02 Launch Issues At A Glance


  • Overview of Packaging Formats
  • Format Comparison Images
  • Images of All CD-ROM Issues
  • Images of Some Magazine-Rack Format Issues

Overview of Packaging Formats

There were 54 numbered Launch issues, plus two unnumbered special issues: Seasons Greetings 1999 (between Issues 35 and 36) and Special Warped Tour 2001 (simultaneously with Issue 51). Several packaging formats were used at different times and for different purposes.

For subscribers.

  • Issues 1 through 8 were packaged in jewel cases, with one or two CD-ROMs and paper inserts (usually a booklet in front with details of the acts and interactive features, and tips for troubleshooting).
  • Issues 9 through 16 were packaged in printed cardboard cases that had fold-out fly leaves with details and features, and black plastic clasp closers.
  • Issues 17 through 19 used tri-fold cardboard sleeves the same size as jewel cases (5.625″ x 4.875″). The leaves gave lists of features, troubleshooting tips, and various other details.
  • Issues 20 through 54 and Special Warped Tour 2001 release used regular side-open CD sleeves (about 5.125″ x 5.125″) made of printed heavy cardstock. The Seasons Greetings 1999 release used a tri-fold sleeve that same size. Inside the sleeve was a paper insert. On one side were details on how to start up the CD-ROM and do troubleshooting. On the other were publication and copyright details.

It is possible that packaging overlaps occurred when the format changed over. For instance, I’ve seen an issue 17 with the clasp case, but also with the tri-fold cardboard sleeve. So, I don’t know if both were “standard” issue, or it was merely because of a changeover.

For off-the-rack purchasers. From my research on eBay over the years, it appears that at least Issues 1 through 35 were available in packaging designed for display on magazine racks and bookstore shelves. These editions are generally harder to find copies of, so the following is my best attempt to reconstruct how Launch was available in those venues. I have found off-the-rack packaging in two forms.

  • Issues 1 through 5 used a single piece of heavy cardstock (8.5″ x 11″), printed on both front and back. The back side had the CD-ROM in a white CD sleeve in the lower left-hand corner, with the guide booklet to the issue directly on top of the sleeve. The entire assemblage was then sealed in cellophane.
  • Issues 6 through at least Issue 35 used a heavy cardstock bi-fold folder. Starting with Issue 6, the front cover had a die-cut wedge or partial circles to show the silver side of the CD-ROM packaged inside. Initially, the size of this packaging version was 8.5″ x 11″ (folded) and 11″ x 17″ (unfolded). Somewhere along the way, the size expanded to 9″ x 11.5″ (folded). A brightly colored swatch at the top of the folder provided a banner for the issue number and key music artists/groups. Also, on these versions, the die-cut wedge was turned into a die-cut circle about the size of a US nickel. The front cover typically shows the main musician or band featured in that issue, and the back cover and folder inside pages take the place of the former CD-sleeve-sized booklet with listings and details on other performers and interactive features.

As of November 2013 when I compiled this information, I have only seen one specimen of off-the-rack issues beyond number 35, and that number 52 … nearly the last subscription issue released. (It might have been a one-off near the end of the entire run.) So, I do not know how long single issues were available off-the-rack after number 25.

Format Comparison Images


Images of All CD-ROMs Issues

Launch All Issues

Images of Some Magazine-Rack Format Issues

Launch Magazine Rack folders 1

Launch Magazine Rack folders 2

Launch Magazine Rack folders 3