Absolutely Annie

Absolutely Annie Clothing from Sears

When Annie was released in 1982, it was a big deal. This was a big budget film based on the hit Broadway musical and long running comic. My sisters were both big fans of Annie. Not only did they see the film, but followed along with the production, a lot of which was in New Jersey. The film might not have been the hit that Hollywood hoped, but memories of its release and hype would float around my family home for decades. One piece of ephemera that my sisters must have missed was anything related to the Absolutely Annie Clothing from Sears. Someone was nice enough to post it on Reddit today.

This was a clothing line based on the fashions of the Annie character in the film. The rest of the clothing is simple Annie-themed. They also had Annie dolls, sheets and bedding.

This seems like a missed opportunity. Perhaps if they had gone with the other fashions choices from the film, orphan-chic could have become a trend.

Above you see an ad for the Absolutely Annie clothing line. It is so optimistic. It states right at the top that, “Annie opens to rave reviews.” Than goes to explain a little bit about the film and its star. So you better be ready for the Absolutely Annie collection coming in June.

Now if the film had already opened to rave reviews and it opened in June. How is the Absolutely Annie collection, which is also premiering in June, not yet available? I am guessing they are just assuming Annie is going to be a hit and open to rave reviews.

Neither of those things were true. It opened to mixed reviews from critics and made just $57 million dollars on a $50 million dollar budget. It was a top 10 film for 1982, but nowhere near what was expected.

Still, I enjoyed the film a lot and I imagine if I was a little curly-headed redhead, I would have leaned hard into this release. That would have been my moment to shine.

Interested in more Annie? Watch this great behind the scenes feature.

1984 Colecovision games

Are these 1984 Colecovision games really jewels?

The video game crash happened in 1983. The market had become saturated and it would send that industry into a spiral. But it was not as precipitous a plunge as people might think is was now. Instead the media and public took a while to realize that it was not business as usual. I love finding writing from the year after the crash, that seems to not pay any attention to what was happening to video games at the time. Here is an article I found from May of 1984 that talks about the new jewels from Colecovision for 1984. It is an info-packed set of short star-based reviews. Having played a lot of these games, I would like to share my opinion on them. I actually agree with the author on a lot of these titles, but not all of these 1984 Colecovision games are jewels.

Read the Full article about 1984 Colecovision games


1984 Colecovision games part 1
1984 Colecovision games part 2

Ok, now that you have Craig’s opinion on these games, I would like to share my own on these particular 1984 Colecovision games. Mind you, I am a bit of an Atari fan. So my opinion on these games may differ from popular opinion.

Moonsweeper


Moonsweeper for the Atari 2600 is great, but I got to admit I really enjoy the improved graphics on the Colecovision. They add to the game without distracting from the gameplay.

BurgerTime


BurgerTime for Colecovision is a remarkable port, especially when compared to the Atari 2600 version. I was blown away the first time I saw it, it felt perfectly in line with the arcade experience.

Keystone Kaper


I prefer the Atari 2600 version of this game. The sound and gameplay just feels smoother to me. On the Colecovision you do see very improved graphics, but that does not enhance the experience enough for me to want to play it there.

River Raid


Of all the version of River Raid, the Colecovision port is my least favorite. Sure you have some enhanced graphics, but the sound is hard to take and it does not add much to the gaming experience. The Atari 2600 is better, but the Intellivision version is maybe better than them both overall.

Beam Rider


Beam Rider is great on both systems, but while I like the crisp graphics on the Colecovision, I think Atari still did it better. The visuals and sound become overwhelming in what is already a challenging game to process.

Outside of BurgerTime I am not sure any of these games are better outside of their improved graphics. This is a perfect example of why the crash would damage the industry and kill games like Colecovision. These 1984 Colecovision games were the same games you could get on any other system. People were not pushing the systems to their limits nor for the most part creating IP that could be enjoyed just on one system. Add a flood of low quality games to the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.

1996 Computers

Which of the 1996 Computers would you buy?

This ad was from Best Buy that features 1996 computers, was posted online a few months ago. It really brought back a lot of memories. In 1996, I was lucky enough to have a 486 computer, but all of my serious computer friends had been talking about Pentiums since 1993. As you can see, three years later, and the Pentium was still the hot chip in all 1996 Computers. This ad would have been something I would stare at while eating my breakfast cereal. This was fantasy material for me, since most of these machines with their nearly $2000 plus price tag were well out of my reach.

When computers were advertised, they would put a price that would not include the monitor. Yet, they would display the monitor with some small text tell you it was not included. This drove me nuts. This ad’s prices include the whole caboodle. Accept the Mac of course, you can see the disclaimer in the very tiny fine print.

So lets take a look at these machines.

You have the 133MHz HP Pentium is a mere $1899.


For $100 more you could pick up a Packard-Bell with a 133MHz HP Pentium.


If you had all the money in the world, you could really splurge and get yourself a Mac. It will cost you nearly $3000 with the monitor included, but that is the price you pay to own Apple products. Some things have not changed much.


