Just like Comic Books, Mortal Kombat, and the Big Mac Snack Wrap, it’s on the perennial list of things that will likely make your kids end up a felon or teenage pregnant; whichever is worse, and regardless of gender. But it’s par for the course whenever a new and controversial new medium of expression becomes popular, there’s initially outrage, which is followed by acceptance, which is then followed by exploitation. One need look no further than biblical comics, Mortal Kombat Jr. Math, and the Big Mac Snack Wrappers Kids Meal.
Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs. Dinosaurs. Just like Space, Ninja Turtles, and Game Boy cockfights between Pikachus that are setting up a generation to make Michael Vick’s extra-footballicular exploits legal by 2015, Dinosaurs have been a notable phenomenon among young boys and sexually intimidating females.
dinosaurs on freaking pogo sticks.
Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs! was a VHS tape meant to capitalize on this. Produced by a very pre-9/11 Twin Tower entertainment, it seeked to educate youngish tots on recent developments in the fossilized world. Unfamiliar dinosaurs may be scary and frustrating to a parental generation that grew up on on simply a rock-paper-scissor relationship of Tyrannosaurus-Brontosaurus-Triceratops; but much as how their children were far more successful than their parents in setting their VCR to record G-String Diaries on HBO, it’s better that they learn about Ultrasaurus by VHS than about Ultrasaurus on the street. Surely, he’s been stamped into a drop of Ecstasy by now.
The main plot of the video follows our host (or perhaps the secondary host, the credits make it difficult to tell) as his friend (who may be the official host) Gary gets some sort of Dinosauritis and begins rapidly degenerating into a REAL LIFE DINOSAUR. Never mind the fact that this may finally give us insight into the color of dinosaurs, or if they ever came in hounds-tooth print: this is a really big deal to the other host guy, who flies to London to get some water from a pond of purification there. Educational filmographers take note: if the producers of this could justify a ticket to the UK just for some water, you can justify to your producers a ticket to damn near anywhere. Use this knowledge well and you can get that educational orgy in Thailand you’ve always wanted.
Remember when you could make $50,000 a week placing tiny classified ads? Don Lapre does. In fact, he remembers it so well that he eventually brought his conmanship up to new heights through such as “The Greatest Vitamin In The World,” which could, in his words, cure cancer.
But before he discovered it’s easy to scam people by saying the words “cancer” and “treatment” adjacently, he kept on the “i help you place advertisements in places” money train. In this case, it was meant to take over shopping malls. Imagine, an incredible store, full of 3×8 billboards! With lit semi-translucent plastic lighting behind them! And a tiny video screen, playing a video of your product all day long!
Wait, you say you don’t have a video of your product? Some would say it sucks to be you, but Don Lapre thrust out his glowing ET finger waiting for you to touch it. He would produce and create a video all about your new and exciting product. An innovative product you’re losing clearly losing millions on as you remain just sitting on it!
It’d be like an arcade, except the games are basically just a giant marquee near a 4-inch screen showing all the non-interactive fun you’re not having!
For added credibility, he enlisted the help of the Growing Pains’ star with the most self-promoting last name ever, Alan Thicke. He would help seal the deal by showing up intoxicated and talking about his helicopter presented by Cindy Crawford.
An actual Incredible Products Store was never built.
It’s hard to even believe skiing was ever cool (no pun intended) at some point in time, in our seemingly endless post X-Games bubble. Sure, Warren Miller has managed to produce and release films of snowbound XXtremeness; most of which could easily be filed by accident in the adult section if going by title alone. Take, for example, 1985′s “Steep and Deep,” 1994′s “Vertical Reality,” and 2001′s “Cold Fusion.” All the same, skiing seems to be like golf in the eyes of our current generation, except even less cool. And less likely to get you in as many affairs as you do lost endorsements afterwards.
Maybe I’m out of touch with people who love to get in touch with pure whiteness, but as far as I’ve been aware in living somewhat close to some decent mountains that collect decent snow, skiing is considered kind of a codger thing. This is substantiated by the fact that the last popular snow-sport video game involving skiing was Tommy Moe’s Winter Extreme: Skiing & Snowboarding for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System; which, if anything, acknowledged that two skis would eventually become as converged as technology itself was becoming, resulting in ths transition to snowboards being totally badass.
Although I’ll have the box copy posted in full after the jump, if you’re one of those types who doesn’t want to put in so much effort without a damn good reason to continue then let me just quote one sentence off the back of the box: “If you don’t ski, you will!” Initially, I laughed off this statement. There’s no way they could get me to have thin sleds on both my feet after faking being able to skateboard for nearly 8 years. Then I actually watched the movie.
