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1982 Commercial for Dick Smith’s Electronics with the Whiz Kids
Let's journey back to the splendid 1980s in Australia – a time that was simply something else (although, truth be told, I can only rely on my exposure to Outback Steakhouse to imagine it). Feast your eyes on this commercial for Dick Smith's Electronics. Now, you might be wondering, what exactly was Dick Smith's?
The tale of Dick Smith's Electronics takes us back to 1968, where it all began in a humble rented space beneath a car park in Artarmon, New South Wales, Sydney. With a meager capital of $610, this venture sprang to life. By 1969, the business had blossomed to such an extent that it had to relocate to more spacious digs. Not one to rest on his laurels, Dick Smith himself embarked on a journey to explore modern merchandising methods in electronic stores abroad. The result? The introduction of self-serve shopping, complemented by an annual mail-order catalog loaded with a wealth of data.
To ensure that practically every electronics aficionado in Australia had one of these catalogs, they were bundled as freebies in popular electronics magazines like Electronics Australia and Electronics Today International. This catalog has stood the test of time and continues to thrive.
Fast forward to 1985, a year that witnessed the opening of the very first Dick Smith's Electronics branch in the United States. Nestled at 390 Convention Way, Redwood City, California, this location served as the nerve center, encompassing the main office, mail order hub, kit assembly area, and retail store all in one. And that wasn't all – additional stores sprouted up on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, California, along Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose, California, and even made a mark in Los Angeles. However, within a handful of years, the US operation changed hands, setting off on a different trajectory.
Now, amidst all this, there's a gem that deserves special attention – something that Dick Smith's Electronics gave the world, something that resonates with countless enthusiasts and holds a special place in many hearts. It's a tangible testament to an era that has left an indelible mark on our memories, and for many, it's more than just a piece of technology – it's a cherished piece of history.