Saturday, April 26, 2014

Videophile Nostalgia: Incredible Universe

I cherish the salad days of electronics stores. You know, the days when you could walk into a store and not get bombarded by some scripted asshole working for DirecTV who "wants to help," only has a "quick question" and would love to shake your hand. Anyhow, yes... it was the 1990's, the obvious answer to the 1980's. And Incredible Universe was the obvious answer to RadioShack.

If you were lucky enough to have one near you, you might have experienced it's grand metropolis-like grandeur. Appliances galore, but most importantly for me, they had one hell of a media section. Aisles upon aisles of VHS, divided by genre and, my personal favorite, the "budget section." Not to mention the awesome clearance bins upon entering the department. (A Paragon issue ONE ARMED EXECUTIONER for $3.99?! Don't mind if I do!) And, they had LASERDISCS! A shit ton of 'em! At the time, I didn't have a laserdisc player, but I definitely perused these racks knowing exactly what I was missing. The music section was also just as insane. Where else, back then, could you pick up Alan Howarth's score to HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS and a Buzzcocks compilation? INCREDIBLE UNIVERSE! Did I mention they were INCREDIBLE?!

Sadly, Incredible Universe folded in the late '90s and most all of their locations (I think they had under twenty stores throughout the United States) were converted to Fry's Electronics, keeping the basic designs the same (i.e. exterior). And if you look at their delivery trucks closely, you can still spot the layered IU logo beneath the black paint overcoat.

So, in an effort to "remember when" and collect a few remnants, I thought I'd make a post about it.
"Like to hear it? Here it goes..."

Here's an ad for the Arlington, Texas location (which is now a Fry's and also my home away from home)...

Black Friday '97 Commercial (Back when 8 a.m. was considered early... and Black Friday was held on a FRIDAY, unlike the current & increasingly ridiculous steamrolling trend by retailers of the Thanksgiving holiday)...

They also had live demonstrations and live music performances (keep in mind it was the '90s, folks... and a FREE concert)...

Yep. Those were the days.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

View-Masterpiece Theater Returns!

Another installment of my fantasized View-Master reels is long overdue. So, here's the first batch, with more on the way. Enjoy!