To be completely fair, this movie is also kind of a stalker-rape fantasy. Typical romantic comedy behavior is completely ridiculous when thought of in a realistic context (following a woman onto an airplane, then attempting to seduce her wherever you land with the promise of such as a treasure chest full of gold and you assure her this is not a euphemism), but this movie defies all that.
Children’s programming is always easy pickings, so I feel bad for making my sophomore post about just such a thing. But I found this particular title sealed in shrink wrap, just like the kind of thing people seem shocked to find covering games at Gamestop these days. This title comes straight outta 1996, when visible puppet rods apparently were still very much en vogue.
This particular series (I imagine it wasn’t just a pilot) is a little on the difficult side to find much history about. It had a PO Box in Minnesota, a sure sign of quality, which allowed you to send a letter to it for a special surprise. There’s really no telling what kind of surprise this was, but if this “scared ya!” episode is any indication it’d probably be something like the ol’ “rattlesnake eggs” in the envelope trick. Perfect for when the presumably midwest public television audience and their children who encountered this show has to actually encounter real poison snakes. They won’t be part of the “Good and Scared Club”, and will commit a public service by attempting to beat the snakes to death due to pure fear. And preferably tape it and post it to Youtube, so we can track the current approximate number of reptiles that are aiming to bite and kill us on a majestic midwest mountain hike at any given point in time. See you in the forest!
Rollerblading has been around for over 20 years now, but it started as much more a rollerskating alternative than a “sport” as it’s now sometimes referred to as. Much like skiing is to snowboarding, it sought to make a less-than-fresh general concept into a hip new lifestyle choice that hopefully made your parents mad or at least confused.
Much like how aspirin is a generic term in America but trademarked aggressively in Canada, or how LEGO sends cease and desist letters to anyone who dares to non-capitalize the entire word or who makes the sin of pluralizing it, Rollerblades are actually a trademark. The proper term, as you’ve assuredly already heard at some point is “in-line skating”. But much as the Brits are dead set on using the term “Hoovering” to describe vacuuming (confusing most Cold War-era Americans into thinking they’re making some kind of slight towards J. Edgar Hoover), Rollerblading is very much a generic term these days.
in 1988, Rollerblade Inc. made what is known as an “Aggressive Inline Skate” for the first time, starting with their “Team Rollerblade Series”. This was not a skate designed to more smoothly roll across the living room and then beat your wife after your football team lost the first post-season game, but because they were meant to aggressively tackle terrain for sweet tricks and grinds. And like any good 80s-era company, Rollerblade made a VHS tape to go right alongside their initial product launch. This particular tape is from 1988 proper, and runs 120 minutes… however, it loops 6 times in this. This would indicate that it was likely meant to be exclusively a demo for sporting goods stores to play. 6 loops means less wear on both the tape and the VCR that has to play and rewind it. Shocking, I know.
Hi, welcome to the funeral your iPod is already attending.
Death of Analog is a blog made for exactly two reasons: one, to make a website with really badass initials; and two, pour formaldehyde on such as VHS tapes and outdated books/magazines. Figuratively, mind you. I already have enough trouble making my room not smell like donuts and sweat.
To face facts, most analog formats are decomposing as we speak. Magnetic media in particular is slowly losing its fidelity and stability; making what seems like an awesome 10 cents spent on a cassette tape of Megadeth’s Killing Is My Business.. And Business is Good! into 10 cents spent on The Chipmunks Present: Megadeth. Which, admittedly, is better than the concept of “Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” or quite honestly the thought of ever hearing their Christmas album ever again.
Now, surely survival of the fittest says that there’s a reason why I can still buy a Queen album on CD (or pirate it, more likely, in this era), and assume that I’ll never need to worry about it so long as the disc doesn’t melt and/or my hard drive doesn’t fail. If items were considered too dated when it came time to renew copyright, or more often a failed company wasn’t able to sell distribution rights to a company with deeper pockets when the producing company was starting to go under, the product would be lost to the annals of history. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of history being violated annally for reasons typically based solely on greed and perceived modern relevance. Forget history, doomed to repeat it, so on so forth.
So, here it is, the preservation of our analog past by forcing it to join the digital revolution. Try not to get hurt.
Kevin C. is the author of several short-lived entertainment sites including The Arcade Diaries and Tiny Little Things That Bring Me Secret Joy, as well as the book The Passion of the Christman.