Longbox CD's

I remember the days when CD's were packaged in the so called "longboxes". CD's packaged this way seem to command a premium when priced for sale. WHAT'S THE DEAL?!!! Is the audio quality supposed to be somewhat superior, due to earlier production (pressing) runs? Or are they just "collectables" that should be left SEALED to preserve value. If the latter, what a waste of good money and music!
The quality is probably worse.
As a owner of a cd/record store I can tell you that cds in long boxes are only special if they are out of print or you collect long boxes. As a matter of fact many of the early cds that came out in long boxes have inferior sound quality being mastered from back up tapes or safe copies. We still have a number of cds in long boxes and can't give them away.