Double The Nostalgia: Video/VCR Test #4 AND Tie-In Merchandise!

Double The Nostalgia: Video/VCR Test #4 AND Tie-In Merchandise!

In case you’ve missed the other video and VCR tests I’ve done:

Video/VCR Test – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie

Video/VCR Test #2 – “The Land Before Time”

Video/VCR Test #3 – “The Albert Achievement Awards”

And by tie-in merchandise, I’m not selling anything that I emblazoned the “Allison’s Written Words” logo on. But if Retroist were to ever decide to go the tie-in route, shut up and take my money, I’d buy that for a dollar, and any other “I’ll take it!” internet memes there are!

When I was in middle school and early high school (approximately 9th and 10th grades), I used to buy “Best Of” Saturday Night Live videocassettes from my local Suncoast video. At $4.99 each, they were bargain priced, and while the quality wasn’t the greatest, I still collected those things like they were going out of style, or print.

Eventually, videocassettes went out of style, these particular videocassettes went out of print, and the company that made them…was forced to stop making them.

And then my VCR broke. It was a good VCR. I wrote about it recently.

Those Saturday Night Live videocassettes were made by a company called Starmaker, which was one of those fun budget label home video companies from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I’ll talk about them a little more next time, as well as those Saturday Night Live videocassettes.

This article dedicates itself to yet another video and VCR test, as well as a tie-in merchandising segment on another Starmaker-released video you may or may not have seen or heard of.

You’re so excited, and you just can’t hide it! Well, you can, because I can’t see you reacting to what you’re reading.  For all I know, you already fell asleep from the excitement. Or not excitement.

Come on, this is a fun article!

Ok, so the point of the story:

Years ago, I was browsing a farmer’s market with a former boyfriend, and we came across used videocassettes for sale and found a Starmaker print of the 1988 comedy 18 Again!, and he told me how great this movie was, so we bought it.

18 Again! stars George Burns as 81-year-old grandfather Jack Watson, who switches bodies with his grandson David after a car accident, leaving the younger man trapped in grandpa’s body. Jack, meanwhile, gets this nice new lease on life, but finds out some things about his family that upset him. There is also that disturbing little fact that the family is ready to pull the plug on comatose Jack, who is actually a comatose David’s soul trapped in Jack’s body. 18 Again! is one of those dime-a-dozen body switch films from the late 1980s, but like the others, it is cute and sentimental.

Unlike the others, it is about a much older man getting a fresh start and not wreaking havoc on the younger man’s life. The younger man can’t defend himself, so it is only right.

Talking about the movie makes me want to see it again.  Hmmm…

New World Pictures released the movie to theaters in April 1988, was a critical and commercial failure, and Pauly Shore was in it.

I had to throw that one fact in there. Because if I didn’t, you wouldn’t know I actually wrote this article!

The copy that I have is the 1992 Starmaker print, which was likely copied from an a New World Home Video release. There was a very interesting tidbit to the video, but it required watching the movie past the closing credits. Since that is what I do for these Video/VCR tests, we’re following the instructions set forth by the movie.


Ok, I heard ya the first time!!!!!!

After the logos and this important message (times two), the production company wanted us to partake in some tie-in merchandise for this movie. I’m not sure who felt the tie-in stuff was a great idea, but apparently they felt this movie needed black jackets emblazoned with the New World logo on the back.

But why tell you all about it, when you can watch it?!

Delight in the overly-enthusiastic cackling of two George Burns groupies and their excitement for…


T-shirts! Just $9!!!!!!

Sports shirts! The one lady says her husband always complains that he doesn’t have enough sports shirts! This one would be perfect for him!

And a – contain your excitement – JACKET!

Because you love Roger Corman and everything he stands for (which is usually bad movies), so why wouldn’t you want to wear this jacket! Only $60!!!!

If you’re dying to order this fabulous merchandise, you’ll need to follow these directions…

Of course, you can call the number, but it is 1988 and you only trust the mail, so you can do this instead…

Every Google search is a dead end for this “Watch and Wear” company, or if this was something New World Pictures did for their movies at the time. I’m not sure how successful the concept was or how much merchandise tied into this movie was actually sold because of the advertising. It seems cheesy, but if somebody bought a “sports shirt,” then hey, the marketing geniuses did their job and you look marvelous in your new shirt that looks like something video store employees wear to promote new releases.

I’m a former video store employee, I know from experience!

There you have it, another video/VCR test AND a fun segment from something from the good old days of movie tie-in merchandising.

This example, young watchers, is what life was like before every movie needed licensed merchandise to pad out the movie’s noticeably.

Allison has an interesting collection of old videocassettes, which she is working to transfer from her VCR. She recently replaced the VCR, but the fun keeps on going. If you like what you’ve seen here, then you’ll love what she has going on over at her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog and Retroist antics on her blog’s Facebook page, and over at Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

The movie plays on a hit song George Burns had in 1980 called “If I Was Eighteen Again.” Don’t ever say Allison doesn’t teach you something in each article!

Allison Venezio-Preston

Allison is a Secretary by day, a writer/blogger by night (and during lunch breaks and in the mornings before work), a nostalgia geek (and a geek in general), worshipper of Thor (and Chris Hemsworth), and honorary Avenger (she has a pin, so it is official). She collects Funko Pops, loves anything that takes her back to childhood, and has confessed her love for Kenny Loggins. Oh, and she listens to Chicago...alot. If any of this piques your interest, she'd love for you to visit her personal blog, Allison's Written Words, where she talks about alot of the same stuff she talks about here, and more! She can be found at You can follow her blog on Facebook (, Instagram @allisonswrittenwords, and on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut. (Her husband is supportive of the whole Chris Hemsworth and Kenny Loggins love thing.)
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