Monday, February 25, 2013

Sears FunTronics, 1992.

Sears was kind of hoping that you'd forgotten just how badly they'd botched the job last time around. Here they come sniffing around a mere 4 years later.

Suddenly, the place with the games everyone wants is Sears.

Go figure.

Overnight, it seems, there's a place for video games like no other. It's called FunTronics, the new game department at Sears.

FunTronics is designed to have all the games you're looking for in stock. Incredible 16-bit games. By the dozens.

It has both Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment systems. Along with Game Boy, Game Gear and every accessory you could imagine.

Not to mention the game stations where you're invited to get the feel of the hottest games available.

So come to FunTronics. The one place you can figure on having exactly what you're looking for.

Save $10 on Super Off Road or Bart vs. The Space Mutants

It's interesting to see all those classic company logos parading around the vertical borders of the ad, many of which represent concerns that are no longer with us (RIP, Software Toolworks and Mindscape!) There at 7:30 are Square and Enix sitting side by side, little aware of their future commingled fate awaiting them.

The cash value of the coupon was one twentieth of one cent? There must be a very good legal reason why its value was not nothing, even though that's precisely the value that the department's abysmal "nephew art" logo telegraphs. Also, any salespeson requiring those instructions ("use bar code to enter coupon") probably was better off being kept away from the public in the back warehouse.

The picture image could actually be a diagram of a killer games room with a superior wall of TV sets and a black door set in the middle of it (though really, why would you ever want to leave?) I like how the games are all shoveled together without regard for cachet (Street Fighter II and ... Where's Waldo -- one definitely fits the sobriquet "the games everyone wants" better than the other) and especially how one down from the top right corner we see two Paperboy 2 screenshots side by side, one for the by this point retrograde 8-bit NES machine otherwise left totally unmentioned in the ad. There must be other NES shots in the mix, just not conspicuously broadcast by sitting next to a SNES or Genesis shot of the same game. (Could they really not come up with a different game to fit in that cell? A total inventory of 55 different games for at least 5 different platforms? If that were the case, this ad isn't telling the whole truth.

(I must confess when I hear the ridiculous name "FunTronics" it makes me think of nothing so much as Sanrio's notorious Hello Kitty vibrator. Then when they advertise stocking "every accessory you could imagine", I get a perverse little frisson entirely distinct from the perverse frissons that usually accompany my expeditions into this digital midden.)