Bustin’ Those Blockbuster Video Sales With…Buster Sales!

I swear, you watch two Blockbuster Video commercials you find in your archives, and all of a sudden, you have this burning desire to do another commentary video…

Oh sorry, that sounds so typical of me, doesn’t it?

When Your Personal Blog Articles Coincide With Retroist…

This week, I featured two different Blockbuster Video commercials on Allison’s Written Words…

Wow, What A #ThrowbackThursday!

Wow, What A #FlashbackFriday!

Both commercials reminded me of video store work life…back when video stores were a thing. I worked in a Mom-and-Pop store, in a town that didn’t have Blockbuster until 2003. And even then, it was a small location in a  low-traffic shopping center. By comparison, there were two Mom-and-Pop stores – the one I rented from, and eventually worked at, and another one in a different part of town. Both stores were in high-traffic shopping centers that had pizza places and supermarkets.

I knew Blockbuster was doomed in our town, and not because of its location, but that two other stores with loyal customers were nearby. They did last about five or six years (I believe they closed in 2009), but the one I worked for survived until 2011, two years shy of the small chain’s 30th anniversary (our location was 23 years old at that point).


There was another different between working for Mom-and-Pop versus Blockbuster Video…

Training Via Corporate Training Films

Working for mom-and-pop meant being trained entirely hands-on. Sure, you may have read a manual and signed a few documents, but your training was the good old-fashioned kind. Blockbuster’s approach, and obviously because they are a major corporation (well, they were a major corporation), they had a standard for training employees. And how you do ensure the training is completely in line? Corporate training videos!

But of course!

Blockbuster Video created a series of corporate training videos during its lifespan. I spotted ones from 1989 and 2000, but it is the 1990 version, which teaches the three steps of customer service that create an “opportunity,” that truly stands out.

You know what else stands out? Marie’s hair!

In this corporate training video, we meet Blockbuster Video employee Marie, who is approached/accousted (via television sets throughout the store) by Buster Sales, a wisecracking “Professional Oportunist,” who is ready to guide Marie through the steps that she needs to be a “Professional Opportunist” too.

Whether she likes this or not.

And guess who else is joining you when you watch this fascinating trip through customer service training at its finest?

Some chick in plaid and specs. Ugh, don’t you hate when she just shows up and…

Oh, wait.

Blockbuster (Video) University…Featuring Buster Sales AND Commentary By Allison!

That’s right, I’m bringing back my method of torture by watching the video with you, dropping a comment here and there.

Join me, won’t you, as we learn the three steps to become “Professional Opportunists.”

Wait till you see the gestures that Plaid Specs Chick came up with, they’re so…

Wait, why do I keep making fun of myself?

You know what? Just click play before I get any more self-deprecating.

Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

And so, yeah, there you have it. Do you remember the three steps to become a “Professional Opportunist,”according to Corporate Schill – I mean, training mentor, Buster Sales?

Give yourself an “A” for effort, and thank the Corporate Training Video Gods for deciding Roswell, Georgia’s Blockbuster Video (and its Not Real Employee, Marie) were ripe for teaching ’em how its done.

I really have to get back into commentaries again. How am I going to get better at it?

Not the steps listed above, but Practice, Timing, and Confidence.

And now to leave you with something profound…

“you’re like sunshine on a cloudy day.”

Yep, that.

Oh, And About That Video…

There is one thing I talk about from my video store days.  We did have a restricted area called “The Red Room” for adult movies. I did have more than my fair share of men oogle me while they rented. I kept the story as clean as possible. Just don’t want to offend anyone.

It’s also a quick snippet in an otherwise family-friendly work experience story.

Thanks for watching/suffering along/indulging me!

Check Out These 1980s McDonald’s Happy Meal Trays!

Just the other day one of my co-workers and friends at the Arkadia Retrocade sent me a text with the image you see above attached.

As you can tell from the headline on this post these are vintage 1980s Happy Meal trays from McDonald’s. They were produced by Simon Marketing Inc. for the fast food chain but beyond that I have found very little information on these beauties.

I’m thinking they must be from around 1985 at least as the Hamburglar has already had made the switch to the more kid friendly-version of the hamburger thief. Long after he was introduced as the Lone Jogger!
Hamburglar - Happy Meals Tray

[Via] The Burger Nerd

Plus Captain Crook sadly was phased out around 1987 and this tray shows him in his original outfit although perhaps a little less sinister than his appearance in McDonaldland as a villain.
Captain Crook - Happy Meals Tray

1985 was around the last time we saw the likes of his honor, Mayor McCheese as well as the stalwart Officer Big Mac.
Mayor McCheese - Happy Meal Tray

Office Big Mac - Happy Meals Tray

Of course Grimace is always Grimace.
Grimace - Happy Meals Tray

Now I would love to crow and say that my friend picked these up for me…but that isn’t the case…at least I know they are in a good home, the only one that wasn’t available when she picked these up was the Ronald McDonald tray. I think eBay can take care of that though!
Ronald McDonald - Happy Meals Tray

What about you readers? Do you have any fond recollections of these Happy Meal trays?

Battlestar Galactica! Universal Monsters! This AVG Effects Reel Has It All!

As I was stumbling around the interwebs this morning I came across this pretty awesome demo reel from an effects company that was known as AVG that contributed effects for the Battle of Galactica tram ride and the Universal Monsters’ Castle Dracula show. This reel also includes the Monster Plantation work the company did for Six Flags over Georgia, the Gilded Cage for the Golden Nugget hotel in Atlantic City, the Circus Playhouse and Food Emporium, Tex Critter’s PizzaJamboree as well as Bullwinkle’s Family Food’ N Fun.

[Via] Gold Cylon

To be honest besides the Universal Studios stuff I’ve never ever heard of the others but after watching that video I so wish I could have visited the Circus Playhouse and Food Emporium in my youth!