The Sears Catalog – A step back in time
I go to thrift stores at least two times a week mainly to look for games and other related items. So I often find myself scouring the aisles for any treasures. In this day and age, it’s almost impossible to forget that information can be had within reach thanks to the help of smart phones and their expensive internet plans..
While I was checking out the the book section at a Goodwill, I happen to noticed a small Sears Catalog dating back (1897) almost at the turn of the century (1900’s). I was literally glued to this book and curious to find out more about it but unfortunately the book was a reproduction – but for .25 cents, it was a great buy. It wasn’t until 2 months ago that I started to research that Sears Catalog and found that they’re actually collectible themselves (the originals). But while doing the research, I came across a few websites that had scans of previous catalogs which featured the early pioneers of the home consoles. Nowadays, you almost never see anything like this anymore.
Sears Wishbook Catalog of 1983 (from The Retroist)
all scans thanks to the retroist
The Retroist posted a bunch of scans from the Sears Wishbook of 1983. In that era, there was a number of well known (still to this day) consoles that hit the market. Nowhere would you see something like that today though..
1983 was one of the saddest years of the video game industry which led to bankruptcy’s of video game console manufacturers. It wasn’t until our beloved NES that gave us another opportunity to enjoy high quality produced games once again. One of the main reasons for the crash is the fact that a lot of games at that time was poorly made. In my opinion, the same shit has happened for Nintendo’s Wii console with it’s crap load of shovelware titles and the lack of first party support.
Which brings me to the next set of ads from the 1988 Sears Catalog..
Sears Catalog circa 1988 to 1994 (from HughesJohnson.com)
all scans thanks to HughesJohnson.com
There are fewer video game magazines these days too and now with big magazines like GamePro switching to quarterly scheduled printing instead of the usual monthly iterations, it’s almost like the art of game advertising can only be seen online through blogs and official websites or worse, spam from the publishers themselves. I have a subscription to Game Informer only because I signed up for a discount card at GameStop and I bet that without it, that magazine will probably die a painful death.