1. GamePro TV – A complement television program to the magazine of the same name, GamePro TV hit the airwaves in 1990.
As you can tell, the show was VERY ’90s. It closely resembled the format of the magazine with segments for game tips, game reviews, and sneak peeks of to-be-released games. They answered viewer mail and encouraged submissions. In classic ’90s form, they used bright, loud graphics and obnoxious video effects like unnecessarily imposing live action on top of video game footage…
The review segment (“ProView”) is a fair representation of GamePro‘s magazine reviews, using the same rating criteria. It’s also the most level-headed, least flashy part of the show. But still pretty flashy.
There’s also a segment called Inside Info which serves as less of a tips segment and more of a video walkthrough. They even showed you the endings of games! Who would want to see that!
For some reason, the show just didn’t take off. It seems like it should have, and the effort was definitely there, but it didn’t. I’m not sure what it was missing. It was cancelled and then sadly revived a few years later as an infomercial sort of show that removed viewer submissions and plastered a permanent 1-800 subscription number at the bottom of the screen. Then it went away again and came back in 1998 as a retooled version of itself on Fox Sports Net…and went away again in 1999.
Here’s an ep:
2. ’70s and ’80s VHS Distributor Logos – It’s been a minute since we looked at logos and some of my design inspirations. Here’s a video that hits the sweet spot in an obscure way – VHS distributor logos of the 1970s and 1980s. Watch the video to see them all, but here are a few of my hits:
3. Crazy Calls – I can’t believe I’m explaining this, but in the interest of making sure there’s full awareness: Before every mobile phone had its own voicemail, we had to buy machines that we connected to our landline phones to record any messages of calls we had missed. We had to record ourselves making a greeting onto tapes, and those tapes would record the messages we received. Some companies offered novelty cassettes that could be placed into these “answering machines” that would provide the greeting for you. Here’s probably the most famous one, Crazy Calls:
What it took me thirty years to notice is that this tape only has SEVEN phone greetings on it. Seven! I guess all you really need is that one Beethoven’s Fifth greeting, though. It also amuses me that the sales pitch ends with about 15 seconds to go. Guess it had to be a full minute long!
4. A Link To The Past Commercial – A Japanese commercial for the Super NES (or Super Famicom, in Japan) Legend of Zelda game, A Link To The Past. What?
5. Grenadiers Ad – Here’s a magazine ad for a Dungeons & Dragons figure manufacturer. I love it!