Like lots of people here at The Retroist, I love browsing through old catalogs and finding things from my childhood. For me, the book of choice for this strange form of entertainment is the Argos twice-yearly catalog which I would spend my youth circling items in, hoping that my parents would see my scribbles and take the hint.
This Batman image from the Autumn 1978 edition wouldn’t have attracted my attention, I had only just been born, but with phrases like “Holy Smoke, Batman” and “Dynamic Driving” amongst its 6 sounds, you can guarantee it would have been. The cost then was £3.75 which would now be £20 in today’s money – a bargain, wouldn’t you say?
I’ve become a bit a retro catalogue addict lately, largely thanks to the wonderful collection of Argos catalogues available from Flickr user trippyglitters. Argos is a British chain of high-street stores that can sell you almost anything, as long as it’s in their bi-annual catalogue. When I was young I would spend hours looking at every page, highlighting the many many items that I wanted, and quite a few that I didn’t too!
These two pages for the Personal Stereo’s available in 1986 would have had me in a frenzy. Can you guess why?
As a British catalogue, the exclusion of brands more familiar to an American audience isn’t too surprising, but there is one brand that really should be here – SONY! Why Argos excluded the founder of the Walkman from these pages is a mystery to me but a look through other Hi-Fi equipment in the catalogue gives the same story, Sony are a no-show. Perhaps the brand was simply too expensive for the audience?
If I did have a choice back then (I was 8 at the time), then I would have highlighted number 14, the Toshiba – who wants one of the inferior Sanyo models when you can have something that ticks almost every box in a checklist?