of the alliance between Germany and Japan in World War II, despite the ideological divide that separated the two countries."

SAMURAI contains 6 acclaimed documentaries on 4 DVDs:

DISC 1: Samurai

DISC 2: Warriors: Samurai Showdown / Ancient Mysteries: Samurai!

DISC 3: Human Weapon: Judo: Samurai Legacy / Masumune – Samurai Sword Master

DISC 4: Samurai and the Swastika

My husband is a fan of martial arts, and found Samurai to be a great documentary that shares the history and techniques of Judo, the country's national martial art.  This 4-DVD set included 6 acclaimed documentaries, that will give you insight into the masters of the sword and bow.  I couldn't get over how the documentaries made the art of judo beautiful.  You don't have to be a fan of martial arts to enjoy these riveting documentaries. I found the story about Masumune, the great Samurai Sword Master to be very intriguing to watch.  It gave me an insight into the Samurai Legacy that I would have otherwise not known about. But, now I have a greater appreciation and respect for these swordsmen.

Buy now for only $19.95.

"Each monument represents the utmost in engineering, design and vision. They all stand as mighty symbols of American ingenuity, courage and sacrifice. Find out how these famous structures came to be, who conceived of them, whose sweat built them, and who dismissed them as fantasy. Find out why the Washington Monument took 100 years from conception to execution, why skeptics thought the Brooklyn Bridge wouldn’t survive the first gale, and why it took until 2001 to erect the WWII Memorial."

HISTORY CLASSICS: GREAT MONUMENTS OF AMERICA contains 8 acclaimed documentaries on 4 DVDs:

DISC 1: Modern Marvels: Mount Rushmore / Modern Marvels: Washington Monument

DISC 2: Modern Marvels: Brooklyn Bridge / Modern Marvels: Hoover Dam

DISC 3: Modern Marvels: Empire State Building / Modern Marvels: The Statue of Liberty

DISC 4: Save Our History: WWII Memorial / Save Our History: Yellowstone National Park

In History Classics' "Great Monuments of America," viewers will enjoy over 5 hours of footage that celebrates the heart of America through some of our most popular landmarks including the Hoover Dam, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and Mount Rushmore.  As you watch these documentaries, you will feel like you are being transported to these places.  When you are not admiring beauty of each monument, you will learn a great deal about how each were designed and made, and how they are true testaments to the spirit of America, and continue to stand the test of time.  This DVD collection would make for a great gift for history buffs, or those who love learning about symbolic landmarks and monuments that make America so great. 

These are just a handful of DVDs available from New Video, that are sure to delight History Channel fans.  Here is just a sampling of recent and upcoming releases that may be of interest to you or those on your holiday shopping list:

So, head on over to New Video today, to check out their selection of History Channel DVDs for purchase, just in time for the holidays --

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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