Enjoy the sights & sounds of the season!

I want everyone to get into the holiday mood with the help of a video I made back in 2004. I have been trying to upload this 30 minute video for a long time, but a certain video site would shoot me down and hit me with all kinds of copyright issues. Well, this video, A Multimedia Christmas Card, which I made in 2004, is finally online. What’s it about you ask? The Christmas holiday, okay, that’s obvious, but what it includes are classic holiday songs and clips from movies like Miracle on 34th Street and A Christmas Story. I even snuck in a photo of me celebrating Christmas in the late 1980s. If you like it, let me know. If you don’t…um, try to phrase your disdain nicely. Season’s Greetings!

A Multimedia Christmas Card – 2004 from Justin Salvato on Vimeo.

Allison’s Written Words/Retroist Christmas Commercial Kickoff!

That’s right, Allison’s Written Words wants to team up with Retroist by – brace thyself – kicking off the holiday season with a big commercial block!

That Tease!

Late Saturday night/early Sunday AM, and I show you a glimpse of a recording session.

No life, I tells ya!

Allison’s Written Words and Retroist – The Joint Presentation!

It’s no secret that I love combining my world on here with the one I’ve carved out on Allison’s Written Words.  I share teasers for my articles here over on my blog, create videos with mention of both sites, and affiliate myself with both anywhere and everywhere I possibly can.

I love the work I do with both sites, and I’m proud of the opportunity to continue letting my geek flag fly simultaneously.

That said…

Allison’s Written Words/Retroist Christmas Commercial Kickoff!

Last week, I worked on my first commercial block commentary, after several efforts of dipping my toes in video games  and, well, “video games.” I’ve loved the opportunity to hone my “comedic” skills and show you some great nostalgia at the same time.

The commercial block I selected is from the November 28, 1998 airing of Saturday Night Live Goes Commercial, Volume 2. The tape originates from WNBC 4 New York, my former home market NBC station. The special aired as one of the prime time specials the late-night sketch show was famous for during the 1998-1999 season. It was the second one that year, and the highest-rated one. Not bad for primetime AND a holiday weekend Saturday night!

There’s a healthy mix of Christmas-themed commercials, promos, product ads, short-lived television shows, and even The More You Know. Throw in a local newscast teaser and you’ve got nostalgia AND awesomeness.

That’s right, nostalgia AND awesomeness! Because those two should always go hand-in-hand!

So go on and click play, and join me in watching some commercials!

Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

Atari wishes you a Happy Holiday

The moment Thanksgiving dinner is over, I am in the Christmas zone. I am watching holiday movies, specials, music videos related to Christmas and searching YouTube for old holiday commercials. I don’t know what it is, but when I see an old Christmas commercial about video games, I find that to really satisfy my holiday cravings. So here’s one from the early 1980s and it’s showing the Atari 2600 in several different households.

[Via] My Saturday Mornings


Transformers were poised to make coleslaw out of the Cabbage Patch Kids for Christmas 1984

In Christmas of 1984 the toy world was shifting. Video games were hitting a rough spot and action figure toys were already years old. Even the heavy hitter of the year before, the Cabbage Patch Kid was not looking to repeat what it did the year before. No, according to just about everyone, the hot toys for Christmas of 1984 were going to be robots. Which robots in particular? The Transformers, of course.

In this report from the CBC from that year, they discuss not just the Transformers, but other great robot toys including site favorite Tomy VERBOT. As well as non-robot toys like Rainbow Brite and He-Man.

Read Verbot the Voice Activated Robot

The toy footage is pretty amazing. They even include a short loop of the original Transformers in front of this techy background at 3:15. However that is just a small piece of this nearly eight minute video. They also discuss people against war toys. Some great interviews with precocious kids including one who wants a pair of glasses that will not get foggy for Christmas.

Watching this now, I chuckle, but I think these type of news shows sent waves of fear through my Mother. What was going to be the hot toy? Was I even aware of it? Could she get her hands on it? These were all the things that stuff like this report would raise. She usually ignored things like the section about War Toys, but that sort of talk was dangerous. It almost got my DnD books taken away because of the negative press around that game.

I think I was still very much into GI Joe in 1984 as were my friends. It would be at least a few months before a Transformer would appear in my circle of playmates. So I am glad my Mom was not on top of this trend. Although, I got to admit, I really would have loved a Verbot.

Watch this report from Christmas of 1984 about the Transformers