1994 Best Buy Ad

This 1994 Best Buy Ad features 90s Dream Technology

I bookmark a lot of websites. So many that it can take me months or even years to re-stumble upon something I thought I needed to share. In 2015 this 1994 Best Buy Ad was posted on Imgur. I drooled over it for about an hour back then, but moved on. This week I rediscovered it and thought I would dive into this gem. So let’s travel back to the nineties and explore the best items from this October of 1994 Best Buy Ad. I am sure it is filled with all sorts of electronic treats and Halloween references.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 1

In 1994, I was still spending some of my time working at a video store. Disney Movies were a huge money-maker for us. Sales on these things were no joke and Best Buy is pushing hard on 4 Disney classics. The Return of Jafar might have the same clamshell box, but a classic it was not. That being said, it was very popular at our store. The first month we couldn’t keep it on the shelves.

That is a nice enough Packard Bell. I especially like that the monitor is included in this package. So many ads back then would mix and match monitor inclusion. It was often confusing and disappointing.

Odd, not leading with something related to Halloween.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 2

Music? Can’t say many of the CDs would have caught my attention. But if you incline your head to the right, you will see the object of my affection, the Sega Genesis.

How are they enticing people to buy systems at Best Buy in 1994? A free backpack of course! From that photo, I would say that the backpack almost looks too small. Unless you only want to pack 1 or 2 games. I guess if one of those games is Shaq-Fu, that is all you need. We really seemed to be into Shaquille O’Neil in the 90s.

Hmm, wonder why no attempts at a Halloween or horror game.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 3
Page 3 of the 1994 Best Buy Ad is the high-priced audio equipment. Everyone of these objects was out of my price range. Looking at them now, I am relieved I was cool with my sister’s hand me down equipment. That saved me a lot of money.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 4

Yes! 31 inches of TV for a mere 800 bucks. That TV with no-name looks really familiar. If I am not mistaken it was the style of TV we used in our video store. Something about the sound grill looks familiar. I am not sure if Sound Grill is a real word, but if not, I am coining it. We had those going 24/7 and never had a problem with them. So if that is the TV we had, $800 might have been a good deal.

Just want to add, it’s like Halloween is not even happening in this circular.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 5

More television, all of them showing Snow White, which was as a I mentioned was a big deal at the time. I would always peruse the TV, but what I was really interested at this point in time were those video camcorders. For reasons I can no longer recall, I really wanted an 8mm one.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 6

Stop everything! 540MB Hard Drive for only 300 dollars? I wonder what the failure rate was on the Conner Drives? Some other items of note: 14.4 modems for those weirdos who do the online and Best Buy’s lab coat wearing computer techs. Was anyone out there a Best Buy computer tech back then? Did they really provides lab coats?

I would like to go as a Best Buy Halloween Tech for Halloween this year. Did they were any special badges on their lab coats?

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 7

Look at all the computers! I would have done just about anything for any one of these machines in 1994. I would like to take this opportunity to focus on the use of free software to help sell the computer. For those who complain about your computer being filled with all sorts of nonsense when it was installed, I think this is where it got started. While some of this stuff might have been interesting to play with, for the most part it went on a shelf or in a box and was never opened. It was just noise. Bloatware you needed to install yourself.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 8

20 free pieces of Stoneware with the purchase of most of these large appliances! Wow. How can they afford to do that?

While I had very little interest in these large appliance in 1994 or now. For some weird reason I have always found the Chest Freezer to be oddly compelling. Just think of all the ice pops and ice cream sandwiches you could buy on sale and keep cold with one of them.

1994 Best Buy Ad - Page 9

They wait until the last page to post a pumpkin? Just a pumpkin?? This close to Halloween and this is all they could fit into the ad? That is disappointing. Oh well. Let’s take a look at the other stuff.

Almost $140 for a Discman! No wonder it took me nearly a decade to get one. That is not a terrible price for video tapes, but I could find them cheaper. As for the boomboxes, they lacked the style of their eighties ancestors. So I had no interest in them.

Conclusion


My family would keep circulars like these for years. It is a shame that at some point we cleaned house and threw them all away. Who knows what treasures we could be finding now. Still it is nice that someone is making an effort to share and preserve gems like this 1994 Best Buy Ad.

Pepsi License to Chill Card

Remember the Pepsi License to Chill Card?

As the 1990s rolled around, the Cola Wars continued to rage. Coke and Pepsi would lock horns time and again. One releasing a new product and the other firing right back. It was a great time for novelty in the industry. New flavors and talking cans abounded. This was also the time that rewards cards were really taking off and Pepsi launched its Pepsi License to Chill Card.

The Pepsi License to Chill Card was an incentive and discount card that you could use to claim prizes or discounts at select stores. I had one. Sadly, I never used it, but it still filled a very important role. It added heft to my wallet when it was sorely lacking.

As you can see from the image above, the card was pretty simple. Nice clean design with a distorted Pepsi logo attached to a number that made it look extra official.

What I remember most about the card was the ad campaign. I think they localized them for regions, but I clearly remember the beach theme. These ads remind us that it is a non-stop party in Pepsi town and everyone is invited. Just follow the cool music down to the beach to join the party. Oh, and if you want to get in, don’t forget to bring your Pepsi License to Chill Card. Membership has its privileges.

The card you see above was recently posted on Imgur. I am not sure what happened to my original Pepsi License to Chill Card. I would like to say that I lost it at some epic beach party, but sadly that is not the case. More than likely it wound up in a junk drawer in our kitchen and it went in the trash during a routine cleaning. Sadly, never to Chill again.

Watch the Pepsi License to Chill Card Commercial